Luke 9 is a chapter of contrasts. The disciples are to take no material thing with them when they go to preach the kingdom and heal the sick, but they are to feed the five thousand with five loaves and two fish. God is teaching them that material provision is easy for Him! We can trust God to take of us, when we are about His business! When we are about our own business, well, I don’t know. So let us every day be about His business!
Another contrast is charging the recipients of the miracles to say nothing about what He had done, but then Herod the King hearing so much about Jesus that he sought to see Him. Herod did not succeed, by the way. Jesus did not give an audience or give place to those the world calls “Great.” But He associated with fishermen, tax collectors, and sinners.
When Jesus was teaching about giving at the sermon on the mount, He instructed us that when we give, we are to be so tight- lipped about it, that our right hand is not even to let our left hand know what it is doing (Mat 6:3-4). The charge to be silent about the good things that one has done, to refuse the praise or even curiosity of those the world calls “great” is a guard against pride. Even Jesus had to guard against it. The more we talk about how great we are, the greater the chance pride is going to get its claws into our heart and then we are totally off track and don’t even know it.
But then, immediately after these things, Jesus was transfigured, and all His glory was seen by His disciples. The difference is, who was exalting Him (and by implication who is exalting us)? Us, the world, or God? We should be careful, as disciples upon whom the last days have come, and upon whom the greatness of God will be revealed, to refuse the exaltation of our own hearts, our own mouths, or of others. But we should seek to be exalted by God alone.
When a dispute arose among the disciples about who was the greatest, Jesus put a child among them and said that he who is least is the greatest. May we never, LORD, let these things leave our hearts and minds. Respect the very least because they are great in God’s eyes, and may we not seek either greatness or glory. And God will take care of us!
How do we know that Jihad, Crusades, and burning at the stake is not from the Spirit of God? Because the Spirit that seeks to save men’s lives is the Spirit of God, but the spirit who seeks to destroy men’s lives is not the Spirit of God. The day of God’s wrath is coming. But it is not yet!
While the door to heaven is standing open (Rev 4:1), and while the call is out in the world for all who will to come to Jesus, God is seeking to save men’s lives, not destroy them. The spirit of the enemy seeks to destroy men’s lives when men do not conform to man’s religion, rules, or prophets. But that is not God’s Spirit.