Thesis:The proclamation of the Gospel should be driven by a sure confidence in the God Who is behind the message.
Introduction:When we were looking into the large pictures of Chapters 7 and 8 of Luke's presentation, we saw that the issues of "Love" and "Faith" were his two big ticket themes. Though both of these large ticket items are enormously complex, both of them are fairly simply boiled down to their essence: "Love" sets the final good of others at the forefront of its agenda; and "Faith" expects the details of that Agenda to fall into place as time goes by.
As we move into Chapter 9, we find that Luke did not suddenly leave these issues in order to move on to something else. Instead, we find that Luke decided to press the issue of "Faith".
I. The Overall Issue is the Proclamation of the Message.
A. The proclamation of the Kingdom of God requires a legitimate foundation in demonstrated reality.
1. The "kingdom" is about the legitimate exercise of power.
2. The issue of "legitimacy" is rooted in the character of the Ultimate King.
3. The demonstrated reality is unveiled by Jesus' absolute authority over demons and diseases.
4. The apostles were given the ability to extend the demonstration.
B. The proclamation of the Kingdom of God consisted of the declaration of the immediacy of God's rule and the necessity of a human embrace of its implications.
1. The foremost human "issue" is the total absence of human qualification for participation and the imperative of "repentance" in the face of it.
2. The foremost divine "issue" is His immediate presence and its implications of "Love" and "Faith".
a. Those who preach these issues of the immediacy of God's rule cannot compromise them with their words and retain their integrity.
b. Those who preach these issues of the immediacy of God's rule are supposed to actually practice them also.
II. The Issue of Focus in Our Text is Jesus' Deliberate Intention to Develop the "Faith" of His Apostles.
A. It is the height of hypocrisy for men to loudly proclaim the Kingdom of God while actively denying the immediacy of the Love of God in His day-by-day rule of their lives by their own self-protective behavior.
B. For this cause, Jesus issued some challenging, abnormal, temporary, and deliberate demands.
1. The demands were challenging.
a. The demands consisted of two main particulars.
1) Make no provision for any anticipated need.
a) The basic demand: take nothing to meet the need that the view of "the road" sponsors in terms of "anticipated future needs".
i. This, obviously, does not include the things actually required to set out.
ii. But, just as obviously, this does include all of the things that all men typically figure will develop as needs along the way.
b) The particulars of the demand are given.
i. Do not anticipate the need for personal protection: no "staff".
ii. Do not anticipate any need: no "bag".
iii. Do not anticipate hunger: no "bread".
iv. Do not anticipate a failure to overlook an anticipated need: no "silver".
v. Do not anticipate the possibility of spending the nights out of doors: no "two tunic" provision.
2) Take no action to alter the provision God makes for every need.
a) The provision of the need for hospitality is a "given".
b) When the provision is made, do not "slight" it afterwards.
b. The demands fundamentally required "Faith" in the reality of the immediately present Ruler of the Universe and His "Love".
2. The demands were abnormal.
a. Luke 8:3 says that Jesus, Himself, did not do this in the form of His demands.
b. John 12:6 and 13:29 also say that it was not Jesus' own "norm" to do this.
c. Abnormal demands are required when abnormal attitudes exist.
1) Jesus had no lack of "Love" or "Faith".
2) The disciples had only begun their "Kingdom" lives and had very little of either "Love" or "Faith".
3. The demands were temporary.
a. Luke records that Jesus rescinded these demands at a later time (Luke 22:35-36).
b. The underlying requirements ("Love" and "Faith") cannot be rescinded, but the methodological requirements can be shifted and altered according to the need of the present.
1) There is a basic necessity that one learn that Jesus' provision will be "according to need".
2) Once the "learning" has occurred, the restraints can be lifted.
3) It is not "wrong" to make provision for "anticipated" realities aslongas the provision is simple wisdom (Proverbs 6:6-8) and not obsessive compulsion (fear is forbidden in all cases).
4) There are certain occasions of life's experience that are intended to establish certain truths and, once established, need not be repeated in every case.
5) The bottom line will always be the same: Is it "faith" or "fear" that is driving the decision?
4. The demands were deliberate.
a. The issue in every case of Jesus' "instruction" is "edification". Something needs to be poured into the soul/spirit of the hearer in a life-changing way so that one's way of looking at life is not the same afterward.
b. Disobedient refusal results in one of two things:
1) God may forsake His intention of teaching the truth so that everything attached to it is abandoned (both temporally and eternally).
2) God may return to the same issue over and over until His child "gets it".