9 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Deuteronomy 13:1–15:23
Luke 8:40–9:6
Psalm 71:1-24
Proverbs 12:5-7

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Luke 9:6 (CSB): “So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

In Luke 9, we observe Jesus as He commissions His Apostles and sends them out. As we listen to His words, we learn some wonderful, transferable principles that we can apply to our own life.

Luke 9:1 (CSB): “Summoning the Twelve, he gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.”

In this first verse, we see that Jesus not only sent His Apostles out on a mission, He also gave them “power and authority.”

“Power” is the ability to do something and “authority” is the right to exercise that power.

Far too many churches break this basic principle. Whether it is someone who is placed in lay-leadership in the church or whether it is the pastor himself, far too many churches give their leadership a boatload of responsibilities and fail to give them “power and authority” to carry out those responsibilities. Essentially, the persons in leadership will struggle and grow disheartened because they have been set up to fail.

We need to learn from Jesus’ example. When someone is commissioned to do a task, they need to be given sufficient “power and authority” to carry out that task.

Luke 9:2 (CSB): “Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

In this verse, we learn what the primary objectives are for Christians. It is to tell people about the Kingdom of God, invite them into it, and apply the work of the Gospel to bring healing to people’s lives.

Essentially, the Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of King Jesus in the heart of a child of God. If you are saved, you are in the Kingdom. Jesus is your King and the One from whom you take your orders. So, proclaiming the Kingdom of God simply means to share the Gospel.

When Jesus sent out the Twelve to heal the sick, He literally gave them the power and authority to heal physically sick people. However, as a cessationist, I don’t believe that the power and authority to heal physically sick people presently rests in any individuals. While God still periodically does miraculously works of healing in response to the prayers of His people, no person now has the power to “heal the sick.”

But, the principle still applies. If we use the word “sick” to speak of those who are in the throes of sin and are experiencing its consequences, then we have the remedy! The Gospel is God’s word to a sin-sick world and we have the ability to speak that Gospel medicine into people’s lives to bring healing.

Luke 9:3 (CSB): “‘Take nothing for the road,’ he told them, ‘no staff, no traveling bag, no bread, no money; and don’t take an extra shirt.'”

This is a major theme in Scripture: Trust!

Over and over, we observe in the Bible how God put people in a life circumstance where they had no ‘safety net’ and had to trust Him. God wants His people to trust Him. He wants us to step out in faith, getting into a position where we must rely completely upon Him.

While wealth is a blessing, it is also dangerous to our spiritual lives. If we begin to rest and trust in our bank account, and insurance, and credit cards, and our ability to access a home equity loan, then we won’t trust in the Lord.

This would be a great time to do some introspection to see if we are trusting the Lord. Or, if we have enough “cushion” that we really don’t feel the need to trust Him.

Luke 9:4 (CSB): “Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.”

This command was directed at the human propensity to always want something better. This goes against God’s desire for us to be content with what He has sent into our lives.

Jesus told the Twelve not to move from house to house because the human propensity would be to settle into a place, and then look for something better, and then move there. And then look for something better, and then move there.

Generally speaking, God wants us to be content with where He has us. Grumbling is simply the expression of a heart that is not satisfied with what God has allowed into our lives.

Luke 9:5 (CSB): “If they do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”

While contentment is essentially commanded in verse 4, there is another principle in verse 5 that trumps it. It is the principle of fruitfulness.

Friend, God isn’t interested in our faithfulness as an end in itself. He also wants us to be fruitful.

After all, imagine a farmer who continued year after year to plow, plant, and work a field that wouldn’t produce a crop. He was faithful to his task … but, his efforts never produced any fruit. Wouldn’t we acknowledge that faithfulness is good but fruitfulness is just as important?

It is in this same way that God values faithfulness AND fruitfulness.

If you observe that there are forces at work that are undermining your ability to be fruitful in whatever God has called you to do, you have the freedom to look for a more fruitful ministry.

For instance, if you are a Sunday School teacher and you are seeing no fruit in your efforts, you have the ability to reassess how you are utilizing your time and energy and potentially find another place to serve. If your place of work doesn’t allow you to be fruitful and you cannot live out your faith in a way that blesses those around you, it may be time to look for another job.

Stated again, God doesn’t just want us to be faithful. He also wants us to be fruitful.

Luke 9:6 (CSB): “So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.”

After being commissioned by Jesus, and being given power and authority, they ventured out to get busy. We have every reason to believe that their journeys were an adventure and there was plenty of joy in the journey.

Some may resist what I have just said. They don’t believe that Jesus is interested in our happiness. They may piously say: “God is more interested in our holiness than our happiness.”

But such a conclusion is far from the truth. It is unbiblical.

Just consider the following verse that makes it clear that Jesus wants us to be happy as we serve. In the following verse, it is talking specifically about pastors but the principle of serving with happiness applies to all believers.

Hebrews 13:17 (CSB): “Obey your leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

If you are in a time of life that is particularly unfruitful, simply look back over the words of Jesus in Luke 9:1-6 to assess where the problem may rest. And then, feel His affirmation as you prayerful make the necessary adjustments.

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