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David Guzik :: Study Guide for Luke 9

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The Kingdom of God is Preached and Displayed

A. The apostles are sent to preach and heal.

1. (Luk 9:1-2) Jesus calls them and sends them forth.

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

a. In the gospel of John, Jesus said As the Father has sent Me, I also send you (John 20:21). Here Jesus sends out His disciples to do the same things that Jesus did: to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

b. To preach the kingdom of God: 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.

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

ii. The Kingdom that Jesus brought needed preaching, for it was not the same Kingdom that most of the Jewish people of His day expected.

c. To heal the sick: This means that God wanted to use the disciples to bring healing. God wants to do more than save souls, He wants to minister to the whole person.

d. Gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases: God never tells us to do something without giving us the ability and the right to do it.

i. This power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases is vitally connected with preaching the gospel. It shouldn't surprise us to see the two going together.

2. (Luk 9:3-6) The Kingdom they preach is marked by simplicity, urgency, and sincerity.

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. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 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." So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

a. Take nothing for the journey: The disciples didn't need fancy equipment to preach a simple message. Too much "stuff" would get in the way of their urgent message.

i. There was a rule among the rabbis of the day that you could not enter the temple area with a staff, shoes, or a moneybag, 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.

b. As well, travelling 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?

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

c. And whoever will not receive you: 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.

i. 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 that rejects their message as if it were a Gentile city.

d. So they departed: They actually did it! We can hear Jesus' word to us all day long, but something is missing until we do it.

3. (Luk 9:7-9) Herod hears of Jesus' ministry and is perplexed.

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, and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. Herod said, "John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?" So he sought to see Him.

a. It was said by some that John had risen from the dead: The last time we saw John the Baptist in Luke was back in Luke 7:18-23. John was in prison and wondered if Jesus really was the Messiah. Here, Luke tells us that Herod had John executed in prison, because John rebuked Herod about his sin with his brother's wife (Matthew 14:1-12).

b. Herod said, "John I have beheaded": 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.

4. (Luk 9:10) The apostles return.

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.

a. And the apostles: When they left Jesus in Luke 9:1, they were called disciples-that is, "learners." When they come back after their preaching mission, they are called apostles-that is, "those sent with authority and a message."

b. Told Him all that they had done: Jesus wanted to know how they had done. Jesus is concerned with the results of our work for Him.

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

5. (Luk 9:11-17) The feeding of the 5,000.

But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, "Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here." But He said to them, "You give them something to eat." And they said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people." For there were about five thousand men. Then He said to His disciples, "Make them sit down in groups of fifty." And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.

a. Send the multitude away: The disciples saw the crowd as a bother; after all, didn't they want to spend special time with Jesus? But Jesus saw the crowd in terms of love, care, and compassion.

b. Jesus wants to minister to the crowd; not only spiritually (spoke to them about the kingdom of God), but also ministering to their physical needs (healed those who had need of healing … You give them something to eat). He genuinely loved the multitude.

i. Jesus doesn't only care for your spiritual needs; He has a real concern for your physical and material needs as well. It isn't unspiritual to look to God in these areas.

c. He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude: When Jesus blessed before the meal, He wasn't blessing the food. He blessed God for supplying it. The idea of praying before a meal isn't to bless the food; it is to bless - that is, to thank-God for blessing us with the food.

d. So they all ate and were filled: Jesus miraculously multiplied the loaves and fishes, until far more than 5,000 were fed. Seemingly, the miracle happened in the hands of Jesus, not in hands of the disciples-they simply distributed what Jesus had miraculously provided.

i. If someone left hungry, it was either because they refused the bread from Jesus, or because the apostles didn't distribute the bread to everyone. Jesus supplied plenty for everybody.

e. The assurance that Jesus can provide-even miraculously-for all of our needs should be precious to us; it was to the earliest Christians. On the walls of the catacombs, and other places of early Christian art, loaves and fishes are common pictures.

f. What we have in ourselves to give others is insignificant, but when we put it in Jesus' hands, He can do great things with our gifts and talents to touch the lives of others.

B. The kingdom and the cross.

1. (Luk 9:18-20) Peter's understanding of who Jesus is.

And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" So they answered and said, "John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God."

a. As He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him: This scene begins with Jesus praying, and the disciples joining Him. We don't really know if they joined with Him in prayer, or if they interrupted His time of prayer. But when Jesus was done praying, He asked them a question: Who do the crowds say that I am?

i. Why did Jesus ask? Was it because He didn't know? Not at all. He asked because He will use this question as an introduction to a more important follow-up question.

b. John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again: People who thought that Jesus was John the Baptist didn't know much about Him, because He and John ministered at the same time. But both John and Elijah were national reformers who stood up to the corrupt rulers of their day.

i. Perhaps in seeing Jesus as John or Elijah, the people hope for a political messiah, one who will overthrow the corrupt powers oppressing Israel.

c. The Christ of God: Peter knows Jesus better. He knows that Jesus is the Christ of God, God's Messiah, the Messiah from the heart of God, not the Messiah from the desire of man.

2. (Luk 9:21-22) Jesus reveals the true nature of His mission.

And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day."

a. The Son of Man must suffer many things: After receiving the polling data, both from the crowds and His own disciples, Jesus now explains what He has really come to do: suffer, be rejected, be killed, and be raised the third day. This isn't what His disciples or the crowds wanted!

i. This would be an unbelievable shock to anyone expecting, or hoping, that Jesus was the national and political messiah. It is as if a presidential candidate announced towards the end of his campaign that he is going to Washington to be rejected and executed.

b. Must suffer many things: An important word here is must. This isn't just a plan or an idea or a prediction; this is the fulfillment of what was planned before the world began for our salvation (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8).

i. But the resurrection was as much a must as any other aspect of His suffering; Jesus had to rise from the dead.

3. (Luk 9:23) Jesus calls everyone wanting to follow Him to do what He will do.

Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

a. Then He said to them all: It was bad enough for the disciples to hear that Jesus would suffer, be rejected, and die on a cross. Now He tells them that they must do the same thing.

b. Let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me: Everybody knew what Jesus meant when He said take up his cross. Everyone knew what the cross was: an unrelenting instrument of nothing but death.

i. The cross wasn't about religious ceremonies; it wasn't about traditions and spiritual feelings. The cross was a way to execute people.

ii. We have sanitized and ritualized the cross in these twenty centuries after Jesus. How would we receive it if Jesus said, "walk down death row daily and follow Me"?

iii. Taking up your cross wasn't a journey; it was a one-way trip. There was no return ticketing; it was never a round trip.

c. Jesus makes deny himself equal with take up his cross. The two phrases express the same idea. The cross wasn't about self-promotion or self-affirmation. The person carrying a cross knew they couldn't save themselves, and that self was destined to die.

i. Denying yourself means to live as an others-centered person. Jesus was the only person to do this perfectly, but we are to follow in His steps.

d. Take up his cross daily: Jesus makes it clear that He is speaking spiritually when He adds the word daily. No one could be crucified literally everyday. But they can have the same attitude as Jesus daily.

e. This is following Jesus at its simplest-He carried a cross, He walked down death row; so must those who would follow Him.

4. (Luk 9:24-27) Why we must take up our cross and follow Jesus.

"For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God."

a. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it: We must follow Jesus this way because it is the only way that we will ever find life. It sounds strange to say "you will never live until you walk down death row with Jesus," but that is the idea. You can't gain resurrection life without dying first.

i. You don't lose a seed when you plant it, though it seems dead and buried. In truth, you set it free to be what it was always intended to be.

b. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world: Avoiding the walk down death row with Jesus means that we may gain the whole world-and end up losing everything.

i. Jesus Himself had the opportunity to gain the whole world by worshipping Satan (Luke 4:5-8), but found life and victory in obedience instead.

ii. Amazingly, the people who live this way before Jesus are the ones who are really, genuinely happy. Giving our lives to Jesus all the way, and living as an others-centered person does not take away from our lives, it adds to it.

c. For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory: It isn't easy to walk death row with Jesus. It means that we have to associate ourselves with someone who was despised and executed-but if we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us.

d. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God: Walking with Jesus doesn't just mean a life of death and crosses. It also means a life of the power and glory of the kingdom of God. Jesus promised some of His disciples would soon see a glimpse of that power and glory.

C. The Transfiguration.

1. (Luk 9:28-29) Jesus is transfigured before Peter, John, and James.

Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.

a. He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray: What started as a mountain top prayer meeting quickly changed into the shining forth of the glory of Jesus, and as He prayed, Jesus was transformed right before the eyes of the disciples.

i. White and glistening translates a word that has the idea of "flashing like lightning." Jesus' entire appearance was transformed in a brilliant radiance of light.

ii. What exactly happened here? Matthew says that Jesus' face shone like the sun (Matthew 17:2), and both Matthew and Mark use the word transfigured to describe what happened to Jesus. For this brief time, Jesus took on an appearance more appropriate for the King of Glory than for a humble man.

iii. How did it happen? This was not a new miracle, but the temporary pause of an ongoing miracle. The real miracle was that Jesus, most of the time, could keep from displaying His glory.

b. Why did Jesus do this, and why at this time? Because Jesus had just told His disciples that He was going the way of the cross, and that they should follow Him spiritually. It would have been easy for them to lose confidence in Jesus after such a "negative" statement. But now, as Jesus displays His glory as King over all God's Kingdom, the disciples know that Jesus knows what He is doing; if He is to suffer, be rejected and killed, He is still in control

c. Jesus is showing in a dramatic way that cross bearers will be glory receivers. The end isn't the cross, the end is the glory of God.

2. (Luk 9:30-31) Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus.

And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

a. Why Moses and Elijah? Because they represent those who are caught up to God (Jude 9 and 2 Kings 2:11). Moses represents those who die and go to glory, and Elijah represents those who are caught up to heaven without death (as in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

b. Also because they represent the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). The sum of Old Testament revelation comes to meet with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration.

c. Moses and Elijah also figure together in prophecy, because they are likely the witnesses of Revelation 11:3-13.

d. What did they talk about? Moses and Elijah were interested in the outworking of God's plan through Jesus; they spoke about what Jesus was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

i. We can almost picture Moses and Elijah asking, "Are You really going to do it?" Moses would say, "I offered to be judged in the place of the people, but God wouldn't have it. Can you go through with this, Jesus?" Elijah would add, "I was persecuted terribly by Ahab and Jezebel, and I hated it-sometimes I went into a spiritual tailspin. Can you go through with this, Jesus?"

3. (Luk 9:32-36) Peter's unwise offer to build three tabernacles to honor Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, and the Father's response to that offer.

But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"; not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.

a. Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: We often get into trouble when we speak like Peter did-not knowing what he said. Peter's mistake was in that he put Jesus on an equal level with Moses and Elijah-one tabernacle for each of them!

i. Peter, when he saw Jesus in His glory, must have said to himself: "All right! This is how it should be! Forget this business about suffering, being rejected, and crucified! Let's build some tabernacles so we can live this way with the glorified Jesus all the time."

b. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them: As Peter says this, they are overshadowed with the cloud of God's glory-the Shekinah glory of God. This is the same idea of overshadow in Luke 1:35, when the glory of God came upon Mary and she received the child Jesus.

i. They were fearful as they entered the cloud: Being in the presence of God's glory in this way was not really a pleasant experience, especially because Peter had just sinned and needed correcting. Sometimes the glory of God is shown in His correction of us.

c. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" The voice from the cloud of glory makes it clear that Jesus is not on the same level as Moses and Elijah. He is the beloved Son-so Hear Him!

i. With so many voices crying out to us in our modern day, how we need to hear the call to Hear Him!

d. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen: After it was all over, Peter, John and James told no one-after all, who would believe them?

i. But the event left a lasting impression on these men. Peter relates what happened in 2 Peter 1:16-18, how the voice from God saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" was still ringing in his ears, confirming who Jesus was.

ii. As impressive as this experience was, it in itself did not change the lives of the disciples as much as being born again did. Being born again by the Spirit of God is the great miracle, the greatest display of the glory of God ever.

D. The glory of God in action.

1. (Luk 9:37-42) Jesus casts out a demon that His disciples were unable to cast out.

Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, "Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. And behold, 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. So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not." Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here." And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.

a. 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: The boy displays signs that many today would regard as evidence of mental illness, but Jesus perceived that they were caused by demonic possession. Surely, some of those we diagnose as mentally ill today are actually demon possessed.

b. I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not: Why could the disciples not cast this demon out, when they had previously had success (Luke 9:1)? There are "ranks" of demonic powers (Ephesians 6:12), and evidently, some demons are stronger (more stubborn, resistant) than others. In Matthew 17:21, Jesus said that their failure was due to a lack of prayer and fasting.

i. It isn't that prayer and fasting make us more "worthy" to cast out demons. The idea is that prayer and fasting draw us closer to the heart of God, and put us more in line with His power.

c. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father: Jesus had no difficulty whatsoever, because He was close to God the Father, and in the flow of the Father's power.

2. (Luk 9:43-45) Jesus reminds His disciples about His mission.

And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, "Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men." 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.

a. And they were all amazed at the majesty of God: Jesus had just revealed His glory in two pretty spectacular ways-the transfiguration and the casting out of a difficult demon. Yet, He reminds His disciples that His mission has not changed; He has still come to die on the cross for our sins, and the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.

b. But they did not understand this saying: Though they were frequent, these reminders about Jesus' suffering and resurrection were forgotten by the disciples until after His resurrection (Luke 24:6-8).

E. The unusual character of greatness in the Kingdom of God.

1. (Luk 9:46-48) True greatness shows itself in being like a child, and in being the least, not in the popular conceptions of greatness.

Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, "Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great."

a. It seems that the favorite debating topic among the disciples was which of them would be greatest. They all counted on Jesus to take over the world as "King Messiah," and the debate was about who was most worthy to be Jesus' chief associate.

b. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him: We think that Jesus should have answered the question, "who is the greatest?" by saying, "Hey dummies-I'm the greatest." Instead, Jesus draws their attention to His nature by having them look at a child as an example.

c. Children were regarded more as property than individuals in the Jesus' day. It was understood that they were to be seen and not heard. Jesus says that the way we receive people like this shows how we would receive Him.

i. Children are not threatening; we aren't afraid of meeting a five-year old in a dark alley. When we have a tough, intimidating presence, we aren't like Jesus.

ii. Children are not good at deceiving; they are pretty miserable failures at fooling their parents. When we are good at hiding ourselves and deceiving others, we aren't like Jesus.

d. For he who is least among you all will be great: Jesus then challenges us to be the least. The desire to be praised and to gain recognition should be foreign to a follower of Jesus. Jesus wants us to embrace least as a choice, allowing others to be preferred before us, and not because we are forced to be least.

2. (Luk 9:49-50) True greatness isn't cliquish.

Now John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us." But Jesus said to him, "Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side."

a. Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us: This must have been frustrating to the disciples, because it showed that other followers of Jesus were able to cast out demons when they were not (Luke 9:40). No wonder John wanted them to stop!

b. Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side: Jesus taught them to have a more generous spirit. There are many that are wrong in some aspect of their presentation or teaching, yet they still set forth Jesus in some manner. Let God deal with them. Those who are not against a Biblical Jesus are still on our side, at least in some way.

i. Paul saw many men preaching Christ from many motives, some of them evil-yet he could rejoice that Christ was being preached (Philippians 1:15-18).

3. (Luk 9:51-56) True greatness is marked by mercy, not judgment.

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, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 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?" But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village.

a. He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem: This is the beginning of a new section of the gospel. Jesus begins His long, final journey towards Jerusalem, with steadfastness fitting the difficulty of the task ahead of Him.

i. There are two kinds of courage-the courage of moment, which requires no previous thought, and a "planned" courage, which sees the difficulty ahead and steadfastly marches towards it. Jesus had this kind of courage; He could see the cross in the horizon, but still steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.

b. They entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him: Because Jesus was going to Jerusalem, these particular Samaritans did not welcome Jesus. They didn't have good relations with the Jews, and were prejudiced against them.

c. Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did? When the disciples desired to call down fire from heaven upon them (as if they could!), Jesus shows them that His mission was not destroy men's lives, but to save them.

i. Being like Jesus means being merciful to others, instead of harsh with them. Especially, we should remember that God says Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord (Romans 12:19).

4. (Luk 9:57-58) True greatness is shown in sacrifice.

Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

a. Lord, I will follow You wherever You go: This man desired to follow Jesus but knew little of the cost. Even animals have their own home, but Jesus didn't, and so it cost something to follow this kind of Messiah.

5. (Luk 9:59-60) True greatness means that we give Jesus the top priority in our lives.

Then He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."

a. Lord, let me first go and bury my father: This man's problem wasn't that his father was dead and needed to be buried; he was waiting until his father died until he would follow Jesus. Jesus lets him know that following Jesus is something you do now.

b. Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God: The man was caught between a struggle between right and right. It was a good thing to hang around for his father, but it wasn't the best thing, and service of the second best at the expense of the first best can result in ruin.

6. (Luk 9:61-62) True greatness means that we follow Jesus wholeheartedly, without delay.

And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

a. No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God: In plowing a field in that day, a farmer kept the rows straight by focusing on an object in front of them, off in the distance (such as a tree). If the farmer started to plow, and kept looking behind, he would never make straight rows and do a good job plowing. In our Christian life, we keep our eyes on Jesus in front of us, and never take our eyes off Him.

b. More than anyone else, Jesus lived this; He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).

© 2000 David Guzik-No distribution beyond personal use without permission

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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