Luke Devotional – Week 7

Rev. Doug Heiman   -  

February 13 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 9:28-36, About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray.29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. 31 They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.

32 Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 34 But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them. 35 Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.”36 When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

Once again, Luke reveals how vitally important prayer was to Jesus. He modeled it well by including His most inner circle in this mountaintop experience. As Jesus prayed, His face changed and His clothes became snow white. This is the power of pure prayer!

We may not have such a physical change in such a deeply-connected prayer time with heaven, but I love the imagery of prayer being the impetus for a powerful transformation that would occur within us. Can you imagine what might happen if our lives were not so filled to the brim and distracted with so many other things that we could be transformed by our time with Jesus?

This was such a watershed moment in Jesus’ ministry that Moses and Elijah showed up, representing the Jewish law and the prophets. They were caught up in this glorious luminescence as they talked with Jesus 

The topic of conversation was Jesus’ exodus. The same word that described the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt is used to describe Jesus’ experience in His death. It would be a new exodus moment. It would occur at the Passover feast which commemorated the first exodus. Just as the Israelites had been redeemed by the lamb’s blood placed upon their doorframes to spare them from the angel of death so the Lamb of God’s shed blood would redeem the world for all who would believe. 

Moses and Elijah’s presence reveal the reality that Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Moses and Elijah’s presence with Jesus was a major milestone marking the hand-off from the old to the new kingdom being established on earth. 

However, the sleepy three, a foretaste of the Garden of Gethsemane, did not understand, so Peter foolishly said let’s build some shelters and stay in this mountaintop moment. However, that was not God’s plan. He swallowed them up in His holy presence and declared similarly as He spoke at Jesus’ baptism, “This is my Son, my Chosen One, listen to Him.” 

Prayer: Father, what You said to them, You say to us. Give us listening ears and a willing heart to obediently do what Jesus has spoken. Amen.

February 14 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 9:37-43a, The next day, after they had come down the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus. 38 A man in the crowd called out to him, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, my only child.39 An evil spirit keeps seizing him, making him scream. It throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It batters him and hardly ever leaves him alone. 40 I begged your disciples to cast out the spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

41 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you and put up with you?” Then he said to the man, “Bring your son here.”

42 As the boy came forward, the demon knocked him to the ground and threw him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and healed the boy. Then he gave him back to his father. 43 Awe gripped the people as they saw this majestic display of God’s power.

It is a universal experience of life. After you enjoy a wonderful uplifting mountaintop experience, you descend into the valley of trouble. One can go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a matter of breaths. 

We find it to be true in the church calendar. We celebrate a big attendance on Easter, and the next Sunday we wonder where all the people went. We saw it this past Christmas when we had a huge Christmas Eve that required three services to hold everyone, and the next morning on Christmas Day, we did not fill half the sanctuary for one service! 

Jesus had this amazing experience where He spent time with His Father, Moses, and Elijah. For the Son of God who had descended into the valley of earth, the mountain had to be a heart-warming and soul-stirring encounter. Heaven had come to visit Jesus to encourage Him for what was to come. He walked off that mountain with clear focus and burning passion for the work to be done.

And then it happened. He met a frantic father of a demon-possessed boy who was in terrible shape. Even worse, the nine disciples left behind could not exorcise the demon. Jesus used some strong and surprising language to describe their inability to do so. 

What they could not do, Jesus easily did with the power of His rebuke against the evil presence within the boy. He was set free, healed, and given back to his father. Once again, the people were overcome with amazement at the power Jesus displayed. 

Do you ever wonder where Jesus might have a strong word for us? When do we act in a faithless manner? Do we exhibit fear and anxiety rather than trust in Him? Do we fail to step out in faith when He calls us into His service as His witness? Do we repeat the same sin over and over? Do we fail to obey His message? 

Prayer: Father, forgive me for my faithless ways. Fill me anew with Your Holy Spirit so that I can walk in confident trust so I may serve and please You. Amen. 

February 15 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 9:43b-50, While everyone was marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Listen to me and remember what I say. The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies.” 45 But they didn’t know what he meant. Its significance was hidden from them, so they couldn’t understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

46 Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side. 48 Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.”

49 John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.” 50 But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.”

The crowds are in absolute awe of Jesus’ miraculous work. Such signs were necessary to enlighten them to who He was. However, what was coming, no one could believe or would understand. While the crowds applauded Jesus, He attempted to tell His disciples what was ahead. Once again, He let them in on the awful secret that He was headed to death, but they did not get it. They were too afraid to ask. Maybe, they really did not want to know.

In contrast to Jesus revealing He would be giving up His life, the disciples argued among themselves who was number one. The values of the two kingdoms came clashing and crashing together. Because Jesus knew their thoughts, He brought a child to His side as an object lesson. He said when you welcome a child in my name, you welcome me. To welcome Jesus is to welcome the Father who sent Him. He is the way to the Father. 

Just as the child was considered the least among them so disciples of Jesus were to see themselves in the same light. We are reminded of Isaiah’s prophecy, Isaiah 11:6, “In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all.”

Jesus re-emphasized what the disciples and many find difficult to understand. The way of the kingdom of earth is proud promotion but the way of the kingdom of God is humble dependency. 


Their pride was evident again when they told Jesus they shut down someone speaking and casting out demons in His name. However, Jesus said anyone who was doing so was on the same team. Anyone who believes can speak in Jesus’ name. The kingdom is not reserved for a small select group but for all who will believe and receive it. 

Jesus was constantly working to re-program the disciples’ thinking into the new kingdom mindset. What about us? Are we kingdom of earth proud self-promoters or kingdom of heaven humble servants? 

Prayer: Father, earth has programmed us deeply to promote and assert ourselves first. Forgive us and change our minds. May we choose to be least and last in Your kingdom. Amen.

February 16 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 9:51-56, As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. 53 But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. 54 When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 So they went on to another village.

This marks the turning point in Jesus’ ministry. With over 14 chapters to go in the gospel, Jesus makes His turn to Jerusalem for what will be His greatest act of all. Jesus has foretold twice what was coming, though His disciples did not understand what He was saying. 

Jesus resolutely set out. Even though Jesus knew what was ahead, He was not hesitant but determined to accomplish the holy purpose of why He was sent. This redeeming act of crucifixion was the ultimate reason He was on the planet. The future of humanity rested upon this determined decision to turn toward this deadly destination. 

Jesus sent some of his own ahead to prepare them to stay in a Samaritan village. To go through Samaria would have been the most direct route. However, we discover that the Samaritans had a spirit of enmity against the Jews as the Jews had the same against them. 

It is not surprising that the brothers, James and John, were nicknamed the sons of thunder. Did they really believe they had the authority and power to call fire from heaven to consume these inhospitable people? Who did they think they were! 

The refusal to show hospitality was a major slap in the face in that culture. Hospitality is one of the key attributes of God’s people. In the Old and New Testaments, hospitality was expected to be given for local or foreign travelers of any kind. Speaking about foreign travelers, read this,

Hebrews 13:2, Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

In yesterday’s reading, John was the one who said they stopped someone casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Just as they had been shown intolerance by the Samaritans, so the disciples showed intolerance to the one who was working for them but not in their small group. The dangerous temptation for any group is that we become clickish and closed off to others joining us.  

Jesus rebuked James and John for their hypocritical and foolish suggestion to bring down judgment upon these people. Instead, Jesus modeled what it meant to lay down one’s life and pick up the cross. He had taught to pray for, love, bless, lend, serve, give, and forgive your enemies, now He demonstrated it by refusing to condemn them, but instead He moved on. 

Whenever we want to call fire down from heaven to consume others, we might want to check our hearts to see what is really going on inside. Instead, we need to move on! 

Prayer: Father, forgive me for being quick to judge and condemn others when I have many shortcomings myself. Give me a spirit of grace towards others. Amen.  

February 17 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 9:57-62, As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”

61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” 62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Do we know what we are saying when we declare that we will go with Jesus wherever he goes? Jesus said He did not even have a place to call home. Is it really true that we will go with Jesus into the places that require absolute faith and daily determination to resist the devil and overcome the physical, mental, and spiritual opposition that the kingdom of the world brings? Jesus wants us to know that it is easy to say, “I will follow,” but it is quite another thing to actually follow Him. We must know it will not always be an easy or comfortable journey. 

Someone said they needed to attend a funeral for their father before they followed. In the Jewish Torah, such a burial takes precedence over everything else. However, Jesus was letting him and us know that a life in His kingdom is a radical call to discipleship and must take precedence over everything, even that which is deemed good and appropriate. 

Someone else said they needed to tell their family good-bye. Again, it would seem to be a good thing to do. However, Jesus was telling him and us that we must be single-minded. This was an urgent moment in the history of Israel and the world. It required a response with no delay. Any delay may precipitate a change of mind. 

Following Jesus is not a hobby. It is not just another good thing to add into the vast agenda of our lives. It is to be an all-consuming, absolute commitment of devotion and love to our Lord Jesus. 

We know what they did not know. Jesus went to the cross and resurrected so that we could be fully redeemed and forgiven. As with the sinful woman who was forgiven of her many sins and lavishly showed her love and appreciation, so we should desire to respond with such extravagant love and commitment to what Christ has done for us in repairing our souls, restoring our relationship with the Father, and offering us a fantastic future.  

What would Jesus say about our level of commitment to following Him? Have we accepted the radical call to discipleship or are we treating Him and His kingdom as a hobby? 

Prayer: Father, I am convicted that I follow Jesus on my own terms rather than with a total-life commitment. I confess my lack of single-mindedness and wholeheartedness. Give me Holy Spirit motivation and strength to go all-in today. Amen. 

February 18 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 10:1-24, The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road. “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.

“If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ 10 But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ 12 I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day. 13 “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. 14 Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. 15 And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.”

16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.” 17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” 18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

Jesus had such a huge following that he chose 72 followers beyond the 12 to go on a mission to prepare the way as He journeyed to Jerusalem. It was an urgent mission so they were not to stop and idly chat with others along the way. It was a mission of extending God’s all-encompassing peace to each community and home that would receive it. In the midst of many voices who were speaking of revolution against Rome, Jesus had a different, more powerful plan brought through healing, delivering, and announcing the Kingdom was nearby. If they received the peace of Jesus, then they would not experience the devastation of judgment.

They were being offered a warm welcome into the Kingdom but also warned if they refused, they would be crushed. The Kingdom announcement is a two-sided message of welcome and warning. These disciples were thrilled to participate in the supernatural deliverances, but Jesus said the most important thing we can celebrate is that our names are written in heaven. 

Prayer: Father, thank you for the peace you offer to save and make me whole. May I accept it fully so I can be fully confident that my name is written in heaven. Amen.