Luke 9: 18And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?”
Jesus has, at this point, gone to prayer, trying to be as alone as possible with the large crowd nearby. The disciples are close by, too, and He has taken the opportunity to teach them. The disciples have been among the people and collected the leftover food. In doing so, we would think the disciples would continue talking, teaching, spreading the word, but Jesus wants them to learn to listen, and questions them accordingly. For us today, He wants us to listen, too. He wants us to learn to meet people at the level of their need; for, whatever the question may be, Jesus is our answer. Our task is to craft our message, His message, into the key that unlocks their salvation. But, people are not interested in how much we know, until they know how much we care. Listening is a critical tool we need to learn to use to accomplish that task.
1Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, 2and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.
Parable of the Sower
4When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: 5“The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. 6“Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7“Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. 8“Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
9His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant. 10And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND.
11“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12“Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. 13“Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. 14“The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
Parable of the Lamp
16“Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. 17“For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. 18“So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”
19And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. 20And it was reported to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.” 21But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
Jesus Stills the Sea
22Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. 23But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. 24They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. 25And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”
The Demoniac Cured
26Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. 28Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” 29For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. 30And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. 31They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.
32Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. 33And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
34When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and reported it in the city and out in the country. 35The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened. 36Those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well. 37And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat and returned. 38But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
Miracles of Healing
40And as Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him. 41And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house; 42for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him.
43And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, 44came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. 45And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” 46But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” 47When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
49While He was still speaking, someone came* from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” 50But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother. 52Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.” 53And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. 54He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!” 55And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. 56Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.
Ministry of the Twelve
1And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 2And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. 3And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. 4“Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. 5“And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
7Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was happening; and he was greatly perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, 8and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen again. 9Herod said, “I myself had John beheaded; but who is this man about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see Him.
10When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all that they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida. 11But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.
Five Thousand Fed
12Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.” 13But He said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.” 14(For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, “Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each.” 15They did so, and had them all sit down. 16Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people. 17And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full.
18And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” 19They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” 20And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” 21But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”
23And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25“For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27“But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
28Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. 30And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, 31who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. 33And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying. 34While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” 36And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
37On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. 38And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, 39and a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves. 40“I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.” 41And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42While he was still approaching, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, 44“Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.
The Test of Greatness
46An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. 47But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, 48and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”
49John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” 50But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”
51When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” And they went on to another village.
57As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” 61Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Proverbs 4: 10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.