8:22-56 – ‘Where is your faith?’ (25). The Lord is not looking for lip-service. He is looking for real faith. Some beg Jesus ‘to depart from them’ (37). They don’t want to know! Others long to ‘be with Him’ (38). They don’t want to go! Some have no interest in worship. They don’t really want to get to know Jesus. Others love to ‘worship’, but they are so slow to witness. They need to hear Jesus’ words – ‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you’ (39). Real faith worships. Real faith witnesses. We need both – Worship and Witness. Some – ‘the multitudes’ (45) – touch Jesus superficially. They are interested – when everything seems exciting! They touch Jesus religiously. They do not touch Him by faith. Where is the ‘power’, the resurrection power (46,54)? Without faith, there is no power!
9:1-27 – It was a short mission (1-6) – short but important! They were being trained for future work. There and then, people were hearing the Gospel, believing in Christ and being saved. There was opposition (7-9): There’s always plenty of that – ‘We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us’ (Romans 8:37). There is physical need. There is also spiritual need – ‘Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life’ (10-17; John 6:27). In verses 18-27, we learn (a) Who Jesus is: ‘the Christ of God’ (20). (b) What Jesus has done for us: His death and resurrection (22). (c) What Jesus calls us to be: His followers (23). May God give us grace to follow ‘the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us’ (Galatians 2:20). We follow Christ, looking for ‘the Kingdom of God’ (27).
9:28-62 – The ‘glory’ of Christ (32) – ‘Before the world was made’, He shared the Father’s glory. Through the Cross – ‘His departure…’(31) – , Christ, ‘the Lamb that was slain’ for sinners, has fulfilled God’s eternal purpose of salvation (John 17:4-5; Revelation 13:8). We are to ‘look’ to the Lamb of God. We are to ‘listen’ to God’s beloved Son. If we do not look and listen, we will not learn. To those who refuse to look, listen and learn, God issues His Word of warning: ‘See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking’ (Hebrews 12:25). We must confess our spiritual poverty, our lack of power (37-42), understanding (43-45), humility (46-48), unity (49-50) and love (51-56). Looking to Christ who ‘set His face to go to Jerusalem’ and refusing to ‘look back’, we must choose to be ‘good soldiers of Jesus Christ’ (51,62: 2 Timothy 2:3-4).