The Twelve Are Sent to Preach
Verse 1 – Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
Nowhere in the New Testament did I read where Jesus ever took back this power. So from this time forward they had that power and authority over demons and curing diseases. However, did they continue to use it? No. Believers: “Don’t ever forget that same power that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you!”
Verse 2 – He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
If Jesus had limited Himself to preaching only, the people would have thought the kingdom was spiritual only. If He healed without preaching they would only expect what they could physically see without discernment. The truth is, Jesus is both God and man, physical and spiritual and the salvation He offers is for the soul and the body. Miracles will follow those who believe!
Verse 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.
Verse 4 – “Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.
Jesus wanted them to depend on others for all their needs because: (1) It would clearly show that the Messiah did not come to offer wealth to His followers; (2) It forced the disciples to depend on God’s power and not on their own provision; (3) And , it got the people involved and made them more eager to receive the message.
Verse 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.”
This actin would show that the disciples were not responsible for how the people responded to the message. Like the disciples, move on from people who are not responsive to the gospel, to people who are.
Verse 6 – So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
Do you ever wonder why there is nothing recorded of what Jesus was doing while the disciples were gone? I can assure you, He wasn’t sitting idle.
Verse 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 fro the dead,
Verse 8 – and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again.
Verse 9 – And Herod said, “John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see Him.
Verse 10 – And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. And He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
Verse 11 – 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.
We don’t see the disciples healing and preaching along side of Jesus because Jesus took the lead after the disciples returned. Jesus shows us how to respond when people interrupt our schedules, help them.
Five Thousand Are Fed
Verse 12 – 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.”
Verse 13 – 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.”
When you know God wants you to accomplish something that looks impossible to you, don’t look at your lack. Trust and faith combined will show God you are willing. He will supply whatever you need. Leave the “how” up to Him!
Verse 14 – For there were about five thousand men. And He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.”
Matthew says, “Besides women and children,” so there very well could have been close to a million people there.
Verse 15 – And they did so, and made them all sit down.
Verse 16 – Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looked up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude.
What do you think the Lord wants us to learn here? I believe, if we give the first of our increase to the Lord, in tithes, God will bless and multiply the rest. Offerings are over and above the tithe and the tithe is 10% of our earnings (what is placed in our hand). It will not multiply until it leaves our hands.
Verse 17 – So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.
Jesus was concerned with both their physical need and their spiritual need. You can’t help those in need unless we consider both.
Peter’s Confession of Faith
Verse 18 – 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?”
Verse 19 – So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah, and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”
Verse 20 – He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”
Matthew 16:16 – “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The Christian faith goes beyond knowing what others believe. It requires us to hold this belief ourselves.
Verse 21 – And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one,
Verse 22 – 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.”
We can’t explain to others what we don’t fully understand ourselves. Jesus begins at this point to explain what was about to happen so they wouldn’t be surprised when it did. The disciples had to first spend time learning and discerning the truths of the kingdom. Once that was complete, they would wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them with knowledge and power to strengthen their testimony of the Christ.
Verse 23 – 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.
As disciples of Christ, we can expect painful situations because of our allegiance to Christ. The Christian life is not a bed of roses, but the reward in the end far out-weighs this life’s heartaches.
Verse 42 – “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, will save it.
If the things of this world like money and material things are most important to you, then the end result will be without Christ. However, if we are willing to obey, be uncomfortable, and be stepped on and persecuted for Christ’s sake in this life, then our reward is with Him throughout eternity.
Verse 43 – “For what advantage is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
Verse 26 – 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.
Luke’s Greek audience would have found it difficult to understand a God who could literally die, just as Jesus’ Jewish audience would have been perplexed by a Messiah who would let Himself be captured. Both would be “ashamed” of Jesus for letting either happen, if they did not look past His death to His glorious resurrection and second coming. Then they would see Jesus not as one who looses, but as the Lord of the universe who through His death brought salvation to all!
Verse 27 – “But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”
To all those who would witness the resurrection and ascension.
Verse 28 – And it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on a mountain to pray.
Verse 29 – And as He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.
verse 30 – Then behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah,
Verse 31 – who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
Verse 32 – 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.
Verse 33 – And 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.
Verse 34 – While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.
Verse 35 – Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Verse 36 – And 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.
If a person’s teaching is true, it will agree entirely with scripture. God told the disciples to “Hear Him!” We are to do the same. Compare everything you hear to His words and you will not be led astray. That’s the best advise we could ever take in.
Verse 37 – Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him.
Verse 38 – Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child.
Verse 39 – “And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, bruising him, it departs from him with great difficulty.
Verse 40 – “So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”
Well, we know that Peter, James, and John had been with Jesus on the mountain, so it wasn’t these three the man was talking about. Scripture doesn’t mention it was the other nine disciples either, as being the ones. We can assume it might have been others who were followers, but had not been given power to cast demons out.
Verse 41 – 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.”
Verse 42 – 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.
Christ Prophesies His Coming Death
Verse 43 – 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,
Verse 44 – “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”
“Pay close attention to what I’m about to ell you!” The disciples need to be alert so that when these things begin to take place, they wouldn’t be afraid.
Verse 45 – 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.
You know how, when someone is trying to tell you something, but it’s just not registering? This is how the disciples were. They didn’t want to hear that Jesus had to suffer and die, so they just denied it. It’s like when you receive that horrible news that a loved one has died. However, here, the disciples were being told beforehand, and they more or less rejected it.
Verse 46 – Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be the greatest.
Verse 47 – And Jesus perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him,
Verse 48 – 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 the least among you all will be great.”
This argument came up often among the disciples. They had a competitive attitude, as we do. Jesus pointed out that whoever had a truly humble attitude, as a child does, they would be great.
Our care for others is a measure by the kingdom’s greatness. How much concern do you show to others? This is an actual question that can measure greatness. How much do we help others who can give nothing back in return.
Verse 49 – Then 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.”
Verse 50 – But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us.”
Our pride is hurt when we see someone else succeed where we have failed. There is no room for jealousy in spiritual warfare.
Verse 51 – 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,
Verse 52 – and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, there entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.
Verse 53 – But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.
Verse 54 – 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?”
James and John were nicknamed, “Sons of Thunder.” This was likely because perhaps they had fiery tempers.
Verse 55 – But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
Verse 56 – “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.
Did you catch that? Revenge is a “spirit”, and it’s not from God. Vengeance belongs to the Lord.
Verse 57 – Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”
Verse 58 – 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.”
In other words: Count the cost before you commit to following Him. To follow Christ, is to loosen our grip on the things that normally provide physical and emotional securities.
Verse 59 – Then He said to another “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
Verse 60 – Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.
The man’s words were an excuse to delay. People who don’t really want to follow Jesus, can find all kinds of excuses not to. They reason within themselves, but the real reason is, “They simply love sin more than Him.”
Verse 61 – And another also said, “Lord I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
Verse 62 – But Jesus said to him, “No one having put his hand to the plow, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Can a farmer keep a straight furrow if he looks behind him? The person who is employed in the work of ministry cannot do the work of evangelist, if he turns his desires to worldly profit.