Study Guide

Gospel of Luke Chapter 9:12-17

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Chapter 9:12-17

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.

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