Thesis:Jesus' extension of His task to "The Twelve" marked a major turning point for them.
Introduction:This morning we are to begin a study of chapter nine of Luke's record of Jesus' words and works. The chapter opens by telling us that Jesus called "The Twelve" together to give them "power" and "authority". This marks a significant step forward in their progress as men of God. For the children of God to become what God intends them to be as sons of God, there must be a movement away from passive participation to active participation. Growth into the maturity of adult sons is a three-steps-forward-two-steps-back kind of reality in any case, but "settling into" passive participation is actually a two-steps-forward-three-steps-back kind of reality. So, in Luke nine we see Jesus taking the next step in regard to The Twelve: they are going to become active sharers in His work. Up to this point, they have been involved observers; after this point, they are going to be active generators of observation.
What we are seeing at the beginning of chapter nine is a demonstration of the divine method of "Life". So, we are going to look, as observers, and see if what we see will move us beyond "observation".
I. Jesus' Summons of "The Twelve".
A. In the larger picture, this is another example of the truth that Paul declared to Timothy in 2 Timothy2:20-21.
1. That text presents the "human" side of the "selection" process.
2. That text does nothing to contradict the revelation of Luke 6:13-16 of the "divine side".
a. In this Lukan text, it is clear that Jesus "selected" twelve "out of" those who were His "disciples" after an entire night of prayer.
b. In 1 Timothy 1:12 Paul pointedly declared that God put him into the ministry because He "counted me faithful".
c. The reality is this: when God extends grace to a person, that person's response becomes the basis for whether God will extend more, or not (God initiates but then responds according to the response He gets).
3. That text reveals "why" there are groups within groups within groups when it comes to people and their relationship with God.
a. Of all of the people of Israel in the days of Jesus' ministry, only some responded to Him so as to become disciples.
b. Of all of those who became disciples, only some responded to Him so that He made them apostles.
c. Of those whom He made apostles, Peter, John, and James were clearly given greater privileges: this can only mean that He saw in them the responses He was seeking.
B. In this Lukan record, Jesus summons "The Twelve" because they are those who make up the "group" by whom He intends to extend the evidence of His identity.
1 . The verb translated "called ... together" is used by Luke seven of the eight times it is used in the New Testament.
2. It signals a summons of a group because of the nature of that group in light of the reason for the summons.
3. This indicates a significant "new development".
a. Jesus has accomplished the initial part of His task: preparing officialrepresentatives to "go" and "do" what He commands them.
b. Now He "calls them together" to receive from Him what will be necessary for them to actually do what He wanted for them to do from the beginning.
II. Jesus' Intention for "The Twelve".
A. The task was always viewed in the same terms as those of Adam's original commission in regard to the Garden of Eden.
1. God's placement of Adam in the Garden was done in view of the non-Garden area and the larger plan to fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:28).
2. Jesus' summons of The Twelve was in view of the non-disciple content of the earth's population and the Plan to create the Kingdom of God on the earth.
a. It began with Israel and Jesus.
b. It moved from there to Israel and Jesus and The Twelve.
c. It moved from there to Israel and Jesus and The Twelve and The Seventy (Luke 10:1).
d. Eventually it moved beyond Israel, Jesus, The Twelve, and The Seventy (this is the record of Acts).
B. At this time and in this setting, The Twelve were Jesus' near focus in the light of His far focus.
III. Jesus' "Tools" For the Task.
A. There were only two basic obstacles to the task: demons and diseases.
1. Demons were considered then, and continue to be, the origins of false doctrine.
a. 1 Timothy 4:1.
b. Ephesians 6:12 and 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
c. Luke 7:33.
2. Diseases have always been the reason that the task could not be established at the physical level.
3. In the Garden there was a deadly tree and a deadly demon and the two brought all of the death that is in the world of every kind and scope.
B. Jesus gave The Twelve what they needed to reverse both.
1. Initially there would be a temporary reversal as a grace-initiated act that calls for response.
2. Over time the response/response/response reality would instigate a permanent reversal.
3. Both the temporary and permanent reversals required "power" and "authority".
a. The "power" issue is cumulative.
1) Jesus was introduced as The Ischuros.
2) Jesus exercised the kratos.
3) Jesus gave the ultimate result to The Twelve.
b. The "authority" issue is directive.
1) "Power" must be directed in order to be effective.
2) "Authority" is nothing more or less than "directed power".
c. The temporary reversal only became permanent when the evidence was embraced.
1) The temporary reversal was a grace-initiation.
2) Only if that grace was received by faith could the permanent reversal be set in place.
IV. The Question: Do Believers Today Have These Tools?
A. Believers then did not, so there is no reason to believe that they do now.
B. The "tools" were for the purpose of identifying the Object of "faith" and once that was done they were no longer needful.
C. Today, "faith" is everything: demons cannot override it and disease does not address it.