Luke 9:1-10

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Luke, New Testament

In these verses, we see a model for Christian service, for Christian ministry.
The ministries we have certainly differ.
The specific callings vary, but the principles are the same.

Some of us have been called to full time Christian service.
Some are called to the mission field.
Some serve in varying degrees in the local church.
Some are in the community, serving the Lord as local missionaries, i.e. just being a witness of Christ at work, in social settings, etc.
Some may serve in the privacy of their own homes, with their family, sick relatives, struggling loved ones, with children, with neighborhood kids, etc.
Perhaps a prayer ministry.
Perhaps feeding people.
Teaching others to read and write.

What we may be doing can be very different from what others may be doing.
Rather than debating about what is more important, we do well to study about the principles of Christian service.
We do well to understand that every one of us has a calling upon our life.
None is exempt.

We understand that some in the Body of Christ may be on the mend.
Having gone through great illness, or loss, or family tragedy.
Suffering in differing ways.

We do not seek to burden those who are already carrying a heavy load.
But we seek to point out that all Christians are called to serve the Lord.
A person’s ability and availability is known clearly by God.
As and when we are able, we ought to serve the Lord.

We seek today to establish two things:
1. Christians are called to serve Jesus Christ.
2. God gives us principles of how we ought to serve Him.
Having established that all Christian are called to serve Christ in one way or another,…
Let us go on to examine principles of service, principles of ministry.

Third year of Jesus’ ministry.(?)
Last tour through Galilee. 6 months (?) before the cross.
This last tour was the first time the apostles went out on their own.
First time of going out w/o Jesus with them.

I. The Calling

Luke 9:1a Then He called His twelve disciples together… 9:2a He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Jesus was the sender.
It wasn’t by natural impulse that the disciples went out.
They were called by God to step out.

There is that service that is offered to God, done in the name of God, supposedly for the purpose of God, that is not ordained of God.

Many Christians with good intentions.
Some with wrong intentions.
Stepping out and doing something for God.
But something He never asked them to do.
Something He never equipped them to do.
Ministries, churches, service, that is not called for by God or directed by God.

The results of that kind of “Christian service” is disastrous.
A work of the flesh.
A monument to man.
Something that man strives to establish.
Something that man must continue to strive to maintain.
Initiated by man, empowered by man, propped up by man.

It was not so with the apostles.
In true Christian service, God is the initiator.
Rom 1:1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.

The early church recognized the sovereignty of God in their midst.
They submitted to the leading of God.
They didn’t follow their own impulses.

The fact that every Christian is called by God to serve Him is clearly seen.
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Mat 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

II. The Mission

Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
Luke 9:2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Luke 9:6 So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

The preaching of the kingdom of God was the prime directive for the apostles.
What does it mean to preach?
It simply means to proclaim, to tell others in the sense of announcing news to them.
Some of the best, most effective preaching never happens inside a church; it happens when people are one-on-one with others telling about what Jesus has done.

Preaching the kingdom of God is also simple; we are here to announce that
there is a King and we are in His kingdom!

The accompanying miraculous giftings were given to establish their words, and to alleviate human sufferings.
The miracles were manifestations of the kingdom of God, the power of God in the midst of the people.

The greatest human need is not physical healing.
The greatest human need is not deliverance from demons.

The greatest human need is salvation.
Forgiveness of sins, right relationship with God.

To bring physical healing to someone is a wonderful thing.
But it is temporary.
Deliverance from demonic activity is a gift from God.
But that in and of itself doesn’t save a person in the realm of eternity.

Jesus came to bring salvation to mankind.

John 17:4 “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
When Jesus died, there were still sick people in Israel.
There were still demon possessed people in Israel.
And yet he proclaimed to have finished the work.
Why? B/c salvation was the mission of Jesus.
To bring people into the kingdom of God.
Deliverance from Satan was part of that.
Physical healing was/is often part of that.

Whatever ministry we may have, keep the prime directive in view.
The Kingdom of God.— The Kingship of God. The Lordship of Christ.

Not just in heaven, someday when we die.
But here and now, in this life.
The Kingship of God in a person’s life.
What it means to be in the Kingdom of God.
God reigns, and He is available to the human soul.

1. Salvation. Justification.
2. Sanctification, growing in the Lord.
3. Glorification, pointing people towards heaven. Eternal perspective.

Preaching, proclaiming, was and still is the primary method of bringing people into the kingdom of God.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

J.C. Ryle- This is God’s instrument for doing good to souls. By it, sinners are converted, inquirers led on, and saints built up. A preaching ministry is absolutely essential to the health and prosperity of a visible church.

III. The Equipping

Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
Luke 9:2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Power- Dunamis, dynamite. Energy, force, to do a certain ministry.
The capacity to do a certain thing.
Authority- The right to exercise that power.

We can feel unqualified for the ministry God has given us.
2 Cor 3:5,6 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant,
That feeling of not being qualified can be safe.
You aren’t self-dependent.

But you shouldn’t be so unsure of yourself that you are paralyzed into non-activity.
You can be sure that as God calls, He equips.
Eph 4:11,12 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

We can abuse the power that God has given us.
It is the Kingdom of God, not the Kingdom of Bill.
The Kingship of God, not the Kingship of you.

When God calls you to serve Him, He will equip you.
If you are not equipped for a certain task, it is b/c He hasn’t called you to it.

IV. The Principles

Luke 9:3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.
Luke 9:4 “Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.

Faith in God’s provision.
The Kingdom they preach is marked by simplicity, urgency, and sincerity
They were to live simply and be content with what they had.

G. Campbell Morgan- “Their only wealth was in their message, their power, their authority, and the fact that they represented Him.”
Living free from worldly cares.

1 Pet 5:2,3 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers– not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

The disciples didn’t need fancy equipment to preach a simple message; too much stuff would get in the way of their urgent message

There was a rabbinic rule that you could not enter the temple area with a staff, shoes, or a money bag, because you wanted to avoid even the appearance of being engaged in any other business than the service of the Lord.
The disciples are engaged in such holy work (preaching the gospel and bringing God’s healing) that they can’t give the impression that they have any other motive

As well, traveling light kept them dependent upon God; they had to trust the Lord for everything if they didn’t take much with them.
If the preacher isn’t trusting God, how can he tell others to trust Him?

“The forbidden bag may be the kind frequently used by itinerant philosophers and religious mendicants for begging.” (Liefeld)

Chuck Smith– Where God guides, God provides.

V. The Opposition

Blatant Opposition
Luke 9:5 “And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”
Luke 9:6 So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Their job as preachers wasn’t to change people’s minds.
They were to persuasively present the message, but if they didn’t receive it, they didn’t receive it – and they could leave, and shake the very dust from your feet as they left

If Jews had to go in or through a Gentile city, as they left they would shake the dust off their feet as a gesture saying, “we don’t want to take anything from this Gentile city with us.”
Essentially, Jesus is telling them to regard a Jewish city who rejects their message as if it were a Gentile city.

J.C. Ryle- We must not be depressed if our work seems to be in vain and our labor profitless. Let us remember that the very first preachers and teachers whom Jesus sent out had the clear warning that not all their hearers would believe. Our Lord does not despise his laborers b/c little of the seed they sow bears fruit.

Opposition that is Curious, Confused, and Accusatory
Luke 9:7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead,
Luke 9:8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again.
Luke 9:9 Herod said, “John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?” So he sought to see Him.

Herod’s confusion comes from his own guilty conscience; it is hard to see clearly who Jesus is when we are in sin and rebellion.
The power of what is going on attracts Herod’s attention.
The disciples are preaching, teaching, and healing.
But his sin blinds him to the truth about the truth of God’s work.

So he stands at a distance, and comes to his own conclusions.
He tries to figure out God’s work w/o having a clear picture of God.

So he sought to see Him.- Not b/c he believed, but b/c he was curious.
Jesus would ultimately stand before Herod.
But Herod only wanted to see a miracle.
Jesus never gave him one.
Herod never did really understand or see the Kingdom of God.

We can expect that kind of blindness.
We can expect to be misunderstood.
We can expect that others will assume we are something that we are not.
We might be labeled, etc.
Mat 10:25 “It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!

VI. The Re-Strengthening

Luke 9:10 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

Jesus wanted to take them aside privately into a deserted place, to minister to their needs; when ever we are serving Jesus as He directs us, He always wants to minister to us.

Jesus wanted to take them aside privately into a deserted place, to minister to their needs; when ever we are serving Jesus as He directs us, He always wants to minister to us

Vance Havner– If we don’t come apart and rest, we’ll just come apart.