Luke 6:1-26, Group Sessions With Jesus

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Jerry Simmons shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from Luke on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 using the New King James Version (NKJV).

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Here, as we look at Luke Chapter 6 this evening, I've titled The message group sessions with Jesus Group sessions with Jesus. I don't know why, but as I was reading through the passage and preparing for tonight, what really stood out to me in all of these verses? We'll be working our way through is how these events that happened. Really took place in a group setting and I think the Lord wants to highlight that in our hearts for the value of those group sessions with Jesus and some important reminders about what he does in those group type of settings now. Many times it is worthwhile to note that some of Jesus's greatest sermons We're delivered in one-on-one settings, right? The woman at the well, Jesus talking with Nicodemus. You must be born again. Some of the the most famous verses and and teachings of Jesus that we are familiar with were. Delivered in a very small context, one-on-one with an individual and sometimes for us in Southern California in the United States. We have a very individual focus, just kind of a a normal bent in our minds and in our thinking. To think independently and individually and we kind of tend to think in the personal in so many ways. And so I think the Lord this morning or this evening wants to reset that a little bit for us. And yes, there are those important individual times, and those times where he is just ministering to us all by ourselves. It's just us and him, and perhaps some of the greatest words that you've ever heard from the Lord have been those personal times. That you have had with the Lord, but also there is great value in the Gathering together and in the the time where we as a group are spending time. Jesus, and there's some important things that happen in those settings as well, and so that's really. The the the. Perspective that the Lord highlighted for me as we walk through Luke Chapter 6 this evening group sessions with Jesus Five points. We'll walk through here in this passage point. #1, looking at verses one through 5. Jesus challenges human traditions. One of the things that Jesus does here is he challenges the religious leaders in the traditions that they have developed. Now they refer to it as law, but we know it to be not God's law, but man. Tradition man's law, which really is not the law. It's God's law that is the law. And so in verse one we see the stage is set. Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first that he went through the grain fields, and his disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them. In their hands now Jesus has already had some interaction with the religious leaders in regards to. The Sabbath day back in chapter five, we see the healing of the paralytic and the events that transpired after that, and so this is saying, OK, we're continuing that line of thought. That was one event that happened that really troubled the religious leaders in regards to the Sabbath day in Jesus's ministry. And now here is another one. So a couple of Sabbaths later this takes place. Jesus is hanging out, walking through the green fields. And his disciples, of course, are with him now as they're walking through, the disciples are plucking some of the heads of grain and they're handling the grain in order to remove away the parts that are not edible and to be able to eat the the grain within. And so they're they're doing that. And I've never watched through Greenfield or tried to do this, so I can't fully picture it, but in my head, if you want to be silly like me, I just kind of think about it like some flower seeds like you know, there's a little bit of processing you gotta do. You get the. Sunflower seed you gotta crack open the shell. Then you can pop the seed into your mouth. Or if you throw the shell into your mouth with the seed and then you crack it inside. But either way, there's this processing that you have to do right and there's this work to be done in order to enjoy the fruit within, and so the grain is like that so they they can't just like go to an apple tree, pluck an apple and take a bite. It's not like that, it's green, they're plucking the heads of grain, they have to. To rub their hands together to remove the chaff and the parts that they can't. Eat and then be able to eat. That court within. And so they're just walking through the Greenfield doing this, so this would be normal and natural for them. This would be something that they would have done thousands of times before in their lives and and so it was just a normal natural thing to occur as they're walking with Jesus through the green field. But the religious leaders have a real problem with this and verse two it tells us some of the Pharisees. Said to them, why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath? And so they. Seek to put a stop to this. They're calling attention to what they believe to be an infraction of the law. They say what you are doing is illegal as far as God is concerned. Not because. Of the partaking of grain in somebody else's field. But because it was done on the Sabbath. In Deuteronomy chapter 23, the Lord lays out the rights of neighbors to walk through a vineyard to walk through a field and to do exactly what the disciples are doing here. Deuteronomy 2325 when you come into your neighbor's standing grain, you may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not. You use a sickle on your neighbors standing grain. So God had established in his law some protection. If you are walking through your neighbor's field and you're hungry. God says. Your neighbor must allow you. To go ahead and partake to satisfy your hunger a little bit and to partake of the fruit that is there and available. Now the Lord sets the parameters. That doesn't mean you can take a sickle and now begin to harvest your neighbor's field. That's stealing. That's not right, but. But to just critique, you're welcome to do that. And so this was protected, and this was well known. So the issue was not that they were in somebody else's field. In partaking of the grain, they were in somebody's field and they they weren't in their own grain field. They were they were in somebody else's field, but this was protected. This was not the issue. The issue was this. Happened on the Sabbath day. And so this is one of many occasions that the Lord has conflict with the religious leaders in regards to the Sabbath day. And we know of course, that the God that God did establish the Sabbath day, he called it holy. He called his people to rest and to cease. From work on the Sabbath day. But what had happened over the years? What developed by the religious leaders of the Jewish people over time is a much stricter view of the Sabbath than God had actually established in the law. They began, of course, to say things like well, what is work? And so. Walk through all the definitions and and if you try to precisely define everything to every detail to every degree you are going to find yourself in a legalistic nightmare of misery, and that's where the religious leaders were. That's what it was like for the Jewish people in the time of Christ, because the understanding of the law. Was so meticulous and so detailed that it completely missed what actually God intended to do with the law, and instead focused on all of these details that God did not actually prescribe or call the people to fulfill. And so what's happening here is the religious leaders are saying. You're processing grain rubbing that in your hands. You know you might as well be running big machinery and you know, generating power at a factory because it's the same thing. It's just a smaller scale for you to separate the wheat from the chaff with your hands. That's forbidden. That is work. You must not do that. But that was not what God required. It was not. You know you're not going to find the Old Testament scriptures to support that. That was their traditions that had developed, and I'm not going to get into all the details. But the Jewish leaders had all kinds of traditions about all kinds of things about what you could carry, how much you could carry, how far you could. Walk, you know all these things. Some would even say you couldn't wear false teeth on the Sabbath day like that was too much of a burden to do on the Sabbath day. So there was all these strict rules and regulations. And here Jesus takes this opportunity to challenge their traditions. And he does. This many times, but here's one example. In verse three, it tells us Jesus answering them, have you not even read this? What David did when he was hungry? He and those who were with him, how he went into the House of God, took and ate the showbread, and also gave some to those with him which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat. So Jesus responds to the religious leaders by challenging them to rethink some of their conclusions and some of their ideas. The point here of this statement of the Lord. Is to say you don't understand the law the way that you think you. You your understanding your perspective on the law of God is not really what you think it is now. Jesus here is calling back to first Samuel, chapter 21. And you can check that out. It's when David is on the run from Saul. It's at the very beginning of him fleeing from Saul, and he fled quickly because he, his life, was in danger, right? And he came to the priest and said, hey, do you have any food here? And the priest said I only have the show bread that was the bread that they put inside the Tabernacle on the table inside the Tabernacle. The leftover bread the the following week was for the priests to eat, and so they would replace it every week and so that bread that came off the table from the previous week. That was the. The bread for the priests, but only the priests were. Supposed to eat. It according to what God had prescribed in the law. But here the priest allows David to. Take the showbread. Now there's a little bit of a side note on this as well as you look at first Samuel Chapter 21, because David is lying to this priest in this whole situation, and so there's. There's an interesting part to consider in that, and in David's part. In this and the Lord using this passage, but but don't let that distract you from what the Lord is saying here, the Lord is is kind of walking through the the thought process of the priest at the time. He's walking through OK, here's what happened. Here's the situation, and so David's talking about all the men who are with him. There were no men with him, but but Jesus is addressing this as if David's story were true. Of course, he knew that it wasn't, but he, he's walking through the logic of the priests. And I would suggest even not really addressing you know David's lie to get the Pharisees of religious leaders to think through this passage again. And OK, let's think. About this from the logical procession of the priests and why they allowed this, why the priests gave the showbread to David and and again the Lord's point here is, you think you understand the law and you have all these rules and regulations. But the Lord did not rebuke David or the priest. For this situation. This was not a violation even though it was not what was the intended use of the bread, that there are exceptions that God allows under conditions of need for people. And so that's what the Lord is saying, that that there is opportunity where, yes, there is the law, but but we cannot pursue the law to the detriment of the heart of God. And the pursuit of. God and we. Can, in a legalistic fashion, take something that God has said and make it mean like nothing at all? That that God mean. When we follow that pattern of legalism and and detail in that way, he goes on to say in verse 5 and he said to them, the son of man is also Lord of the. Sabbath and so. Here Jesus makes a second point. Even if it was unlawful which Jesus is saying, it's not. This isn't breaking the law of God, but even if it was against the law of God. He says I'm the Lord of the Sabbath. I have authority to declare it otherwise, and so even if it was an issue, it's actually OK. I'm the Lord of the Sabbath, and so I have the authority to say that's allowed. We can do that on the Sabbath. It is no problem at all. And so here, the religious leaders, they're. Challenge. They're upset, they're. Their ideals, their perspective, their practices, what they hold on to dearly, as you see throughout the Ministry of Jesus, many of the contentions and issues that Jesus has with the religious leaders is based upon their traditions around the Sabbath. And we'll see that even further as we continue on. In a couple of verses. But one more thing, before we move on to those other verses that I think is appropriate for us to consider and think about this evening, and that is the Sabbath. Sometimes there's confusion amongst believers today about the Sabbath day, and it manifests itself. It shows itself in questions like why did. The church move the Sabbath to Sunday and away from Saturday. So so why is you know the the church moving the Sabbath? Changing the Sabbath? And and all of that. And so just to try to clarify that a little bit, in case there's a question. And or uncertainty there for you, the Sabbath is Saturday always has been always will be from the very beginning in creation, the first six days God created, then on the 7th day he rested. The 7th day is Saturday. That's the Sabbath. Sunday is the first day of the week. It's always been the first day of the week. It will always be the first day of the week. And we as believers today, do not proclaim that Sunday is the Sabbath. Sunday is the first day of the week. Saturday is the 7th day of the week. None of that has changed where the confusion comes from is we kind of associate church service with the Sabbath many times. And so we think that that's what the Sabbath was all about. But actually, church service and the Sabbath are two different things. Completely unrelated to one another and the Sabbath for the typical Jewish person throughout Israel throughout their history was not a gather together for church. It was a stay. At home and rest. And so it was a different kind of day than what we partake of and celebrate on Sunday. And so the the idea here is that Saturday and Sunday are different things. We're not trying to say Saturday or Sunday is the Sabbath. That that's not a changing of anything. It's not just a different day of the week, though. But there's. There's some. There's some symbolism in here that is worth considering, and again, I'm not going to go and chase down all these details, but let me just read this quote from Warren Wisby and then you can kind of allow the Lord to speak to you further on it as you meditate on it later on. He says to call Sunday the Sabbath is to. Confuse the first. Day and the 7th day, and what each signifies. The Sabbath speaks of rest after work and relates to the law, while the Lord's Day speaks of rest before work. And relates to Greece. Some interesting things to meditate on here. It's not just a wrong number in. The days of the week. There there's some meaning here. There's some real value in understanding the Sabbath day Saturday versus Sunday. Works versus grace. The symbolism of the work being completed by Jesus and then we walk in, serve and serve in response to what Christ has done. For us there. There's some really cool pictures there that God would show you if you would meditate a little bit further on that. So I encourage you to do that. But in the meantime, finishing up point #1, Jesus challenges human traditions. That the religious leaders had their traditions around the Sabbath and many other things. But we should not look at this and think about it just in that context that you know those silly people and their silly traditions and understand that we all develop our own traditions and we as Covey Chapel develop our traditions. We as Southern California. Christians develop our traditions. We, as Americans develop our traditions. We we all develop our own traditions and traditions typically are good and start out good. But also traditions can start to become just traditions and lose the meaning, and so it is appropriate. It is good for us to have our traditions challenged, and if they stand the test, we go back to the scriptures. We go back to God. Is this something you want me to practice? And great continued on, but many times we're offended, just that the challenging of the traditions. But I would suggest. We need to have our traditions challenged because otherwise we fall into a religious practice that has lost the meaning and so I, I would encourage you to consider that as we you know, practice things as we walk in things as maybe things are challenged. From my perspective, I know not everybody sees it. This way, but the whole season of COVID and all the forced things, the mandates and. All of that like I saw that as a welcome challenge to our traditions like we have so many traditions that are ingrained in us and it was difficult and and hard to be challenged in those things. And sometimes we behaved and spoke like religious leaders because we did not like our traditions to be challenged. It's a good thing many times for us to be shaken up a little bit to go back to what the Lord has for us and allow the Lord to set those things that should remain and breathe new life and meaning into those things that need to to have those life and meaning you know restored to them. When it's not just continuing on. In things just because that's how we've always. Done it and so. In a group setting here amongst the disciples, amongst the religious leaders, Jesus said, let's rethink this tradition. Let's rethink this Sabbath a little bit and understand the scriptures a little bit differently. Very good and healthy thing to happen in a group session. We're moving on to verses 6 through 11. We get the next point and that is that Jesus prioritizes. The needs of a person. Jesus prioritizes the needs of a person here, it's another Sabbath issue. Let's go ahead and read the full passage here. Six through 11. It says now it happened on another Sabbath also that he entered the synagogue and taught, and the man was there whose right hand was. So the scribes and Pharisees watched him closely, whether he would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts and said to the man who had the withered hand arise, and stand here. And he arose and stood. Then Jesus said to. Them I will ask you one thing. Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil to save life or to destroy? And when he had looked around at them all, he said to the man stretch out your hand, and he did so, and his hand was restored as whole. As the other. But they were filled with rage and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. Here the religious leaders are gathered together again. Jesus is with them in their midst and now they're in synagogue. So it is a group setting. You can picture Jewish people in a building or in a enclosed location, and there is a gathering of men and women here at the synagogue, and there would be a service that they would have and some prayers that they would pray and there would be a teaching. That was brought, and so Jesus here is the guest speaker in the synagogue, and he's the one doing the teaching. At this synagogue service. And the religious leaders are there, but they're. Not listening to the teaching. They're looking at this guy. This guy, who has a withered hand and it points out that his right hand was withered, and I think we can. Receive from that there is the implication here this this guy was right-handed and his right. Hand was withered. That that this is his strong hand. This is the hand that he needs in order to live and to work and to move and. And you know, this is not his. You know it's. OK, if I lose it or not like it's not a big deal, it's his right hand, it's it's the hand that's most important to him and that hand is withered. And the religious leaders are watching this situation. And they're wondering and they're. Seriously contemplating. Is Jesus going to heal on the? All right, this is going to be our opportunity to accuse him. Verse 7 tells us that they might find an accusation against him. Ohh boy we got him now he's going to heal on the Sabbath and and then we're going to get this opportunity to deal with Jesus for breaking the Sabbath law. By healing on the Sabbath now going back. To the previous. Point that was human tradition. God did not record. In the scriptures. That you must not, thou shalt not perform healing miracles on the Sabbath day. That's not a verse in the Bible, right? But but the religious leaders, the traditions that they have developed, had very strict regulations even about healing. And so doctors and physicians of the day would have strict parameters. To follow, you can only do the absolute minimum possible to save a life on the Sabbath would be the the general summary of it. All that's, you know, necessary to save a life and nothing more so just get them through the Sabbath day and then you can do all the medicine that you want to do. But don't not do not. Do you know one more stitch, one more bandage, one more thing beyond what is absolutely necessary in order to save the life and and that was their tradition. And so they see Jesus here. They know his character. They know his heart. They know how he cares for people, and they're guessing correctly. Jesus is going to want to heal this guy. But it tells us in verse eight that Jesus. Knew their thoughts. And So what does he do? First aid is interesting. He said to the man who had the withered hand arise, and stand here, and he arose and stood. It would be similar to us having a church service. Then I say Russell get up and stand right here in the middle you. Don't have to do that Russell, but. You would understand like there would be. Lots of attention. There would be some catching of breath there would be. Like some tension developing as they see this guy stand up. Everybody's looking at him. He's looking at them. The religious leaders have their schemes and plots. Everybody knows he's got a withered hand. It's clearly visible. Something is about to happen. They know Jesus's reputation, they've been if he hadn't been around their town very long. Like he they know something is going down right here and here. This poor guy is standing there. In front of everybody. If I was in his shoes with a withered hand, of course I would want to be healed, but I would not want to be there standing in the synagogue in front of everybody. With the scowls of the religious leaders you know, trying with their minds to prevent Jesus from healing or trying to trick Jesus into healing like. Having some plots and like I would not want to. Be in the middle of that. Have everybody watching me and seeing my issues seeing my condition. I I I would not want any parts of that but the healing. Yes I want the healing. And Jesus puts this guy in that. Situation you stand up in front of everybody. Let everybody look at you. Let all the religious leaders judge you. You know this. This is what you need to do stand and so he arose and he stood. Jesus doesn't even talk directly to the guy yet in verse nine he says, I will ask you one thing. He's not talking to the guy with the withered hand. OK guys, stand here. Let everybody look at you. I'm not talking to you yet. Guy with the withered hand, but everybody else I'm talking to you, let me ask you one thing everybody look at this guy and let me ask you this one thing. Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil to save life or to destroy? He's challenging their traditions. With this question, but here's this guy. In the middle with this need. And Jesus is saying. Even if this were illegal. There is this need that is present in this person. You need to seriously evaluate your traditions and what you value because your priorities are wrong. You're prioritizing your traditions and your religion. Above things that God actually cares about. Like this man who is in need. Now there's no response from the crowd. But you get the idea. Here you see Jesus. Is looking at people in the crowd. Let me ask you this, well this guy is standing here, you think? About this, like. He's he's addressing those religious leaders. They're in their midst. He's talking to the group as a whole. And he's saying let me show you. The right priorities to have. It says in verse 10 when he looked around at them all he said to the man, notice he looked around at them all. He's making eye contact with all the people. The scene is just like amazing in my head. Looking at them, they're looking at him looking, making eye contact. And then he says to the man. Stretch out your hand. All this build up to this point. Everybody in the room is going to understand Jesus. Performed this miracle. Healed this man. There's a lot on the line here, right? If if? This guy tries to stretch out his hand and can't. His ministry is going to be. If he doesn't have the power to do like he's got everybody's attention, all of this is on this moment. But Jesus, of course, has the power. He desires to heal this man. And so he calls the man to take a step of faith. You're unable to stretch out your. Hand, but do so. And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole. As the other. Jesus saw this man in need. He had compassion for him. He immediately wanted to help. He wanted to heal. He wanted to work. The religious leaders knew that they anticipated that, and so they were looking for this opportunity. Were looking and and figuring that. That he would do this now Matthew also records this passage in Matthew Chapter 12. And he challenges. The religious leaders and he says, look. Any one of you, if you had a sheep fall into a ditch on the Sabbath day, you would. Pull it out. You wouldn't be. Having this argument or wrestling or ohh, we gotta evaluate if it's OK to do this on. The Sabbath, like. There's a animal in jeopardy and in danger. You would rescue it. And so Jesus is making the point. Your priorities are wrong. You're valuing the wrong things. You're prioritizing the wrong things. It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. It's the right thing to help this man created in the image of God so valuable, so important to God. Far more valuable than all the traditions that you've developed. They didn't like the lesson though. Verse 11 it says they were filled with rage and discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus and so here the plots begin. They're figuring out they're calculating. They're trying to understand how they. Can take Jesus out and put him to death. This is early in Jesus's ministry. And they were already. Feeling this way because their traditions were so challenged, but their priorities were wrong and and it's interesting here in this group setting. Jesus saw the group, but he also saw the individual. And he said that person needs help. You know there's occasions sometimes where there's distractions in our midst as we gather. And we can be frustrated by them. We can blame the enemy for them. Perhaps that's appropriate sometimes, but also perhaps. We need to. Use those occasions to check our priorities. You know, we may plan something for service and and probably this is more on me than. You know you guys but. Planning for service and. The Lord presents something else he wants to do something different in service. He wants to do something different as we gather together. To meet the needs of a single person. More than the group session that was planned more than the schedule that we followed, right? That that maybe there is. Hey blow off work today because there's someone. That the Lord wants you to help. Maybe there is the opportunity to change up church service or change up our schedule to change up the Lord puts. Great value in people. And sometimes our priorities don't line up with the Lords, and so sometimes we need those group times together. Those sessions where the Lord reminds us of the need. Of a person. And you know, maybe it's maybe there's some of our church services that. Are centered around that one individual that the Lord knows is there and needs to be. Ministered to you. Well, moving on to verses 12 through 16 point #3, Jesus publicly selects people to lead. In a group setting, Jesus publicly selects people to lead verses 12 through 16 says this. Now it came to pass in those days that he went out to the mountains of prey and continued all nights in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called his disciples to himself and from them he chose 12. Whom he also named Apost. Simon, whom he also named Peter and Andrew, his brother James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas James the son of Alphaeus and Simon, called the Zealot. Judas, the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who also became a trader. Here we get to see the calling of the disciples. Well really the calling of the apostles now it tells us in verse 12 that Jesus before this event. Before he selects these leaders, he. Go get gets a loan to pray with God. He goes out to the mountain to pray and he continues all night in prayer to God. So he has this intense, prolonged night of prayer. To prepare himself. For this selection. That is about to take place, and when it was day he called his disciples to himself now. Again, expressing just kind of my bias, reading this as. A SoCal American, right? When I think of Jesus calling his disciples to himself. I picture you know beep beep, beep. Hey Peter, I'm up here on the mountain. Can you come meet me? OK, great, I'll see you soon, thanks. Hey Andrew, I'm up here on the mountain Peter's on his way can you can you come up too? OK great I'll see you soon. Hey Matthew, I I'd like to hang out with you a little bit. Can you come up on the mountain with me? Of course, today we'd probably just do a. Group text right. Hey guys, I'm up here. Meet me here, right? A message to those specific individuals. To meet with Jesus after he's spent. All night alone, in prayer with God. That's not this scene at all. Verse 13 when it was day he called his disciples to himself. When he calls his disciples, he's not calling individuals. He's not calling 12 people. He's calling. The crowd that followed him, which was called disciples. There was more than 12. In a couple of chapters in Luke Chapter 10, we'll see the Lord sends out the 70 disciples. So it's safe to consider. There's probably 70 people at least. In this crowd that Jesus gathers. The reality is he was probably up on the mountain. He comes down and the crowd is already there and he says alright guys, come on up. I want to talk to you guys a little bit. He's coming down they're there. Kind of camped out waiting for him, probably walking around wondering where the Lord is and he says alright guys, gather up, gather around and so here's this crowd of disciples. And then notice what it. Says in verse 13 and from then. He chose 12. The crowd was bigger than 12. There was a crowd and from the crowd he chose 12 and he named them apostles. Disciples are different than apostles. Disciples are students learners. We are all called to be disciples of Jesus Christ. There's criteria for that requirements. If anyone would come after me, Jesus said, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. Apostles the word means one who is sent. So it's a disciple who has learned from the master and then now is sent by the master to convey the message or to do the work of the master. So a disciple has learned or is learning, an apostle has learned and is now being sent. It's also learning, as you know, still a disciple as well, but but has this special Commission. This special instruction from the Lord. And so this is a group setting. And again, it's it's different than I typically picture then. It's kind of my default to to picture this. It's amongst the crowd. Highlighting you, you, you, you and you stand up and come here. I'm changing your designation. You're not just a disciple. Now you 12 are apostles in front of everybody. There's some real accountability here. There's some real visibility here in front of everybody. Come all crowd come everybody. Come gather around OK, Peter, James, John Matthew Bartholomew. You guys are now apostles. Did you guys hear that in the back of the crowd? Can you guys hear my voice back there? Yeah, back. In the crowd there, all of. My disciples here, you need to understand these guys are apostles. That that there was this clear designation of these are the men that I've chosen to lead and to represent me and to be sent. Out on my behalf. This is. Something that the Lord does in Group settings. That there there is the value here. The importance to remember that God establishes authority and leadership within the gathering of his people within his followers. And Ephesians chapter 4. It tells us there that Jesus gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, and. There's these positions of authority. These positions of leadership within the body of Christ that are given by Jesus to the church for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ for the purpose of equipping the Saints and, and that's going to last until we all come to the unity of faith in other words. Until Jesus comes back until we're all perfect, there's going to be this need for clear leaders and authorities. In the gathering together of the disciples of Jesus that there will be those that he designates in front of everybody. It's not you know, leading from behind, it's not leading inconspicuously it's. The Lord calling, raising up publicly announcing this person has this role amongst my followers. Sometimes there is some struggle with that and the idea of leadership and. The purpose of it, and the way that we go about it and all of those things. But but it's important to remember that recognize that Jesus himself and did this. He brought the crowd together. He called 12 to stand up and he said these guys. Are my apostles. They represent me. They're going to be sent. Out by me. These are leaders that I'm developing and raising up within the work that God is doing now. What's really interesting to consider about this is that Judas Iscariot is listed amongst these 12. And verse 16. Judas Iscariot, who also became a traitor. John chapter Six also tells us that Jesus from the beginning knew. Who did believe and those who did not, and who would betray him he knew. From the beginning. That Judas would betray him. And yet he chose. Him this this is. Really challenging to think about, but really powerful to think about the sovereignty of God. Knowing this and yet still choosing him, standing him up in front of everybody. It wasn't like. Here's the 11. There's a 12 you know. I'm not really going to bring attention to it right now. You'll just kind of see over. Time and you'll pick it up. But you know, I don't want to give. Anymore attention than is necessary. Because you know, the 12th is the 12th and you'll understand later. Give it a couple of years and you'll understand why I'm. You know, not announcing the 12th one. No it wasn't. He was announced and presented just like the others. That's a challenge for a. Lot of people. Because there are leaders within the church. That then are revealed to be traders. And we begin to regret all of the history we began to think. Well, maybe that should have never been leaders in the church. Maybe they. And and we can kind of like backtrack all of that and maybe, but at the same time I would also suggest. That that betrayal later on doesn't negate. The initial commissioning or the work that happened? Judas was one of those who was sent out. Along with the rest of the 12 working miracles preaching the gospel. The fact that he later on betrayed Jesus doesn't take away all that ministry that took place under the. Hand of Judas. That we need to kind. Of accept that there are going to be. Those who are raised up. And called by the Lord. Who ultimately fall and betray? Even the one who loved them. Died for them and called them. To that ministry. That's not the most exciting thing for us. To consider, but it is. Something to consider. It is a reality of church life that just because we're in the church just because we're Jesus's followers, his disciples. Not all of his apostles, those who are called out and commissioned by God. Are going to be faithful to the end. And and you know. And it's. One of the reasons why it's. Really important for us to. Put our eyes on Jesus. Accept the role and authority that God establishes. But at the same time. Our foundation is built upon the rock. As you look at the 12 disciples, they're not the smartest. They're not the most intelligent. They're not the most wealthy, they're not. They're not really anything. And and that's important to understand as well that when the Lord raises up people within the church, it's not always. The best people. I'm not a pastor here at the church because I'm the most spiritual of all the church. You know, I'm the most spiritual, so that's. Why I'm the pastor? That's not the. Way that it works. I'm the most holy, so I'm the pastor. I know who knows the Bible the best, so I'm the pastor. No, that's that's not at all the case. And many times God calls and raises. Up the weakest. The most pathetic. The most ugly you know he. He uses the weak. To shame the wise. But he does so publicly. Jesus publicly selects people to lead, and so the role of leadership and the public appointing of those roles of leadership is appropriate in those group sessions with Jesus. Well, point #4 verses 17 through 19 here. The point is, Jesus works miracles. Here's what the verses say he came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people, from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tiger Insiden, who came to hear him and be healed of their disease. As well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits and they were healed and the whole multitude sought to touch him for power went out from him and healed them all. I think this is an important point for us to consider and be mindful of and understand that Jesus works miracles. Part of the thing that God does as we gather together as his people as he works miracles. Here this passage speaks to healing that is physical as well as healing that is spiritual. And verse 17 they were healed of their diseases in verse 18. Those who were tormented with unclean spirits and they were healed, and so there was spiritual healing. There was physical healing. There is miraculous things happening as the people of God gathered together as the disciples came together. The Lord was working miraculously. Now that doesn't mean to say that you know there should always be this exact expression of the miracles and work of God in every gathering at every occasion, but but it is something, and it's important to note that this is something that God does. He works. Miracles, you know. Sometimes we can be so safe in our gatherings and our services we can be very, you know, structured and limited and. And sometimes the Lord wants to do more. Than that. And sometimes the Lord wants to work miracles. We need to be careful that we don't water down the power of God that we don't shut out. The opportunity for. Miracles that we don't, you know, close out the opportunity to pray because you know, we just. Our unbelieving and don't. Don't want to risk anything we we need to remember that Jesus works miracles and sometimes in Group settings. The Lord might. Do something unbelievable. Right here in our. Midst Mark Chapter 16 tells us that these signs will follow those who believe, and my name they will cast out demons. I think if we encountered a situation with demons, typically for us as believers again, so Cal believers, I'm kind of highlighting that for us, our culture. Our mindset is not the same as the mindset of the Jewish people in those days or even many Christians in other areas and locations. I think if we encountered a situation where there was demonic possession, we would be running away. We'd be calling somebody else. We would not be seeking to do a miracle in the name of Jesus ourselves. But this is part of the signs. That followed those who believed you believe. You're qualified. And perhaps there is a situation that needs to be addressed and a miracle that God wants to work. The signs will be casting out of demons speaking in tongues, taking up serpents, drinking poison and not being hurt. Laying hands on the sick and the recovering. This doesn't mean that everybody gets to perform miracles every miracle they want to perform, and they just get to do it and name it and claim it. And all that like that's taking it too far. But don't go so far to the other way. That we don't do that, or we just reserve that for those specialized administry. No, those who believe. Will be empowered by the Lord. And many times as his people gathered together, Jesus works miracles. We can't focus only on the phenomenal, and that's a temptation to just pursue that like, we just want the exciting, you know, those kinds of things. And verse 17 it tells us they came to hear him as well as be healed of their diseases. And so there is that balance. Of hearing the Lord learning being. Taught as well as seeing God work and being part of the miraculous work that he wants to do in people's lives well. I'm not going to get into the detail of these verses, but the final point. Verses 20 through 26. Jesus teaches his disciples that the following verses go on now into what we, what often referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. Or perhaps the sermon on the plane. There's some discussion among. Bible scholars of whether this is another occasion but the similar message, and so Jesus perhaps taught this same message multiple times. Or perhaps it's the same event and same occasion, and so it's just Matthew's recording is a little bit different than Luke's, and so you can kind of take. It either way, but. And here Jesus is teaching the beatitudes. He's saying look as my disciples. Here is how you ought to think. Here is the attitude that you ought to have. It's going to. Be different than the world. The world values not poverty, but wealth. But blessed are you when you're poor. Because yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled, blessed are. You who weep. Now the world doesn't value that. That's not our normal thing to value that, but you will laugh and so you're blessed. If you weep now, blessed are you. When men hate you and they exclude you when they revile you, we don't value that we don't feel that way. But you're blessed. As a follower of the Lord. For the son of man's sake, when you are reviled and excluded, rejoice leap for joy. Your reward is great in heaven. For unlike men or their fathers did to the prophets, but woe to you, who are rich. For you've received your consolation will to you, who are full, for you shall hunger will to you, who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep, will to you, when all men speak well of you, for so that their fathers. To the false prophets. There's the blessings and the woes. And they're opposite. Of what's natural and normal for us? You can gain the whole world and be wealthy and lose your soul, so woe to you. You can be be absolutely poor and dwelling in poverty and weeping. But you're blessed as a follower of the Lord. Here Jesus teaches his disciples. You need to have a different perspective on life and on the things that are happening around you. Because of my presence in your life and you can be blessed in the worst of situations. Because you're my disciple and I am with you. Consider this thought from where in wisby like people today. Many of them thought that happiness came from having great possessions. Or holding an exalted position or enjoying the pleasures and popularity that money can buy. What they needed most was not a change in circumstances, but a change in their relationship to God and in their outlook on. Life Jesus says you're blessed. You may not feel that way. You may not be describing it that way. That's not your perspective, but you don't need to change of circumstances to be blessed to be happy. As my follower, you need to have a change of heart. A change of mind. Change your perspective. Because I am working all these things together for good, there will be victory. There will be reward. There's great reason to rejoice no matter what you face. One of the things that Jesus loves to do as we gather together is to teach us to reset our minds and they need to be reset. They need to be changed because we fall into. The pattern of this. World we get kind of sucked back into the old thoughts and old ways and we need to be reminded to re Orient ourselves around the Lord and understand. You know it's so easy to say he praised the Lord. I just, you know, had this victory or got this new car or some good thing happened and I'm so blessed because I've got good circumstances right now. But Jesus would also say you're also blessed when you're poor. When you're weeping. And so update your perspective. Receive instruction from the Lord. Let him teach you that your mind and your heart might be aligned with his, and so these are things that God does in Group sessions. As we gather together, they're valuable. They're the independent. Times us and the Lord, just one-on-one personal absolutely valuable. An important and vital in our lives, but also let's not neglect the gathering together of the brethren. Because as we gather together, Jesus challenges human traditions. He prioritizes sometimes the needs of a single person. He selects people to stand up and to lead and to represent him and be sent out by him. He works miracles. Feeling physically and spiritually and he teaches us to be his followers and to understand the blessings that we have in him. Lord, we thank you. For this group session and for the many more that you have in store for us, help us Lord to value them, to honor them and Lord to seek you for what you have Lord the traditions. Of the religious leaders, kind of is a dominant theme here in this passage, and the traditions that we have developed and build up in our mind as well, where they hold us back many times from you and from what you want to do in our midst and in our lives. And so Lord may we be. Open and receptive to what you want to say. I pray, Lord, that you would challenge us in those things that are not of you, Lord, that we would be able to have that clear grasp of you directly, not through ritual but Lord through relationship. May we hear your voice and respond and follow you. As you call us to move forward. As you send us out, Lord, where your apostles commissioned by you. We've been learning from you and now you send us out. To represent you, and to honor you and the world around us, may we do that. And bring glory to you. We pray this in Jesus name.