Scripture

Vs 1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 

vs 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.

Vs 12 … the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away …”

Vs 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” 

Vs 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 

Vs 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 

Vs 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Vs 46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side …

Vs 48 For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Vs 53 But the people did not receive him …

Vs 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

Vs 55 But he turned and rebuked them.

Vs 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Vs 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”

Vs 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

Observation

This chapter ends the same way it begins … Jesus speaking about proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

Under the overarching theme of Kingdom of God, we have two sub-themes  … Power … and Following.

Jesus sent the apostles out with Power … power to proclaim and power to heal.

They Followed His instructions.

Crowds then begin to follow Jesus. When it became an inconvenient nuisance, the apostles wanted to send the crowds away.

Jesus told the apostles to serve the crowd.

Jesus states emphatically that to follow Him would be to deny yourself.

But Jesus states just as emphatically that to NOT follow Him would be to forfeit yourself.

Ironically, the apostles then argue about elevating themselves … being the “greatest”.

Jesus then teaches with the illustration of a child … to be “great”, you must be the “least”.

The apostles still don’t get it.

When the crowds aren’t following Jesus, James and John want to use their power to “tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them”.

Jesus rebukes them for this … He had JUST told them how to handle people’s rejection … “shake the dust from your feet”.

Move on from the rejection and toward the mission.

Jesus then told a sequence of individuals with excuses for not following exactly how weak their excuses are compared to te3h Kingdom of God.

 

Application

Do I understand that I will either live my days for the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of me?

I can’t do both!

To live for the Kingdom of God is to deny myself.

To live for the Kingdom of me is to ultimately forfeit myself.

But I will follow one way or the other.

The apostles give me a couple of examples to learn from to see which way I am living. 

First, when Jesus sends me, do I go? The apostles got this one. The went out when Jesus sent them.

Second, do I see other people around me as a nuisance to send a way or an opportunity to serve?

The apostles didn’t get this. They want to send people away and didn’t trust the power of God in that moment.

Third, when I do get a glimpse of the power of God, am I inclined to elevate myself?

The apostles didn’t get this one either. The clamored to raise their own status, rather than deny themselves.

Fourth, do I want to see the enemies of God destroyed?

The apostles missed this one also. They wanted fire to consume those not following Jesus. Jesus rebuked them.

Jesus sent followers out with power to proclaim and to heal.

If I use power to destroy, or even want others destroyed, this is antithetical to the gospel.

I must keep my hand on the plow … pressing forward in mission of the Kingdom of God.

 

Prayer

Thank you, God, for your grace.

You are so patient with me

Help me see others and treat them as you do me

Give me faith to follow you

The courage to deny myself

And the eyes to see your Kingdom

In Jesus name

Amen

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