Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXXII: Certifying Christ's Messiahship Via His Ministry Through His Servants' Weaknesses
(Luke 9:1-17)
  1. Introduction
    1. One of the surest ways for Christ to show Himself to be the Messiah was through making His servants truly effective in their ministries. Only a true Messiah would have a real Kingdom, and His Kingdom would have to be seen to be genuine as evidenced in the effectiveness of His Kingdom's servants.
    2. However, the means whereby Christ certifies Himself through His servants differs from what man would normally choose to use, and we who serve God must know and adapt to those means to be effective.
  2. Certifying Christ's Messiahship Via His Ministry Through His Servants' Weaknesses, Lk. 9:1-17.
    1. Luke's Gospel works to prove the credibility of Jesus as God's Messiah, Luke 1:4.
    2. Luke 9:1-9, 10-17 shows the credibility of Jesus as shown in the display of His kingdom's power through His servants in spite of their notable human resource lack as follows:
      1. Jesus equipped His servants, the twelve disciples, with the spiritual ability and authority necessary to perform miracles that backed up their announcements of the Messianic Kingdom, Luke 9:1-2.
      2. However, in equipping them this way, Jesus deliberately limited their human resources so that their effectiveness would be based upon their spiritual resources rather than their natural ones, Lk. 9:3-4
      3. When people either accepted or rejected their ministries, that response would thus reveal the spiritual welfare of the hearers: rejection of these disciples would indicate a preoccupation with carnal views of the kingdom to which the twelve did not appeal due to their human resource lacks where acceptance of them would show the people correctly were spiritually in tune with the message, Lk. 9:5 with 9:1-2.
      4. As a result of this ministry, enormous waves were made even to affecting Herod the tetrarch, 9:6-9.
      5. Additionally, as represented at the conclusion of this ministry, the spiritual power of Christ exerted in spite of the human limitations of the disciples is repeated in the feeding of the 5,000, Luke 9:10-17:
        1. After the twelve disciples returned to the Lord following their spiritual outreach ministries, they reported to Him all the things they had achieved, Luke 9:10a.
        2. Jesus responded to their report by taking the men away into a desert region where there was a notable lack of livelihood resources for people, and crowds of people followed, Luke 9:10b-11.
        3. He continued to preach and heal, doing what the twelve had done in the region until the day began to wear away and there arose a logistical need of throngs of hungry people needing food, 9:12a.
        4. Neglecting to operate by God's power and not man's resources, the disciples urged Jesus to send the throngs away to get food their own food, Luke 9:12b.
        5. Seizing the chance to emphasize the need of depending on His spiritual power, not human power or resources, Jesus urged the twelve to feed the throngs, Luke 9:13a.
        6. The twelve replied that they were unable to do so, for they had only five loaves and two fishes, 13b.
        7. Jesus then took their limited resources of loaves and fishes and miraculously multiplied them, letting the disciples feed the people beyond what would have been humanly impossible to do, Lk. 9:14-16.
        8. Proof of the divine power involved was the remainder of 12 baskets of food left over where there had originally been only enough in the five loaves and two fishes to put in a single basket, 9:13, 17.
Lesson: Jesus showed Himself to be the Messiah by demonstrating great SPIRITUAL power through His subjects, the twelve disciples, and that in the NOTABLE ABSENCE of HUMAN resources.

Application: (1) If we serve God, God's reputation depends upon our succeeding, so we need not fear being a FAILURE in such a service. (2) However, if we are NOT succeeding in our efforts, we are not serving HIM, but ourselves or another party. ( 3) If God is to receive glory through our service to Him, it will occur at the noticeable ABSENCE of OUR HUMAN resources, so we should not be surprised to see God often assign us to serve where we are short on the resouces of staves, scrip, money, loaves an d fishes. If God gets glory through miraculously using our meager resources by HIS power, expect to have such natural or human resource shortages en route to real achievement!