Summary: The incident of Jesus again foretelling his death in Luke 9:43-50 shows us the patience of Jesus with his disciples.
Luke began The Gospel of Luke with a brief prologue (1:1-4), in which he stated his purpose for writing. Then he described the details surrounding Jesus’ birth (1:5-2:40). After describing the boy Jesus in the temple (2:41-52), Luke narrated Jesus’ preparation for ministry (3:1-4:15). After Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (4:1-15), he went to the region of Galilee where he ministered for about two years (4:16-9:50). In our study of The Gospel of Luke we come now to the conclusion of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee.
Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, which was primarily a ministry of preaching and miracles, had been remarkable.
During his time in Galilee Jesus called twelve men to serve as his apostles, that is, as his appointed messengers. They had witnessed Jesus’ preaching and miracles. They had also been commissioned by him to go and proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal (9:2). After their successful missions trip, Jesus told them about his impending death (9:21-22). A short time later, as Jesus’ ministry in Galilee drew to a close and he was about to set his face to go to Jerusalem (9:51), he again told his disciples about his impending death. In the aftermath of Jesus’ prediction of his death, Luke mentioned several problems the disciples had with Jesus’ prediction of his death.
Let’s read about Jesus again foretelling his death in Luke 9:43-50:
43 But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”
49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.” (Luke 9:43-50)
Steve Montforto took his three-year-old daughter Emily to a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals during the 2009 pennant race. Phillies fan Steve Montforto was sitting with Emily when a foul ball curled back into the upper deck. Montforto leaned over the railing to catch his first and only foul ball – every fan’s dream. But when he handed the ball to little Emily, she immediately threw it back over the railing and down into the lower deck. Everyone gasped. Montforto himself was as surprised as anyone to see her throw the ball away. But rather than getting irritated with his little girl, he did what a loving father should do: he wrapped his daughter up in a tender embrace.
This is the way Jesus shows his patience with us and loves us. He puts gifts into our hands that we could never catch for ourselves. Without realizing what we are doing, sometimes, we throw them away. Yet rather than getting irritated with us, he is patient with us and loves us again. Then he gives us the freedom to go love someone else with the same kind of love. He even gives us the grace to go back to people who throw our love away and love them all over again.
Jesus demonstrated this kind of love and patience with his first disciples. It seemed like they kept throwing away gift after gift that he had given them.
Luke showed us Jesus’ love and patience even though the disciples displayed problem after problem.
The incident of Jesus again foretelling his death in Luke 9:43-50 shows us the patience of Jesus with his disciples.
Let’s use the following outline:
1. The Problem of Perception 99:43b-45)
2. The Problem of Pride (9:46-48)
3. The Problem of Prejudice (9:49-50)
I. The Problem of Perception (9:43b-45)
First, note the problem of perception.
Jesus had just cast a demon out of a boy. But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men” (9:43b-44).
By saying this to his disciples, he wanted them to understand what his primary purpose was. As one commentator said, “The main message of the gospel is not that Jesus can perform exorcisms and work other wonders, although of course he can, but that he came to suffer and die for our sins.”