Jesus begins this chapter with the end in mind.
He starts making the transition from him being the leader to the disciples taking over leadership roles.
“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
Luke 9:1-2 NIV
Keep in mind that these are “normal” people. They have left jobs of fishing and tax collections to become Christ followers.
With great power comes great responsibility. He must give them rules and make sure they will continue to obey the Lord.
“He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.””
Luke 9:3-5 NIV
He wanted them to remember where this power was coming from. If they took nothing with them, they would have to remain humble and trust God to provide their needs. He also wanted them to use their power for Kingdom work, not for personal gain.
Unfortunately, later in the chapter, after they have been going about healing people, casting out demons, and spreading the good news about God, they get a bit proud.
If you have read any of Proverbs, you know that God does not like the proud. In fact, the Bible says it is the opposite of wisdom.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Proverbs 11:2 NIV
Nevertheless, the disciples fall into this ever present temptation.
“And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.”
Luke 9:52-53 NIV
Remember early in this chapter when Jesus gave them explicit instructions on what to do if someone does not welcome them?
“If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
Luke 9:5 NIV
But they have forgotten to remain humble. Jesus could not have them acting this way.
“but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them.”
Luke 9:53-55 NIV
He was preparing to face torture to save people from Hell and his disciples were trying to send people there.
Aren’t we a bunch of unruly and self-centered children?
I’m so thankful that God is a loving Father.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV