THEME: What sort of Messiah is this?
KEY VERSES: Luke 9:21-36
Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.’
Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
‘Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.’
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendour, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfilment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one FOR Elijah.’ (He did not know what he was saying.)
While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.’ When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
‘Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.’ But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and made him stand beside him. Then he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.’
‘Master,’ said John, ‘we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.’
‘Do not stop him,’ Jesus said, ‘for whoever is not against you is for you.’
After reading this passage in light of the question “What sort of Messiah is this?”, Luke provides us with many different answers.
In Chapter 9 v 21, Luke writes that Jesus didn’t want people to know that he was “the Christ of God.” His reason for this being that his time had not yet come. His time came when he suffered many things, was killed and then raised to life. What sort of Messiah is this? Here we see that this Messiah is one who was obedient to his Father, and laid his life down for us. This Messiah is the Christ of God; this Messiah is Jesus.
Luke then accounts for Jesus telling the people, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Our Messiah is the Son of the Living God. To follow Jesus requires faith and action. Less of self and more of thee. Jesus sets this example when he bowed to his Father and said, “Not my will, but yours be done” in order to complete God’s will to save us. This Messiah is our Redeemer.
In v 26, Jesus describes that he will “come in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” What sort of Messiah is this? This Messiah is King, enthroned in his glory and the glory of the Father. One day, every knee will bow before Him and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.
During the Transfiguration, God’s voice declares, “This is my son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him.” Jesus is God’s chosen one. What sort of Messiah is this? This Messiah is the Way to the Father. We are told to listen to Him because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
In v 48, Jesus says, “For he who is least among you all – he is the greatest.” This Messiah is humble, and yet is exalted to the highest of heights. Jesus humbled himself and became obedient. His humility is marked by his entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. Jesus was a servant. Yet, whilst He entered Jerusalem on a donkey, we are told in Revelation that He will return again on a white horse. Jesus is King. We see many paradoxes in the Gospel. ‘The first shall be last’. ‘The least among you is the greatest’. ‘The humble will be exalted’. Jesus is the fulfilment of all these things. What sort of Messiah is this? A humble, servant King.
Encouragement: Our Messiah laid down his life for us. To live as God’s child is to know, at this very instant, that you are loved by your Maker, not because you try to please him and succeed, or fail to please him and apologise, but because He wants to be your Father. Nothing more. All your efforts to win his affection are unnecessary. All your fears of losing his affection are needless. You can no more make him want you than you can convince him to abandon you. The adoption is irreversible. You have a place at his table.
Challenge: Focus on Jesus. Less of self, more of thee. I must decrease, He must increase. If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Reflection: Do I crown Jesus as King in my life? Do I deny myself in order to follow Him? How does this affect how I witness to others about Jesus?
PRAY in line with what you have read.