Luke 9:1-27

Luke 9:1-2 - We tend to look at this through our 20th century lens. What did it mean to them - and to their audience - to "proclaim the kingdom of God"? Certainly, a certain amount of thought of the return of a physical kingdom, a new nation of Israel. But what else?

Luke 9:10-12 - Once again, Jesus tries to get away with his guys and the crowds follow. I'm sure the 12 were relieved to have some down time with Jesus, to review what they learned and just chill. Jesus does not refuse the crowds, however, and they are once again serving the masses. The end of the day approaches, and they see an opportunity for relief. Send them away Jesus, that way they can get some food. We're thinking of them. Jesus, however, isn't content with simply giving them the opportunity to fend for themselves, he calls the 12 higher and tells them to care for their needs themselves. Now Jesus didn't do this every time, I don't think. I have to believe that there were times that people were left to meet their own needs. He's challenging them, however, to look with faith when there's a need that seems bigger than our ability to meet it. God want to meet needs and he wants to use us to do so.

We pray that needs will be met, I wonder how many times God's answer is "OK, I'm ready to do it, how about you? Will you go help me?" Isn't that what happened here? God was prepared, the 12 were not. But once they went, God showed up and made up the difference. To often, we want God to go and meet the need, He says You go, and I'll meet the need.

Luke 9:12-22 - It always seemed a little odd, this constant command of Jesus that they not tell anyone who he was. Maybe there's some insight as to why in here. He says "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." If they started claiming he was the Christ, and folks believed them, ironically it might actually get in the way of his arrest, torture and death and his mission would go unfulfilled.

Luke 9:23-27 - It's a little hard to see this outside of the familiar ICOC context. This was essential to the studies we did with folk. A lot of foolishness trying to read our agenda into Jesus' words about taking up your cross. Setting all that aside, the very core of conversion lies here. Set aside my agenda and plans, and take on Jesus' - no matter what they are. Doing so means studying and understanding what Jesus calls us to, it means making it a priority, it means setting aside our own notions of what we think God is and submitting to what he actually said. None of that is easily reducible to a study or two or a tract, at least in it's entirety. It's a lifetime of commitment and re-commitment.

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