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The Radical Demands of Jesus (Luke 9)

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Luke 9

The twelve are sent out to preach
And he called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. 2 And he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 And he said to them: Take nothing for your journey, neither staff, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money. Neither have two coats. 4 And into whatever house you enter, there stay and from there depart. 5 And as many as do not welcome you, when you depart from that city, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony against them. 6 And they departed and went throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
   7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done; and he was very worried, because of what was said by some, that John had risen from the dead; 8 and by some, that Elijah had appeared, and by others, that one of the old prophets had arisen. 9 And Herod said: John I beheaded, but who is this, about whom I hear such things? And he sought to see him.

Jesus feeds 5000 men
   10 And the apostles, when they had returned, declared to him what things they had done. And he took them and withdrew to a city called Bethsaida. 11 But the crowds knew it, and they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them of the kingdom of God, and those that had need of healing he cured. 12 And the day began to wear away; and the twelve came and said to him: Send the crowd away, that they may go into the villages and countryside and lodge and get provisions. For we are here in a deserted place. 13 But he said to them: You give them something to eat. And they said: We have no more than five loaves and two fishes, unless we go and buy food for all these people. 14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples: Make them sit down in groups, about fifty in each. 15 And they did so, and made them all sit down. 16 And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they ate and were all filled, and there was taken up of the leftovers twelve baskets.

Jesus talks privately with the disciples
   18 And it came to pass, as he was praying alone, that his disciples joined him; and he asked them, saying: Who do the crowds say that I am? 19 And they answering said: John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and others, that one of the old prophets has risen. 20 And he said to them: But who do you say that I am? And Peter answering said: The Christ of God. 21 And he ordered and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying: The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
   23 And he said to all: If anyone would follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life shall lose it, but whoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit his life? 26 For whoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his own glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you a truth: There are some that stand here, who shall in no way taste death, until they see the kingdom of God.

The transfiguration
   28 And it came to pass about eight days after these sayings, that he took with him Peter, John and James and went up into the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered and his garment became white and dazzling. 30 And talking with him were two men, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they were fully awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. 33 And it came to pass, as they were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus: Master, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three booths, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Not knowing what he said. 34 And while he said these things, there came a cloud that overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered into the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying: This is My Son, My chosen. Hear him. 36 And when the voice came, Jesus was found alone. And they kept quiet and told no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
   37 And it came to pass, the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 And a man from the crowd cried, saying: Teacher, I beg you to look upon my son; for he is my only child. 39 And a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. 40 And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not. 41 And Jesus answered and said: O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here. 42 And as he was coming, the demon dashed him down and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.
   43 And they were all astonished at the majesty of God. But while all were marvelling at all the things which he did, he said to his disciples: 44 Let these words sink into your ears. For the Son of Man shall be delivered up into the hands of men. 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it, and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.

Who is the greatest?
   46 And there arose a dispute among them, which of them was the greatest. 47 But when Jesus saw the reasoning of their heart, he took a little child and set him by his side, 48 and said to them: Whoever shall receive this little child in my name receives me, and whoever shall receive me, receives Him that sent me. For he that is least among you all, the same is great.
   49 And John answered and said: Master, we saw one casting out demons in your name and we forbade him, because he follows not with us. 50 But Jesus said to him: Forbid not. For he that is not against you is for you.

The challenge of the cross
51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for him to be received up, that he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before his face; and they went and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 But they did not receive him, because his face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said: Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did? 55 But he turned and rebuked them, saying: You know what kind of Spirit you have. 56 And they went to another village.
   57 And as they were going along the road, someone said to him: I will follow you wherever you go. 58 And Jesus said to him: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. 59 And he said to another: Follow me. But he said: Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father. 60 But he said to him: Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and publish the kingdom of God.
   61 And another also said: I will follow you Lord, but first permit me to bid farewell to them that are at my house. 62 But Jesus said to him: No one, having put his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.



9:2 The frequent connection between preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and healing was because the healings were foretastes of how things would be when the Kingdom of God is established upon earth.

9:5 Jews were supposed to shake off the dust of Gentile areas from their feet. Jesus is saying that the Jews who didn’t accept Him were no better than Gentiles. If we reject Christ, we will be “condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:28).

9:12 Jesus preached in a “deserted place” so that the people had to make some effort to go to Him. We have to make some effort on our part to hear the word of God, even though salvation is of grace.

9:18 Praying alone- We must find time to pray alone, and not have a prayer life which is simply saying “Amen” to the prayers of others.

9:23 Daily- We should rise each day and remind ourselves that we are to pick up the cross of Jesus, accompanying Him on His ‘last walk’ to death. How we start each day is important.

9:24 How can we lose our lives for His sake today?

9:35 Hear Him- Alluding to the prediction of Dt. 18:15 that the faithful would hear the voice of the Messiah. This Old Testament prophecy is quoted about Jesus in Acts 3:22. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies about Himself; He was “the word made flesh” (Jn. 1:14).

9:37 We also at times ‘come down from the mountain’ of intense spiritual experience to face the crowds of this world, lack of faith, human need and argument. We may have a wonderful Sunday service, but have to return into the world on Monday or Sunday evening. In those moments, remember Jesus went through the same. He understands.

9:39 Bruising him- The child bruised himself, as in v. 42 “dashed him”. The language of demon possession simply refers to mental illness, in this came epilepsy and self-harm.

9:41 How long?- This is a phrase often found on the lips of God’s people in the Bible. We long for the day when human weakness will be no more, when Jesus has returned and established His Kingdom on earth.

9:51 In Luke, Jesus is described as always ‘going up to Jerusalem’ even when He was going geographically away from it. We too may take two steps backwards at times, but our overall direction is ultimately towards God’s Kingdom.

9:60 At times, Jesus is very demanding. To bury your father was seen as a Jew’s greatest domestic obligation. But Jesus and His work must come first.