March 18th Luke 9 The Apostles mission
1: Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 2: And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. 3: And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. 4: And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. 5: And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. 6: And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
7: Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; 8: And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. 9: And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.
Jesus feeds the 5,000
10: And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11: And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. 12: And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. 13: But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. 14: For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. 15: And they did so, and made them all sit down. 16: Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17: And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
18: And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? 19: They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. 20: He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
Predicts his death & resurrection
21: And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 22: Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 23: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25: For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26: For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. 27: But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
The Lord calls the Disciples and turns them into Apostles. Disciples are learners, but Apostles are sent. The first thing Christ did is to give them power over all demons and to cure all diseases. Now this is not the normal experience of the child of God. This was a special endowment to enable these men to reverse the effects of the disciplining hand of God on Israel. These powers would probably never leave them until the end of their lives. It is one thing for any man when he is empowered by the Holy Spirit to heal but this was of a different order of authority altogether. We must not forget that these Apostles had a very special mission to Israel to call on Israel to return unto the God of their Fathers. The features of their mission were that they were to preach first and then heal the sick. They were to be living in dependence on the Father and the hospitality of Israel. They were to abide in the first house that receives them and if they were not welcome they were to testify against them in the shaking off of the dust of their feet. The effect of their ministry cannot be over estimated. It was one thing for John and Christ to caused huge crowds to follow them but now there were six pairs of evangelists walking throughout the whole land preaching and healing everywhere. What a wonderful ministry they had. No wonder they came back excited. After their mission the Lord took them to the seaside for a rest. However huge crowds gathered and Christ taught them and he sent them away full. Later it says Christ was alone praying and the disciples were with him (a strange phrase) and he asked them who do men say l am? Various answers are given then he says? Who do you say l am? Peter answers for them all. You are the Christ of God. Christ strictly told them not to say anything about what God had revealed to them and then he went on to explain the cross and his mission to provide salvation to the world. Then he spoke of their discipleship call he said they were to take up their cross and follow him. This was the relationship he had with them under law. They were to forsake the world and even their own lives to be counted worthy of Christ.