Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
August 16, 2009
1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
1901 ASV Translation:
1 And he called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
2 And he sent them forth to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staff, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats.
4 And into whatsoever house ye enter, there abide, and thence depart.
5 And as many as receive you not, when ye depart from that city, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
6 And they departed, and went throughout the villages, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.
- I. "Having Called The Twelve Together ...".
- A. The designation, "The Twelve", is only the second time Luke has done this (the first is 8:1). It is directly tied to 6:13 where the record tells us of the choice of "twelve" out of all who were His disciples. In that text we are told that He called these "twelve" by the term "apostles". Our current text (9:1-6) is the record of the first time He "sent them out" using the verb from which the word "apostle" is derived.
- B. The verb I have translated "having called ... together" is used by Luke seven of the eight times it is used in the New Testament. It signals a summons of a group because of the nature of that group in light of the reason for the summons. This indicates a significant "new development". Jesus has now accomplished the initial part of His task: preparing official representatives to "go" and "do" what He commands them.
- 1. The material from 6:12 through 8:56 is, on the basis of the "new development", the record of the preparation of The Twelve to be His official representatives.
- a. This material begins with Jesus' night-long prayer on the mountain prior to the selection and identification of The Twelve.
- b. Then He launches immediately into the "Sermon on the Mount" in which He sets forth the "Truth" of the Kingdom of God and declares that anyone who ignores it is going to be "ruined" and everyone who implements it will be preserved from the destruction that the storm attempts to accomplish.
- c. After that there is an extended section (all of chapter 7) wherein the two major issues of "implementing the Truth of the Kingdom" are exposed: "faith" (like that of the centurion, recorded at the beginning of the chapter) and "love" (like that of the 'sinner' who publicly worshipped Jesus, recorded at the end of the chapter).
- d. Then there is chapter 8 with its deliberate focus upon the preparation of The Twelve for their role as "Apostles", who must "believe" the contents of the parables and "believe in" the power of Jesus as demonstrated over demons (in the land of the Gerasenes) and over disease (in His return to Galilee). They will not be able to exercise His power and authority if they do not believe in it.
- 2. Thus, Luke's use of the verb "having called together" sets up his reader(s) to understand the "nature" of The Twelve in light of the "reason" for His summons. It is time for The Twelve to begin to exercise their identity.
- II. "He Gave to Them Power and Authority Over All of the Demons and to Heal Diseases ...".
- A. The "power" He gave was "ultimate": they were going to be able to actually accomplish all that He required of them. They were never going to "fail" to do what He commanded because of a lack of the "power" to do it. If they "failed", it would be by reason of a lack of "faith", not a lack of power.
- 1. The specifics for this power are given: exorcisms and healings.
- a. Luke is the majority user of the word "demons" (the AV says "devils"). It was used by him to indicate one of the major sources of opposition to Jesus (4:33 and 4:41). It was used in the culture to identify the source of false doctrine (7:33) as well as unusual acts of "ungodly" power (11:15). Jesus argued that "exorcisms" were significant evidence (11:20) and left those who witnessed them liable for the implications of the evidence (11:19).
- b. Jesus set the tone for the impact of exorcisms and healings in Luke 13:32. The two, combined, were the evidence.
- 2. The reasons for this power are unstated, but implicit: they are to officially represent Him in His identity as "the Mighty One" of John's announcement (Luke 3:16).
- B. The "authority" He gave them was comprehensive: they were going to be able to be His official representatives in His quest to make His identity known.
- 1. The fundamental argument for the identity of Jesus is His "might". This, when all is said and done, is the bottom line because no "Truth" stands without its support in "power". And no "power" is ultimately possible without "might". The Greek words here are deliberate. "Might" is a term that focuses upon the inherent and essential reality behind all ability. "Power" is a term that focuses upon the ultimate consequence of the exercise of "might". What is to be done is absolutely dependent upon whether the "doer" has the "power" to do accomplish it, and whether the "power" is there, or not, absolutely depends upon whether the "doer" has the inherent and essential "might" required.
- 2. As "apostles", The Twelve must legitimately demonstrate the "might" of the One Who sent them. This means that the "might" must be traceable to the Sender and not be mistakenly assumed to be of the "apostles". Peter and Paul clearly understood this in Luke's record of Acts 3:12 and 14:11 in context. The apostles were not quite as clear about this as is revealed in Luke 9:40.
- C. The question always arises: If He gave His apostles this power and authority, do His disciples still have these two items today?
- 1. He did not give these items to "disciples". Even in the days of Luke 9, Jesus did not indiscriminately give power and authority to "disciples".
- 2. The task is not the same today as it was then. Once the divine reason for an action is accomplished, there is no further need for the action. Jesus does not have to be crucified and raised multiple times in multiple generations in order for redemption to be accomplished, neither does His identity as "The Mighty One" need to be established in every generation. It only needs to be made known, not validated. God holds men accountable for what He has done in history and recorded in Scripture. If they do not believe, that is their liability (Note Luke 16:29-31).