‘The Gospel of Luke: Encountering Jesus’
Message: ‘Training of the 12’ pt.2 Text: Luke 9:1-17
- When I hold this in my hands, it might as well be a weed wacker, because I’ll drive blades of grass further than the ball I’m trying to hit.
- But, when Elder Joe holds it in his hands, he hits the ball and it flies long and straight as it heads for the green.
- When this is in my hands, instead of sewing in a straight line, it looks more like a paisley print.
- But, in Evelyn Malic’s hands, she can turn a tattered and torn item of clothing into a beautiful dress for someone’s wedding.
- When I hold one of these in my hands, all I see is something that looks like Casper the friendly ghost.
- But, when it’s in Dr. Stan’s hands, he can save someone’s life.
How is it that the same item can bring such different results? Simply,
- It depends upon whose hands they’re in.
- We saw that Jesus gave the 12 apostles power and authority to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and to heal/cast out demons.
- Jesus told them to travel light so that they’d place their total dependence upon Him.
- We’ll see that because of their trust in and obedience to Jesus, people noticed.
- We’ll also find that the training of the 12 continued when Jesus gave them an impossible task to do… so that they’ll understand that little is more when they give it to Jesus.
Transition: So, open your Bibles to Luke 9:7.
- Luke 9:7-9 Reflecting Jesus
Read: Luke 9:7-9
The Herod here is Herod Antipas. He’s the son of Herod the Great. Herod is called here, the tetrarch.
- A tetrarch was one of 4 men appointed by Rome to rule Israel & the surrounding area.
- Herod ruled over the region of Galilee.
Well, word was getting back to Herod,
- not only of what Jesus was doing,
- but now of what the 12 were doing, in Jesus’ name.
And he was, perplexed. Herod had heard, rumors:
- John the Baptist had returned from the dead.
- Elijah or one of the OT prophets had returned.
Herod arrogantly, or perhaps in fear, speaking of Jesus asked:
- John I beheaded, but who is this…?’
Context… Remember I said that in Luke 8:1-9:17 Jesus emphasized His sovereignty so He could reveal to the 12 who He truly is?
- When Jesus calmed the storm, the 12 asked Who then is this?
- Here we read Herod asking the same thing Who is this?
- In Luke 9:18 Jesus will ask the 12 Who do the crowds say that I am?
All leading up to the most important question that we will ever be asked in life.
- In Luke 9:20 Jesus asks His 12 apostles:
- But who do you say that I am?
And He still asks that question. And I believe He’d want me to ask it right now:
- Who do you say Jesus is?
You see, just as it did in Jesus’ day, how you answer that one question, will determine where and how you spend eternity.
There’s one more important truth we learn from this text and it’s meant for those who’ve already answered that question with:
- Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for my sin
- and He rose from the dead so that I might be forgiven and live with Him for eternity in heaven.
To those who are already saved by God’s amazing grace, I have another question for you:
- Do those around you, see Jesus in you?
Because of what Jesus’ 12 apostles were doing, Herod, like many others, wanted to know more about Jesus. Consider this:
- When people think of George Washington they think ‘Father of our country.’
- When people think if Richard Nixon they think ‘I am not a crook.’
- When people think of Mr. T they think ‘I Pity the fool.’
When people think of you… what do they think?
- What is it that defines you to those whose paths intersect yours on a regular basis?
III. Luke 9:10-17 Less is more w/ Jesus
- Luke 9:10-11 The 12 return
Read: Luke 9:10-11
Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the needs you see around the world?
Certainly global tragedies:
- Like hurricanes, earthquakes, poverty, abortion, ethnic cleansing, religious persecution.
Even closer to home, the tragedies we experience in the local church:
- Debilitating Illness, the loss of a loved one, financial crises, broken marriages, drug abuse, mental/emotional illness… and the list can go on…
Add to that the burden of knowing that there are millions who have not yet heard about Jesus and are heading to a Christ-less eternity.
Put that all together and the load can just be too much to bear. We wonder, we worry:
- How can I possibly help meet the needs of our church family, let alone the world?
Sidebar: The theme of this year’s Kingdom Builders Conference is ‘For the sake of the NAME!’
- Our Kingdom Builders are on the front lines under tremendous pressure,
- to not only meet the needs of those they have been called to minister
- to, but to care for the needs of their own family as well.
With that in mind, the purpose of this year’s conference is this:
- To help us better understand the privilege it is to encourage and support those in full-time Missions.
One of the main reasons Kingdom Builders take furloughs (comeback to the states) is to rest, to recharge their spiritual batteries, to be cared for by those who support them.
- In other words, they need some down time.
It’s the KB Boards hope, that as Julie, Israel and Caleb join us for our Kingdom Builders Conference next weekend,
- They’ll not only encourage us by what God is doing in Argentina,
- but that we might be an encouragement to them, the means to refresh their spirits.
That’s why we’re having a ‘fun day’ so that we can together; relax, enjoy and encourage each other.
And let me add, another way to encouragement the Zalazars,
- is by showing up; by talking to them,
- by telling them you are, or at least will, be praying for them.
OK, look, this isn’t unrelated to the text. Last week, I said that there’s no indication just how long the 12 apostles were gone. I think it’s safe to assume, it may have been a few weeks, to a few months.
So, like most kingdom builders who come back from the field and tell us what they’ve been doing, the 12 return to tell Jesus all that they’ve done.
And also like kingdom builders on furlough, they came back tired.
Jesus knows that ministry can take its toll on people. That’s why the text says: He took them and withdrew, apart…
The only problem, at least from the 12’s perspective, was that as they were heading to Bethsaida, huge crowds were following them. I was hard for them to get apart with Jesus.
- Jesus, true to His calling, taught the crowd about the Kingdom of God.
- Jesus, true to His calling showed His love, by meeting their many physical needs.
The 12 would not get their alone time with Jesus.
At least not this time. This tells us two things:
- First, when we start complaining about how busy we are in ministry, we need to remember the kind of schedule Jesus and the 12 had… everyday!
- Second, no matter how tired we may be from ministry, it shouldn’t lessen our willingness to show compassion to those God has called us to serve.
- Luke 9:12-14a Jesus says ‘You feed them’
Read: Luke 9:12-14a
Well, it’s getting late so the 12 tell Jesus to Send the crowd away.
- I don’t think they lacked compassion for the crowd.
- But I also don’t think they saw their part, in the need that stared them right in the face.
Jesus did, that’s why He told them:
- You give them something to eat.
And then we hear the excuses:
- We only have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
It’s not enough to feed 5000 men and their families.
- From Marks account we hear them say: Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?
(BTW the idea is they didn’t have 200 denarii. That was about 7 months wages)
- Jesus, please, just send them away.
Folks, can I ask the question that’s obvious, I think, to us, but they were oblivious to?
- They just got back from healing and casting out demons.
- Why didn’t they believe and trust God to provide, either directly through them or through Jesus?
Honestly, I don’t know. What I do know is that with God all things are possible.
Perhaps that’s the lesson Jesus wanted to teach them?
- But, having failed to learn that lesson,
- Jesus reinforces that truth, by showing them.
- Luke 9:14b-17 All are satisfied
Read: Luke 9:14b-17
Jesus told the 12 to feed the crowd and they said we’ve only got 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
- Luke doesn’t mention that the food came from a young boy in the crowd. (John 6:9)
- He also doesn’t mention Andrew, Peters brother, saying But what is that for so many? (John 6:9)
Doubt, was a result of a perception of inadequate resources. That doubt, shut the 12 down. But, that was enough for Jesus.
- Notice that He takes the ‘inadequate resources’ and looking up to heaven, He blessed them. And everyone was fed.
You know, Jesus could have performed this miracle any number of ways:
- He could have made it miraculously appear in each person’s hands. People would have been impressed!
- He could have called angels to take the food from Jesus’ hands and deliver it to the crowd. Again, very impressive.
Instead, Jesus uses the 12 to distribute the food to the hungry crowd. The 12.
- The ones who were tired, hungry, and beat.
- The ones who were so busy, they didn’t have time to eat.
- The ones who believed they didn’t have the resources necessary to feed the crowd.
- The ones who told Jesus to send the crowd away.
Yet, they’re the very ones Jesus enlists to help Him serve the people.
- Folks, Jesus can build His kingdom w/o us.
- But, He’s pleased to invite us to join Him.
Here’s the thing. I’m sure the crowd was amazed with all the food that was provided.
- But, the miracle was not ultimately for their benefit. It was for the benefit of the 12. So they might know who He is.
Finally, notice that Jesus is generous in how He shows compassion.
- There was more than enough, not only for everyone in the crowd,
- but even for the disciples who failed to see the big picture.
And so they’d get the big picture, don’t you think Jesus used the 12 left over baskets to teach the 12 apostles:
- that little is more, when you place it in Jesus hands?
We still so need to learn that.
Conclusion: Let me close with a few keys to effectively serving the Lord by serving His people, that we can glean from our text:
1st When God calls us to serve, instead of complaining about what we don’t have, let’s celebrate our abundance.
2nd When God calls us to serve, it’s never our ability, it’s about God’s enabling.
3rd When God calls us to serve, it’s always about giving what we have to God, with thanksgiving, and then sharing it with others.
4th When God calls us to serve it’s choosing to live like the apostle Paul who said I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9b)
Finally, Servants serve! Servants serve!
- When we’re tired, when we’re busy, when we’re out of resources, servants serve!
When we do, we’ll reflect Jesus, and people will notice.