Doing ministry Jesus’ way

“He replied, ‘As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks: where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.’ They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.” – Luke‬ ‭22:10-13‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

This is a beautiful example doing ministry Jesus’ way, i.e. the natural and the supernatural completely interwoven.

  1. Jesus obviously talked to the people who owned the house previously about celebrating the Passover in this location. This shows that there are things we have to do in the natural to prepare for future ministry. However, we need to trust Jesus to help us make the right connections. The disciples meeting the man with the jar is evidence that He is God since only God can orchestrate such “coincidence”.
  2. Jesus is making preparations for us to serve Him in ministry. We need to listen to Him and act in faith. If we do, we will “things just as Jesus tells us”.

All authority belongs to Jesus

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” – Matthew 28:18-20 NIVUK

The order of Jesus’s instructions mirrors God’s instructions to Joshua as he was about to the lead the Israelites into the promised land. Jesus says, “All authority in heave and on earth has been given to me“. God tells Joshua, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. ‘Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’” (Joshua 1:5-9 NIVUK) Oh the confidence we should have as we go out in His Name!

The big difference between these events is that whereas Joshua’s conquest of the promised land was a physical invasion of the land promised to them, Jesus’s disciples conquest will be a spiritual invasion of this world to enlarge God’s Kingdom. However, both were dangerous conquests. I think we often underestimate the battle that is raging around us in the spiritual. May God open our eyes so that we can enter into this battle with a clear understanding of what is happening and a solid confidence in the One who is leading our charge because He has all authority.

Isaiah 9:6

In Isaiah 9 we read,

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The child is born – He is fully human

A son is given – He is a gift

The government will be on his shoulders – He reigns

Wonderful Counselor – not just any counselor … He is Wonderful

Mighty God – not just any god … He is Mighty

Everlasting Father – not just any father … He is Everlasting

Prince of Peace – not just any prince … He is the Prince of Peace

The strong man armed – Matthew 12:29; Mark 3:27; Luke 11:21-22

The background: Jesus heals a demon-possessed man who is blind and mute. Doctor Luke tells us that when the demon leaves, the man speaks, and the crowd is amazed. The spiritual leaders of the people were willing to recognize that the miracle was supernatural, but they were not willing to recognize that Jesus was doing it by the power of God. Instead they accused Jesus of driving out demons with the power of the prince of demons, Beelzebub (or Satan).

Explanation / Comments: The NETBible comments,

Jesus here demonstrated the absurdity of the thinking of the religious leaders who maintained that he was in league with Satan and that he actually derived his power from the devil. He first teaches (vv. 25-28) that if he casts out demons by the ruler of the demons, then in reality Satan is fighting against himself, with the result that his kingdom has come to an end. He then teaches (v. 29) about tying up the strong man to prove that he does not need to align himself with the devil because he is more powerful. Jesus defeated Satan at his temptation (4:1-11) and by his exorcisms he clearly demonstrated himself to be stronger than the devil. The passage reveals the desperate condition of the religious leaders, who in their hatred for Jesus end up attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan (a position for which they will be held accountable, 12:31-32). (Emphasis mine)

If we don’t believe that there is an unseen spiritual world, this parable will have no meaning. It is obvious that this isn’t even a question in Jesus’ day, just like it isn’t a question in most of the world other than the Western world today. Sometimes we Westerners can be so arrogant in our thinking, especially when we ridicule others who don’t think like us. Westerners are in error when they think there is no spiritual world. It is one of Satan’s big deceptions.

Application: There are many things one can learn from this parable. The spiritual leaders and the learned people didn’t want to accept Jesus for who He was, because they knew and understood that it would mean that they would have to change their way of life and thinking. Instead they tried to discredit him, but in the process they ended up looking ridiculous. Not much has changed . . . this is still true today of the ‘wise and learned’. May the Lord help us to be bold but humble in proclaiming Him despite the opposition we may face from the ‘wise and the learned’. (And please understand that I am not saying that it is wrong to study . . . I believe that Christians should be the most highly qualified people in their profession . . . when I refer to the ‘wise and learned’ I refer to people who hide behind their education when they are asked to respond to the truth of the Scriptures.)

We don’t have to fear Satan and His kingdom. They are a defeated enemy. We shouldn’t underestimate them, but we don’t need to fear them.

If I have to choose who to follow, why would I choose the weaker leader? It doesn’t make any sense. Jesus has defeated Satan. Only Jesus is worthy of our devotion and worship.