November 22nd, 2006
Life is like a helicopter in autorotation. The end is coming up pretty rapidly and we’re going to crash into it unless we take firm and decisive action. There’s no room for compromise or doing things gently. Either you stay in your present trajectory and crash and die, or you completely abandon your present direction and firmly and boldly make a change. If you keep your present life and try to hold onto it, then you will lose everything. But if you give up your present life, then you can get true life. It’s an all or nothing proposition. You can’t have an each way bet, and you can’t take small low-risk steps.
Luke’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 9
9:1 He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over demons and the power to heal diseases. 9:2 He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 9:3 He said, “Take nothing for your journey: no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no spare coat. 9:4 Stay in whichever house you enter, until you leave the town. 9:5 When you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a warning to any people who refused to receive you.” 9:6 They left, and travelled through villages, preaching the Good News, and healing everywhere.
9:7 Herod the tetrarch heard of all that Jesus was doing and he was very disturbed, because some people were saying that John had come back from the dead, 9:8 and some were saying that Elijah had appeared, and others were saying that one of the old prophets had risen again. 9:9 Herod said, “I beheaded John, but who is this, about whom I hear such things?” He wanted to see him.
9:10 The apostles returned and told Jesus the things they had done. He took them and retreated to a town called Bethsaida. 9:11 But the crowd noticed them and followed him. He welcomed them, and spoke to them about the Kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. 9:12 Late in the day the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away, so that they can go to the nearby villages and farms to find somewhere to stay and get food, because we are here in a remote place.” 9:13 But he said, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 9:14 There were about five thousand men present. He said to his disciples, “Get them to sit in groups of about fifty each.” 9:15 They did so, getting them all to sit down. 9:16 He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven he blessed them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. 9:17 They ate until everyone was full. They gathered up twelve baskets of leftovers.
9:18 He was praying privately, and the disciples were with him. He asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 9:19 They answered, “‘John the Baptist,’ and others say, ‘Elijah,’ and others, that one of the old prophets has risen again.” 9:20 He asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 9:21 He warned them, and instructed them to tell this to no one, 9:22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, senior priests, and religious lawyers, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.”
9:23 He said to the crowd, “If you want to come after me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me. 9:24 If you want to save your life you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake you will save it. 9:25 How does it benefit you to gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit your own self? 9:26 If you are ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you, when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father and the holy angels. 9:27 I can guarantee that some people standing here will not taste death until they see the Kingdom of God.”
9:28 About eight days later he took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up a mountain to pray. 9:29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became white and dazzling. 9:30 Two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 9:31 appearing in glory. They spoke of his leaving, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
9:32 Peter and his companions were drowsy, but when they fully awoke they saw his glory, and the two men who stood with him. 9:33 As they were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, I’m glad that we’re here. We can make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah,” not knowing what he said.
9:34 While he was speaking, a cloud overshadowed them, and they were afraid as the cloud enveloped them. 9:35 A voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!” 9:36 When the voice ended, they found Jesus alone. They were silent, and at that time they told no one any of the things which they had seen.
9:37 The next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a crowd met him. 9:38 A man from the crowd called out, “Teacher, please look at my son, my only child. 9:39 An evil spirit seizes him, causing him to cry out, and it convulses him so that he foams, and it hardly ever leaves him, and it bruises him severely. 9:40 I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they couldn’t.” 9:41 Jesus answered, “Faithless and perverse generation, how long will I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 9:42 While he was coming, the demon threw the boy down and convulsed him violently. Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 9:43 They were all amazed at the majesty of God.
While all were amazed at the things which Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 9:44 “Listen carefully to what I am saying. The Son of Man will be handed over into the hands of people.” 9:45 They did not understand this saying. It was hidden from them, so they could not comprehend it, and they were afraid to ask him the meaning.
9:46 An argument sprang up amongst them about which of them was the greatest. 9:47 Jesus, reading their minds, placed a little child beside himself, 9:48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me. Whoever receives me receives him who sent me. Whoever is least among you all will be greatest.”
9:49 John said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we stopped him, because he doesn’t follow with us.” 9:50 Jesus said to him, “Don’t stop him, because someone who is not against us is for us.”
9:51 The time was coming for him to be taken up, and with determination her turned his face towards Jerusalem. 9:52 He sent messengers ahead to a village of the Samaritans to prepare for him. 9:53 They refused to receive him, because his destination was Jerusalem. 9:54 When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them, just as Elijah did?” 9:55 But he turned and rebuked them. 9:56 They went to another village.
9:57 As they were on the road, a man said to him, “I want to follow you wherever you go, Lord.” 9:58 Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 9:59 He said to another, “Follow me!” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 9:60 But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce the Kingdom of God.” 9:61 Another said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to say goodbye to my family.” 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one who looks back after putting his hand to the plow is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
Entry Filed under: Courage