Summary: As Jesus challenges Peter and the rest of the twelve here in this passage, He unfolds the principles of being a disciple - a real follower of His.
A Study of the Book of Luke
Sermon # 23
“The Life of a Disciple”
Luke 9:1-6,10, 18-20, 23-26, 57-62
This morning I want to look Luke chapter nine in the light of what it reveals to us about what it takes to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. We are not called to some kind of superficial Christianity that does not effect the way that we live our lives. We are called to be Christ’s disciples. We are called to a life of discipleship. The New Testament is full of instructions about discipleship. Here in Luke’s gospel, we find Jesus beginning to teach his disciples just what discipleship is all about. They knew He had called them. They saw themselves as His followers. But did they understand what it meant to follow Him? The call to follow Jesus is a call to discipleship. But what does that mean? As Jesus challenges Peter and the rest of the twelve here in this passage, He will unfold a radical teaching of being a disciple - a real follower of His.
1. Being A Disciple Involves Being Willing To Be Sent Out. (vv. 1-6)
”Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. (2) He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (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. (4) "Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. (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." (6) So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.”
As we read these words we are tempted to think that this is a limited commission given to Jesus’ original disciples. Yet, there are eternal principles that we can discover here that will encourage and empower us to carry out the “great commission.”
Instruction about ministry is especially important today because of the misconceptions that exist about ministry. The greatest misconception is that the ministry is something that the preacher or the staff does, ministry is for the ordained full time personnel of the church. When we use the word minister we usually mean the professional minister, the preacher or an evangelist. While it is true that God has called some to the ministry as a profession he has called all of us to be ministers. While God has provided many different ways for us to make a living (vocation) he a has called all of us to minister for Christ - at work, at home as well as in the church. Ministry means looking for opportunities to make an impact in the lives of others with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ministry means to care for others, share with others and seek to touch the lives of others with the transforming power of the Gospel. But how are we to care out this responsibility?
Mark says it this way, “he called them unto him…and sent them forth.” All were sent none were exceptions! The whole idea of sharing your faith may make you uneasy. Perhaps you’re not too sure about this evangelism thing. Last week we exposed the myth that a persons “religion” is suppose to be a private matter. But the world is still trying to promote that lie. And because we are not sure we know “enough” ourselves to attempt to share with someone else, we don’t! They might think us foolish or worse, a fanatic!
These disciples were not that much different. They always seemed about two steps behind on understanding the parables and three steps behind on the miracles. Yet despite their imperfect understanding, Jesus sent them out, trusting that they would go and that they would share the good news.
Jesus not only called the disciples but when he sent them out he gave them every resource to carry out the task that they had been assigned. The text says that they were given “power and authority.” Power is the ability to accomplish a task and authority is the right to do it. “Authority is like a traffic cop who, by simply raising his hand, can bring two tons of speeding automobile to a complete halt. Does the officer have the power to stop the car? No! But the authority of the uniform does.” (Charles Swindoll. The Continuation of Something: Jesus Teaching and Training of the Disciples. Bible Study Guide. Luke 7:1-10:37. (Anaheim, Calif.: Insight for Living, 1995) p. 74)
But how were the disciples to convince the people that they represented the Messiah and his coming kingdom. They were given the power to cast out demons and the power to heal all diseases. We should remember that the gift of healing was not the primary responsibility of their ministry, proclaiming the good news was. The apostle’s ability to heal was a special gift that authenticated their message. Today we have the word of God to test a person’s ministry (1 John 2:18-29, 4:1-6).