Thursday, June 3, 2010

Luke 9:1-9, "Work First, Then Learn How to..." A Bible Study Devotion.

Read Luke 9:1-9

This chapter starts with Jesus giving his disciples a job. A job that will take a lot of faith, as we will see...

• 1. When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases,
• 2. and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Here you can see the order in which Jesus works. First he called them, or he calls you. Next he gives them the tools they will need to do the job he assigns. ...Or, he gives you the tools you need to do the job he has for you... Finally, he sends them out to preach the gospel and use the tools that he just gave them. He has already done that to you, if you are a follower of Jesus, right before he ascended to Heaven. He said, "Go and spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth." Here it can be helpful to see what Jesus did not say or do to help us learn what he asks of his followers. Remember what the backgrounds of these twelve are: Fishermen, tax collectors, carpenters, etc. None of them are preachers, sick healers, or demon driver-outers. He did not say, "I know that your skill is in fishing, so please read several books and go to Class for the next 5 years and learn all about the Bible. I want you to be able to recite everything in there in case someone happens to ask you a question that I will expect you to know the answer to. Also, start to practice a little public speaking because, I want you to be completely comfortable before you address anyone on Biblical matters. I want this done right, so you really need to have everything down before you attempt this on real people. Then and only then, I will begin to work you into the fishing community. At first the only thing I will expect is for you to be around your fishing buddies and cut down on swearing. After a few years of this, hopefully one of them will notice that you are slightly different and ask you about your faith. If that happens, you can tell them, that I love them. But go easy, we don't want to scare them or "ram anything down their throat." This should enable you to gain some confidence in your ability to slowly but surely share the Gospel."

This is great… Then he says in verse 3, “take nothing for the journey-no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.”

Wow, now that takes faith. First you want me to go around preaching the gospel before I’m “ready,” and now you want me to do it with no security blankets? How can this be? How will I feed myself? Where will I stay? What will I say? Who will I find to talk to? I don’t think I can do this on my own. I’m scared.

So what happened when the disciples went out and did what Jesus instructed?

Read verses 6-8:

• 6. So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
• 7. Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed, because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead,
• 8. others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life.

Remember, these guys were not qualified for this either, but who did people think they were? John the Baptist? The profit Elijah? Those were pretty big names to be compared to. They must have done a convincing job. I guess somehow Jesus gave them everything they needed to do the job he had for them. What is the lesson? Pretty simple. He will of course give you all you need when you put your faith in him. Remember when he said, “Take nothing?” That is because He is all you need….

And remember, the outcome is up to him. All he wants from you is your willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. He says so right in verse 5: “If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.”

I heard this at Promise Keepers a few years ago. I never forgot it, and I hope you never will either.

God does not care about your ability, only your availability.

Written by Chris Vasecka

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