Luke 9: Jesus Heals and Teaches
Jesus calls His Apostles together and gives them Power and Authority, (see Luke 9:1)
Jesus then sends His 12 to “…preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey… neither bread, nor money… whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.” (Luke 9:2-3, 5) Notice how Jesus gave those who preached His Gospel, Power and Authority? You cannot claim Power and Authority because of the knowledge of man, nor can you claim Power and Authority because of the Bible. No, you must receive Authority from someone who has the Authority, in this case Jesus. Because Jesus is not on the earth today, it must be received from an Apostle, Prophet or someone who has the Priesthood Authority. I personally can trace my Priesthood Authority by names, back to Jesus Christ.
Because of all the great things that were occurring, Herod finds out and desires to see Jesus. The Apostles warn Jesus that Herod may try to capture or kill him and Jesus leads them; “…privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.” (Luke 9:10) There Jesus has a large gathering and after instructing them commands that they return to the cities to find a place to sleep. Before they leave, Jesus desires to feed them. The Apostles come to Jesus, and say; “…We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.” (Luke 9:13) There were about five thousand gathered. Jesus commands that they sit in companies of fifty and he took the five loaves and two fishes and blesses them. He then commands the Apostles to distribute the food among them all, afterward collecting twelve baskets of “fragments” as leftovers.
After the followers had retired to their respective cities, Jesus was praying alone when He asked the Apostles; “…Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.” (Luke 9:18-19) Jesus then asks them again; “…But whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered and said; “…The Christ of God.” (Luke 9:20) Jesus tells them to keep this and tell no man. He explains that He will be rejected, slain (crucified) and rise on the third day. He gives them a charge that if any man wants to follow Him, they must deny themselves and take up his own cross; “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luke 9:24)
Eight days later… Jesus takes Peter, James and John to the top of a mountain to pray, and while there His countenance was changed, His clothing was white and glistering. Jesus spoke with two men; Moses and Elias. Peter makes a silly suggestion that they build a tabernacle for Jesus, Moses and Elias. This is when God overshadows them in a cloud and says; “…This is my beloved Son, here him.” (Luke 9:35) Immediately they were found alone with Jesus, and commanded to tell know one of what had happened.
The next day, as they came off of the mountain, they were met by a multitude of the followers of Jesus Christ. A man comes to Jesus and asks Him to heal his child, who was possessed by a devil. The man tells Jesus that he had already asked one of His Apostles, and they were unable to heal the child. Jesus was a little upset that they couldn’t do it without Him, but heals the child anyways. He then explains to His Apostles that He would be “…delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying… and they feared to ask him of that saying.” (Luke 9:45)
For whatever reason, the Apostles simultaneously start thinking about which of the Apostles is the greatest, Jesus, perceiving their thoughts sits a child down near Himself and says; “…Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me… for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.” (Luke 9:48) The Apostle John responds to this and explains that they had forbidden a man from casting out a devil, because the man was not part of them. Jesus explains; “…Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:50)
So do you need Authority? YES! But Jesus explains that anyone who wants to attempt those things, without authority can do so. Whoever is not against the Church or Gospel of Christ, is for it. For this purpose The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the “…privilege of worshipping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” (Articles of Faith 1:11)
Jesus and the Apostles go to the village of the Samaritans, but are not received. Aftering seeing Jesus being rejected; James and John said to Jesus; “…Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” Jesus turned to them and scolded them; “…Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…” (Luke 9:55-56)
Jesus and His Apostles travel to another village, where they are met by a man who desired to follow Jesus. Jesus accepts the man’s proposal and He tells them man to follow Him. But the man asks Jesus; “…suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but thou go and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59-60) Another man approaches Jesus and asks to follow Him, and when Jesus agrees, the man asks Jesus for time to go home and say farewell to his family. But Jesus tells him; “…No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Jesus taught clearly that His Gospel is so important, that we do not have time for the little things in Life. When we follow Him, we must put our full strength in, and our feet forward. Looking back to our old ways of life will do us no good. Following Christ is forward thinking, and moving. Always following His path!