37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.” 41 “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
On verses 37-45: There are a number of important lessons we can learn from these verses. I look forward to sharing them with you at a Thrive service today.
Luke 9:46-48 (NIV) 46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all–he is the greatest.”
On verses 46-48: Back in Jesus’ day, children were seen by many as being insignificant and expendable, having the lowest status, and being considered “the least”. Thus when Jesus says that “whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me” (v48), he was doing a number of things:
1. Jesus was showing that to be great in God’s kingdom means to be a servant to others;
2. Jesus was showing that God has a special place in His heart for children and is concerned for their well-being. When we go out of our way to love and serve a child, God is personally blessed, just as we as parents appreciate it when others go out of their way to love and serve our children. So if you spend much of your time taking care of children, know that you have such an important calling. The way you take care of the children and serve them can be your personal worship unto Jesus.
3. Jesus was elevating the status and value of children in many people’s eyes, equating welcoming a child to welcoming him as the Messiah.
When Jesus says “and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me” (v48), Jesus was reaffirming that he is no ordinary human being but has been sent from God, and that God the Father is directly impacted by the way we treat Jesus.
Luke 9:49-50 (NIV) 49 “Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” 50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
On verses 49-50: Apparently John and others saw a man who wasn’t one of Jesus’ twelve disciples using Jesus’ name to drive out demons. John reports that they tried to stop him, but Jesus tells them not to, “for whoever is not against you is for you” (v50). What does that mean? It means that we need to be careful about who we as followers of Jesus call our “competition” and our “enemy”. Our competition and enemy are not others who believe in Jesus as the Messiah and who are doing the similar or complementary work to what we are doing, just in other places and at other times. Such people are on the same side as us, though perhaps they are carrying out their work elsewhere, at other times and in different ways. Our “competition” consists of those who are directly opposed to the message of Jesus Christ and who are trying to steer people in another direction to follow something or someone other than Jesus.
Lord Jesus, just as You have a heart to serve, protect, help and rescue children, may I have such a heart as well. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!