9:1 Then 1 he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
(1) The twelve apostles are sent forth only at the commandment of Christ and equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit: both that none of the Israelites might pretend ignorance, and also that they might be better prepared for their general mission. 9:4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there a abide, and thence depart.
(a) When you depart out of any city, depart from that place where you first took up your lodging: so that in these few words the Lord forbids them to change their lodgings: for this publishing of the gospel was as it were a publishing throughout the whole land, that no one in Judea might pretend ignorance, as though he had not heard that Christ had come. 9:7 2 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he b was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;
(2) As soon as the world hears tidings of the gospel it is divided into differing opinions, and the tyrants especially are afraid. 9:10 3 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a c desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
(b) He stuck as it were fast in the mire.
(3) They that follow Christ will lack nothing, not even in the wilderness. 9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; d except we should go and buy meat for all this people.
(c) The word signifies a desert: note, this was not in the town Bethsaida, but part of the fields belonging to the town.
(d) This is said imperfectly, and therefore we must understand it to mean something like this: "We cannot give them to eat unless we go and buy, etc.". 9:16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, e he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
(e) He gave God thanks for these loaves and fishes, and prayed at the same time that God would feed this multitude which was so great with such a small quantity, and to put it briefly, that this whole banquet might be to the glory of God. 9:18 4 And it came to pass, as he was f alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?
(4) Although the world be tossed up and down between different errors, yet we ought not to condemn the truth but be all the more desirous to know it, and be more steadfast to confess it. 9:22 5 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
(f) Alone from the people.
(5) Christ himself attained to the heavenly glory, by the cross and invincible perseverance. 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross g daily, and follow me.
(g) Even as one day follows another, so does one cross follow another, and the cross is by the figure of speech metonymy taken for the miseries of this life: for to be hanged on the cross was the most grievous and cruel punishment that there was amongst the Jews. 9:28 6 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
(6) So that his disciples do not stumble at his debasing himself in his flesh, he teaches them that it is voluntary, showing in addition for a moment the brightness of his glory. 9:31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his h decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
(h) What death he would die in Jerusalem. 9:36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept [it] close, and told no man in i those days any of those things which they had seen.
(i) Until Christ was risen again from the dead. 9:37 7 And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him.
(7) Nothing offends Christ as much as incredulity, although he bears with it for a time. 9:39 And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and k bruising him hardly departeth from him.
(k) As it happens in the falling sickness. 9:43 8 And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,
(8) We have no reason to promise ourselves rest and quietness in this world, seeing that they themselves who seemed to fawn upon Christ crucify him shortly after. 9:44 l Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
(l) Give diligent ear to them, and once you have heard them see that you keep them. 9:46 9 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
(9) Ambition results in dishonour, but the result of modest obedience is glory. 9:49 10 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
9:51 11 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly m set his face to go to Jerusalem,
(10) Extraordinary things are neither rashly to be allowed nor condemned.
9:54 12 And when his disciples James and John saw [this], they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
(11) Christ goes willingly to death.
(m) Literally, "he hardened his face": that is, he resolved with himself to die, and therefore ventured upon his journey and cast away all fear of death, and went on.
9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of n spirit ye are of.
(12) We must take heed of zeal and fond imitation which is not moderated, even in good causes, that whatever we do, we do it to Gods glory, and the profit of our neighbour.
(n) So the Hebrews say, that is, you do not know what will, mind, and counsel you are of: so the gifts of God are called the spirit because they are given by Gods Spirit, and so are the things that are contrary to them also called the spirit, which proceed from the wicked spirit, such as the spirit of covetousness, of pride, and madness. 9:57 13 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain [man] said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
9:59 14 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
(13) Those who follow Christ must prepare themselves to endure all discomforts.
9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury o their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
(14) The calling of God ought to be preferred without any question, before all duties that we owe to men.
(o) Who, even though they live in this frail life of man, yet are strangers from the true life, which is everlasting and heavenly. 9:61 15 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
(15) Those who follow Christ must at once renounce all worldly cares.