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The Scriptorium

In Perspective

Hear Him, remember? Luke 9.43-45

Luke 9 Part 2 (3)

Pray Psalm 55.9-15.
Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues,
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it on its walls;
Iniquity and trouble are also in the midst of it.
Destruction is in its midst;
Oppression and deceit do not depart from its streets.
For it is not an enemy who reproaches me;
Then I could bear it.
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me;
Then I could hide from him.
But it was you, a man my equal,
My companion and my acquaintance.
We took sweet counsel together,
And walked to the house of God in the throng.
Let death seize them;
Let them go down alive into hell,
For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.

Sing Psalm 55.9-15.
(Bread of Life: Break Thou the Bread of Life)
Let judgment fall, O Lord, let violence cease.
Daily they mock Your Word while sins increase.
You were for us betrayed; You bore our grief.
By You was judgment stayed for our relief.

Read Luke 9.28-45; meditate on verses 43-45.

1. How would you describe the mood of the people and the disciples?

2. What did Jesus remind them?

Some of them had just seen Jesus in His glory. All of them had witnessed yet another miracle by the One Who healed the sick, raised the dead, calmed the sea, cast out demons with a word, and was unstoppable in whatever He chose to do. They saw the people rejoicing and marveling at the majesty of God. They felt a holy momentum growing, and they must have been excited and pleased beyond their wildest dreams.

Everything was going to plan, as the disciples saw it, and victory after victory after miracle after miracle could only mean still greater things were to come.

Well, they were, but this hope needed to be kept in perspective. Before the triumph must come the suffering, as Jesus explained yet again (v. 44). I doubt that the disciples considered even for a moment that the word, “betrayed”, might have some application to them. They “did not understand” what Jesus was saying to them because their preconceived ideas were ruling their affections. They “were afraid to ask Him” about this saying, either for fear of looking stupid or of having their fond hopes shattered.

When Jesus speaks, and whatever Jesus speaks, we need to set aside our preconceived notions about what’s right or true, what we should be thinking or doing, or what we ever have or have not experienced as Christians. We need to “hear Him” and live from within His perspective on life, not ours.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
All were amazed. Everyone marveled and praised. Elation all around for miracles galore.

But instead of basking in the limelight, Jesus had hard words for His disciples.

Listen up! Let what I’m about to say “sink down into your ears”! (Lk. 9.44) Look at all these people praising Me. But please, make no mistake, I’m “about to be betrayed into the hands of men” (Lk. 9.44). And by the way, you are men, so it might be one of you! Take note.

Luke then takes pains to tell us exactly how clueless the disciples were:
1. They did not understand.
2. It was hidden from them.
3. They did not perceive.
4. They were afraid to ask for clarification. (Lk. 9.45)

They shouldn’t have been afraid, nor should we, to seek clarification and understanding for the words and commands of God. It saves a lot of confusion and may even save a life (Deut. 32.46, 47).

Jesus was about to experience something that, when given a choice, David chose not to do.

David had disobeyed God by numbering the people of Israel and Judah. But then “David’s heart condemned him…so David said to the LORD, ‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done…’” Then the word of the LORD came to Gad the prophet about how this sin was going to be resolved. God said, “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.” Here were his choices: 1. Seven years of famine for himself and his land. 2. The opportunity to flee from his pursuing enemies for three months. Or, 3. Three days of plague in the land. And David’s distressed response? “Please let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man” (2 Sam. 24.1-14). David preferred not.

Jesus didn’t get a choice. He would fall into the hands of men and of God. For us. And He wanted His disciples to be informed and warned about the future. The future that would make peace with God a possibility for anyone willing to accept the terms of the transaction. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Is. 53.4, 5).

Are we listening to what Jesus said?
Do we have a proper perspective on hope?
Are we willing to get clarification and guidance daily from His Word?

We must never be content to lack understanding about the whole truth of what living in the Kingdom of God is all about. Jesus wants His Word to sink down deep into our ears and hearts, so we can “live from within His perspective on life, not ours.” “Your word is truth” (Jn. 17.17). 

For reflection
1. What are some things that can keep us from hearing Jesus as He speaks to us in His Word?

2. What can you do to improve your ability to understand what Jesus is saying in His Word?

3. Whom will you encourage today in their walk with and work for the Lord – to hear and understand Him as you are seeking to do?

The apostles imagined for themselves pleasant and delightful conditions in the reign of Christ and thought that, as soon as he became known, he would receive the highest approval of everyone. It was unbelievable to them that the priests, scribes and leaders of the church would be against him. Therefore, this error having seized them, they did not admit anything that was contrary to it… John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on a Harmony of the Gospels 4

Pray Psalm 55.16-23.
Make a point to call upon the Lord in prayer three times today – morning, noon, and evening. Thank Him for His grace and for the peace you know in your soul. Pray that He will guard and protect you against all enemies and adversity, all who deny the Lord and despise His Word. Cast the burdens of your day upon the Lord, and give thanks that He will never fail you nor forsake you.

Sing Psalm 55.16-23.
(Bread of Life: Break Thou the Bread of Life)
Lord, I will call on You, answer and save!
Noon, morning, evening too, my voice I raise.
Grant me Your peace, O Lord; answer my foes!
All who reject God’s Word He overthrows.

Many assail, O Lord, many betray.
See how they draw their sword across my way.
Take up my burden, Lord; strengthen and bless!
Let judgment by Your Word their souls distress.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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