John T. Willis

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Jesus Commissions the Twelve and Herod is Perplexed--Luke 9:1-9

After performing several different miracles, Jesus calls the Twelve and send them on his mission. Herod learned of this and wishes to see Jesus. The paragraph in Luke 9:1-9 naturally falls into two parts. This is dependent on Mark 6:6b-16.

I. Jesus Commissions the Twelve. Luke 9:1-6.
a. After Jesus performed several miracles in the presence of the twelve to witness what Jesus had done, Jesus commissioned them to do four specific things: (1) receive power and authority from God through Jesus over all demons [see Luke 4:14,
32, 36; 5:17, 24; 6:19; 8:46]. (2) cure diseases; (3) proclaim the kingdom of God [see Luke 4:43]; and (4) heal sick people. Luke had already given the names of the twelve in Luke 6:13-16. 9:1-2.
b. Then Jesus specifically commanded the twelve to trust completely in Yahweh, not in their own possessions. Thus, they must not to take anything as they traveled: (1) no staff; (2) no bag; (3) no bread; (4) no money [normally, people use Greek coins called Tyrian silver shekels or tetradrachms and half-shekels used in Palestine; (5) no extra tunic. 9:3.
c. When the twelve arrive in each town are village, they must do two things: (1) stay in the house where people receive you for hospitality and protection and stability; (2) shake the dust off your feet at any time in which people reject you, symbolizing severing all association from such people [see Luke 10:11; Acts 13:50], as a testimony or proof against them. 9:4-5.
d. Luke sums up by stating that the twelve departed from where they had been with Jesus and went through the villages in Galilee, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere. 9:6.

II. Herod is perplexed by Jesus' authority and success. Luke 9:7-9.
a. Herod Antipas, the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee, somehow HEARD [probably from the common people over whom he ruled or from certain people in Herod's court] all Jesus had done to preach and cure people. Herod was perplexed because some people had said John the Baptist had been raised from the dead or Elijah appeared or one ofo the ancient prophets had arisen. 9:7-8. [See further Luke 1:17].
b. Herod Antipas says he had beheaded John the Baptist, but someone else had done great things whom Herod had never met. Herod wants to meet this new person.

As Jesus extends his ministry through the twelve, others question and wish to stop Jesus. The story will continue.

Share your observations and anticipations and questions and thoughts with others. Let me hear from you.

John Willis

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Know the Plans I Have for YOU--3

God gives all of us a VISION for life in every generation. Every generation struggles with finding or determining or creating a vision. God's VISION is already very clear and powerful. In this third blog on God's VISION, it is VERY IMPORTANT to realize and accept that God is the GREAT DELIVERER. God delivers us individually and collectively from all types of human threats and problems, including enemies, losses, failures, fears, anxieties, and the list goes on and on.

The Bible repeatedly uses several important positive terms and ideas about God's deliverance. Here are some of them.

1. God FREED or BROUGHT OUT his people from Egyptian slavery. Exodus 6:6. This was a literal freedom, but also a spiritual freedom. The great transition was from Pharaoh king of Egypt to Yahweh the king of the universe. Leviticus 25:42-43 underlines this truth:
"They are my [Yahweh's] servants, whom I BROUGHT OUT of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves are sold. You shall not rule over them with HARSHNESS, but shall fear your God."
Pharaoh was a harsh master. Yahweh is a loving, merciful master. Yahweh can and will liberate or free or bring out everyone to come to him alone.

2. God DELIVERED his people from slavery. Exodus 6:6. God's people were in bondage, but God delivered them from being slaves.

3. God REDEEMED his people with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. Exodus 6:6. The term "redeem" means to "purchase" or "buy" a person or an object. Jesus Christ paid a PRICE so we might be redeemed. 1 Corinthians 6:20.

4. God SAVED his people from the bondage in Egypt. Exodus 14:30. The term "save" might refer to forgiveness from sins, but it might also means deliverance from any type of problem.

5. God BROUGHT IN his people into the promised land after delivering them from Egypt. Psalm 78:54 says:
"He [Yahweh} BROUGHT them TO his holy hill,
to the mountain that his right hand had won."

The only hope we have for the future is God's deliverance. Let us turn to God in trust and prayer. HE ALONE can give us the VISION which is sustaining and certain.

Share YOUR insights and dreams and hopes. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis