Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 5 Study # 1
January 24, 2010
Lincolnton, NC

<590> Thesis: Genuine discipleship has to include a definitive "break" with the old life. Introduction: For those who read the Bible with a jaundiced eye, looking for reasons to dismiss its content so that they may retain what they think is control over their own lives, Luke's opening statement in Luke 9:28-36 may well look like something for which they have been looking. At first blush, there does not seem to be anything particularly difficult in his words ... until we compare Matthew 17:1 and Mark 9:2 to what he wrote. Luke's record says that it was "about eight days" after He finished His words on discipleship that Jesus took three of His disciples upon a mountain where He was transformed before them. But both Matthew and Mark say that it was "after six days". There are five things that make this a bit of a problem. First, there is a universal awareness in humanity that "contradictions" in teaching indicate a lack of "Truth". Second, it was Jesus Who said that the Bible was accurate down to the "jots and tittles" (Matthew 5:18), affirming the universal awareness. Third, the content of Jesus' teaching just prior to this "problem" is enormously "problematic" to anyone who squirms under the weight of "self-denial", "daily cross-bearing", and the "active pursuit" of Jesus, making any excuse for "escape" seem very appealing (such as "a contradiction"). Fourth, the actual terms of Jesus' discipleship teaching eliminate everyone from being a disciple who is looking for a "reason" to reject it (so Luke's words do not really block "discipleship", they only seem to provide some form of self-justification). And, fifth, the real "problem" is the question of "why" Luke would, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, deliberately say "eight" when two others under the same inspiration would say "six". This morning I am going to see if I can explain what Luke was doing.