THE GALILEAN MINISTRY
John the Baptist and Jesus Christ
a) The preaching of John the Baptist
- He told the people to repent and be baptized for forgiveness of their sins/ he asked people to prepare the way for the Lord.
- He told them to be faithful/ obedient to God and not to have pride in Abraham as their ancestor.
- He warned them of God’s punishment on sin.
- He encouraged the rich to share with the needy.
- He told the tax collectors not to steal/ be honest.
- He told the soldiers to be content with their wages/ stop greed.
- He told the soldiers to stop robbing/ accusing people falsely/ should be truthful.
- He told them that the Messiah who was to come after him was mightier/ he was unworthy to untie His sandals.
- The Messiah would baptize the people with fire and the Holy Spirit.
- The Messiah would separate the good from the evil/ the evil would be punished.
- He condemned Herod for his adulterous life/ marrying the brother’s wife.
The relevance of John’s teaching to a Christian’s daily life.
The teaching of John the Baptist is relevant to Christians in their lives in the following ways;
i. Christians should be fair and honest/just in their dealings with other people.
ii. Christians should avoid being hypocritical in their societies.
iii. Christians should know that God will judge us for our wrong doing.
iv. Christians should repent their sins sincerely, seek for forgiveness and be baptized.
v. Christians to make the world a better place to live in by avoiding corruption, immorality and hypocrisy at all levels in society.
Reasons why Christians find it hard to apply the teachings of John the Baptist
- They lack faith in God’s word.
- Division along tribal/ racial/ denominational lines affects unity among Christians.
- Clinging to the past/ inability to abandon the old/ previous life style.
- Negative attitude byb the rich towards the poor/ needy.
- The influence of the mass media/ moral decadence in the society.
- The emergence of cult leaders/ false prophets in the society/ lack of role models.
- Some Christians lead hypocritical life.
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
b) Luke 3:21 – 22
- All the people had been baptized by John.
- Jesus was also baptized.
- Jesus then started praying.
- The heaven opened.
- The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in a bodily form as a dove.
- Then a voice came from heaven.
- Then it said, “Thou art my beloved son with thee am well pleased.”
The significance of the voice from heaven
i. The voice from heaven was a confirmation to Jesus that he was God’s son and that God was with him and approved his mission.
ii. The voice affirmed that he was the promised Messiah and that people should follow him.
iii. The Holy Spirit descended from heaven and anointed Jesus for the Messianic work he was to do.
iv. The Holy Spirit would give him courage and guidance in what he was to do.
Reasons why Jesus was baptized
i. To identify himself with humanity.
ii. To recognize and confirm John’s mission.
iii. To introduce him to the public as the Messiah.
iv. To receive the Holy Spirit, who was necessary for His mission.
v. To be acknowledged by God as the chosen son who will save humankind.
vi. To demonstrate his mission of shouldering worldly sins.
vii. To demonstrate the Holy Trinity.
viii. Baptism through the Holy Spirit confirmed the divine origin of Jesus.
ix. Prepared Jesus for his mission.
Relevance of Baptism to Christians today
i. Though baptism one becomes a member of the church of Christ/body of Christ.
ii. Through baptism, one receives the Holy Spirit who acts as a counselor and guides the new convert into spiritual life.
iii. Baptism marks the death of the old self and the beginning of new life in Christ (death and resurrection of Jesus).
iv. Jesus was baptized and Christians should emulate him an identify with him.
v. One becomes a child of God.
vi. A Christian achieves complete forgiveness of sins because water is symbolic of cleansing/purifying.
vii. Prepares Christians for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
viii. Baptism is an example of the modern religious covenant between the Christian and God.
ix. Baptism is a symbol of forgiveness.
THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS
- Jesus was led to the wilderness where He stayed for forty days.
- He ate nothing and therefore felt hungry.
- The devil asked Him to command a stone to become bread if He was theson of God.
- Jesus told him that man can not live by bread alone.
- The devil took Jesus up and showed Him the Kingdoms of the world and asked Him to worship Him, so that he could give Him everything.
- Jesus told the devil that only God is to be worshipped/ served.
- The devil took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and asked him to throw Himself down for God would command angels to command him.
- Jesus told the devil that one should not tempt God.
Relevance of Jesus’ temptations to Christians today
i. Since Jesus was tempted, He fully understands your difficulties when we are tempted and is ready to help us.
ii. God does not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength. When we face temptations He provides us with a way out.
iii. Since Jesus was tempted, His followers should expect to be tested in their loyalty to Him. 1st Corinthians 10:13.
iv. Through temptations and trials, our faith to God is strengthened. 1st Peter 1:7
v. When we are tempted, we should turn to the Bible for guidance; Jesus quoted the scripture. It is important for Christians to know God’s word.
vi. We should seek the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enabled Jesus to conquer the devil.
vii. It is normal for the followers of Christ to be tempted.
viii. When faced with difficult times, refer to the scripture, pray and fast so as to get strength and guidance from God.
ix. We should be carefully not to engage in different forms of adultery and only worship the one true God.
x. We should not allow material possessions to lead us to sin.
xi. Christians should have total faith in and fully depend on God and not test Him e.g. when making personal requests.
xii. Christians learn that power and authority cannot lead one to the kingdom of God. They should not worship anyone else except God.
Lessons Christians learn from the temptations of Jesus
- They should be knowledgeable in scriptures/ biblical verses.
- They should resist the devil.
- They should have faith in God/ no temptation beyond their limit.
- They should worship God alone.
- They should not put God to test.
- They should desire to have the Holy Spirit.
- They should not misuse the power of the Holy Spirit.
- They should be content with what they have.
Problems faced by new converts in the church today
- They are sometimes not fully accepted/ integrated/ discriminated against.
- The older Christians may not serve as role models.
- They may not be involved in activities/ not given responsibilities.
- They may be tempted to backslide to previous lifestyles/ rejection by family/ friends.
- Older Christians may expect them to change faster than they can.
- Some experience problems of communication/ language barrier.
- They may lack Guidance and counseling/ Christian literature to strengthen their faith.
- In large churches, they get lost in the crowd/ not identified/ not recognized.
- The financial demands of the church may be too much for them.
- Lack of assistance/ concern when a new member is in need.
- Some get frustrated when their expectations are not met.
- They may be given duties they may not manage.
- They may be rebuked embarrassed in public when suspected to be in the wrong.
JESUS BEGINS HIS WORK IN GALILEE AND IS REJECTED IN NAZARETH.
Luke 4:14 – 30
- Jesus came to Nazareth where He had been brought up.
- He went to the synagogue as He usually did on the Sabbath day.
- He was given the book of Prophet Isaiah when He stood up to read.
- He opened the book/ found the place that was written about Him/ read it to the people.
- After reading, He closed the book, gave it to the attendant/ sat down.
- Everybody in the synagogue looked at Him.
- He told them that the scripture He had read was fulfilled in their hearing.
- All people were happy with what He had spoken.
- People wondered aloud saying,” Is this not Joseph’s son?”
- Jesus told them that they would ask Him to do in His own country things He had done in Capernaum/ He told them that a Prophet is not accepted in his own country.
- He told them that there were many widows in Israel during the time of Elijah but God sent the prophet to a widow in Zarephath/ God only healed Naaman the Syrian of leprosy during the time of Prophet Elisha.
- They were filled with anger/ wanted to throw Him headlong/ down the cliff.
- Jesus passed through their midst and went away.
Reasons why Jesus was rejected in Nazareth
i. He claimed that the prophesy of the Messiah by Isaiah was fulfilled in Him, the annointed one of God whom they had been longing for but the people of Nazareth expected a political Messiah.
ii. Jesus did not perform the kind of miracles He had performed in Capernaum in Nazareth i.e. healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, casting out demons from those possessed and raising the dead.
iii. The people expected Jesus to favour them over the other villages.
iv. He annoyed his listeners when He told them that their fore fathers had rejected God’s prophets by persecuting and killing them during Elijah’s time.
v. The people of Nazareth rejected Jesus for telling them that the Good News was first offered to Jews but they had rejected it so it would be made available to the Gentiles.
vi. They knew His background well/ that He was Joseph’s son and from an ordinary family though they had expected the Messiah to be a royalty.
vii. Jesus compared the Jews unfavorably with the Gentiles when He said that Elijah and Elisha performed miracles among the Gentiles. So they felt insulted when He unfavorably compared them to them.
viii. Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath law by healing on a Sabbath.
ix. Jesus was accused of blasphemy since He claimed to be God’s son and forgave sins.
JESUS HEALS IN CAPERNAUM
He made Capernaum the centre for preaching the Good News in Galilee.
While in Capernaum he performed the following miracles:
(i) Healed a man with an evil spirit.
- Jesus went to Caprnaum and on the Sabbath began to teach the people.
- People were amazed at His teaching because His message had authority.
- In the Synagogue, He met a man who had an unclean spirit.
- The man with an unclean spirit cried to Jesus wondering what Jesus of Nazareth had to do with him/ whatever he had done to destroy him.
- The demoniac testified that Jesus was the Holy One of God.
- Jesus ordered the evil spirit in the man to be quiet and come out of him.
- The demon threw the man down in front of those present and came out without hurting him.
- Those who witnessed this were all amazed.
- They exclaimed that with authority Jesus was able to command evil spirits and they obeyed Him.
- The news about Him spread throughout the sorrounding area.
(ii) Healed Simon’s mother in law
- Jesus went to Simon’s house. His mother-in-law was suffering from a fever and Jesus was asked to heal her.
- Jesus commanded the fever to leave her and she was immediately healed.
- In the evening, people suffering from various diseases and demon possession were brought to him. He healed and exorcised demons from them.
- They were impressed by Jesus’ authority and power and wanted to keep him in the area.
- Jesus made it clear that the Good News of God’s kingdom is meant for all people.
- He continued preaching in the synagogue at Galilee.
Lessons Christians learn about Jesus from His healing in Capernaum.
i. Jesus is God’s son. He is the Messiah promised by Isaiah.
ii. Jesus came to establish God’s kingdom and destroy Satan’s kingdom.
iii. Jesus has power over evil spirits/demons.
iv. Jesus has power to heal all sicknesses.
v. Jesus came to save human beings from the slavery of sin. Christians should turn to him for total healing.
vi. Jesus is merciful.
Lessons Christians learn from Jesus’ healing in Capernaum
- Christians should proclaim the Gospel to others.
- Christians should continue with the healing mission of Jesus through providing medical services/ training medical personnel.
- Christians should show mercy to others.
- Christians should use God’s power to rebuke Satan.
JESUS CALLS THE FIRST DISCIPLES
- A disciple means learner/follower. In the Bible it is used to refer to the learners who followed a particular master to learn about religious matters.
- The call of the first disciples took place in the shores of L. Gennesaret/ Sea of Tiberius/ Sea of Galilee.
- Jesus was standing on the shore when a large crowd gathered to hear the word.
- He got into a boat belonging to Simeon Peter, a fisherman.
- When he finished teaching, he asked Simeon to throw their net into the water again to catch some fish.
- Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John had been fishing the whole night and caught nothing.
- Peter obeyed and let down their nets again and caught such a large number of fish that the nets almost broke.
- Simeon Peter was moved by the miraculous catch of fish.
- He fell on his knees before Jesus and urged him, ‘Go away from me Lord! I am a sinful man!’ Luke vs. 8.
- Jesus told Simeon Peter that he would be catching men.
- This meant that he was going to be one of the disciples of Jesus and will be winning people to God’s kingdom.
- James and John too were amazed at the miraculous catch of fish.
- The three of them left everything and followed Jesus.
Lessons Christians learn from the call of the first disciples
- Christians should preach the Good News to others.
- Christians should respond to God’s call in obedience.
- Christians should acknowledge their sinful state and repent.
- Christians should work together as a team in the service of God.
- Christians should use the power of God to perform miracles.
- Christians should use their talents to serve God.
Reasons why Jesus faced opposition from the Pharasees in Galilee
Luke 5:12 – 6:11
- He touched a man with leprosy which was against the Jewish law.
- He forgave sins which the Pharisees knew only God could do/ healed the paralyzed man.
- Mixed/ ate with tax collectors who were known to be sinners.
- Jesus made it clear to them that He had come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.
- His disciples did not fast, like those of John the Baptist which annoyed the Pharisees.
- He challenged them to move from the old traditional order to the new one which He brought.
- The disciples of Jesus plucked and ate grains on the Sabbath day which was unlawful/ He healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath day.
Lessons Christians learn from the incident when Jesus faced opposition from the Pharisees in Galilee
i. Christians should not condemn those who are different from them.
ii. Christians should show love to all without discrimination. The Pharisees and the scribes condemned Jesus for eating with tax collectors while he was in Levi’s house.
iii. Church leaders should make rules that promote the development/growth of the church. The Pharisees and the scribes had made ordinary people slaves of the law.
iv. Christians should be ready to assist the needy regardless of the opposition they may face in the process.
Ways in which church leaders can respond to those who oppose their work
- Find out the causes/ reasons for the opposition.
- The church leaders should pray for/ with them.
- Explain to them the Gospel truth in a humble manner/ guide and counsel them.
- Seek reconciliation through a third party/ another person.
- Involve them in decision making/ church activities.
- Recognize their efforts in supporting the church matters.
- Visit them in their homes/ fellowship with them/ preaching to them.
- Assist them when in problems/ financially and materially.
- Send them messages of encouragement.
- Change their approach to issues/reform where necessary.
THE CHOOSING OF THE TWELVE DISCIPLES AND JESUS TEACHINGS ON TRUE DISCIPLESHIP
- The choosing of the twelve disciples
- Jesus prayed the whole night for God’s guidance and revelation before choosing the 12 disciples.
- He called his disciples and chose 12.
- They were to accompany him, teach his word and be witnesses to the Good news.
The 12 were:
(i) Simeon Peter (vii) Mathew
(ii) Andrew (viii) Thomas
(iii) James (ix) James son of Alpheus
(iv) John (x) Simon the Zealot
(v) Philip (xi) Judas son of James
(vi) Bartholomew (xii) Judas Iscariot
- The 12 disciples were to be witness to the house of Israel and to the rest of the world.
- Jesus Christ called the twelve disciples ‘Apostles’ meaning one who is sent. From the Greek word Apostolos meaning missionaries.
Reasons why Jesus chose the twelve disciples
i. To form an inner group of personal assistants and followers.
ii. They were to be his companions during his public ministry.
iii. They were to witness the Good News of his saving acts to the whole world.
iv. They were to help him with his work of salvation and teach his word.
v. Jesus wanted to reveal his person and give them a new understanding of his Messiahship.
vi. He was to train them to carry on his mission after his death.
vii. The choosing of the 12 symbolized the reconstruction of the 12 tribes of Israel.
viii. He chose the 12 disciples who came from all walks of life to represent the New Israel, /the church whose outlook would be universal.
ix. The choice of the twelve disciples was a continuation of God’s theme of election; aimed at restoring the broken relationship with humankind.
Lessons learned from the choosing of the twelve disciples
i. Christians must be willing to carry on with Jesus Christ’s work of spreading the Good News. They can do this through the ministries of preaching, healing and also community service.
ii. Christians should always remember to consult with God in their undertakings. This can be done through prayer, retreats and bible study.
iii. All Christians should witness for Christ.
iv. Christians should undertake training in various aspects of Christian ministry in order to carry out Jesus’ work effectively.
Ways in which the Church is preparing the youth for leadership roles in the society
- Providing them with education.
- Appointing them as teachers of Sunday school.
- Organizing seminars for the youth on leadership roles/ worship.
- Assisting them to be self employed.
- Encouraging them to use their talents in church.
- Providing them with guidance and counselling services.
- Being role models to them.
- Giving financial/ material support for their projects.
- Assigning them duties to be carried out under supervision.
- Accomodating the views of the youth.
JESUS TEACHING ON THE QUALITIES OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP
After Jesus Christ had selected the twelve, he taught them on the qualities of true discipleship during the sermon on the plain.
i. Perseverance in the face of persecution. True disciples experience persecution on account of Jesus 6:22, 26a. Those who endure this suffering will receive external life.
ii. Unwavering faith in Jesus/deeply rooted in the faith. True disciples had to have absolute faith. Jesus Christ warned them that they would be rejected by others but they were to trust in God to deliver them.
iii. Love for enemies. Luke 6:27-28, 35. The disciples were to love their enemies. 6:31. This became the golden rule of Jesus. This love is called ‘agape’ meaning sacrificial love. It is gracious, determined, active and spontaneous.
iv. Obedience to Jesus’ teaching. Disciples were expected to be obedient to the lordship of Christ.
v. Implementers of Jesus Christ’s teaching. Luke 6:43-45. The disciples were expected to “bear good fruit.”
vi. They were to be generous. Luke 6:30. The disciples were expected to be generous to all. Those who have are expected to share with those who don’t.
vii. They were to exercise self criticism. Luke 6:41 – 42, before judging others/should be fair when passing judgment to others.
viii. The disciples were to show compassion to others/mercy. Luke 6:36. The disciples were expected to be as merciful/as God since he is merciful to all people.
THE SERMON ON THE PLAIN
- After Jesus Christ chose his apostles, he came down the hill and stood on a level place. He gave a sermon to those present.
- The people had come to hear Jesus Christ’s word and to receive healing from their diseases and also for Jesus to exorcise unclean spirits from them.
- He addressed various issues concerning the New Community/ The New Israel.
- The sermon on the plain consisted of five main parts, giving a description of the life of the ‘new people’ of God, i.e.
i. Blessings and woes. 6:20 – 26
Also referred to as the Beatitudes
Jesus Christ had a message for;
- The poor, rich.
- Those that hunger.
- Those that are full.
- Those who weep.
- Those who laugh.
ii. Love of enemies. (6:27 – 36)
- The followers of Christ are expected to ‘love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who abuse you.’ (vs. 27 – 28)
- The disciples were to love people unconditionally.
iii. Judging others. (6:37 – 42)
- The disciples are expected to acknowledge their own shortcomings before condemning the faults of others.
iv. Evidence of Good Discipleship. (6:43-45)
- True discipleship is seen in what a person says and does e.g. been generous and forgiving others.
v. Hearing and doing. (6:46 – 49)
- Disciples are expected to demonstrate total commitment to Christ and do His will.
Lessons that Christians from the sermon on the plain
i. Christians should endure in suffering for Christ in order to inherit eternal kingdom.
ii. Christians should love their enemies so as to help them to change their attitude.
iii. Christians should examine their shortcomings before passing judgment on others.
iv. Christians should preach the gospel in order to bring others to Christ.
v. Church leaders should clarify the expected standards of behavior for their members.
vi. Christians should not retaliate but should forgive as a way of promoting peace in the society.
vii. Christians should be generous and share with the needy.
viii. Christians should promote peace (Luke 6:29), this means that Christians should resolve their differences peacefully.
Teachings of Jesus on the Sermon on the Plain on how human beings should relate to one another
- Human beings should love one another/ their enemies.
- They should practice sharing/help others/ be generous.
- They should be merciful to each other/ kind/ compassionate.
- They should not judge/ condemn others.
- They should forgive one another/ not revenge.
- Pray for those who wrong them.
- They should not discriminate against each other.
- They should be good to those who hate them.
JESUS WORKS OF COMPASSION
Works of compassion include the works of mercy for those in distress.
This chapter introduces Jesus’ ministry to the Gentiles.
Sinificance of the healing miracles of Jesus
- The miracles were a sign of the presence of the Kingdom of God in the person of Jesus.
- They demonstrated God’s love for human beings.
- They took away human pain/suffering.
- People believed in His healing power/ had faith in Him.
- The miracles showed that physical healing symbolized spiritual healing.
- They showed that the work of mercy must go on even on the Sabbath.
- They demonstrated defeat and destructionof the work of Satan.
- Jesus used the miracles to glorify God/ to show God’s power.
- He used them to show He was the son of God/ Messiah.
- They demonstrated the divinity of Jesus/ His divine nature.
- They fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies.
- They supplemented/ strengthened His teachings.
- They showed He had power over nature.
- They restored people to wholeness.
What the miracles of Jesus teach Christians about His mission and ministry
- They show Jesus’ compassion to those who are suffering.
- Miracles show Jesus as the Lord of life. He brings back to life those who have died/ He is the life and resurrection.
- They show Jesus as the son of God and the promised Messiah of the O.T.
- They affirm that Jesus came to save the world from sin/ Jesus is a universal saviour-saved both Jews and Gentiles.
- Miracles are a manifestation of God’s love and concern for His people through Jesus Christ.
- Miracles are an integral part of Jesus’ teaching/ they supplement His teachings and preaching of the Word.
- Miracles were performed as a response to the affirmation of faith on the part of those who are in need/ many who witnessed these miracles believed in Jesus.
- Through miracles of healing, Jesus has showed His concern for the total well-being of humankind.
(a) The healing of the centurion’s servant.
Luke 7:1 – 10
The miracle took place in Capernaum.
It involved a centurion whose servant was ill.
- The Centurion sent Jewish elders to request Jesus to come and heal the servant.
- The elders pleaded with Jesus to heal the servant, for the Centurion had built a synagogue for them.
- The Centurion believed that a word from Jesus would heal the servant.
- He felt he was not worthy to host Jesus in his house.
- Jesus marveled at the faith of the Centurion. Back home the servant was already healed.
- The faith of the Centurion healed his servant.
- Jesus in this miracle showed that his mission was for those who believed him regardless of where they came from.
Qualities of the Centurion whose servant Jesus healed
- Compassion/ love.
Lessons Christians learn from the healing of the Centurion’s servant
- Christian leaders should seek help from God.
- Christians should trust in God and Jesus always.
- Christians should humble themselves before Jesus despite their positions.
- Christians should serve all people equally without discrimination.
- Christians should support the spread of the word of God with their resources e.g. build churches.
- Christians should show mercy to the suffering
- Christians should Seek Jesus’ help in case of trouble.
- Christians should use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to heal the sick.
- Christians should provide charitable services to the needy.
- Christians should assist to provide medical services.
Lessons Christians learn about Jesus from the miracle
- Jesus was merciful in His mission.
- Jesus healed in response to faith.
- His mission is universal.
- Jesus is the Messiah/ Son of God.
- He has divine power to heal.
(b) The raising of the son of the widow of Nain
Luke 7:11 – 17
- Jesus went to the city of Nain accompanied by His disciples/ crowd.
- At the gate of the city, He met people carrying a dead man.
- The dead man was the only son of the widow.
- The mother/ widow was accompanied by a large crowd.
- Jesus felt pity for the widow/ told her not to weep.
- Jesus touched the bier in which the body lay.
- Jesus told the dead man to arise.
- The dead man sat up/ began to speak.
- Jesus gave the man to his mother.
- The people were filled with fear.
- The people glorified the Lord.
- Jesus’ fame spread in Judea/ in the surrounding region.
Lessons learnt about Jesus from the raising of the son of the widow
- Jesus has power over death. By raising the son of the widow, He demonstrated that he is the giver of life.
- Jesus is the giver of life and hence the resurrection.
- Jesus is a great prophet. He is the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament i.e. sent by God to His people.
- Jesus compassionate to empathizes with the suffering. He saw the widow weeping and pitied her.
- Jesus’ mission is for the weak and the suffering like the widows.
- Jesus is above ritual uncleanliness. He touched the bier of the dead son although by doing this, he broke the Jewish ceremonial laws.
- He is the Messiah as he performed a miracle.
- He came to spread the word of God as crowds followed to hear him.
- He is the Lord/son of God.
Lessons Christians learn from the healing
- Christians should show mercy/compassion to the suffering and help them to meet their needs.
- They should discard traditional cultural practices that may hinder them from true Christianity.
- They should perform miracles using Jesus’ power in them.
How Christians continue with the healing ministry of Jesus
- Praying for/ preaching to the sick.
- Laying hands on the sick/ anointing them.
- Providing guidance and counseling services.
- Constructing hospitals/ health centers/ rehabilitation centers.
- Providing preventive/ curative drugs/treating the sick.
- Paying for medical expenses for the sick.
- Producing/ disseminating literature on health issues/ electronic media on health issues.
- Preaching against evil/ causes of ailments that interfere with good health.
- Providing food/ clothing/ shelter to the needy.
- Visiting the sick.
- Training medical personnel.
- Educating the masses through seminars/ workshops.
(c) Assurance to john the Baptist
Luke 7:18 – 35
- John had been imprisoned by King Herod for rebuking the king for his immoral acts.
- John sent his disciples to find out if Jesus was the Messiah who he had foretold.
- Jesus told the disciples to report what they had seen and heard Jesus do i.e.
- restoring sight,
- The deaf hearing,
- The sick being healed,
- The Gospel being preached,
- lame walked, and
- Lepers cleansed.
- These were the prophetic signs for the Messianic age.
- In his preaching to the crowd, Jesus described John as:
- A man rejected by Jewish leader.
- A Nazarite.
- A messenger.
- A man living a simple life.
- A fore runner to the Messiah.
- The greatest of the O. T prophet.
- Those who confess to Christ in the new Kingdom are greater than John.
- Jesus hit at the Pharisees for not recognizing Him and John. They refused to listen to the Good News about the Kingdom brought by the two.
Lessons Christians learn from the incident
i. Christians should have sincere trust in Jesus.
ii. Christians should spread the Gospel even if people are opposed to them.
iii. Christians should read the signs of the kingdom for themselves and make judgment.
iv. Christians should struggle to get the Kingdom which is valuable than anything else.
v. Christians should explain the truth about Jesus to those who are weak in faith.
vi. Should acknowledge the works of God’s servants.
The aspects of John the baptist that Jesus praised
- Jesus praised John the Baptist’s unique strength and unshakable consistency.
- He praised John’s simple way of life and contrasted it with the luxury life of King Herod’s court.
- He described him as the greatest prophet.
- Jesus said that John was God’s own messenger.
- He described John as the one who ushered in the Kingdom of God/ forerunner.
- John the Baptist gave hope to sinners who he called to repentance unlike the Pharisees who condemned and judged them.
- Jesus said John is the greatest among all those born by women.
- Jesus said he who is least in the kingdom of God was greater than John.
(d) Forgiveness of the sinful woman
Luke 7:36 – 8:3
- Jesus had been invited by a Pharisee for dinner.
- While He was at the table a sinful woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment.
- She stood at Jesus’ feet weeping and wet His feet with her tears.
- She used her hair to wipe the feet of Jesus.
- She kissed the feet of Jesus.
- She then anointed the feet of Jesus with ointment.
- The Pharisee who had invited Jesus questioned in his heart whether Jesus was a prophet.
- Jesus knew the thoughts of Simon/ told him the parable of the creditor and debtors.
- Jesus asked Simon who of the two debtors would love the creditor more.
- Simon said the debtor with more debt would love the creditor more.
- He told Simon that the woman had shown much love because her many sins had been forgiven.
- Jesus then told the woman that her sins had been forgiven.
- The other guests began to question who Jesus was to have the power to forgive sin.
- Jesus told the woman that her faith had saved her.
- He told her to go in peace.
Reasons why Christians should ask for forgiveness from God
- To be at peace with God/ establish a relationship with God.
- To show obedience to the teachings of Jesus.
- To improve the relationship with others.
- It gives them confidence to serve God.
- To acknowledge their weakness/ a sign of humility.
- It shows their desire to lead a righteous life.
- It is a sign of appreciation of God’s mercy.
- It is a way of self reproach.
- It is a demonstration of their faith in God.
- So as to be forgiven by God.
Lessons Christians learn from the story
- Christians should seek Jesus for forgiveness.
- They should teach the Gospel to other
- Christians should not discriminate against others.
- They should not condemn those working for God.
- They should be tolerant with sinners.
- Christians should not bar others from seeking salvation.
- Christians should avoid hypocrisy and self righteousness.
- Christians should humble themselves before God when seeking forgiveness.
Note: Women were part of the ministry of Jesus.
Those who were part of the ministry of Jesus were;
Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susana were some of the women who accompanied and used their resources to support Jesus and His disciples in their ministry.
Jesus recognized their role in His ministry; He elevated the status of women in society contrary to traditional Jewish belief of their subordinate role.
Responsibilities of women in the church today
1. Teach Sunday school.
2. Preach as Pastors and Bishops.
3. Give tithes and offerings.
5. Act as ushers.
6. Clean the church/decorate the church.
7. Run hospitality services in church e.g. feeding pastors and fellow Christians.
8. Women take care of young children in church.
9. They contribute money/ clothes/ food to less fortunate, needy.
10. Run income generating projects for the church.
11. They organize guidance and counseling programmes in the church/ guide and counsel members.
12. They are leaders in the church/participate in choosing leaders.
JESUS TEACHES IN PARABLES
- A parable is a simple illustrative story that teaches a moral or spiritual lesson(s).
- Some parables are referred to as allegories meaning that they are more detailed and elaborate e.g. parable of the sower, the parable of the wheat and tares and the parable of the rich land owner.
- A parable can have one or several meanings.
Jesus used parables in his teachings for the following reasons:
- To attract listeners because the stories were enjoyable.
- It was a common teaching method at that time.
- To make his listeners think for themselves and make individual judgment/to enable listeners to think critically.
- To make it easy for the people to understand the complicated theme of the unseen kingdom.
- To avoid direct confrontations with the Pharisees, the scribes and the Sadducees.
- To isolate serious and keen listeners from the rest of the group.
- He was to keep His identity a secret until He finalizes His mission.
- To fulfill the O.T prophecies.
- This helped in shaping their altitudes to Jesus and in bringing them to a closer and a new relationship with him.
- The use of parables made the teachings of Jesus quite interesting. Jesus was a gifted teacher and story teller.
11. By using parables, those who heard would easily remember them and be able to refer to them.
12. Jesus used parables as a way of making them respond to the teachings.
The characteristics of Jesus’ Parables
- Parables are stories.
- They deal with familiar situations/ they are derived from familiarn situations.
- They are vivid/ short.
- They lead to a climax/ they start simple but leading to the main objective/ main point.
- They marshal comparisons/ puzzles/ proverbs.
- They present a parallel between spiritual reality and everyday happenings which is not immediately obvious/ they are told in relation to the kingdom of God.
- Sometimes are related to a surprise element/ sometimes they end unexpectedly.
- Some lack introduction.
- They are usually unexplained/ they need to be explained/ had hidden meaning.
- They are told with a distinct objective/ purpose.
- Allegorical elements are not excluded but not dominant.
Reasons why a Christian in Kenya today may find it difficult to understand the parables in Luke’s Gospel
- Kenyan culture is different from that of 1st Century Palestinee.g. Kenyans are not familiar with grape growing, use of wineskins and the four seasons.
- The original setting or meaning has not been preserved and thus Christians lack clues to their meaning.
- The parables often have to be explained and thus they loose their directness and immediate meaning.
- The circumstances in which these parables were told are different.
- The Kingdom of God to which many of them relate is difficult and a controversial subject.
- Many different meanings have been suggested; often these are allegorical and the alternatives are at times confusing.
- Not all situations Chritians we do know about the parables help them to understand and apply them e.g. the parable of the Patch and Wineskins designed to show that Judaism and Christianity could not be patched together. The connection is hard to see and one has to search for a compparable case in the Kenyan stuation.
- African story telling has social interpretation while parables of Jesus have spiritual truth.
- The parables often take up Jewish ideas, concepts and traditions which are not familiar to Chistians today e.g. the idea of Israel as a vineyard.
- Christians do not know what to do with the parables; should they just try to understand what they signified in the time of Jesus or in the early Church or try to see a message for themselves. The interpretation of the parables will depend on the individual understanding and position.
- Vernacular translations of the Bible such as vineyard to “shamba” or garden may help in understanding the parable but distorts the original meaning of the parable.
(a) The parable of the Sower
Luke 8:4 – 15
- Jesus told the parable of the Sower to a crowd who had come to listen to Him as He preached the gospel.
- He told them a story about a farmer that went to sow seeds. They fell on different soils as follows:
i. Along a path where they were trodden or eaten up by birds.
ii. On rocky ground where the plants dried up.
iii. Among thorny bushes, where the plant was choked up by thorns.
iv. On fertile soils, where the plant grew and yielded a hundred fold.
Jesus interpreted the parable in the following way:
- The seed is the word of God.
- The seeds along the path are those who have heard, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved.
- The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word receive it with joy, but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
- The ones that fall among thorns are those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares/ riches/ pleasures of life and their fruit does not mature.
- The ones in the good soil are those who on hearing the word, hold fast in an honest and good heart and bring forth fruith with patience.
Lessons Christians learn from the Parable:
- Christians should spread the word of God to others.
- Christians should avoid worldly pleasures that may hinder them from true Christianity.
- Christians should remain faithful to the word of God and blessings shall be given to them.
- The spreading of the word of God faces many obstacles which lead to lack of spiritual nourishment.
(b) The parable of a lamp under a bowl.
Luke 8:16 – 18
Jesus used a parable to illustrate the work of the disciples. The parable is as follows:
- No one can light a lamp and cover it with a bowl or hide it under a bed.
- Instead they should put it on a stand to illuminate a room.
- Jesus is the light.
- The disciples are those on whom the light shines upon.
- The parable illustrates the work of the disciples.
- The disciples had a duty to pass on what they had learnt from Jesus to other people and not to keep to themselves i.e. the disciples had to spread the word of God.
- They had to have steadfast conviction so that they preach God’s word to bear good fruit.
- Jesus cautioned the disciples that their mission involved “giving” in order to “receive” i.e. if they did not preach God’s word and bear fruit they would loose even the little measure of spiritual knowledge that had been given to them. Therefore, those who lack faith cannot accomplish anything.
- The disciples would be blessed if they succeeded in their mission, with more knowledge. That those who have faith in Jesus shall be added and shall receive grace in abundunce.
Lessons learnt from the parable
- Christians should strive to love the word of God.
- They should guide others to the light of the kingdom through the word of God; the truth will be revealed to the whole world.
c). Jesus’ true family
Luke 8:19 – 21
- Those opposed to his Messianic title wanted to use this occasion to ridicule him.
- Jesus reaction shows that true faith is spiritual not earthly.
- His family covers all people and not blood relatives.
- Jesus family comprises those who hear and act on his word.
- Christians form a family whose kingdom of God and Jesus is the head.
THE MIGHTY WORKS OF JESUS
- The works of Jesus are called miracle.
- They form an integral part of the Gospel story.
- Miracles are acts of power whose purpose is to establish the Kingdom of God.
- They are exraordinary events that seem to go against the laws of nature e.g. Virgin conception, raising of the widow’s son to life.
- These mighty works of Jesus reveal His person and Mission
The miracles of Jesus can be divided into four groups.
- Nature miracles – E.g, Calming of the storm, Luke 8:22-25
- Raising of the dead – E.g, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, Luke 8:46 – 56
- Healing miracles – E.g,The healing of the Centurion’s servant, Luke 7:1 – 10 and the cure of the paralytic Luke 5:17 – 41
- Exorcism/casting out of evil spirits – E.g,the healing of the Gerasene Demoniac, Luke 4:31 – 37
The calming of the storm
Luke 8:22 – 25
- Jesus got into a boat with his disciples.
- He told them that they should go to the other side of the lake and so they set out.
- As they sailed, Jesus fell asleep.
- A storm of wind came down on the lake.
- The boat was filled with water/ they were in danger.
- The disciples went and woke Jesus saying, “Master, master we are perishing.”
Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and the raging waters/ waves.
- The storm subsided/ ceased/ there was calm.
- Jesus asked the disciples where their faith was.
- The disciples were afraid/ they marveled.
- The disciples wondered who Jesus was that even the wind and water could obey Him.
Lessons learnt about Jesus from the miracle
- Jesus has power over nature.
- He came to destroy the evil forces against human beings
- Jesus was a human being i.e. He slept.
- Jesus demands faith from those who follow him.
- He is the Messiah who was to perform miracles.
Lessons Christians learn from the miracle
- Christians should stand firm in faith during trials.
- They should turn to Jesus for assistance when faced with difficult situations.
- Christians should rebuke evil forces in the name of Jesus.
- Christians should come to the rescue of the less fortunate in the society.
The healing of the Gerasene Demoniac
Luke 8:26 – 39
- Jesus and the disciples arrived at the land of the Gerasenes.
- They met a man who was demon possessed/ lived among the tombs.
- The man fell down/ told Jesus not to torment him.
- This is because Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit out of the man.
- Jesus asked the man his name.
- The man replied his name was legion which meant many demons.
- The demons in the man requested Jesus not to destroy them but to drive them into the pigs making them to drown into the lake.
- The herdsmen reported the incident in the town.
- The natives rquested Jesus to leave for they had fear of Him.
- The healed man asked to accompany Jesus but was told to go and witness to others of his salvation.
- He went into the city and proclaimed about the mighty works of Jesus.
Lessons learnt about Jesus from the miracle
- Jesus has power over Satan.
- Jesus came to destroy satanic forces in the world.
- Jesus mission was to bring glory to God.
- Jesus is concerned also with psychological welfare of human beings.
- He came to liberate the captives.
- He is the son of God and therefore the Messiah.
- His mission faced challenges and opposition.
Lessons Christians learn from the miracle.
- They should fight to liberate themselves from satanic forces.
- They should call on Jesus’ name as a tool against satanic forces.
- They should value human life because it is superior to that of other creatures.
- Christians should testify to others what the Lord has done for them.
- Christians should not be an obstacle to the spread of the Gospel.
The raising of Jairus’ daughter and the healing of the woman with the flow of Blood
Luke 8:40 – 55
(i) The raising of Jairus’ daughter.
- Jesus was requested by Jairus who was a leader of a synagogue, to go and heal his only daughter who was very sick (she was 12 years old).
- Jesus accepted Jairus’ humble request but word came that the girl was dead and therefore no need to bother Jesus.
- Jesus asked Jairus to have faith and told mourners not to wail because the girl was just asleep.
- Jesus together with Peter, John and James and the parents of the dead girl, and entered the house.
- Jesus held the girls hand and commanded her to rise up to which she responded.
- Jesus requested that she be given something to eat.
- The miracle was to remain a secret.
Lessons learnt about Jesus from the miracle
- Jesus mission was to uplift the lowly like women.
- Jesus is the Lord of life. He brings back to life those who have died. He is the Lord of resurrection and life.
- He has mercy/compassion to those suffering e.g. raising back to life.
- His mission as the Messiah was yet to be revealed to the public.
- He welcomes those with faith and responds to their needs.
- He came to discourage those Jewish traditions that could be a barrier to eternal life like touching a corpse.
Lessons Christians learn from the raising
- They should be hopeful for eternal life.
- Christians should have faith in Jesus’ work
- Christians should humble themselves before Jesus if they are to be rewarded.
- Christians should assist those who are suffering.
- They should turn to God in prayer during times of hardships. They should be patient to witness the mighty works of Jesus.
- They should be ready to be mocked and ridiculed as they serve the Lord.
(ii) The healing of the woman with the flow of blood
Luke 8:40 – 48
- As Jesus was on His way to Jairus’ house, a large crowd followed and pressed against Him.
- In the crowd was a woman who suffered from an incurable disease i.e. internal bleeding.
- She had bled for twelve years.
- She believed that just by touching the cloak of Jesus, she would be healed.
- She touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment and immediately the flow of blood ceased.
- Jesus asked who had touched Him.
- All denied while Peter said there was a great multitude pressing on Him.
- Jesus said that someone touched Him for He perceived power leaving him.
- The woman came forward trembling and fell before Jesus and testified how she had received healing.
- Jesus told her “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace.”
Lessons learnt about Jesus from this miracle
- Jesus has power to heal all diseases.
- He is a merciful Lord ready to aid the suffering.
- He heals in response to faith.
- The healing demonstrates God’s power in the person of Jesus.
- Jesus heals to restore people back to wholeness of life.
Lessons Christians learn from the miracle
- Christians should seek Jesus in times of trouble.
- Christians should testify about what Jesus has done for.
- Christians should show compassion to the sick by restoring their state.
- Christians should advocate for the rights of marginalized groups in society.
- Christians should continue with the healing mission of Christ.
- Christians should have practical faith in their lives.
Ways in which Jesus uplifted the status of women according to St. Lukes’s Gospel
- Jesus raised the only son of the widow of Nain from death.
- Jesus forgave the sinful woman in Simon the Pharisee’s house.
- He healed the women who accompanied Him of infirmities or cast out evil spirits.
- Jesus healed the woman who had been crippled on the Sabbath.
- He raised Jairus’ daughter from death.
- Jesus praised Mary for choosing to listen to the word of God while her sister Martha complained about work.
- Jesus told the women who accompanied Him to the crucifixion not to weep and it was women who were the first to receive the news of His resurrection.
- Jesus healed the woman who had the flow of blood for twelve years.
- Jesus commended the widow who gave all her offering in the temple.
- Jesus visited the family of Martha and Mary.
Ways in which Christians can eradicate cases of discrimination in the society
- Educate people on the evils against discrimination.
- Condemn those who practice discrimination.
- Living exemplary lives or being role models.
- Reporting cases of discrimination to the relevant authorities.
- Praying for the culprits to change.
- Providing equal job opportunities to both genders.
- Preaching love in the society.
- Supporting the government in enacting laws that promote equality.
- Rewarding marginalised groups that make a positive mark in the society.
Lessons that Christians learn from the mighty works of Jesus
- Jesus gives life/ has power over death/ thus Christians should have hope of life after death.
- Christians should have faith; faith is necessary for healing.
- Christians should approach/ seek God with humility.
- Christians should be persistent in making requests.
- God answers requests/ Christians should turn to God for their needs.
- Christians should be patient/ avoid desperation.
- Christians should be compassionate to those suffering.
- Christians should believe in Jesus’ power through touching.
- Christians should emulate Jesus’ humility as they do God’s work e.g. Jesus imposed silence as He raised Jairus’ daughter.
- Jesus gives hope to those who are hopeless and thus Christians should not be desperate.
- Christians should carry out their mission to all regardless of race, gender or status.
- Jesus knows the needs of people personally, therefore Christians should ask for them.
- Christians should exercise courage when seeking solutions to their problems.
JESUS AND THE TWELVE DISCIPLES
- Since the time they were chosen, the 12 disciples of Jesus went with them everywhere He went.
- They listened to His teachings and observed His mighty works.
- We shall look at how Jesus prepared his disciples for leadership. He wanted them to take up his mission of service after he left.
The commissioning of the twelve disciples
Luke 9:1 – 9
Jesus commissioned the disciples to do the following;
- To preach the gospel of the kingdom.
- To heal the sick.
- To cast out devils/demons.
- To cure diseases.
- To give hope to the hopeless.
With the growing opposition against him Jesus knew that he would soon depart from his disciples. He therefore wanted them to take up his mission. He sent them with a number of instructions.
Instructions that Jesus gave to his disciples during the great mission
- To take nothing for the journey i.e. staff, bag, money and not to have 2 tunics.
- To stay in homes where they were welcome and eat what they were given.
- To leave and shake off dust where they were not welcomed.
Lessons Christians learn from the commissioning of the twelve disciples
- Share in the mission of Jesus by availing the Gospel to all nations.
- Care for the sick.
- Provide for the upkeep of church leaders.
- Make pastoral visits to the homes of Christians for fellowship.
- Offer hospitality to the evangelists in their homes.
- Lead humble lives.
- Pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- Christians should be ready to face opposition in their work.
The relevance of the commissioning of the twelve disciples
- Disciples are supposed to have total trust in God/Must only rely on God for their provision.
- Jesus gives power and authority to his disciples to heal and cast out demons.
- The Kingdom of God entails total renewal of man’s body and soul.
- The work of the disciples is to spread the kingdom of God through the preaching of the gospel.
- Disciples must disassociate themselves from rebellious listeners.
- Disciples must have no fellowship with those who reject the Gospel.
- The disciple must treat the commission to preach the kingdom as a matter of urgency.
The work of Missionaries today
The work of missionaries today is:
- To preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
- To heal the sick.
- To win souls to the Kingdom of God.
- To take care of the needs of the needy e.g. orphans, widows, street children.
- To give hope through the word of God.
- To cast out demons.
- To counsel people on family life issues
- To provide moral guidance to the youth.
JESUS FEEDS THE FIVE THOUSAND
Luke 9:10 – 17
- This was a nature miracle
- After the return of the 12 disciples from their mission, Jesus took them to a quiet place in the town of Bethsaida.
- A crowd of about 5,000 people followed him to whom he preached about the kingdom of God.
- The disciples requested Jesus to release the people to look for food.
- Jesus told the disciples to give the people something to eat.
- The disciples were in a dilemma because they did not have enough food to feed the people.
- Jesus told the disciples to organize the people into groups of fifty.
- He took five loaves, two fish, prayed for it, broke them and asked the disciples to distribute to the people.
- The crowd ate to its fill and left remains that filled 12 baskets.
Lessons learnt about Jesus from the feeding of the 5,000.
- Jesus is the Messiah offering the messianic banquet prophesied by prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 25:6).
- Jesus is the bread of life.
- Jesus has divine power.
- Jesus provides for both physical and spiritual needs of people.
- Jesus has power over nature (multiplied loafs enough to feed 5,000 people)
- Jesus had faith in God’s providence.
- Jesus had compassion for the needy.
- Jesus prayer (Luke 9:16) points to spiritual feeding of the church in the celebration of the Eucharist (Last supper Luke 14:22 – 25).
Lessons Christians learn from the feeding of 5,000
- Christians should be willing to share what they have with others e.g. food, clothing, shelter, education, medicine.
- Christians should not run away from problems but should be ready to face challenges as they occur.
- Christians should always pray to God before doing anything e.g. before eating.
- Christians should preach the gospel to others.
- Christians Should not be wasteful in the use of their food and other resources i.e. Jesus asked the left-over to be collected.
- Christians should show mercy to those who are suffering e.g. by feeding them.
- Church leaders should delegate duties as Jesus did, he asked his disciples to arrange the people and distribute food to them.
- Christians should be very orderly people e.g. Jesus asked the people to sit down before they could be given food.
- Christians should be obedient to their leaders; the disciples were always ready to take the instructions of Jesus without questioning.
- Christians should not only preach the gospel but also cater for people’s social and economic needs e.g. run schools, hospitals and colleges.
How the feeding of the 5,000 people prepared the disciples for their future work
It made them know:
- That with God nothing is impossible
- Success in mission work entails providing people with both spiritual and physical needs.
- That as a preacher one must also be an environmentalist i.e. keeps it clean.
- That showing compassion is an essential element of Christian ministry.
- As a missionary one must not be lazy, he must keep on working as long as there is need.
- They learnt never to limit God as they work for him.
Virtues Christians learn from the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000
- Service to others.
- Kindness/ generosity/ sharing.
THE PERSON OF JESUS AND HIS DESTINY
Luke 9:18 – 27
- Jesus asked his disciples two questions about his person and destiny.
(i) “Who do people say I am?”
(ii) “Who do you say I am?”
- The disciples’ response showed that people thought Jesus was either John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the great prophets of O.T.
- Jesus accepted Peter’s response that he was the Messiah of God.
- Jesus commanded the disciples not to reveal his Messianic identity because:
(i) It could be misunderstood to refer to a conquering Messiah in line with the Jewish expectations.
(ii) The Messiah was to suffer, be rejected, killed and on the third day be raised.
(iii) The disciples had to wait until an opportune time when they would learn the true meaning of His Messiahship.
- Jesus assertion that he must suffer greatly meant that it was God’s plan of saving humankind through suffering.
- Through the resurrection of Jesus, victory over human suffering and death will be realized.
- The disciples of Jesus were to share in his suffering through self-denial and being ready to loose their lives for Jesus.
- Jesus promises a great reward to those who remain faithful to him.
The kind of Messiah the Jews expected
- A political figure with immense authority.
- A conquering Messiah that would liberate them from the Roman Rule.
- To come from the house of David.
- To come from a rich family background i.e. well known parents/royal family.
- One who would establish the throne of David in Israel.
- One who would lead them into a time of great national power and prosperity.
- One who would be a perfect king.
The kind of Messiah that Jesus is to Christians
- He is a saving Messiah.
-Saved mankind from sin.
- He is a forgiving Messiah.
-He forgives the sins of man
- He is a healing Messiah.
-He heals sickness and diseases.
- He is a reigning Messiah.
-He established God’s kingdom on earth.
- He is a triumphing Messiah.
-His death on the cross and resurrection was total over Satan.
- He is a liberating Messiah.
-He liberates mankind from satanic bondage demoniacs.
- He is the anointed one.
-His anointing breaks every yoke.
- He is the foundation.
-Christianity is based on His life and teachings.
Luke 9:28 – 36
The term transfiguration refers to transformation of Jesus’ body into heavenly glory.
- Eight days after the great confession, Jesus took with Him Peter, John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
- As He was praying, the appearance of His countennce was altered and His clothes became dazzling white.
- And behold, two men talked with Him, Moses and Elijah/ they spoke of his departure which was to be accomplished in Jerusalem.
- Peter, James and John were heavy with sleep and when they awakened, they saw the glory and the two men who stood who stood with Jesus.
- As the two men were parting from Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master it is well that we are here, let us make three booths, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah” not knowing what he said.
- As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
- And a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is my son, my chosen, listen to Him.”
- When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
- They kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Significance of the transfiguration
- Moses represented the law and this signified that Jesus’ fulfillment of the O.T law, the Law of Moses.
- Elijah represented the O.T prophets signifying that Jesus was the fulfillment of O.T prophesy.
- The two O.T figures talked to Jesus about his passion and death signifying that God had approved the crucifixion of Jesus.
- The Voice from heaven about the person of Jesus was confirming that Jesus was fulfilling the will of God.
- The entire episode was a confirmation that Jesus was the son of God.
- The appearance of Moses was a confirmation that there is life after death and holy people when they die they go to heaven.
- The episode signified that Jesus was about to be glorified through His death and resurrection.
- The incident encouraged and strengthened Jesus to carry on with His mission through suffering and death.
- The occasion taught the disciples the need for privacy in prayer.
- The appearance in heavenly glory strengthened the faith of the three disciples who realized that they were right in following Jesus.
- The disciples experienced the presence of God which was manifested through the cloud.
- The voice from the cloud taught the disciples that Jesus had to be obeyed and trusted.
- The disciples learnt that Jesus’ mission was to establish the Kingdom of God.
- The incident prepared Peter for the future leadership of the church.
Lessons Christians learn from the transfiguration of Jesus Christ
- They should be alert.
- They should not be selfish/ share God’s secrets with others.
- They should be prayerful.
- They should enter the presence of God with great respect.
- They should learn to endure suffering.
- They should live with hope that there is life after death.
- They should be slow to speak/ learn more about Christ before they speak.
JESUS TEACHING ON FAITH AND HUMILITY
Luke 9:37 – 50
Jesus taught on faith and humility as a way of preparing His disciples for the requirements they would need in their apostolic work. Jesus illustrated this in the following ways:
- The disciples were unable to heal a boy who had epilepsy because they lacked faith. Jesus cautioned them against their faithless state (Luke 9 – 37 – 43)
- The disciples had failed to understand Jesus’ prediction that his mission will be effected through suffering, death and resurrection Luke 9:43 – 45.
- The disciples lacked humility by being concerned more about their greatness instead of being concerned with their duties as disciples Luke 9:46.
- Jesus used the humility and simplicity found in children to teach that these were the virtues needed to carry out apostolic work. This gives one greatness in the kingdom of and vs. 47 – 48.
- The disciples did not accept other people performing miracles in Jesus name because of their pride of being followers of Christ.
Significance of Jesus’ teaching on faith and humility
- Christian churches should be united in their mission.
- Christian leaders should humble themselves in serving the community.
- Christians should recognize and accept faith-healing as mighty works of God.
- Demon spirits recognize the authority of Jesus over them.
- With Faith in God, Christians have authority over demons.
- Membership in Gods kingdom requires humility.
- The one that is greatest in Gods kingdom is one who is humble.
- Christians should show compassion to those who are suffering.
- Christians must have faith accompanied by works.
How Christians can express humility
- By sharing material possessions with the needy.
- By mixing freely with people of lower status regardless of their position.
- Being available to offer communal service e.g. street cleaning.
- By not boasting about their own achievement.
- By attributing all their achievement to the power of God.
- By being available and ready to share the gospel in rural, semi-arid and inaccessible areas.
- By blessing those who curse them.
- By praying for their enemies.
- By forgiving those who wrong them.
Instances that proved that Jesus was a humble man
- He never boasted about his divinity.
- He was ready to forgive all who wronged Him including those who crucified Him.
- He never argued with His accusers especially during the trial before the Sanhedrin, Herod and Pilate.
- He left His glory in heaven be born of Mary so as to fulfill God’s plan of salvation.
- He was available to listen to the teachings of the elders in the Temple when He was 12 years.
- He entered each village and interacted with all classes of people e.g. lepers, women, poor, sick.
- He shared all sorts of meals with His disciples.
- He slept with His disciples in very humble circumstances.
- When He was born He was laid in a manger in a cattle shed.
INCIDENTS IN ST. LUKE’S GOSPEL WHERE JESUS IS DEPICTED AS A SON OF GOD
(i) At baptism Luke 3:22.
(ii) At transfiguration Luke 9:35.
(iii) During the annunciation Luke 1:32.
(iv) During temptations in the wilderness Luke 4:3.
(v) During Peter’s confession.
(vi) During exorcism at Capernaum Luke 4:34.
(vii) During the exorcism at Gerasene Luke 8:28.