Jesus entrusts authority and his message to his followers (Luke 9:1-6)

Jesus entrusts authority and his message to his followers

Luke 9:1-6


  • D.L. Moody tells of one day seeing a steel-engraving which pleased him very much. He says: “I thought it was the finest thing I had ever seen, at the time, and I bought it.” It was the picture of a man floundering in the water and clinging with both hands to the Cross of Refuge. “But afterward,” he goes on to say, “I saw another picture which spoiled this one for me entirely—it was so much more lovely. It was a picture of a person coming out of the dark waters with one arm clinging to the Cross, but with the other she was lifting someone else out of the waves.”1

  • A beautiful story is told of Dr. John A. Broadus, the scholar and homiletical professor. In his younger days he was converted to Christ in the town in which he lived. Next day he went to one of his schoolmates, Sandy Jones, a red-haired, awkward chap, and said to him, “I wish you would be a Christian; won’t you?” And Sandy said: “Well, I don’t know. Perhaps I will.” And sure enough after a while, one night in the little church, Sandy Jones accepted Christ. Straightway he stalked across the little meeting house, held out his hand, and said, “I thank you, John; I thank you, John.” Dr. Broadus went forth from that little town and became a great scholar, a great exegete and theological president. Every summer when he went home (and he hardly missed a year) this awkward, red-haired old farmer, in his plain clothes, with red sand on his boots, would come up, stick out his great, bony hand, and say, “Howdy, John, I never forgot you, John.” And they say that when Broadus lay dying with his family about him, he said: “I rather think the sound sweetest to my ears in Heaven, next to the welcome of Him whom not having seen, I have tried to love and serve, will be the welcome of Sandy Jones, as he will thrust out his great hand and say, “Howdy, John! Thank you, John.””2
  • Jesus has been traveling throughout Israel proclaiming the kingdom of God, casting out demons, healing people from disease and sickness, and raising people from the dead. As he has traveled ministering, the 12 have been present watching and listening. This was the typical way that a teacher would train his students. The students would live with the teacher and follow him wherever he went.

  • Luke writes this passage to describe Jesus entrusting the 12 with authority and the message of the kingdom of God. Let’s listen in as Jesus instructs and sends out the 12.


  1. Jesus entrusts the 12 with power and authority over demons and diseases (1).

  • It is important to note at the outset – Jesus gives this power and authority only to the 12. This is not a universal bestowal on every believer. Jesus, being God in the flesh, has been exercising his power and authority over the demons since the outset of his earthly ministry (Lk. 4:31-37; 8:26-33). God the Son is the Creator and Lord of the entire universe (Col. 1:13-20; 2:13-15). Jesus now entrusts his power and authority over all demons to the 12.

  • Furthermore, Jesus, being God in the flesh, has been exercising power and authority over diseases since the outset of his earthly ministry (Lk. 4:38-41; 5:12-16; 6:17-19; 7:2-10, 18-21; 8:40-48). He had also healed a paralytic (Lk. 5:17-26), raised a widow’s son from the dead (Lk. 7:11-17), and raised a synagogue official’s daughter from the dead (Lk. 8:40-42, 49-56). God the Son is the Creator and Lord of the entire universe (Matt. 4:23; Deut. 32:39; 2 Kg. 20:5; 5:10-14). Now, Jesus entrusts his power and authority over all diseases to the 12 (cf. Acts 3:1-16; 9:34; 19:11-20).

  • The 12 had been with Jesus witnessing his ministry, now he entrusts them with ministry on their own. Jesus entrusts these men with authority and his message.


  1. Jesus sends the 12 to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal (2-5).

    1. He instructs them to preach and heal (2).

  • Jesus had informed the disciples earlier that he had been sent by the Father to preach the kingdom of God (Lk. 4:40-44). His priority, even above healing, was to travel and preach the kingdom of God. Matthew details the message (10:7), and so does Mark (6:12-13).

  • The disciples are now entrusted with the same ministry. Jesus gave them authority and the message.

  1. He instructs them to take nothing extra with them for provisions (3).

  • This mission was to begin right away. They were not to make extra plans. This unplanned sort of mission would necessitate the 12 trusting God to provide for them and protect them. It would also communicate to others that the 12 were on a short-term mission to preach the kingdom of God.

  1. He instructs them to stay in one house while in a city (4).

  • Jesus tells them to stay in the house of the one who received them in a particular city. Receiving the 12 meant a host received their message about the kingdom of God and its Messiah. The blessing of the 12 would be upon the household which received them as guests (Matt. 10:11-13). Also, stay with one host in a city would require a shorter stay.

  1. He instructs them to disavow the cities which don’t receive them (5).

  • The Jews would shake the dust of their sandals upon returning from a Gentile territory, which symbolized a disavowal or a breaking of ties with the Gentiles, i.e. “I have nothing to do with you!” The 12 doing such a thing in regard to Jews who rejected the message (“repent for the kingdom of God is at hand [Mk. 6:12; Matt. 10:7] – in the presence of the Messiah” [Lk. 17:20-21; 6:20; 11:20]) amounted to the 12 disavowing the unbelieving Jews.

  • Note the serious implications of rejecting the message (Lk. 10:16).

  • Jesus was bringing division as he said he would – between believers and unbelievers (Matt. 10:34-36).


  1. The 12 begin preaching the gospel and healing everywhere (6).

  • Upon hearing the conclusion of Jesus’ instructions, the 12 set out traveling in pairs (Mk. 6:7) to preach to Israelites, not Gentiles nor Samaritans (Matt. 10:5). They went out from village to village preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!”

  • They followed Jesus’ instructions and multiplied his influence by preaching his message. They are his ambassadors, sent with his authority and his message. This was always the intention of Jesus to equip his followers and then turn ministry responsibility over to them (Lk. 6:40). This ministry responsibility would help to prepare them for their future responsibility (Lk. 24:44-49).










  • Jesus entrusted the twelve with authority and his message. They went about proclaiming Jesus’ message.

  • God has entrusted authentic Christians with his message of the gospel – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Lk. 24:44-49).

  • John Harper, the newly-called pastor of Moody Church in the early 1900s, manifested his Christian character in the sinking of the Titanic. Dr. W. B. Riley related the death of Harper. “We have the history of John Harper’s end, for survivors, brought to harbor in safety, told the same. When the Titanic was struck by the iceberg that drove in her sides, and sent the ship to the bottom, John Harper was leaning against the rail pleading with a young man to come to Christ. … ” Four years after the Titanic went down, a young Scotchman rose in a meeting in Hamilton, Can., and said, “I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper, of Glasgow, on a piece of wreck near me. “Man,” he said, “are you saved?” “No,” I said, “I am not.” He replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” “The waves bore him away; but, strange to say brought him back a little later, and he said, “Are you saved now?” “No,” I said, “I cannot honestly say that I am.” He said again, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” and shortly after he went down; and there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harper’s last convert.”3


Think – Jesus has chosen to carry out his mission on earth through his followers.

Feel – The weight and privilege of being entrusted with such a responsibility.

Do – Carry out Jesus’ mission, which he has entrusted to his people – making disciples (Matt. 28:19-20).


Because of God’s Word, my next step today is to:

___ Become a follower of Jesus by repenting of my sin and placing my trust in Jesus’ message – the gospel.

___ Repent of my inward focus and begin sharing his message – the gospel – with others who do not know him.

___ Pray for continued strength, passion, and wisdom for the purpose of continuing to share his message – the gospel – with others who do not know him.

1 Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996).

2 Ibid.

3 Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996).


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