Luke 9:44-45 “Let these words sink down into your ears…they did not understand this saying…they were afraid to ask Him…”
I think after Jesus asked the disciples who they and others thought He was, He decided He needed to focus His disciples on the fact that He was the Messiah, but that He wasn’t going to become a ruler yet. He was in fact going to be killed by those his disciples thought He would conquer. Up until now, Jesus had been preaching repentance, healing the sick, casting out demons, and doing all that the Messiah had been prophesied to do with the exception of conquering the world. I think He was trying to show the people He was indeed the Messiah so they should listen to what He said. If they had been paying attention to what the prophets foretold, they shouldn’t have a problem understanding. But their minds were on the final acts of the Messiah, and they were more interested in what they could gain rather than their relationship with God. He began to speak in parables to weed out those who weren’t truly interested in His message. And now it is coming close to His crucifixion, and He realizes not even His disciples have made the connection of the current mission of the Messiah. He will begin to tell them over and over what is about to happen, but they’re blinded to it. And as it says, they’re afraid to ask Him about it. I wonder if part of that was embarrassment because they knew they probably should understand but didn’t.
46 “…dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest”
Shows where their minds were. Not on the message, but on the kingdom and their places in it.
49-50 “…we saw someone casting out demons in Your name…he who is not against us is on our side”
Went over this in Mark. Thought there was that God chooses who and where His message is proclaimed, and He can use anyone He wants. They don’t necessarily have to be Christian. I’m wondering about what John said. We saw someone casting out demons. Did this mean they were able to do it, that God was removing the demons at their request? Makes me think it may also have to do with the heart and intention of the actor. I’m wondering about the sons of Sceva in Acts 19. They tried to duplicate what Paul was doing, but the demon beat them up over it. They weren’t using the name of Jesus reverently as the source of power, but as some sort of magic incantation or tool that anyone could use. So, between the two recordings of this incident, it would appear that God uses who He wishes to display His power, but He apparently also uses the person’s heart as a determining factor. From what Jesus said to John, we don’t have the ability to see into the heart, so as long as the person isn’t doing something against Jesus or God, we should not bother them. Like differences in worship. As long as we’re both worshipping Jesus and aren’t practicing anything blasphemous or heretical, both methods of worship are acceptable. And in most cases, even if there are some infractions in truth, we should let God handle the adjustment. We can speak the truth if He gives us opportunity, but we should let Him correct the problem His way in His time. After all, we’re talking about other Christians who belong to Him. He can chasten His children better than anyone.
53 “…they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem”
Commentaries suggest it was human nature. Samaritans saw that He was going to Jerusalem, and their prejudice prevented them from being hospitable.
54 “…do You want us to command fire to come down…”
Impulsiveness of James and John. Jesus rebuked them in their thinking. If you’re trying to reach people who don’t agree with you, you have to be ready to take some antagonism without resorting to destroying anyone. Dead people can’t receive Christ. Time may come when we have no choice, but we should love people enough to want them to know Christ and thus accept their persecution until Jesus changes them. The location of that line between acceptance and action has long been debated. I can only say look to Christ for His leading in any given situation.
58 “…the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head”
Following Christ may cost more than you know. May require everything.
59 “…let me first go and bury my father”
Not at that moment. He was saying he would follow after his father had died and he no longer had that responsibility. Jesus said God took priority. We should be willing to do whatever Jesus requires of us. Other obligations we can trust to Him.
61-62 “…let me first go and bid them farewell…No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back…”
Sounds harsh on the face. Commentaries suggest the request to go and bid farewell wasn’t just to say goodbye, but showed a connection the person didn’t really want to break. If the person went back, they could be influenced to stay and not leave. Jesus’s reply reflects this idea. He mentions someone looking back, longing for what was. That shows indecision on the part of the person, and that was what He saw in this one. The decision to follow Christ should not be impulsive. You should have already weighed the elements before saying you will follow Him. When I got saved, I didn’t know all the costs associated with following Him, but I certainly knew the consequences of not doing so. Costs in this world are nothing compared to the consequences in the hereafter. Momentary light affliction.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.