Read Luke Chapter 9
Who do the people say that I am, who do you say I am? What is the cost and manner of service for the Lord Jesus? These questions are broached in this chapter. We get a glimpse of how the work will look and although Jesus is actually present with them there, the reality should look no different to us now, since Jesus is with us and in us by His Spirit. He gave them authority and sent them out. Likewise it is with the great commission which sends us out and serves as our authority to go. The emphasis in ministry will be that we are not to supply our own resources, as that will be supplied as we go; we must learn to rely upon Him only and not upon our own resources alone.
Luke 9:3 “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.”
The question is raised by the King and by the people about who this man Jesus is. Herod himself was so perplexed and curious he wondered if John the Baptist had returned from the dead.
After the 12 came back from their mission trip they were talking about all that had happened and Jesus attempted to draw them aside for a rest. Resting after ministry is vital to avoid burnout. Alas, it was not to be since the crowds had found them again and it became that they were hungry. Jesus shows here that even at the end of your own resources, He can provide a way to get the job done. After miraculously feeding them Jesus asked what the people were saying about Him:
Luke 9:19 “They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.””
When asked what they thought, Peter replies that Jesus is the Christ of God. The disciples know who He is. Now they understand this, Jesus starts to let them in on His ultimate plan for His earthly ministry, to be lifted up, that is to be crucified. Although they still don’t fully grasp, they do kind of get it so Jesus then makes it very clear what the cost of following Him will be like.
As if this wasn’t clear enough, God Himself speaks to Peter, James and John on the mount of transfiguration in the presence of Moses, Elijah and Jesus in all His glory, saying:
Luke 9:35 “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”
After a lesson in humility, being willing to do low work (9:46-48); a lesson in sectarianism, respecting others who do the work, but not quite like you do (9:49-50); a lesson in how not to respond to rejection (9:51-56); Jesus again shows them the reality and cost of following Him. Are you willing to pay the price and follow under these conditions?