Text: Luke 9:51-62 and Luke 10:1-24
Event(s): A Samaritan village rejects Jesus, The cost of discipleship, The seventy are sent out and return, Jesus rejoices in the Spirit
Luke 9:51 “the time had come for Him to be received up” There are still a few months before Jesus’ final week and the crucifixion, but this passage provides a notable shift in the Gospel of Luke. We are starting to turn the corner here as Jesus begins moving towards His final visit to Jerusalem before the Cross.
Luke 9:57-62 In these verses we have three examples of people whose intentions were to follow Jesus, but they were held back for various reasons. The first was held back by material obstacles. Jesus wasn’t rebuking him, but He was clarifying for him what it would cost to follow Him. The way this is written implies the man decided it was too inconvenient to let go of his usual comforts. The second was held back by relational, or parental responsibilities. His parents had not died yet. What he was in essence saying was, “I want to follow you, Jesus. But first let me wait until my parents are no longer living because then my obligations to them will be fulfilled.” The last, I believe, represents divided devotion or attention. In the end, our intentions do not determine our destination, but our actions do.
Luke 10:19 “authority to trample on serpents and scorpions” Both of these are symbols of spiritual enemies and demonic powers. The serpent represents that which attempts to sneak in, unnoticed; that which is calculated and conniving. The scorpion represents that which strikes immediately; the sudden attacks. We have authority over both.
Luke 10:20 “but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” While spiritual warfare is a very real thing, we must guard against letting anything becoming a greater focus than God.
“I can’t afford to live in reaction to darkness. If I do, darkness has had a role in setting the agenda for my life. The devil is not worthy of such influence, even in the negative. Jesus lived in response to the Father. I must learn to do the same.” -Bill Johnson
Luke 10:18 “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” When we evoke the name of Jesus and do the works we have been given authority and power to do, we destroy the works of the evil one. Darkness is pushed back, the light begins to break forth and the works of the evil one fall, trampled under our feet. I also believe there is a second meaning we can draw from this passage – a warning, really to not let pride fill our hearts. It was a reminder that Satan was the worship leader in heaven until pride filled his heart. We must make sure that nothing – nothing even successful ministry – becomes more important than our relationship with Jesus.
Today’s Takeaway: I want to focus on the cost of discipleship today. As I think back on my walk with God up to this point, I can think of several things that following Jesus has cost me. Several. However, I can honestly say that for everything I have given up, God has enriched my life with so much more. But had I not been willing to let go of what was in my hand, I would not have been able to lay hold of what He had for me. A good question to ask ourselves is, Is there anything we’re holding on to too tightly that could prevent us from what God has in store?
Additional (optional) reading: Most of the events in today’s passage are unique to the Gospel of Luke. However, a parallel account of when Jesus spoke about the cost of discipleship can be found in Matthew 8:18-22