Luke 9

Commissioning the Twelve

1 Summoning the Twelve, He gave them power and authority over all the demons, and [power] to heal[a] diseases.
2 Then He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
3 "Take nothing for the road," He told them, "no walking stick, no traveling bag, no bread, no money; and don't take an extra shirt.
4 Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
5 If they do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them."
6 So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.

Herod's Desire to See Jesus

7 Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was going on. He was perplexed, because some said that John had been raised from the dead,
8 some that Elijah had appeared, and others that one of the ancient prophets had risen.
9 "I beheaded John," Herod said, "but who is this I hear such things about?" And he wanted to see Him.

Feeding 5,000

10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. He took them along and withdrew privately to a[b] town called Bethsaida.
11 When the crowds found out, they followed Him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and cured[c] those who needed healing.
12 Late in the day,[d] the Twelve approached and said to Him, "Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find food and lodging, because we are in a deserted place here."
13 "You give them something to eat," He told them. "We have no more than five loaves and two fish," they said, "unless we go and buy food for all these people."
14 (For about 5,000 men were there.) Then He told His disciples, "Have them sit down [e] in groups of about 50 each."
15 They did so, and had them all sit down.
16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them. He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
17 Everyone ate and was filled. Then they picked up[f] 12 baskets of leftover pieces.

Peter's Confession of the Messiah

18 While He was praying in private and His disciples were with Him, He asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"
19 They answered, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back."[g]
20 "But you," He asked them, "who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "God's Messiah!"

His Death and Resurrection Predicted

21 But He strictly warned and instructed them to tell this to no one,
22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day."

Take Up Your Cross

23 Then He said to [them] all, "If anyone wants to come with [h] Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, [i] and follow Me.
24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.
25 What is a man benefited if he gains the whole world, yet loses or forfeits himself?
26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and that of the Father and the holy angels.
27 I tell you the truth: there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."

The Transfiguration

28 About eight days after these words, He took along Peter, John, and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
29 As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white.
30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Him-Moses and Elijah.
31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His death,[j] which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
32 Peter and those with him were in a deep sleep,[k] and when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who were standing with Him.
33 As the two men were departing from Him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it's good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"-not knowing what he said.
34 While he was saying this, a cloud appeared and overshadowed them. They became afraid as they entered the cloud.
35 Then a voice came from the cloud,[l] saying: This is My Son, the Chosen One;[m] listen to Him!
36 After the voice had spoken, only Jesus was found. They kept silent, and in those days told no one what they had seen.

The Power of Faith over a Demon

37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him.
38 Just then a man from the crowd cried out, "Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, because he's my only [child].
39 Often a spirit seizes him; suddenly he shrieks, and it throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth;[n] wounding[o] him, it hardly ever leaves him.
40 I begged Your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn't."
41 Jesus replied, "You unbelieving and rebellious [p] generation! How long will I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."
42 As the boy was still approaching, the demon knocked him down and threw him into severe convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, cured the boy, and gave him back to his father.
43 And they were all astonished at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all the things He was doing, He told His disciples,

The Second Prediction of His Death

44 "Let these words sink in: [q] the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men."
45 But they did not understand this statement; it was concealed from them so that they could not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask Him about it.[r]

Who Is the Greatest?

46 Then an argument started among them about who would be the greatest of them.
47 But Jesus, knowing the thoughts of their hearts, took a little child and had him stand next to Him.
48 He told them, "Whoever welcomes [s] this little child in My name welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me. For whoever is least among you-this one is great."

In His Name

49 John responded, "Master, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he does not follow us."
50 "Don't stop him," Jesus told him, "because whoever is not against you is for you." [t]

The Journey to Jerusalem

51 When the days were coming to a close for Him to be taken up,[u] He determined[v] to journey to Jerusalem.
52 He sent messengers ahead of Him, and on the way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make preparations for Him.
53 But they did not welcome Him, because He determined to journey to Jerusalem.
54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?"[w]
55 But He turned and rebuked them,[x]
56 and they went to another village.

Following Jesus

57 As they were traveling on the road someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go!"
58 Jesus told him, "Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky [y] have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."
59 Then He said to another, "Follow Me." "Lord," he said, "first let me go bury my father."[z]
60 But He told him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God."
61 Another also said, "I will follow You, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house."
62 But Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

Luke 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

The apostles sent forth. (1-9) The multitude miraculously fed. (10-17) Peter's testimony to Christ, Self-denial enjoined. (18-27) The transfiguration. (28-36) An evil spirit cast out. (37-42) Christ checks the ambition of his disciples. (43-50) He reproves their mistaken zeal. (51-56) Every thing to be given up for Christ. (57-62)

Verses 1-9 Christ sent his twelve disciples abroad, who by this time were able to teach others what they had received from the Lord. They must not be anxious to commend themselves to people's esteem by outward appearance. They must go as they were. The Lord Jesus is the fountain of power and authority, to whom all creatures must, in one way or another, be subject; and if he goes with the word of his ministers in power, to deliver sinners from Satan's bondage, they may be sure that he will care for their wants. When truth and love thus go together, and yet the message of God is rejected and despised, it leaves men without excuse, and turns to a testimony against them. Herod's guilty conscience was ready to conclude that John was risen from the dead. He desired to see Jesus; and why did he not go and see him? Probably, because he thought it below him, or because he wished not to have any more reprovers of sin. Delaying it now, his heart was hardened, and when he did see Jesus, he was as much prejudiced against him as others, ( Luke 23:11 ) .

Verses 10-17 The people followed Jesus, and though they came unseasonably, yet he gave them what they came for. He spake unto them of the kingdom of God. He healed those who had need of healing. And with five loaves of bread and two fishes, Christ fed five thousand men. He will not see those that fear him, and serve him faithfully, want any good thing. When we receive creature-comforts, we must acknowledge that we receive them from God, and that we are unworthy to receive them; that we owe them all, and all the comfort we have in them, to the mediation of Christ, by whom the curse is taken away. The blessing of Christ will make a little go a great way. He fills every hungry soul, abundantly satisfies it with the goodness of his house. Here were fragments taken up: in our Father's house there is bread enough, and to spare. We are not straitened, nor stinted in Christ.

Verses 18-27 It is an unspeakable comfort that our Lord Jesus is God's Anointed; this signifies that he was both appointed to be the Messiah, and qualified for it. Jesus discourses concerning his own sufferings and death. And so far must his disciples be from thinking how to prevent his sufferings, that they must prepare for their own. We often meet with crosses in the way of duty; and though we must not pull them upon our own heads, yet, when they are laid for us, we must take them up, and carry them after Christ. It is well or ill with us, according as it is well or ill with our souls. The body cannot be happy, if the soul be miserable in the other world; but the soul may be happy, though the body is greatly afflicted and oppressed in this world. We must never be ashamed of Christ and his gospel.

Verses 28-36 Christ's transfiguration was a specimen of that glory in which he will come to judge the world; and was an encouragement to his disciples to suffer for him. Prayer is a transfiguring, transforming duty, which makes the face to shine. Our Lord Jesus, even in his transfiguration, was willing to speak concerning his death and sufferings. In our greatest glories on earth, let us remember that in this world we have no continuing city. What need we have to pray to God for quickening grace, to make us lively! Yet that the disciples might be witnesses of this sign from heaven, after awhile they became awake, so that they were able to give a full account of what passed. But those know not what they say, that talk of making tabernacles on earth for glorified saints in heaven.

Verses 37-42 How deplorable the case of this child! He was under the power of an evil spirit. Disease of that nature are more frightful than such as arise merely from natural causes. What mischief Satan does where he gets possession! But happy those that have access to Christ! He can do that for us which his disciples cannot. A word from Christ healed the child; and when our children recover from sickness, it is comfortable to receive them as healed by the hand of Christ.

Verses 43-50 This prediction of Christ's sufferings was plain enough, but the disciples would not understand it, because it agreed not with their notions. A little child is the emblem by which Christ teaches us simplicity and humility. What greater honour can any man attain to in this world, than to be received by men as a messenger of God and Christ; and to have God and Christ own themselves received and welcomed in him! If ever any society of Christians in this world, had reason to silence those not of their own communion, the twelve disciples at this time had; yet Christ warned them not to do the like again. Those may be found faithful followers of Christ, and may be accepted of him, who do not follow with us.

Verses 51-56 The disciples did not consider that the conduct of the Samaritans was rather the effect of national prejudices and bigotry, than of enmity to the word and worship of God; and through they refused to receive Christ and his disciples, they did not ill use or injure them, so that the case was widely different from that of Ahaziah and Elijah. Nor were they aware that the gospel dispensation was to be marked by miracles of mercy. But above all, they were ignorant of the prevailing motives of their own hearts, which were pride and carnal ambition. Of this our Lord warned them. It is easy for us to say, Come, see our zeal for the Lord! and to think we are very faithful in his cause, when we are seeking our own objects, and even doing harm instead of good to others.

Verses 57-62 Here is one that is forward to follow Christ, but seems to have been hasty and rash, and not to have counted the cost. If we mean to follow Christ, we must lay aside the thoughts of great things in the world. Let us not try to join the profession of Christianity, with seeking after worldly advantages. Here is another that seems resolved to follow Christ, but he begs a short delay. To this man Christ first gave the call; he said to him, Follow me. Religion teaches us to be kind and good, to show piety at home, and to requite our parents; but we must not make these an excuse for neglecting our duty to God. Here is another that is willing to follow Christ, but he must have a little time to talk with his friends about it, and to set in order his household affairs, and give directions concerning them. He seemed to have worldly concerns more upon his heart than he ought to have, and he was willing to enter into a temptation leading him from his purpose of following Christ. No one can do any business in a proper manner, if he is attending to other things. Those who begin with the work of God, must resolve to go on, or they will make nothing of it. Looking back, leads to drawing back, and drawing back is to perdition. He only that endures to the end shall be saved.

Footnotes 26

  • [a]. In this passage, different Gk words are translated as heal. In Eng, "to heal" or "to cure" are synonyms with little distinction in meaning. Technically, we do not heal or cure diseases. People are healed or cured from diseases.
  • [b]. Other mss add deserted place near a
  • [c]. Or healed; in this passage, different Gk words are translated as heal. In Eng, "to heal" or "to cure" are synonyms with little distinction in meaning. Technically, we do not heal or cure diseases. People are healed or cured from diseases.
  • [d]. Lit When the day began to decline
  • [e]. Lit them recline
  • [f]. Lit Then were picked up by them
  • [g]. Lit has risen
  • [h]. Lit come after
  • [i]. Other mss omit daily
  • [j]. Or departure; Gk exodus
  • [k]. Lit were weighed down with sleep
  • [l]. 2 Pt 1:16-18
  • [m]. Other mss read the Beloved
  • [n]. Lit convulsions with foam
  • [o]. Or bruising, or mauling
  • [p]. Or corrupt, or perverted, or twisted; Dt 32:5
  • [q]. Lit Put these words in your ears
  • [r]. Lit about this statement
  • [s]. Or receives throughout the verse
  • [t]. Other mss read against us is for us
  • [u]. His ascension
  • [v]. Lit He stiffened His face to go; Isaiah 50:7
  • [w]. Other mss add as Elijah also did
  • [x]. Other mss add and said, "You don't know what kind of spirit you belong to. Verse 56: For the Son of Man did not come to destroy people's lives but to save them."
  • [y]. Wild birds, as opposed to domestic birds
  • [z]. Not necessarily meaning his father was already dead

Luke 9 Commentaries