Luke Chapter 9
Luke 9:1 “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.”
Up until this time, Jesus was doing this just Himself. Now Jesus has empowered the disciples. We see in this sending forth of His disciples, a sending forth throughout all ages of those who will work for Him.
Notice in this sending forth, the first step of a minister is to come to Him ourselves, then He must empower the minister or else they go in vain.
Luke 9:2 “And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”
Here again, we see the job God intends for His ministers to do. First, work on their spirit and get them saved by the foolishness of preaching (see 1 Cor. 1:21). Then minister to their physical needs after they are saved.
In the 14th chapter of John beginning with the 12th verse, we see that these disciples and the Lord’s ministers today must heal in the name of Jesus. It is not the minister’s power that heals or saves, but the name of Jesus Christ.
Luke 9:3 “And he said unto them, Take nothing for [your] journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.”
“Take nothing”: Slight differences between Matthew, Mark and Luke have troubled some. (Matthew 10:9-10), and this text say the disciple were not to take staffs; but (Mark 6:8), prohibited everything “except a … staff.” (Mark 6:9), also instructed them to “wear sandals;” but in (Matthew 10:10), sandals were included in the things they were not to carry.
Actually, however, what (Matthew 10:10), and this verse prohibited was the packing of extra staffs and sandals. The disciples were not to be carrying baggage for the journey, but merely to go with the clothes on their backs.
We see in this that these ministers are not to be self-sufficient. They are to depend on all of these necessities being furnished to them by the people they minister to. Of course, God is their real provider, as He moves upon the hearts of the people.
Luke 9:4-5 “And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.” “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.”
This ministry would actually be headquartered in each city in someone’s home. This is the way it was in early Christianity. They met in homes. This shaking of the feet just meant that they had cut all ties with that family. Even as late as in Paul’s day, the ministry was held in homes such as Lydia’s.
Luke 9:6 “And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.”
This was a missionary journey that Jesus sent these disciples on: a training time while He was on this earth that after He was gone away they would know exactly how to go about this. The gospel of course, is the good news of Jesus Christ.
Luke 9:7 “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;”
“Herod the tetrarch”: News of Christ reached to the highest levels of government.
“John was risen from the dead”: Of course, this was not true, but Herod himself nonetheless seemed gripped by guilty fear. (Mark 6:16).
A guilty conscience is acting here. Herod had beheaded John, and now he was tormented by it. The people could not explain the supernatural power of Jesus, and they imagined all sorts of things.
Luke 9:8 “And of some, that Elijah had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.”
“In the spirit and power of Elijah”: Elijah, like John the Baptist, was known for his bold, uncompromising stand for the Word of God, even in the face of a ruthless monarch (1 Kings 18:17-24; Mark 6:15). The final two verses of the Old Testament (Mal. 4:5-6), had promised the return of Elijah before the Day of the Lord.
Again, I say they could not explain the powers of Jesus, so they used all sorts of excuses how this could be. No mere man could do these things that Jesus did. They believed that Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Elijah would appear right before Messiah came, and they thought Jesus might be one of them.
Luke 9:9 “And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.”
“He desired to see him”: Only Luke gives this detail.
The fame of Jesus had gone throughout the land. Herod wanted to see this man that had these miraculous powers that everyone was talking about. I believe he wanted to see Him; but at the same time, feared seeing him in case it was John who was raised from the grave.
Luke 9:10 “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.”
“Aside privately”: They were trying to get some rest and a break from the crowds. (Mark 6:31-32).
“Bethsaida” means house of fish. It was located on one side of the Sea of Galilee, where the Jordan river enters the lake.
We read earlier how Jesus would go out in a friend’s boat into the middle of the sea to avoid the tremendous crowd which now followed Him wherever He went.
He lands unexpectedly, unannounced, here in Bethsaida so that He can meet privately with His disciples to hear of their journey.
Luke 9:11 “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.”
Jesus has a short time with the disciples on the sea and at Bethsaida before the masses of People caught up with Him. Jesus never turned them away. He ministered the word to them first, and then took care of their physical needs. The order was always the same, spirit first and then flesh second.
Verses 12-17: Aside from the resurrection, the feeding of the 5,000 is the only miracle of Jesus recorded in all 4 gospels (Matt. 14:15-21; Mark 6:35-44; John 6:4-13).
Luke 9:12 “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.”
The disciples are still thinking about the physical needs of the people. They were thinking all these hungry women and children would probably start to fuss as it became dark.
Luke 9:13 “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.”
This feeding of the multitude is mentioned in all 4 gospels. We know there are many lessons to be learned in it or it would not be mentioned 4 times. We should never limit God and His possibilities are perhaps one of the most important messages found in this.
“Five” is an important number. It means grace, and “two” means agreement. We know that we are taught that if any two agree, it shall be done of our Father. We know that the grace of God is what feeds this vast number of people (possibly 15,000 or more).
Luke 9:14-15 “For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.” “And they did so, and made them all sit down.”
“About five thousand men”: Counting women and children, the actual size of the crowd may have been closer to 20,000.
When Jesus says give them to eat, it is a literal statement of a spiritual statement. He will later on say to Peter: “feed my sheep”. The Lord shows us and them here, that little is much when God is in it. Jesus now has His table spread and has asked his guests to sit.
Luke 9:16 “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.”
When Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep, He was speaking of the Word of God. If we looked at this “feeding” here from the spiritual standpoint, we would see the prayer of thanksgiving. Then we would see Jesus rightly dividing (breaking the bread), the next step would be giving the message to His ministers, and the ministers feed the multitude. Each, feeding the group he has been entrusted with.
We know also, that there is a literal meal provided here. Again, the first and most important part in the meal that fed this multitude is the prayer. Then as Jesus broke the bread and fishes, it multiplied. Another message that I receive loud and clear here is that the ministers (shepherds), must see to the needs of the flock, not the other way around.
Luke 9:17 “And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.”
It is surely plain to see that as these disciples took care of the people, God provided for their needs as well. There was a basketful left over for each disciple: 12 disciples, 12 baskets full. Of course, God does not expect them to eat scraps, this is just symbolic. It appears also, in this meal, that it was the same as Jesus breaking the bread: symbolic of His body at the last supper.
Luke Chapter 9 Questions
1. When Jesus called His disciples together, what powers did He give them?
2. Before going out to minister, what should be the first step taken?
3. What 2 things did Jesus send the disciples to do?
4. What order does that show us?
5. What were the disciples to take with them?
6. Any house that did not receive the disciples was to have what happen to it?
7. Where did the early church meet?
8. Where did the disciples go and what did they do?
9. Who did Herod believe Jesus was?
10. Why were the people imagining who He was?
11. Name 3 different old prophets various people thought He was.
12. What had Herod done to John?
13. Where did Jesus go privately with the disciples?
14. When Jesus returned and found the multitude, what did He do?
15. When the disciples realized it was getting late and the multitude was hungry, what did they suggest Jesus do?
16. What did Jesus tell the disciples to do that seemed impossible?
17. How much food did they have?
18. How many of the gospels mention this story?
19. Approximately how many people were in the multitude?
20. How did He have the disciples to seat them?
21. This statement “give them to eat” is like the statement Jesus tells Peter later that is a spiritual statement. What is it?
22. What did Jesus do before He broke the bread?
23. What is the spiritual indication of the breaking of bread?
24. What message to the shepherds do we receive loud and clear in this?
25. How does this point us to the last supper?
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