Jesus gifted His disciples with power and authority to do the work God gave them to do. And God moved powerfully through them.
So, it makes sense that the disciples expected Jesus to also deliver them from the political powers in their generation—to bring the Kingdom Jesus declared.
But Jesus came to die, to deliver us from the powers of hell. Two times in Luke 9, Jesus predicts his death and then calls his followers to be willing to die in order to follow him.
This episode helps us meditate on what it might mean for us to live for Jesus—by dying to ourselves.
What is holding us back to becoming all God created us to be for His glory?
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Welcome to Luke Chapter 9 in our Certainty of Faith series through the Gospel of Luke.
In today’s chapter, we read Jesus’ prediction of his death two times—and his call for us to die to ourselves for the sake of the gospel. We will drink in this passage slowly to consider what the Spirit might be showing us about following Jesus.
In the beginning of chapter 9, Luke records that Jesus gave power and authority to drive out demons and cure diseases to his closest disciples known as “the 12 disciples.” He then sent them to minister village to village like itinerate preacher-healers, but He told them to take nothing—to not pack even a small sack of provisions. To just go.
Imagine the trust and faith it took these men to leave with the shirts on their backs and intangible power and authority.
The disciples whirled into town by town—healing people AND preaching the kingdom—Just like Jesus. And word about Jesus and the kingdom of God spread throughout the entire region.
After their short-term evangelism tour, the disciples tell Jesus all that happened and then they witnessed Jesus miraculously provide first century version of fish and chips supper for 5,000 men in addition to women and children—with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
Jesus provided what they needed to do the work God gave them to do.
I suggest Jesus also provides what we need to do all that He calls us to do.
What is the work before you today
That you are to do for God’s glory?
Maybe it’s tending to a child or tending to a pile of emails. How might you need God’s power and provision?
Dwell on this for a moment.
Moving on in the chapter, Jesus predicts his death two times.
Jesus knew he would suffer many things, be rejected by the religious and political leaders, be killed and on the third day, and be risen back to life.
He knew to do God’s will to bring life—first meant dying.
After each of his predictions in Luke 9, Jesus teaches about the importance of a disciple to be willing to die as well—whether physically or to die to whatever we put BEFORE our commitment to following Christ.
Today, I will slowly read two passages back-to-back so we can mediate on the consistent teaching from Jesus
First, let’s focus our hearts and minds on God’s Word by taking two deep breaths and laying aside all other thoughts.
Come, Holy Spirit come, wash us with Your Word.
As I read these two passages, listen to the Spirit’s guidance. What is he teaching you?
Luke 9:23-26, and Luke 9:57-62
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after[a] me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily,[b] and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. 25 For what does it benefit someone if he gains the whole world, and yet loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and that of the Father and the holy angels.
57 As they were traveling on the road someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 Then he said to another, “Follow me.”
“Lord,” he said, “first let me go bury my father.”
60 But he told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.”
61 Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
What might denying yourself and taking up your cross look like in your life right now? In other words, what do you need to willingly persevere in—or let go of—in order to faithfully follow Jesus?
Reflect on this.
In Luke 9 we also read about the transfiguration, and Jesus healing a boy with a demonic spirit, among other things.
And now Luke records Jesus preparing his disciples, as Jesus walks toward His death, burial and resurrection.
I will read a couple verses again for us to take with us into our day.
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after[a] me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily,[b] and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it.
What might you need to deny?
Pray about this or whatever the Spirit has laid on your heart.
Let’s pray. . .
Thank you for joining me on the Well Soul Podcast today. I hope you were able to connect with God through this episode.
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There is so much more to the story in this chapter, so if you would like to drink in the scriptures more slowly than the podcast allows, I encourage you to look at the resources linked in the show notes.
I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Sandra Glahn for her Latte with Luke Bible study and Brian Vasquez productions, who has made this podcast possible. This episode is sponsored by socialremix.co to SocialRemix.co, a social media generating website that saves you hours of content creation with just a click of a button. For more information, see the Links in the show notes.
God bless you and I pray that you have a well soul.