Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The Gospel of Luke. Jesus now begins to give the Twelve a share in his mission of healing and teaching. Moreover, his spreading fame raises the question of his identity, even with Herod. After miraculously feeding the five thousand, Jesus poses this question to his disciples, and Peter makes his confession that Jesus is the Messiah. This marks a turning point in the gospel, as Jesus begins to announce that, as the Son of Man, he must suffer and be killed. Those who wish to follow him must likewise take up their cross. The disciples struggle to understand this new dimension of his and their mission. Three of them–Peter, John and James–are privileged to witness the transfiguration to help them realize that the suffering Son of Man is also the glorious Son of God. When the Galilean ministry comes to an end, Jesus will begin the journey to Jerusalem……………. Luke 9:1-6 Jesus sent his disciples (Apostles) out to proclaim the kingdom of God. He gave them all power and authority over demons and to cure diseases. He told them to take nothing for the journey: no walking stick, no sack, no food, no money, and no extra tunic (shirt). If they entered a house, they were to stay there. If they were rejected, they were to leave and shake the dust from their feet in testimony against the people. Jesus is multiplying his outreach and training them for their future mission. They must forgo basic necessities like food and money; through this radical simplicity, Jesus is teaching them to rely more on God than their own resources. The Apostles will be stepping out in faith, trusting that they will receive what they need. Wherever they go, they are to find a house as a base and stay there until they move on. The Apostles obediently set out on their mission, curing diseases and proclaiming the good news (verb evangelizo). An equivalent expression for their preaching task is “Proclaim the kingdom of God” (verb kerysso). These two verbs, from which come English words like evangelization and kerygma, were used earlier to describe Jesus’ ministry of preaching. They continue to apply to the church’s mission today……… Luke 9:10-17 In the multiplication of 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5,000, the details of the story allude to several biblical passages, thus presenting Jesus as the one prefigured by various OT people and events: 1. In the time of Moses, God gave the hungry people manna-bread from heaven. 2. Moses, like the Apostles, was concerned about feeding so many people. 3. The arrangement in groups of 50 recalls Israel in the wilderness–they were separated by tribes. 4. Both Moses and Jesus are prophets, and both bring about a new exodus. In feeding the 5,000, Jesus took the loaves and fish, looked up to heaven, said the blessing and broke them. The feeding miracle thus points forward to the greater miracle of the Eucharist. There are twelve baskets left over, one for each of the Twelve, a sign that Jesus is bringing about the restoration of Israel by regathering the 12 tribes………………………………………….. Luke 9:18-27 When Jesus asked the Apostles who they thought he was-his identity-they had several answers, but Peter had the correct answer: “The Messiah of God.” Jesus immediately told them to keep it secret, and then he predicted his passion. But then he said to all: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it….Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” I believe he is referring, not to the end times, but to the coming of the Holy Spirit, which must have been a day to remember and cherish….. The OT allusions found in the miracle of the loaves and fish also helps readers understand aspects of his messianic identity. For example, Jesus as messiah is like a new Moses who brings back the treasury of manna. He is a prophetic messiah who works miracles like Elisha, who was an anointed prophet. He, of course, is also a kingly messiah in the line of David. In this regard, Jesus’ preaching on the kingdom of God is also part of his mission as a kingly messiah. Jesus’ words and deeds thus prepare for Peter’s confession………………………………….. The Son of Man. Jesus refers to himself as “Son of Man” 25 times in Luke. These fall roughly into 3 categories: referring to his public ministry, his suffering or his glorification and future coming. Some of Jesus’ “Son of Man” sayings clearly allude to the book of Daniel: “I saw coming with the clouds of heaven One like a son of man. When he reached the Ancient of Days/ and was presented before him, He received dominion, splendor and kingship” (Dan7:13-14). There are 3 Ancients of Days who rule our Superuniverse of Orvonton. Did Daniel refer to one of them? Interesting vision.

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