Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1
October 11, 2009
Lincolnton, NC

<566> Thesis: The plight of man is worse than his worst nightmare. Introduction: In our studies of Luke 9 I have been saying, over and over, that this chapter is about the question of whether people will "follow Jesus". The opening paragraph is the record of Jesus' first really serious challenge to the "faith" of "The Twelve". The second paragraph is the record of the core issue of "faith": Herod was a "tetrarch" whose fundamental identity was that of a man committed to being "in control". The third paragraph is the record of a very much "ramped up" challenge to the "faith" of "The Twelve". They came at Him as "Herods" and He met them with a demand that both He and they knew was "beyond them". Now we come to the fourth paragraph (9:18-27) and even the most superficial reading of it has the potential to make the hair on the back of one's neck stand up. As an extended statement, it is as blatant as anything we will ever read about what is really involved in "believing". It is not about going from village to town to city preaching the Kingdom without any visible means of self-provision, though, clearly, that was one of the details. It is not about giving in to Jesus on the issue of whether, and how, the needs of others will be met. What it is really about is whether one who professes to "believe" has actually come to grips with what "believing" means. This morning we are going to begin an extended consideration of Jesus' words to His "disciples" in view of Luke's preliminary comments.