Summary Luke 9:1-22
Jesus sent out his 12 disciples to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal, and so they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. And when the disciples returned, they told Jesus everything that they had done.
Jesus then took his disciples and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. The crowds followed him, and he welcomed them, and he spoke with them about the kingdom of God, and he cured those who needed healing. And then he ended up feeding five thousand men (plus women and children, I assume) with no more than five loaves of bread and two fish.
And then, when he was alone with his disciples, he asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered that Jesus was the Christ of God (the Anointed One, the Messiah). And then Jesus told them that he was going to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
The Gospel of Christ
Luke 9:23 ESV
“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’”
So, Jesus had now made known to his disciples, through Peter, that he is the Messiah that was to come. He is the promised seed of Abraham through whom all nations will be and are being blessed. Then he told them that he was going to suffer and be killed at the hands of the temple rulers, but that on the third day he would be raised. So, he was telling them the gospel.
Thus, his words that he said here are part of that gospel. For, not only did Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, have to lay down his life for us on that cross so that we could be delivered from our bondage to sin, and be given new lives in Christ, but we have to die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.
For, the gospel of our salvation isn’t just about what Jesus did in dying on a cross to take away our sins, but it is about what he did for us being applied to our lives, and it is about his gospel being lived out through our lives for his praise and glory, and for our good.
So, if we want to come after him, i.e., if we want to put our faith and trust in him to be our Lord and Savior, we need to understand that our salvation from sin means we deny self, and we die daily to sin and to self, and we follow Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant).
And Paul taught the same thing. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin but so we would now be slaves to God and to his righteousness. So, sin should no longer have mastery over our lives.
The truth that is taught in Christ Jesus is that we must forsake our old lives of living for sin and self, we must be changed in heart and mind of God, and we must put on our new lives in Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, and we must no longer live according to the flesh, but now we must walk according to the Spirit.
[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Jn 1:5-9]
Saving and Losing
Luke 9:24-25 ESV
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”
Faith in Jesus Christ is not some words that we said once, or some profession of faith, or just some verbal confession of Christ as Lord. For, the faith to believe in Jesus originates with Jesus and is perfected by Jesus, so it also submits to Jesus as Lord, and it surrenders to him, and walks in obedience to him.
Faith is also not something we do just in the past. It is not a one-time experience. Faith is divine persuasion, and it is present tense, and it is active, and it is proved genuine by what we do. Faith in action involves us daily dying to sin and to self and us walking in obedience to our Lord.
So, saving our lives, in this context, means we are holding on to our old lives of living for sin and self, and we are not dying to sin and walking in obedience to our Lord. It means we want to still be the ones in control over our own lives and thus we are not willing to relinquish control.
Thus, those who are not willing to deny self, and to die daily to sin and to self, and to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands, but who still want to live however they want, will lose their lives for eternity.
But if we willingly forfeit control of our lives to the Lord Jesus, and we die with him to sin daily, and we walk in obedience to his commands, as a matter of practice, for our Lord’s sake, we will save our lives for eternity, i.e., we will inherit eternal life with God, and we won’t die in our sins.
So, we have a choice. We can hold on to our own lives, and we can live them for sin and self and for whatever it is we want to do, or we can surrender our lives to Jesus Christ and do what he says to do with the lives we have been given. The first choice ends in death. The second, in life.
Whoever is Ashamed
Luke 9:23-26 ESV
“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
Now, there is a connection with what Jesus was saying here and with what he said previously, i.e., if we deny him, and if we refuse to die with him to sin and to follow him in obedience, we are ashamed of him and his words. We don’t want to be associated with him or with his gospel message.
For, if this is not the gospel that we are accepting, then we are believing a false gospel, and we are following a different Jesus than the one of the Scriptures. For the gospel that Jesus taught was that we must die to sin. We must share in the cup of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
And he taught that we must follow him in obedience, and that he is to be first place in our lives, and that he is to be owner-master of our lives, and that self is to no longer be on the throne of our lives. Only Jesus should be seated on that throne. He didn’t leave room for other lords in our lives.
Now, if we are denying self, and if daily we are dying to sin and to self, and if we are following our Lord in obedience, and if we are relinquishing our old lives to the Lord, and we are not holding on to control over our own lives, then we are not ashamed of our Lord or of his word.
But we need to understand here that if our lives do not reflect Jesus as Lord of our lives, and if his name is barely ever on our lips, and if we talk about everything but him with our friends and neighbors and on the internet and on social media, and if we are still the ones running our own lives, Jesus will indeed be ashamed of us when he returns. You can count on it!
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Lord, Move Me
An Original Work / October 16, 2011
Be my desire, my heart set on fire,
Lord, move me to worship You only, I pray.
Fill with Your Spirit, my heart overflow.
Lord, may I long for You; Your word to know.
Teach me to walk with You, Lord, in Your power,
And may I serve You, Lord, right now in this hour.
Lord, how I want to obey You forever.
Help me to hear You, Lord, so I will not stray.
Teach me to love You; adore You always.
Envelope me, Lord, with Your grace today.
Meet me in my need, and show me Your mercy.
Forgive me for all things, as I humbly pray.
Counsel me, lead me, direct me, and guide me,
So I follow You, Lord, where’er You lead now.
I love to hear You speak Your words to me.
I am so grateful that You set me free.
Wash me, and cleanse me, and make me like You, Lord,
And I will live with You for eternity.