October 6 – Luke 9:1-9

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Luke 9:1-9 – Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

For the most part, Luke uses the gospel of Mark as his guide in writing. He adds things, skips other things and sometimes interprets things differently. Much of this is based on the fact that he is not Jewish and looks at the different traditions from a perspective based on his own background – that of an educated Greek man. He is also very focused on teaching his readers about faith in God through Jesus Christ.

One of the passages that Mark inserts between the healing of Jairus’ daughter and sending out the Twelve is that of John the Baptist’s death at the hands of Herod. It is not important to Luke as he drives home the point of the story. There are others that he skips, things that you might find important. He leaves out the stories of Jesus walking on the sea, feeding four thousand, healing a deaf mute, healing a blind man outside of Bethsaida and others. He tightens up the story here placing an emphasis on not only Jesus Christ, but the foundation for the church – the Twelve Disciples. By the time Luke is writing his gospel, the church is growing and he feels it necessary to give them a basis in Christ and the Twelve.

In this passage, Jesus sends the Twelve out with assurance of the authority he receives from God. Without that authority, they would surely fail. He tells them to take nothing with them and lists things to ensure they understand. The Twelve go out with nothing mankind provides, but everything that God provides.

Jesus tells them to stay in the first home they enter, an injunction that would lead to the development of house churches. If a family opens their home to the message of Jesus Christ, it becomes the center of transformation for that community. Paul’s house churches are the basis for the beginning of the Church.

Luke inserts a picture of Herod here. The man is confused and the rumors surrounding Jesus and his disciple continued to grow, making the gossip and confusion grow with them. What is fascinating is that Herod only sees in Jesus – someone who has been raised from the dead. It might be John, it might be Elijah, or it might be yet another prophet. The question he asks in Luke 9:9b, “Who then, is this I hear such things about?” leads us to another question much like it, which will be posed to Peter.