Gospel of Luke Chapter 9:12-17
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Jesus Lights the Barbie
- The day's getting late, and the twelve disciples remind Jesus that it's time to dismiss the crowd, so that everyone can turn into the surrounding villages, get a bite to eat, and find a place to stay.
- Jesus responds, "You give them something to eat" (9:13).
- The disciples give Jesus a reality-check. Look, there's not more than five loaves of bread and two fish, unless we take a trip to Sam's Club to buy provisions.
- We're talking five-thousand men here, not to mention women and children.
- Jesus tells the disciples to organize the large group into parties of fifty.
- The disciples obey, and everyone's reclining.
- Then Jesus takes the five loaves and two fish, turns his face toward heaven, blesses them, breaks them, and distributes food to everyone via the disciples.
- They eat up, are plump full, and turn on the tube on to watch the Lions play the Packers. Okay, we added that last part.
- Turns out there was enough food for everyone. And then some: they collect twelve baskets full of leftovers.
Coming Difficulties for Jesus & Co.
- While Jesus is praying in private with his disciples, he asks them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" (9:19 NRSV).
- The disciples rehearse the options presented to Herod in 9:7-8: John the Baptist returned from the dead, Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets. Take your pick.
- Jesus asks, "But who do you say that I am?" (9:20).
- Peter bravely responds: God's Messiah.
- Ding ding!
- Jesus orders them not to tell anyone.
- Then he foretells that the Son of Man's destiny is to suffer, to be rejected by the religious highbrows, to be killed, and on the third day to rise.
- Oh, sorry. Retroactive spoiler alert.
- Jesus then lays out some serious requirements for anyone who's following him. Bottom line: his followers must suffer, just like him.
- If you're ashamed of Jesus and his words, then he'll be ashamed of you when he returns in glory with the angels. Dante would call this contrapasso. An eye for an eye.
- Jesus promises that at least some of the gang will see God's kingdom before they die.
- Chew on that.