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Luke 9:46-56

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 22, 2015


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular: 2900 words  Communion: 2500 words Video=75wpm

Thanksgiving / staff changes

Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

9:46-48 The Greatest

:46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest.

:46 aroseeiserchomai – to go out or come in: to enter; of entrance into any condition, state of things, society, employment; to arise, come into existence, begin to be

:46 dispute dialogismos – the thinking of a man deliberating with himself; a deliberating, questioning about what is true; hesitation, doubting; disputing, arguing

:46 greatestmeizon – greater, larger, elder, stronger

:46 which of them would be greatest

I imagine that Peter, James, and John had more than a few things to contribute to this conversation.

They were the “inner three” that got to go places with Jesus that the others didn’t.
Peter could claim that he was the one who God spoke through to make the breakthrough confession that Jesus was the Christ. (Mat. 16:17)
(Matthew 16:17 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
James and John believed in their own greatness so much they sent their mother to ask Jesus for a favor. (Mat. 20:21)
(Matthew 20:21 NKJV) And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”
When the other ten disciples heard what James and John’s mother had done, they were a bit upset at being upstaged.
(Matthew 20:24 NKJV) And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers.

:47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him,

:47 perceiving the thought of their heart

:47 perceivingeido – to see; to perceive by any of the senses; to know; to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive

:47 thought dialogismos – the thinking of a man deliberating with himself; a deliberating, questioning about what is true; hesitation, doubting; disputing, arguing. This is the same word that was translated “dispute” in verse 46.

Mark tells us this all happened as they were coming back to Capernaum from their time up north at Mt. Hermon and Caesarea Philippi.

(Mark 9:33–34 NKJV) —33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.

Jesus didn’t have to hear any of their arguments. He knew what they were arguing over.

:47 took a little child and set him by Him

Jesus is going to answer their question about greatness with an object lesson using a child.

a little childpaidion – a young child, a little boy, a little girl

Some have suggested it might have been the child He had just cast the demon out of.

:47 tookepilambanomai – to take in addition, to lay hold of, take possession of, overtake, attain, attain to

:47 sethistemi – to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set; to stand

Jesus is going to give an object lesson using a child.

I wonder if it’s possible that this might even be the child from whom He just cast out the demon.

:48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”

:48 Whoever receives this little child

:48 receives … receivesdechomai – to take with the hand; to take hold of, take up; to take up, receive; to receive or grant access to, a visitor, not to refuse intercourse or friendship; to receive hospitality; to receive favourably, give ear to, embrace, make one’s own, approve, not to reject. NIV – “welcome”

:48 in my name – In the place of Jesus, in His authority, as His representative.

You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat the children in the room.

Some people feel that children are nothing but trouble.
Jesus is not be very close to people like that.

If you are a true friend of Jesus, you will be concerned for children as well.

I personally think that the most important ministry to Jesus in our church is our Children’s Ministry.

:48 whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me

Jesus is saying that if I want to know God, I need to know the One that God sent.

Jesus said,
(John 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John wrote,
(1 John 5:1 NKJV) Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

:48 he who is least among you all will be great


The path to greatness

Some people have the mistaken notion that the path to greatness is connected to who you hang out with. If you want to be “great”, you need to hang around “cool” people.
Followers of Jesus should be “hanging” with those that others ignore.

It might be children.

It might be the handicapped.

It might be the homeless.

It might be a person who is new to the church, and who has come here all by themselves and doesn’t know anyone else.

Video: Values - Cafeteria

Sometimes all it takes is to just say “hi”.

Video: Values – Just Say Hi

Mark records,
(Mark 10:42–45 NKJV) —42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

You don’t become “great” in God’s sight by stepping on people. You become great by learning to serve others.

Jesus came to serve and give His life for us.

F.B.Meyer: “I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves stacked one higher than the next, and the higher you got, the more gifts you got. Then I found out that they were really on shelves one lower than the next, and the lower you became, the more you received.”

9:49-50 Competition

:49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”

:49 Now John answered

answeredapokrinomai – to give an answer to a question proposed; to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer

Just what is the apostle John answering? I don’t recall a question…

He could be answering the statements that Jesus made about receiving a child, receiving Him, and receiving the Father.
It could be that John is wondering if someone who isn’t in their group could have “received” Jesus.
The great Greek scholar A.T. Robertson writes,
“As if John wanted to change the subject after the embarrassment of the rebuke for their dispute concerning greatness”
We are seeing that John, as well as the other disciples, weren’t perfect men.
Jesus didn’t pick perfect men to follow Him.
Jesus picked messy people, and what we see in the gospels is the transformation of these messy men into men that God would use.

:49 Masterepistates – any sort of superintendent or overseer

:49 casting outekballo – to cast out, drive out, to send out

:40 we forbade him because he does not follow with us

we forbadekoluo – to hinder, prevent forbid; to withhold a thing from anyone; to deny or refuse one a thing

followakoloutheo – to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him; to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple; side with his party

When you are insecure about your path to becoming “great”, you’re not going to be happy with competition.

You see the other guy as some sort of a threat to your goal of “world domination”.
When our kids were young, we used to love to watch Pinky and the Brain
Video: Pinky and the Brain - The Same Thing We Do Every Night

John is acting like someone who is insecure about his world domination, not someone who wants to see God’s work done on the earth.

:50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”

:50 forbidkoluo – to hinder, prevent forbid; to withhold a thing from anyone; to deny or refuse one a thing

:50 on our sidehuper – in behalf of, for the sake of; over, beyond, more than; more, beyond, over

:50 …is on our side


On the same team

Sometimes people that should be on the same team end up fighting against each other.
A man and woman were married for many years. Whenever there was a confrontation, yelling could be heard deep into the night. The old man would shout, “When I die, I will dig my way up and out of the grave and come back and haunt you for the rest of your life!” Neighbors feared him. The old man liked the fact that he was feared. Then one evening, he died when he was 98. After the burial, her neighbors, concerned for her safety, asked, “Aren’t you afraid that he may indeed be able to dig his way out of the grave and haunt you for the rest of your life?” The wife said, “Let him dig. I had him buried upside down...and I know he won’t ask for directions.”
I think that sometimes churches do themselves more harm than good when they fight with other churches.
We can get so nitpicky about the differences between us that unbelievers don’t have a clue as to who this Jesus is we claim to follow.
Jesus said,

(John 13:35 NKJV) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I believe God has allowed various denominations to accommodate the variety of people who become believers. 

Some people need quiet, solemn rituals.  Other need a bit more emotion.  Some are in between.

It’s okay if people don’t worship the same as you do.

Of course, we need to be careful how far we take this.

There is such a thing as a church preaching “another Jesus” (2Cor. 11:4), and there are “false apostles” (2Cor. 11:13).

Non-Christian cults like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the same Jesus described in the Bible.

But within the Christian church, there is a huge variety of styles and flavors.

Even way back in the time of Moses, this type of attitude crept in at a time when God’s Spirit fell on the elders of Israel.
(Numbers 11:24–29 NLT) —24 So Moses went out and reported the Lord’s words to the people. He gathered the seventy elders and stationed them around the Tabernacle. 25 And the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. Then he gave the seventy elders the same Spirit that was upon Moses. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But this never happened again. 26 Two men, Eldad and Medad, had stayed behind in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but they had not gone out to the Tabernacle. Yet the Spirit rested upon them as well, so they prophesied there in the camp. 27 A young man ran and reported to Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!” 28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ assistant since his youth, protested, “Moses, my master, make them stop!” 29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them all!”

That should be our heart as well. We wish that all churches would be used by God.

Don’t get defensive when you talk to folks who attend other churches. Encourage them in their church.
We’re not the only church in Fullerton.
We’re not even the only good church in Fullerton.
We are all part of the body of Christ. We are all on the same team.
Things go easier when a team learns to work together.

Video: Minions Changing Lightbulb


I remember Pastor Chuck telling a story of when he used to belong to something like the Rotary Club years ago. They had an “invite your enemy” banquet where each businessman was to invite his competition. Someone asked Chuck which pastor he was going to invite. Chuck responded, “I’m not in competition with other churches. I’m going to invite the bartender at the bar down the street.”

You can handle the enemy better when you identify the actual enemy (Satan), and learn to work with those on your team.

Video: Travel in Groups

You may even find there are Christians with questionable motives, but Paul wrote,

(Philippians 1:18 NLT) But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.

9:51-55 Firing up Samaria

:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,

:51 set His face to go to Jerusalem

had come sumpleroo – to fill completely; of the hold of a ship; to complete entirely, be fulfilled: of time

the timehemera – the day, used of the natural day, or the interval between sunrise and sunset, as distinguished from and contrasted with the night; used of time in general, i.e. the days of his life.

to be received upanalepsis – a taking up

fromanalambano – to take up, raise

faceprosopon – the face; countenance, look

stedfastly setsterizo – to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix; to strengthen, make firm; to render constant, confirm, one’s mind

As we’ve been mentioning the last couple of weeks, Jesus is on His last trip to Jerusalem where He will fulfill His prophetic mission by being betrayed, and dying on a cross for the sins of the world.

:52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.

:52 sent messengers before His face

messengers aggelos – a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God

faceprosopon – the face; countenance, look

to make readyhetoimazo – to make ready, prepare; to make the necessary preparations, get everything ready; metaph.; drawn from the oriental custom of sending on before kings on their journeys persons to level the roads and make them passable

There could have been close to 50 people traveling with Jesus by this time. In the next chapter (Luke 10), Jesus will send out seventy to preach for Him. It required quite a lot of preparation to find lodging and food for all these people as they traveled.

These “messengers” are the advance men setting up arrangements for Jesus and the people following Him.

:52 they entered a village of the Samaritans

villagekome – the common sleeping place to which labourers in the field return, a village; the name of the city near which the villages lie and to whose municipality they belong; the inhabitants of villages

The Samaritan race came about when the Assyrians caused foreigners to intermarry with the few remaining Israelites after the fall of the northern kingdom in 722 BC.

The Samaritans rewrote some of the Mosaic Law and changed the names and places so that Abraham offered Isaac on Mount Gerazim instead of Moriah, and the feasts were all celebrated in Shechem instead of Jerusalem.
Today, there are about 800 Samaritans left.

:53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.

:53 they did not receive Him

receivedechomai – to take with the hand; to take hold of, take up; to take up, receive; to receive or grant access to, a visitor, not to refuse intercourse or friendship

the journeyporeuomai – to lead over, carry over, transfer; to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on one’s journey

When the Samaritans found out that Jesus was on His way to worship in Jerusalem, they ignored Him.

The Samaritans and Jews hated each other.

In the next chapter (Luke 10), Jesus will tell a story of what it means to love your neighbor.
We call the story the “Good Samaritan”, because the one man that was willing to help the poor victim of thieves was a Samaritan.
He told this story after He had been rejected by the Samaritans.

:54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

:54 to command fire … as Elijah

Commanding fire from heaven speaks of asking God to send lightning to destroy something.

Lordkurios – he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord

do you wantthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

commandlego – to speak, say

firepur – fire. The idea of “fire” from heaven is lightning.

to come downkatabaino – to go down, come down, descend; to come (i.e. be sent) down

consumeanalisko – to expend; to consume, e.g. spend money; to consume, use up, destroy

I think this is incident shows us why Jesus came up with His nickname for James and John.

(Mark 3:17 NKJV) James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”;
I still have this sneaking suspicion that James and John were members of a biker gang on their weekends away from their fishing business.

Keep in mind that James and John might have been a little inspired from what had happened up on the mountain of transfiguration.

They had met Moses and ELIJAH.

Commanding fire from heaven was a signature miracle of the prophet Elijah.

The first time he did it was when he had his great showdown between the prophets of Baal and himself (1Ki. 18)
God answered Elijah by sending fire (lightning) and consuming the sacrifice up on Mount Carmel.
The next time this happened in Elijah’s life was when the king of Israel sent his men to arrest Elijah.
Each time the king sent a troop of fifty men to take Elijah, Elijah called down fire and burned up the men (2Ki. 1:9-10)

(2 Kings 1:9–10 NKJV) —9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. So he went up to him; and there he was, sitting on the top of a hill. And he spoke to him: “Man of God, the king has said, ‘Come down!’ ” 10 So Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

The king sent another group of fifty men to arrest Elijah, and they too were consumed by fire.

When the king sent a third troop of fifty men, the officer in charge begged Elijah to spare them, and Elijah didn’t call down fire.

I find it interesting that James and John aren’t asking Jesus to call down fire, but they’d kind of like to try it themselves.

In a way, this might seem kind of endearing to Jesus, that James and John would want to defend Him like this.


Jesus doesn’t need defending

In the middle ages the church sent armies to battle the Muslims in the middle east. It was a dark day for the church to think that it could do God’s will by killing people.
Last January, radical Islamic terrorists killed twelve people in Paris because the Charlie Hebdo newspaper continued to print cartoons that were offensive to Muslims.
Were the Charlie Hebdo cartoons offensive? Horribly so.
While some radical Muslims would say they are commanded to kill the infidels, this is not what Jesus commands His followers to do.
I do think it’s a legitimate use of force for a nation to defend itself.
(Romans 13:4 NKJV) For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

But don’t confuse national defense with defending Christianity. Jesus doesn’t need this kind of defending.

:55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.

he turnedstrepho – to turn, turn around

rebukedepitimao – to show honour to, to honour; to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely; to admonish or charge sharply

:55 what mannerhoiος – what sort of, what manner of, such as

:55 what manner of spirit you are of

We are supposed to be men and women who produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which looks like this:

(Galatians 5:22–23 NKJV) —22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.
I don’t see a hint of calling down fire from heaven in the fruit of the Spirit.

:56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

:56 livespsuche – breath; life; the soul

:56 to destroyapollumi – to destroy; to kill

:56 to savesozo – to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

:56 they went to another village

A few weeks back Jesus had given His disciples instruction of what to do when they entered a village and the village didn’t want to listen to what they had to say.

(Luke 9:5 NKJV) And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”
Jesus has just given them a lesson as to what that means.

You shake it off and move on.

You don’t destroy them.

:56 not to destroy men’s lives but to save them


Save or Destroy

Sometimes when we are criticized, we go into “attack mode”
Video: LOTR - Battle
God has no interest in destroying people.
(Ezekiel 33:11 NKJV) Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
Jesus’ main concern is that sinners are saved. That doesn’t happen if you kill them.
Peter wrote,
(1 Peter 3:8–9 NLT) —8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.
I’ve known that feeling, wishing I could call fire down on people I get mad with. I’ve heard of people praying “curses” on people they’re mad at. That’s not Jesus.
What happened to the Samaritans?
This wasn’t Jesus’ only time with the Samaritans.

John records Jesus meeting a woman of Samaria at a well, and after she came to believe in Him as the Messiah, she affected her entire city. (John 4)

When the first wave of persecution hit the early church, Philip headed to Samaria to preach (Acts 8).

(Acts 8:6–8 NKJV) —6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

This was the beginning of a great revival that took place among the Samaritans.

I don’t think that would have happened if an entire village had been destroyed by fire.

It might be that today you haven’t yet “received” Jesus into your heart.
Does God want to destroy you? No. He wants to save you.
That’s why God sent Jesus to die for our sins.
But God can’t save you until you receive Jesus into your heart.

(John 1:12 NKJV) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

You can wait to receive Jesus later after you’ve thought about it.

Just be aware that there’s no guarantee that there will be a tomorrow for you to open your heart to Jesus.

We are living in exciting times, and we think it’s possible that Jesus Christ could come back at any moment.

Open your heart and be ready for His return.