Luke 9-10
(Travel Lightly)
October 25th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.

Luke 9:3 (KJV)

Summary of Chapters

The Gospel of Luke and the ministry of Jesus reach an inflection point in these two chapters. The physician describes how Jesus sought to deepen the disciples’ understanding of his identity and also give them first-hand experience in running the ministry. Together they began a journey to Jerusalem that would lead to tragedy and triumph.

At the beginning of the chapter 9 Jesus sent out the twelve disciples on their own to heal and preach in the villages of the region. One of his instructions is to travel lightly:

    When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.

    -Luke 9:1-6 (NIV)

This is the first time that this large group had gone out on their own, but Luke reports that they fulfilled their mission. He also notes that John the Baptist was killed by Herod, thus highlighting the danger of telling the truth in a fallen world. Later in chapter 9, Luke provides his version of the feeding of the 5,000 men with a few loaves of bread. Other than the Resurrection, this is the only miracle that occurs in all four Gospel books.

On two different occasions within the span of these two chapters, Jesus reveals to his disciples that he will die on their behalf. He also appears with Moses and Elijah on a mountain top, in an event known as the Transfiguration. Luke says that "They talked over his exodus, the one Jesus was about to complete in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31 - MSG)." During this event three of the disciples hear the Father proclaim that this is his Son and are told to listen to him. Jesus instructs them not to tell anyone what they experienced and they obeyed.

At the end of chapter 9, Luke notes that Jesus "steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51 - KJV).”

At the beginning of chapter 10, Jesus sends out a larger group of messengers to heal and preach – seventy-two men in all (twelve times six). They are also very successful in their mission and Jesus rejoices upon their return. He then continues teaching by sharing the Parable of the Good Samaritan as an answer to a religious scholar seeking a loophole regarding the meaning of neighbor:

    Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.

    “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’

    “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”

    “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded.

    Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”

    - Luke 10:30-37 (MSG)

The last part of chapter 10 depicts a scene in the home of two sisters. Martha appears to be the hard-working one while Mary listens at Jesus feet. Martha attempts to command Jesus, exclaiming, “ ‘Tell her to help me!’ (Luke 10:40 - NIV)” Jesus then explains to her about priorities in life and the wise path that Mary has chosen by stopping what she was doing to listen to Jesus.

Reflection and Application

The disciples did not yet fully understand the identity of Jesus, but they followed his commands in faith and were able to perform miracles and preach the Word in his name. Jesus first sent twelve, then seventy-two, and then on the day of Pentecost, “three thousand were added to their number (Acts 2:40 - NIV).”

This number is still growing today. There are over 5 million Christian workers, more than 6 million Christian books in print, and about 2 billion Christians in the world (1).

Some of us may be called to heal and share the word in faraway places, others may be called to contribute to the growing number of Christian books, and others may be called to witness or serve in their towns and workplaces. Jesus advised the disciples to travel lightly, with minimal baggage so that they would depend on God and not appear as if they were travelling for any other reason. Jesus then demonstrated what it means to depend on God when he performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

When we are working for Christ we must remember to not bring any excess baggage or hidden agendas, but should remind ourselves that we come to share a message regarding an abundance of Grace offered by God. It's also worthy to take time to stop what we are doing during our mission so that we can sit down, and listen to Jesus the way Mary did. There is nothing wrong with what her sister Martha was doing. Luke is not specific about her tasks, but perhaps she was preparing a meal for Jesus and making the home look festive. Maybe she was the elder sister and felt a responsibility to ensure that Jesus was properly welcomed, as she would do for any other guest. Perhaps she was a believer who understood Jesus was a special guest, therefore she sought to show her adoration through her service. But that does not mean she had the authority to compel Mary to step away from Jesus to help her.

Martha and Mary may have each been fulfilling their specific calling for that point in time. Martha was doing work to serve Jesus while Mary was worshiping Jesus by listening to him. We must remember that our calling is not the same as others, and be careful not to judge them or try to pigeon-hole them into the same mold as us.

What did the scene look like when Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes? How long do you figure it required to communicate to everyone the message to sit in groups of fifty? The French artist James Tissot (1836-1902) imagined a scene and painted it with water colors. You can see a representation of it at the following link: La multiplicit des pains

"The Good Samaritan," written and performed by American Balidista Joel Rafael

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What are the typical things that you bring on a trip out of town?
    2. What is the baggage that you need to leave behind when you are working for God?
    3. What can we do today to get the message to one more person?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we know that all divine power originates with you. If we are present for a miracle, we know that it comes from you, according to your will. Help us to believe in you and share the Good News with others.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Travelers in Dangerous Regions



    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: Luke 11-12 (What to Pray For)

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