Saturday after Quinquagesima
Scripture: St. Luke 9:1-27 (NKJV)
9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, 8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. 9 Herod said, “John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?” So he sought to see Him.
10 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.
12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”
13 But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men.
Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” 15 And they did so, and made them all sit down. 16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.
18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”
20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”
21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
27 “But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”
I was frightfully shy as a boy. I think I owned more pencils than anyone else because the pencil sharpener was in the front of the room and there was no way I was going to walk up there to use it in front of the whole class, so I had plenty of spares. We grow out of those kinds of fear, for the most part. Still, even bashful folks will discourse at length about a car, a movie they saw on television, a summer vacation, or a fishing trip. But to talk about Jesus? To say something about the Christian verity? Most people would rather not, it seems.
For some, it’s a matter of uncertainty. They rightly consider talking about Jesus to be important, but wrongly think they won’t say it right, regardless how many times they’ve confessed the Apostles’ Creed. There are times when it may be best to be silent. Even Jesus sometimes encouraged people to be quiet about what they had seen Him do, but that was in accord with God’s arrangement of the timing of events so that Jesus’ death and resurrection would come about exactly as He, in His wisdom, had ordained it.
Now the end times indeed are coming. We must take heed to listen to Jesus. He warns us that whoever is ashamed of Him and His words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in his own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
We pray: Lord, make us to speak Your testimonies even before kings and not be ashamed. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.