The Gospel of Luke – Week 24
Jesus Sends The Disciples Out, Then Feeds A Multitude
After spending several months teaching and training his disciples, after repeatedly demonstrating his power and authority, Jesus tells his disciples that they’re going to go and do what he was doing. He gives them the power (the ability) and the authority (the right) to heal people of illness and disease, and to free people from demonic oppression. This was their trial run, but Jesus commands them to do this in a particular way: with no supplies, no extra clothing, no food and water for the road. His instruction to them is essentially, “Just go with my authority and power and deliver the same message about God’s Kingdom breaking into the world!” From the outset, he is training them to do what he had been doing, and to do so by totally and completely trusting God along the way.
After their return, Jesus wants to give them time to rest and be quiet and debrief on their experiences, but the crowds continue to follow them. Rather than dismissing them, Jesus compassionately continues to teach and to heal and to love the people who needed him so desperately. In a familiar story, as the sun goes down, and the disciples are ready to just get some rest and eat a meal together, Jesus ends up feeding over 10,000 people with just 5 loaves of bread and two fish. In an astounding miraculous turn of events, by God the Father’s provision, Jesus shows the disciples, and all these people that dependence upon God is critical. The disciples learn a valuable lesson about coming to God with what little they have and asking in faith for God to do the impossible. This is a lesson that applies directly to us as we learn to follow Christ.