Monday, February 18, 2008

Luke Chapter Nine

Reading: Luke 9.1-62

Scripture: "If anyone wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?" - Luke 9.23-25 (NLT)

Observations: In this chapter we see Jesus preparing his followers for the suffering that awaited him and for the sacrificial life that awaits those who carry the gospel of the kingdom of God. The chapter begins with the disciples being sent off to preach the kingdom of God and heal sick while taking nothing with them for the journey and the news that Herod, who beheaded John the Baptist, was now searching for Jesus. The chapter ends with disciples arguing about who would be the greatest, wanting to call fire down from heaven on the Samaritans, and Jesus describing the level of sacrifice his followers were expected to make. In other words, the disciples had a lot to learn.

Apply: I can’t help but compare Jesus’ call to selfless, cross-bearing, take-nothing-for-the-journey, no-place-to-lay-his-head discipleship with the follow-Jesus-and-you-can-have-it-all brand of Christianity. What Bible are those preachers reading! Sorry…I can’t help myself sometimes.

Prayer: Lord, I confess that I also want it all and Jesus too. Help me to hold loosely to the things of this life that do no last so that I may find deep meaning and true life. Forbid that I would gain the things that I cannot keep and end up losing what lasts forever.


traci said...

You know, it's funny - (except, it's not) - that in my ugliness I have a tendency to think JUST LIKE those disciples..."send fire from heaven on my enemies - and by the way Jesus, you really do like me best don't you?"...humph
His gospel, and His way are SOOO NOT naturally MINE...but holy smokes do I ever want them to be.
a little good news?? that's where the Holy Spirit Himself steps in and makes all things new...again.

Gladys said...

Sometimes questions are asked and people give answers, sometimes unthinking, because:

1. Peter gave this answer so you give the same answer, after all, it's the right one!
2. Your parents did/said this for you, and you accept such for yourself, a type of osmosis thing.
3. You know the answer is in the Bible, so why are you asking ME?
4. Other.

However, there is a question posed in this reading that was asked of Peter and I believe each of us is to answer it -- for ourselves -- not for any of the reasons listed above. This reiterates what Dr. Dale in Luke 8's blog as well.

"WHO do YOU say that I am?"

Don't answer too quickly . . . but, your answer WILL determine how you live your life. With taking up a cross, it has to be determined "who for" and "is it worth it?" after that.

Years ago, Stephanie Boosahda had recorded a song with a title of that very question, and it was powerful! As my original got lost, I reordered it. If you could hear it . . . it would leave you with having to answer the question.

Again, "WHO do YOU say that I am?"

Oh, Jesus, (super sigh) . . I'll be the first to admit that I do NOT relish carrying a cross or denying myself . . . but I will agree with Pastor Bill's prayer and add, in part, what I have adopted as my "motto" from Ps. 139:23:24: " . . . and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way."

Kathy said...

S-verses 23-27 "Then he said to them all: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God."

O: Jesus's time on earth is getting shorter and he is relentlessly preparing the disciples for His/their ministry. Provocative, maybe a little irritable, why not? as he sees the days get closer to fulfilling His mission here on Earth.

A: How often do we get "irritated," frustrated with God's plan for us? It was helpful to remember an earlier Sunday sermon series "Jesus, the Provocator" when reading this chapter. If we are true Christ followers, then Jesus must continue to provoke our thoughts, challenge our behaviors and change our hearts.

P: "Dear Holy Father, please continue to challenge me with your Spirit. Help me to yield to your voice with an open mind and compassionate heart. Temper my emotions that my feelings and human tendencies do not become obsticles in my walk with you.