- After the Galilean ministry, Jesus made up his mind and set out on his way to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51).
- He was determined to fulfill God’s plan of salvation, through His suffering, death and resurrection.
- His journey to Jerusalem was important to Jesus because it is at this city that He would be rejected and killed by the Jewish religious authorities. (Luke 9:1 – 19:27)
- The journey took Jesus through the Samaritan villages. People of Samaria rejected Him in Galilee.
- On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus went through towns and villages teaching on matters of;
- The Kingdom of God.
- Wealth and poverty.
- He also healed the sick.
- His teachings encouraged his disciples to grow in faith.
- St. Luke’s Gospel portrays the life of Jesus as a journey. It is a spiritual journey which takes him to Jerusalem where he suffers, dies and rises from the dead.
- The life of a Christian is also a journey that they follow Jesus until they receive eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
Luke 9:51 – 62)
On His way to Jerusalem Jesus outlined the following duties to be fulfilled by His would be followers:
- Being a disciple of Jesus means self-denial and suffering i.e accepting homelessness and enduring hardship. vs. 58.
- Discipleship means total commitment to Jesus and breaking family ties for the sake of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom vs. 59 – 61.
- Discipleship requires voluntary sacrifices of one’s life for the sake of Christ.
- Discipleship necessitates readiness to face shameful and painful treatment on the account of Christ.
- A disciple of Christ must be ready to spread the Gospel vs. 60.
- Enables one to be a member of God’s kingdom.
- Assurance of eternal life.
- The joy of winning others to the kingdom.
- Sharing with Christ in His mission.
- Being a member of those specifically called to serve Christ.
Luke 10:1 – 24
- Jesus chose 72 disciples (70 in other versions) and sent them in twos ahead of Him to preach and heal.
- He informed them of the many people waiting to hear the Good news yet the disciples were few.
- He told them the urgency of the mission and gave them the following instructions:
- The disciples were to pray for more laborers to be sent for the harvest was plentiful.
- The disciples were not to carry any purse/ bag/ sandals.
- They were not to salute anyone on the road.
- They were to say peace to any house they entered.
- They were to remain in the same house and not to go from house to house.
- They were to eat/ drink whatever was provided.
- They were to heal the sick.
- They were to tell the people that the kingdom of God has come.
- They were to wipe of the dust on their feet against the people who do not welcome them.
- The success of the disciples’ mission made Jesus happy; He saw it as a complete overthrow of Satan’s Kingdom.
- Jesus rejoiced in the power of the Holy Spirit and praised God for His gracious revelation to the simple and humble disciples.
Luke 10:25 – 11:1 – 13
Commitment means dedication and devotion to a certain responsibility.
- A committed person is one who feels obliged to perform his/her duties seriously.
- Jesus taught on what it means to be a committed follower by using the:
- Parable of the Good Samaritan
- The story of Martha and Mary and in
- The teaching on prayer.
Luke 10:25 – 37)
- Jesus told the parable to answer the lawyer’s question, “who is my neighbor?” In the Jewish understanding a neighbor was a fellow Jew and other people were enemies.
- A man was attacked while on his way to Jericho.
- A Levite and a priest passed him and did not help.
- According to Jewish law, it was forbidden for priest and Levites to come and contact with blood or a corpse because this rendered them unclean. This may explain why they passed by without helping the man.
- A Samaritan passed by and stopped to help the wounded man.
- He bandaged the wounds of the victim and took him to an Inn and met all expenses incurred.
- Jesus told the lawyer to behave like the Good Samaritan and help those in need.
- Having practical knowledge and understanding of God’s commandments.
- Readiness to help the needy.
- Willingness to share resources selflessly with others.
- Showing solidarity with those who are suffering.
- Freedom from cultural/ traditional restrictions.
- Readiness to serve all irrespective of the race/ religion/ status/gender.
- Should be compassionate/ loving to the needy.
- Kindness and generosity to others.
- Shows pity and mercy to those who are suffering.
- Obedience to God’s commandments.
- Readiness to risk life for the sake of others.
Luke 10:38 – 42
- On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus visited Martha and Mary who were sisters in their house.
- While Martha was busy with preparing a meal Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to His teaching.
- Martha complained to Jesus that Mary had left her to do all the work.
- Jesus answered her by saying “Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled over so many things but just one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken away from her”. (Vs 41 – 42)
A committed follower should:
- Create time to read and listen to the word of God. They should attend church services/fellowship with others.
- Ensure that the worries and commitments of daily life do not override their commitment to God’s word.
- Women are called to be disciples of Jesus by participating in Ministry. They can be ordained as ministers or begin ministries.
- Pastors/priests should make pastoral visits to the homes of their members.
- Christians should support the servants of God in their ministry by providing material support.
- One who gives priority to spiritual nourishment than to material needs.
- One who does not discourage others who are committed to the word of God and are ready to serve Him.
- One who is not prevented from serving God by their daily chores.
Luke 11:1 – 13
Jesus taught His disciples on how to pray using the Lord’s Prayer and the parable of the friend at midnight.
The Lord’s Prayer has six petitions
Addressing God as “Father” (Abba in Aramaic).
- Christians should establish an intimate relationship with God by addressing God as their father.
Honoring God’s Holy Name – Hallowed be thy name.
- Jesus honored his father by accepting His life and Ministry.
- A Christian should give God full glory, honour and praises.
Declaring the Kingdom of God – Thy Kingdom come.
- God’s kingdom is the rule of God in hearts of people. The petition asks God to establish His rule/peace in people’s hearts.
- Christians should always allow God to rule their hearts so that we are blessed with his presence all the time.
Asking God to provide our daily needs– Give us each day our daily bread.
- Jesus lived in confidence that God provides. This petition means that God can be trusted to provide for our individual needs.
- We should ask God for our daily needs in order to admit that we are dependent on Him.
Asking God to forgive our sins as we forgive others – Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us:
- We can trust God to forgive us for all the wrongs we commit.
- God will forgive us if we also forgiven others.
- Jesus acted as an example for Christians on forgiveness. He prayed His father to forgive those who crucified him as they did not know what they were doing.
Pleading with God not to bring temptations – And lead us not into temptation.
- The disciples must endure so that they are not overcome by temptations.
- This petition implies that God might allow people a time of trial or temptations.
- When faced with trials, God will provide us with victory over satanic temptations.
- Prayer gives us strength, courage and will to face all challenges.
Parable of a friend at midnight
- A person went to a friend at midnight to ask for bread to entertain unexpected visitor.
- The friend did not want to wake up; nevertheless he did wake up and gave the man everything he needed.
- Need to be concerned with the well-being of others.
- The need to persist in prayer.
- That God answers prayers
- He encouraged his disciples to “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”. Vs 9
- Jesus is emphasizing that Christians should pray at all times without ceasing for God will grant their requests.
- Jesus concluded by saying if earthly fathers will give good things to their children, God will give us much more including the Holy Spirit, if we ask him.
- From the Lord ’s Prayer and the parable of a friend at mid-night a committed follower should:
- Acknowledge God as our father and address all prayers to Him.
- Pray at all time and persistently.
- Have faith that God answers prayers.
- Be willing to forgive others.
- To show their dependence on God.
- To express the power/ greatness of God/ adore/ honour God.
- They pray to ask for their needs/ seek guidance.
- Through prayer, they confess their sins/ ask for forgiveness.
- To thank God for His faithfulness/ goodness/ blessings.
- Prayers relieve fears/ anxiety/ worries.
- It is an instrument in which the work of Satan is destroyed.
- To communicate with God/ have fellowship with God.
- To follow the example of Jesus.
- It is a command from God/ a sign of obedience.
- To intercede for others.
- To seek protection from God.
- Christians continue to evangelize and ensure that the gospel reaches all people.
- Christians should not tire in evangelizing even in the face of hostility or resistance.
- Jesus encouraged His disciples to bless those who rejected their mission.
- Christians have a duty to take care of the servants of God. Jesus urged the disciples to receive support from the people they evangelized to.
- Christians should be involved in the healing ministry of Jesus in all its dimensions e.g. through exorcism and deliverance, medical care, restoration of relationships and pastoral care.
- Christians have the assurance of God’s power to overcome evil.
- Christians should be humble and acknowledge God’s power in their fight against evil.
- They should tolerate people from different backgrounds.
- Christians should rely on God’s providence/ their needs.
- Christians should be practical in what they teach about Jesus.
Luke 11:14 – 36
- Jesus and Beelzebul
- Some people had watched Jesus drive out a demon from a dumb man.
- When the demon came out, the man started speaking.
- The crowds were amazed.
- However, some people accused Jesus of using the power of Beelzebul.
- Others asked for a sign from heaven to test Him.
- Jesus knew their thoughts and told them a house divided against itself will fall.
- He said Satan cannot be divided against himself for his kingdom will fall.
- Jesus asked them by whom their followers would drive out demons if He drove out demons by Beelzebul.
- Jesus talked about a strong man guarding his house and his possessions would be save until a stronger man overpowers his guard and takes away his possessions.
- He said that whoever was not with Him was against Him.
The Christians should not give Satan a chance to reoccupy their hearts but allow the Holy Spirit to permanently guide them.
(c) The sign of Jonah Luke: 11:29 – 32
The sign of Jonah and queen of Sheba illustrates that pagans were able to recognize God’s presence unlike the Jews who have rejected Jesus and fail to see God’s saving power in him.
If the Jews refuse to listen to Jesus who is greater than Jonah and the Queen of Sheba, God will reject them and the Gentiles will receive God’s salvation.
(d) The light of the body (Luke 11:33 – 36)
Jesus used the parable of the lamp and lamp stand to show that He is the light that God offers to His people.
To refuse the light by seeking for a sign is to prefer darkness. His message is seen as the light to shine to others.
From the above incident Christians learn that:
- Jesus has power to drive out demons. His power is stronger than that of Beelzebul, the chief of demons.
- God’s power is greater than Satan’s.
- When a demon possessed person is healed he/she should be filled with the Holy Spirit to avoid repossession.
- Christians should be light of the world by being good role models.
- Christians should proclaim the Good news to others.
- Christians should trust in Jesus as their savior.
Luke 11:37 – 12:1-12
- Fearless confession without Hypocrisy.
- Means being insincere, dishonest or pretending.
- It is pretending to be good and displaying oneself to be perfect.
- Refers to an act of a person admitting that they have done wrong or committed a mistake and then asking to be forgiveness.
- It also means to acknowledge one’s sins and guilt in the light of God’s revelation and to seek forgiveness.
- Refers to a state of being sincere, trustworthy and upright.
- An honest person is fair and just in character and behavior. Such a person tells the truth.
- God expects us to be honest in our dealings with people.
- He also expects us to confess our sins and be sincere in everything we do.
Luke 11:37 – 54, 12:1 – 3
- Jesus was invited to a Pharisees home to eat with him.
- The Pharisees noticed that he ate without washing his hands.
- Jesus used this incident to teach the disciples on the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
- The washing of hands, cups and dishes was done ceremoniously.
- Jesus responded by informing them that it was more important to pay attention to issues of charity than external appearances/emphasized outward cleanliness as opposed to purity of heart.
- Jesus criticized the Pharisees on their tithing habits. They paid one tenth of seasoning herbs such as mint and rue which was meant to support the work of the priests and Levites but they neglected justice and the love of God. Jesus made it clear that practicing religious rituals without right would never lead to salvation.
- The Pharisees loved the reserved seat in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in market places. They desired to be noticed as righteous people.
- Jesus criticized the teachers of the Law/scribes.
- They were experts in the Mosaic Law and had all the information on what a person was expected to do and what they were not allowed to do. But they failed in their primary duty of making the people to understand the true interpretation of the Law of God.
- Jesus accused the teachers of the Law of behaving like their ancestors who persecuted and killed the prophets; likewise Jesus anticipated His own Martyrdom
- They over burden the people with strict observance of the laws and traditions.
- They persecuted and killed the prophets and messengers.
- They misinterpreted the Mosaic Law and; therefore denied the fine knowledge of the will of God.
- They lacked humility and despised others.
- They knew the commandments but didn’t apply them appropriately.
- They followed Jesus with an intention of trapping him.
- They followed traditions of elders as opposed to the golden rule/love of God and neighbor.
- They misled others.
Luke 12:8 - 12
- After addressing the Pharisees, Jesus taught His disciples the following on fearless confession:
- They should not practice hypocrisy.
- They should fearlessly be loyal to God in spite of the consequences.
- They should not say anything evil against the Holy Spirit.
- They should rely on the Holy Spirit in times of persecution.
- They should confess their loyalty to Jesus publicly without fearing the consequences.
- They should display a high degree of honesty.
- They should obey God.
JESUS’ TEACHINGS ON MATERIAL POSSESSIONS, WATCHFULNESS AND READINESS
(a) Material possessions:
Luke 12:13 – 34
- Jesus taught the correct attitude towards material possessions.He demonstrated by telling the parable of the Rich Fool.
- The Rich Man had harvested a good crop from his land.
- He realized that his barns/stores were not big enough to take in the entire harvested crop.
- He decided to pull down the old barns so that he could build bigger ones.
- He would then store the crop in the new barns and was aware that it would take care of him for a long time.
- He would then tell himself, “take life easy eat, drink and enjoy yourself.” vs. 19 (b).
- Unfortunately he did not live to enjoy his wealth because the same night God told him “you fool! This very night you will give up your life then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself?” (V. 20)
- The disciples should not put their trust in material wealth but in God who controls their lives.
- The disciples should not worry about food, clothing or what they will drink but trust in God’s providence.They should seek the Kingdom of God first before their personal needs.
- The disciples should seek God’s kingdom for them to be rewarded in heaven.
- Greed for material possession can lead people to forget about God’s care and providence for them.
- The rich should use their wealth to serve and glorify God.
- Material possession is temporal and cannot give eternal life. They give false sense of security.
- To be watchful is to be alert, attentive and on the look-out.
- Readiness implies a state of preparedness, eagerness and willingness.
- Jesus taught His disciples on watchful and readiness by using the following illustrations:
- They should be ready for the second coming of Christ, which will be unexpected.
- When Jesus Christ returns he will be gratified and will reward the vigilant servants.
In this parable Jesus explains that:
- The disciples should be wise and faithful stewards during their master’s absence.
- The faithful servants will be promoted to higher status when their master returns.
- The unfaithful servants will be punished.
- The disciples should be watchful for signs of the Kingdom which were present in the person of Jesus.
- They should make personal decisions to follow Jesus.
- The coming of Jesus brought unity and division. It distinguished faith from doubt. It may have caused divisions among members of the same family.
- The disciples were cautioned to work out for division that would arise as a result of their loyalty to Jesus.
- A watchful person will do his best to settle disputes with the other person before getting to court.
- This means a person should make peace with God before the Day of Judgment.
- Therefore the coming of Jesus demands that each person makes a personal decision either to follow or not to follow His teachings.
- They should follow God’s commandments and the teachings of Jesus/they should accept Jesus as Lord and savior.
- They should accept suffering on account of their faith in Jesus Christ.
- They should confess their sins and seek forgiveness.
- They should act responsibly and be ready for the second coming of Jesus by providing service to God and other people.
- They should be committed followers of Jesus by accepting his Baptism.
- They should continue with preaching the gospel to those who have not heard it.
- They should be able to identify God’s presence among Christians.