Luke 9

1 Jesus called the twelve apostles together and gave them power and authority over every demon and power and authority to cure diseases.
2 He sent them to spread the message about the kingdom of God and to cure the sick.
3 He told them, "Don't take anything along on the trip. Don't take a walking stick, traveling bag, any food, money, or a change of clothes.
4 When you go into a home, stay there until you're ready to leave.
5 If people don't welcome you, leave that city, and shake its dust off your feet as a warning to them."
6 The apostles went from village to village, told the Good News, and cured the sick everywhere.
7 Herod the ruler heard about everything that was happening. He didn't know what to make of it. Some people were saying that John had come back to life.
8 Others said that Elijah had appeared, and still others said that one of the prophets from long ago had come back to life.
9 Herod said, "I had John's head cut off. Who is this person I'm hearing so much about?" So Herod wanted to see Jesus.
10 The apostles came back and told Jesus everything they had done. He took them with him to a city called Bethsaida so that they could be alone.
11 But the crowds found out about this and followed him. He welcomed them, talked to them about the kingdom of God, and cured those who were sick.
12 Toward the end of the day, the twelve apostles came to him. They said to him, "Send the crowd to the closest villages and farms so that they can find some food and a place to stay. No one lives around here."
13 Jesus replied, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "We have five loaves of bread and two fish. Unless we go to buy food for all these people, that's all we have."
14 (There were about five thousand men.) Then he told his disciples, "Have them sit in groups of about fifty."
15 So they did this.
16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and blessed the food. He broke the loaves apart and kept giving them to the disciples to give to the crowd.
17 All of them ate as much as they wanted. When they picked up the leftover pieces, they filled twelve baskets.
18 Once when Jesus was praying privately and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
19 They answered, "Some say you are John the Baptizer, others Elijah, and still others say that one of the prophets from long ago has come back to life."
20 He asked them, "But who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, whom God has sent."
21 He ordered them not to tell this to anyone.
22 Jesus said that the Son of Man would have to suffer a lot. He would be rejected by the leaders, the chief priests, and the scribes. He would be killed, but on the third day he would come back to life.
23 He said to all of them, "Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses every day, and follow me.
24 Those who want to save their lives will lose them. But those who lose their lives for me will save them.
25 What good does it do for people to win the whole world but lose their lives by destroying them?
26 If people are ashamed of me and what I say, the Son of Man will be ashamed of those people when he comes in the glory that he shares with the Father and the holy angels.
27 "I can guarantee this truth: Some people who are standing here will not die until they see the kingdom of God."
28 About eight days after he had said this, Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up a mountain to pray.
29 While Jesus was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.
30 Suddenly, both Moses and Elijah were talking with him.
31 They appeared in heavenly glory and were discussing Jesus' approaching death and what he was about to fulfill in Jerusalem.
32 Peter and the men with him were sleeping soundly. When they woke up, they saw Jesus' glory and the two men standing with him.
33 As Moses and Elijah were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Teacher, it's good that we're here. Let's put up three tents--one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Peter didn't know what he was saying.
34 While he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them. They were frightened as they went into the cloud.
35 A voice came out of the cloud and said, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Listen to him!"
36 After the voice had spoken, they saw that Jesus was alone. The disciples said nothing, and for some time they told no one about what they had seen.
37 The next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus.
38 A man in the crowd shouted, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son. He's my only child.
39 Whenever a spirit takes control of him, he shrieks, goes into convulsions, and foams at the mouth. After a struggle, the spirit goes away, leaving the child worn out.
40 I begged your disciples to force the spirit out of him, but they couldn't do it."
41 Jesus answered, "You unbelieving and corrupt generation! How long must I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here!"
42 While he was coming [to Jesus], the demon knocked the boy to the ground and threw him into convulsions. Jesus ordered the evil spirit to leave. He cured the boy and gave him back to his father.
43 Everyone was amazed to see God's wonderful power. Everyone was amazed at all the things that Jesus was doing. So he said to his disciples,
44 "Listen carefully to what I say. The Son of Man will be betrayed and handed over to people."
45 They didn't know what he meant. The meaning was hidden from them so that they didn't understand it. Besides, they were afraid to ask him about what he had said.
46 A discussion started among them about who would be the greatest.
47 Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he took a little child and had him stand beside him.
48 Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me. Whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. The one who is least among all of you is the one who is greatest."
49 John replied, "Master, we saw someone forcing demons out of a person by using the power and authority of your name. We tried to stop him because he was not one of us."
50 Jesus said to him, "Don't stop him! Whoever isn't against you is for you."
51 The time was coming closer for Jesus to be taken to heaven. So he was determined to go to Jerusalem.
52 He sent messengers ahead of him. They went into a Samaritan village to arrange a place for him to stay.
53 But the people didn't welcome him, because he was on his way to Jerusalem.
54 James and John, his disciples, saw this. They asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?"
55 But he turned and corrected them.
56 So they went to another village.
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to Jesus, "I'll follow you wherever you go."
58 Jesus told him, "Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to sleep."
59 He told another man, "Follow me!" But the man said, "Sir, first let me go to bury my father."
60 But Jesus told him, "Let the dead bury their own dead. You must go everywhere and tell about the kingdom of God."
61 Another said, "I'll follow you, sir, but first let me tell my family goodbye."
62 Jesus said to him, "Whoever starts to plow and looks back is not 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.

Luke 9 Commentaries