God’s Word of Life
Luke 9:1-17: Jesus gives his disciples power and sends them out to preach and heal. He gives them instructions, and they go through all the villages preaching the Good News. Herod hears what is happening and is confused. [The Herod mentioned here is Herod Antipas, who was governor of Galilee from 4 B.C. to A.D. 39. He was one of the sons of Herod the Great, king of Judea, who died shortly after Jesus was born, as noted in Matthew 2:19.] When the apostles return, crowds gather and Jesus feeds five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. [You may wish to compare Luke’s account of this event with the one recorded in John 6:1-15, which was part of the reading for January 8.]
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples
(Matthew 10.5-15; Mark 6.7-13)
1Jesus called the twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases. 2Then he sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick, 3 after saying to them, “Take nothing with you for the trip: no walking stick, no beggar’s bag, no food, no money, not even an extra shirt. 4Wherever you are welcomed, stay in the same house until you leave that town; 5 wherever people don’t welcome you, leave that town and shake the dust off your feet as a warning to them.”
6The disciples left and traveled through all the villages, preaching the Good News and healing people everywhere.
(Matthew 14.1-12; Mark 6.14-29)
7 When Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard about all the things that were happening, he was very confused, because some people were saying that John the Baptist had come back to life. 8Others were saying that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. 9Herod said, “I had John’s head cut off; but who is this man I hear these things about?” And he kept trying to see Jesus.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
(Matthew 14.13-21; Mark 6.30-44; John 6.1-14)
10The apostles came back and told Jesus everything they had done. He took them with him, and they went off by themselves to a town named Bethsaida. 11When the crowds heard about it, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the Kingdom of God, and healed those who needed it.
12When the sun was beginning to set, the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the people away so that they can go to the villages and farms around here and find food and lodging, because this is a lonely place.”
13But Jesus said to them, “You yourselves give them something to eat.”
They answered, “All we have are five loaves and two fish. Do you want us to go and buy food for this whole crowd?” 14(There were about five thousand men there.)
Jesus said to his disciples, “Make the people sit down in groups of about fifty each.”
15After the disciples had done so, 16Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven, thanked God for them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17They all ate and had enough, and the disciples took up twelve baskets of what was left over.
Today’s Key Verse: Luke 9:2
Then he sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
What instructions does Jesus give to his disciples (verses 3-5)? Are such instructions relevant for evangelism efforts today? Why or why not? What would you do if you received similar instructions? In what ways do you tell the Good News?
Lord Jesus, you have empowered us to tell the Good News through our words and actions. Thank you for your Holy Spirit. Help me to be an agent of your love and grace. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Luke 9:18-27: Peter declares Jesus to be the Messiah, and Jesus speaks about his suffering and death.