October 8 – Luke 9:18-27

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Luke 9:18-27 – Peter’s Confession of Christ

In following the story that Mark tells, Luke now skips over a number of events. Days have passed and we find Jesus once more praying in private with his disciples. Luke reminds us of Herod’s question, just nine verses earlier. “Who is this man?”

Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”

They offer the stock responses: John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets from long ago … the same words attributed to Herod when he wondered about Jesus.

Jesus pushed his disciples a little further. “Who do you say that I am?”

We often wonder what the disciples knew about Jesus. They seem so naive sometimes. But, we discover in this passage that they knew the truth. Peter affirms that he is the Christ – the Messiah. This doesn't mean they won’t falter in the future, but it does mean that they are aware of who it is that leads and teaches them.

As the Messiah, Jesus’ life is in the hands of God. There will be suffering and death, but there will also be resurrection and life.

After this moment, we learn from Mark that Jesus calls the crowd back to him. They don’t yet understand who he truly is, but it is time to teach them about responsibility. They have been willing to accept his miracles of healing and exorcism. They were grateful for the food he fed them. There is more to a life of faith than accepting gifts from God. Faith that comes from true repentance means that a person’s life is changed.

If you want to save your life, you must lose it. In other words, the past must be separate from the future. You can no longer live in the same manner. Once you set it aside and truly turn from it, your life will be saved.

Luke continues with Jesus’ words in verse twenty-five, accusing those of greed and a drive for power. A self-involved person, who is driven for those things will never be able to maintain a selfless life which builds a relationship with God. The shame which he speaks of in verse 26 is not just a feeling, but a pattern of behavior. It is a paralyzing effect on both a person’s words and actions. Jesus wants his listeners to understand the power of their lives in living out the kingdom of God.