A Kingdom of Bread & Fish: Luke 9:1-27
Citizens of the Kingdom are to receive teaching from His Majesty Christ Jesus. And the King not only delivers the conditions of citizenship, but He has plenty of nourishment to provide for all who are hungry. ARE WE HUNGRY?
The Kingdom of God is a Spiritual Estate. And this Kingdom is visible through the inner eye focused in Christ. ON WHAT ARE WE FOCUSED ON THIS MORNING?
The kingdom of God, of His heavens, is like a merchant (a trader) on a journey seeking fine pearls, and upon finding ONE pearl of great value (unique, prestigious, paramount, supreme), he (this merchant) went and sold all that he had (materialistic things, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, community, self, “all”) and he proceeded to purchase this most worthy pearl. And the reason this merchant did such a thing is simply because he sought first the kingdom that belongs to Jesus Christ. And by doing so he knew all things would be added unto him. He asked, and it was given to him; he sought, and he found; he knocked, and it was opened to him.
In this recorded and inspired account, Luke 9, we read of Jesus giving miraculous power to His twelve, and sending His Apostles on a campaign journey (1-2). God breathed authority and instruction is administered to these sojourners therein (3-5). And in verse 6 “departing, they go on throughout the villages, PREACHING THE GOSPEL.” Following this narrative the Holy Spirit reveals to us of Herod’s perplexity regarding the things he’d been hearing about Jesus Christ (7-9). The text continues and transitions with the return of the Apostles, and the given report (10). With a history of signs and wonders experienced in the chapters prior, Christ, in light of the crowds following Him at this time, begins to speak to them about THE KINGDOM OF GOD (11).
And into our Majesty’s visual sermon we escapade this morning, titled: “A Kingdom of Bread & Fish.” “Now the day was ending (verse 12), and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.”
We can’t provide for these people? Why? Because there’s simply no market in this deserted location?
Friends, the apostles were looking outwardly, and not only outwardly, but selfishly. How so? Not only were they seeking another source of nourishment outside the Great Provider in their midst (Jesus Christ). They also wanted to pass the responsibility of benevolence to the needy in need of their hospitality. Just like fish swimming in fresh rivers of life, instructing their mates to gather buckets of water from a heathens empty and dying well.
Remember. The twelve had been following Jesus, witnessed time and again to miraculous power and provision. And yet at this junction, display dead faith, and believe it wiser to send the needy off with a prayer (“depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” yet they do not give the people the things which are needed for the body). Why not simply turn to the Great Provider who gives abundantly to all who love Him? Why not take responsibility and give them the Master’s provision?
Jesus said to them, “You, give them to eat.” (13a) - A Kingdom of Bread & Fish. A visual and prophetic look into the citizenship of God, and still the apostles miss the mark. And so proceed to insert excuse #2, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.” (13b)
I wonder if this was Peter speaking in such ignorance. A fisherman would know the cost of this bounty needed to feed this large crowd, the amount of labor necessary to provide for such an extravagant meal. And through a worldly perception, foolish of Jesus to even suggest such a thing! You see, they were once again looking at the wrong source for answers. This is more than geographical location. This is more than what money can buy. This is something costly, unique, prestigious, and most worthy. Are there no merchants to be found?
Jesus said to them (in His wisdom and patience dealing with finite man). “Have them sit in groups of about fifty each.” (14)
Jesus is teaching them a visual concept of a coming kingdom. And the source of nourishment which is provided for this kingdom comes from God. And what is from God is united in doctrine, autonomous in groups. All across the world there need be no seeker of truth which should find provision in any other location than within one of the congregations belonging to Christ, for He is the King, and we are His “called out ones.” HIS SERMON CONTINUES, THE GOSPEL, THE KINGDOM.
At this point the apostles repent and follow His instructions. They congregate the kingdom into groups of 50. And the apostles proceed to receive from God and give to the people. And the people were satisfied, filled. And after this miraculous display of kingdom things, there still remained more nourishment (15-17)
A discussion follows between the apostles and Jesus which reveals the power behind this coming Kingdom. To which now they are made privy, Jesus Christ. And so the Messiah, the Anointed One, proceeds to prophecy of His fulfillment in the purchase and foundation of this coming Kingdom. (18-22). “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be murdered and be raised up on the third day.” (22)
And so now we will venture forward to see Jesus and His perfect sermon, extend an invitation to all who may seek freedom from the bondage of sin (Jn. 8:32) by the Word of God (Jn. 8:31). An invitation to obey the conditions of sacrifice each individual accountable to God must practice if he or she wishes citizenship into this kingdom.
READ VERSES 22-26:
One must deny himself: let go all he has, practices, and beliefs.
One must pick up his cross daily: be put to shame in persecution, daily.
One must follow Christ: lovingly receive nourishment from Christ, His Words.
One must reject his former life: stop investing in things of the past.
One must invest in being productive for the kingdom: benevolence, evangelize, teach.
One must not be ashamed of his Master and His Bible: Stand up for Christ and defend Him when the world tries to get you to submit to their way of thinking, walking, and speaking.
The gospel preached. The kingdom of God proclaimed, both one with the other, together, united, wed in divine matrimony. And the power, that will purchase and build this kingdom? The blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the living Son of God! And now Jesus gives them a time period in which His Kingdom, church would come. “I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not die before they see this Kingdom of God.” (27)
And would you know it, not too long after, on the day of Pentecost recorded in the book of Acts, with great power from on high, in Jerusalem, during the Roman Empire, once Christ had died, been buried, and raised from the dead, to walk among 500+ witnesses, and ascend once again into the right hand of the Father. The Kingdom of God was established and its gate was opened to all faithful and active qualifiers willing to obey the conditions of forgiveness and citizenship.
A Kingdom of Bread & Fish, a church that belongs to Christ and receives nourishment from His Words. And here are the conditions extended to all of us this morning as it was for our brethren of 1st century Palestine.
Change your mind about sin. Sin separates you from God and His purpose for you in His kingdom. Change your mind about fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, drug & alcohol dependency, gossip, jealousy, lying, stealing, cheating, violating, swindling, unauthorized divorce, and all other sorts of worldly activities. Change your mind about all the religious filth and charm you’ve allowed your mind to cherish in tradition for decades. Turn away from all these false teaching denominations and the vipers who preach for them. Turn away from everything the world has offered you. Deny yourself and confess Christ as your Lord and Master. What He says from now on you will do.
This narrow path, if you so choose to qualify, takes faith to be immersed in water with the authority of Jesus Christ in order to have Him wash your sins away, and add you to His kingdom, the church that belongs to Jesus Christ. If you have counted the cost of this pearl, and are a seeking merchant ready to sell everything to obtain it, A Kingdom of Bread & Fish, please come forward and meet us as we stand and sing.