Luke 9:37-62 True Discipleship.
The Lord, with Peter, John, and James come down from the mountain to be greeted by a crowd, and in particular a man with an only son, demon possessed. Jesus’ disciples could not help the man. Jesus delivers a scathing rebuke for a generation “faithless and perverse.” (v. 41) They had no faith for the man’s only son. Jesus rebuked the spirit and the boy was healed (v. 42). But while the crowd marvelled, Jesus once again predicts His own death (vv. 43-45). We then get a better picture of the reason for Jesus’ rebuke. The disciples were in a dispute about who among them would be considered the greatest (v. 46). Receiving a child, humbling oneself-these would be the greatest (vv. 47-48). They were also guilty of sectarianism-critical of another of the Lord’s servants, but not one who was following them (v. 49). Jesus again rebukes them and says, “he who is not against us is on our side.” (v. 50). This continues to be a problem to this day.
They then continue on their journey to Jerusalem, but when a Samaritan village along the way does not want to receive Him, even James and John ask the Lord if they should do like Elijah and call down fire on them, as though this was somehow a parallel situation (Cf. II Kgs. 1:10-11). But Jesus didn’t need fire from heaven to prove He had been sent by the Father. He also came for a far different reason. “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (v. 56) Clearly Jesus had a group of disciples who had a long way to go in following the Lord. This series of events leads to a climax where Jesus tells His disciples what true discipleship is all about. They wanted to follow Him, but some were not really counting the cost. Such a journey would necessitate being deprived of many of the comforts of life. But following Jesus is a journey which does not allow one to be double minded, or to do so with reservations.