The word “gospel” shows up in Luke 7:22, in the context of Jesus’ response to John the Baptist’s question, “Are you the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” We’ve looked at this passage before; it’s essentially the same as its parallel in Matthew, and we can derive the same conclusions from it. Let’s get on to the new content.
Luke 9 starts with Jesus sending out the apostles to cast out demons and heal diseases. He instructs them to travel radically light–no bag, no cash, no food, one change of clothes, bare necessities. And as they go from village to village bringing healing, they’re also preaching the gospel. What are they saying? What are their words?
The text doesn’t say, so I don’t exactly know. But I can infer from previous passages that it’s a message of liberation for the captives and relief for the oppressed. God’s gonna go to bat for the victims, that’s part of the message. And the disciples are bringing this message in practice as well as in preaching. God is going to bat for the sick, healing them through the disciples, and he’s going to bat for the demon-possessed, kicking out evil spirits through the disciples. It’s restoration on the move.
Regarding their spartan provisions for their journey (and by “spartan provisions,” I mean “no provisions”), I’ve got to imagine how this felt to some of the disciples. Picture Matthew, the wealthy tax collector, hearing Jesus say, “Hey, you’re going on the road with just the shirt on your back.” Picture how insane this must sound to him. Yet he went ahead with it.
So we’ve got another piece of the gospel according to Luke, now. It’s restoration in practice, like we saw with the twelve apostles getting sent out. It’s God going to bat for those who suffer injustice, the people that this broken world is kicking in the face.
For today’s chocolate we’re back to the Theo sea salt dark chocolate. It’s not my favorite, but it’s chocolate, and I’ve only got two blocks of it left. I’m workin’ my way through this thing!