Summary: Luke in this chapter gives us 9 snap shots that help us to answer that question.
"WHO is Jesus"
LUKE CHAPTER 9
Our society as a whole and many people in our society are going through an identity crisis. The question many people are asking is who am I. And many in an effort to answer that question go on a journey to find themselves -- maybe a physical journey, a relationship or . Or they go to a psychologist who may help them answer this question as to their identity.
But I am convinced that this is the wrong question to be asking. Over 3,000 years ago an 80 year old men standing on a mountain in the Sinai desert ask them question.
Moses was standing before the burning bush -- his sandals were off because he was standing on holy ground. And God told Moses that he had been chosen to deliver God’s people from Egypt. "BUT MOSES SAID TO GOD, `WHO AM I THAT I SHOULD GO TO PHARAOH AND BRING THE ISRAELITES OUT OF EGYPT..’"
And God did not answer Moses question as to his identity, but rather told moses that the God who is will be with him. You see, man’s fundamental problem is not a "self identity crisis" -- it is a God identity crisis -- If we want to know who we are -- then we need to know who God is.... When we find out who God is -- then and only then will we know who we are...
The great year of Jesus’ popularity was drawing to a close. Jesus was now entering the 3rd and final year of His earthy ministry -- and even now as Luke chapter 9 opens up the dark storm clouds of opposition are clearly visible on the horizon... It was time form lines to be drawn and sides to be chosen. And the central question in the minds of every one from the adoring multitudes, the frightened religious aristocracy and the still struggling disciples - is WHO IS THIS MAN CALLED JESUS...
The title for our lesson today is the most important question ever to be asked -- this question was asked by Jesus 2,000 years ago -- and it is still be asked today WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?
This question has to do with their identity of Jesus -- and it Luke chapter 9 -- we see 9 snap shots or scenes that point to the answer..
I. THE SENDING (9:1-6)
For 2 years the disciples had been soaking up the "class room" lectures of Jesus -- now they are being sent out on their first "field trip" all on their own. Now they are being called by Jesus to put into practice, without the close supervision of their teacher, the principles they had been taught... Jesus knew that their is no real way to learn to do evangelism but to simply do it! And so the 12 in groups of 2 went from village to village preaching the kingdom of God and healing people everywhere -- I bet that was pretty cool, don’t you?
But what does this first snap shot tell us about Jesus identity... Well if Jesus gave the 12 power and authority it must mean that Jesus has power and authority -- and that he has the ability to pass on it... Some of Jesus final words to His disciples were, "ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND EARTH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME...."
>>> WHO IS JESUS? THE ONE WITH POWER AND AUTHORITY...<<<
II. I’VE CALLED THE NEXT SNAP SHOT THE TRYING (7-9)
Herod had heard about all that was going on (and there was a lot going on -- dead raised, leprosy healed, blind eyes opened, lame legs walking and religious leaders humiliated). Apparently everyone was wondering about the identity of this man Jesus, just who is He? And Herod was no exception; "I BEHEADED JOHN. WHO THEN, IS THIS I HEAR SUCH THINGS ABOUT?"
And then Luke records 6 words that tell us something about the identity of Jesus... AND HE "TRIED" TO SEE HIM.
Did Herod see Jesus at this time? No, he tried -- but he could not. Why do you think Herod wanted to see Jesus? What do you think his motives were, were they pure? No I imagine he had the same reception planned for Jesus that he had given John, the edge of an axe...
Do you remember these words that Jesus spoke on the sermon on the mount? "BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD..."
Herod’s motives and his heart kept him from seeing Jesus.
And Herod was not the last person to be unable to see Jesus -- some today like Herod have the wrong motives for wanting to se Jesus -- they view Jesus as a jennie in a lamb or a lucky rabbit’s foot and only want to see Him when they want some thing form Him -- and they will not see Him.