The Apostles were sent out to preach:
(Read Luke 9:1-27)
Jesus sent the twelve apostles to preach the gospel of the kingdom. They were given the power and authority over demons and to cure diseases. The purpose of this was to show the divine approval upon their message as well as to meet the needs of people. Herod who beheaded John the Baptist wondered whether John had risen from the dead when he heard about the miracle Jesus was performing. The feeding of the 5000 occurred shortly after this. Jesus fed them from the miraculous multiplication of five small barley loaves and two fishes. This gives us hope that our Lord is able to meet our needs. His provision will be sure and abundant despite our weak faith and understanding (Luke 9:13). Here we see Peter’s great confession of Christ at Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asked Peter “Who do you say that I am?” Peter said “You are Christ sent from God”. Jesus predicted his death to his disciples. To learn more read notes on Matthew 16:1-27. Jesus explains the cost of discipleship to his followers. “If anyone desire to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his crows daily, and follow me”. Choosing to be a disciple of Jesus Christ takes daily sacrifice and commitment. It means recognizing that God’s plans for our lives are better than our own. We must take up our cross daily. Cross is the symbol of death. It is more than denying personal convenience. It is saying that God’s will is more important than our own will. Then we will experience the abundant life Christ promised. It is following the example of Christ (1 Pet 2:21). When we allow Christ to control us, we will find fulfillment and joy in life (Gal 2:20). Our natural inclination is to assimilate to this world and to seek the praise of others even at the expense of our souls. Jesus said “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” Read notes on Matthew 16:24-27. Verse 27 is a prediction that some disciples would see Christ in his glory soon in his transfiguration. What Jesus offers to us is simply better than this world ever can offer.
(Read Luke 9: 28-62)
In Jesus' transfiguration he was surrounded with the glory of God (John 1:14). Moses and Elijah stood as the representatives of the law and the prophets. Christ’s authority completely superseded them and he was declared as God's Son. Jesus clearly predicted his coming death. The disciples had difficulty to understand how Jesus’ death fit into God’s plan for his kingdom. They wondered how the Son of God possibly be the victim of the violence of sinful humanity. But after the resurrection of Jesus they understood that the suffering of Christ was the fulfillment of God’s plan (Luke 24: 25-26). The death of Jesus was not a tragic mistake. It was God’s good and wise plan for our salvation (9:31). To know more, read note on Matthew 17:1-8. Jesus healed a demon possessed boy. The disciples could not heal the boy because they did not rely on God. Read note on Matthew 17:14-21. There was an argument among the disciples as to who is the greatest among them. Jesus said that true greatness is achieved by childlike humility. We must not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think (Rom 12:3). Jesus perfectly modeled humility. God promised to promote those who humble before him (1 Pet 5:6). Read Matthew 18:1-6. God hates sectarianism. Jesus said “He that is not against us is for us”. He is the Savior of the world. Jesus taught that discipleship is costly. “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head”. Discipleship demands total devotion to Christ. Christ’s call is more important than physical relationship. “Let the dead bury their dead”, probably means, let those who are spiritually dead bury their physically dead. Let Christ’s values and priorities shape the way we live. Jesus said “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God”. We should fight against our natural tendency to promote ourselves. Pray that God would help us to have a single-minded devotion to Christ. Let Christ's values and priorities drives the way we live.