Read:  Luke 9:1-17

And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Herod Is Perplexed by Jesus

Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” And they did so, and had them all sit down.  And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.


In the previous chapter of Luke, we watched Jesus cast out a legion of demons inflicting a man and then heal an elderly woman on his way to raise a child from the dead.  Now, He turns to the twelve apostles and gives them the authority and power to do the same.  He sent them out with two objectives:  proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God AND heal.  How were they to go about fulfilling their orders?  He instructed them to travel light and to trust that provision would come along the way from the people they would visit.  Jesus sent the twelve out to do the impossible with no provisions except for the tunic (a single tunic mind you) on their backs.
Upon their return, they explode with stories of all they had seen God do on their journeys.  The small band of disciples who had been following Jesus was now multiplying exponentially as each apostle returned from his journey with a crowd of people wanting to hear more from the Teacher Himself.  There is something in the air:  something that causes men to drop their plows and leave their work benches;  something that causes crippled women who’ve just been healed to take their first steps out of town and toward the wilderness to hear a man they have never met speak; something that draws old and young, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile together.  It is the power of hope.  They are hoping that what they are experiencing physically, mentally, and spiritually is real because if it is, it’s worth leaving everything for.
How does the gift of hope shape your daily life?  How do you actively participate in the two-fold mission of proclaiming the Kingdom of God and healing (or simply restoring or making better) the world around you?  Take a moment to really consider those two questions.  If you feel in need of help, then you are in good company.  That’s exactly the position in which the apostles and disciples found themselves.  And it was there that Christ’s power was made perfect in their weakness.