At Luke 9:51 we move into the largest section of this book. Chapters 4-9:50 contained some teaching, but it was mostly miracles. The bulk of Jesus’ teaching (and no miracles) occurs from 9:51 through 19:27. The section is held together by repeated notices that Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem.
As Luke moves into the teaching section of his book, he emphasizes Jesus’ power with the story of the feeding of the 5000 and Christ’s identity with the story of the transfiguration. But what stands out is the teaching on discipleship.
Discipleship requires humility and concern for the least. In Jesus’ day, that meant children. It’s hard to fathom a society that didn’t value children, but that’s precisely the way it was. Jesus said: “Whoever welcomes a child in my name, welcomes God.”
Discipleship precludes retaliation and pride. Rejected by a Samaritan village, the twelve wanted to call down fire from heaven. Jesus rebuked them. If someone mistreats you . . . move on.
Discipleship means putting Christ first: above personal comfort, above family, and above regret – which comes from realizing that being a disciple might preclude you from enjoying the next popular wave. Jesus said, pointedly and succinctly: “No one who begins this walk, and then regrets it, is fit to take it.”