Luke 9

1 Jesus called the twelve apostles together and gave them power and authority over all demons and the ability to heal sicknesses.
2 He sent the apostles out to tell about God's kingdom and to heal the sick.
3 He said to them, "Take nothing for your trip, neither a walking stick, bag, bread, money, or extra clothes.
4 When you enter a house, stay there until it is time to leave.
5 If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off of your feetn as you leave the town, as a warning to them."
6 So the apostles went out and traveled through all the towns, preaching the Good News and healing people everywhere.
7 Herod, the governor, heard about all the things that were happening and was confused, because some people said, "John the Baptist has risen from the dead."
8 Others said, "Elijah has come to us." And still others said, "One of the prophets who lived long ago has risen from the dead."
9 Herod said, "I cut off John's head, so who is this man I hear such things about?" And Herod kept trying to see Jesus.
10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then Jesus took them with him to a town called Bethsaida where they could be alone together.
11 But the people learned where Jesus went and followed him. He welcomed them and talked with them about God's kingdom and healed those who needed to be healed.
12 Late in the afternoon, the twelve apostles came to Jesus and said, "Send the people away. They need to go to the towns and countryside around here and find places to sleep and something to eat, because no one lives in this place."
13 But Jesus said to them, "You give them something to eat." They said, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish, unless we go buy food for all these people."
14 (There were about five thousand men there.) Jesus said to his followers, "Tell the people to sit in groups of about fifty people."
15 So the followers did this, and all the people sat down.
16 Then Jesus took the five loaves of bread and two fish, and looking up to heaven, he thanked God for the food. Then he divided the food and gave it to the followers to give to the people.
17 They all ate and were satisfied, and what was left over was gathered up, filling twelve baskets.
18 One time when Jesus was praying alone, his followers were with him, and he asked them, "Who do the people say I am?"
19 They answered, "Some say you are John the Baptist. Others say you are Elijah. And others say you are one of the prophets from long ago who has come back to life."
20 Then Jesus asked, "But who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ from God."
21 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone, saying,
22 "The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the older Jewish leaders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law. He will be killed and after three days will be raised from the dead."
23 Jesus said to all of them, "If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing to give up their lives daily to follow me.
24 Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me will have true life.
25 It is worth nothing for them to have the whole world if they themselves are destroyed or lost.
26 If people are ashamed of me and my teaching, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and with the glory of the Father and the holy angels.
27 I tell you the truth, some people standing here will see the kingdom of God before they die."
28 About eight days after Jesus said these things, he took Peter, John, and James and went up on a mountain to pray.
29 While Jesus was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became shining white.
30 Then two men, Moses and Elijah, were talking with Jesus.
31 They appeared in heavenly glory, talking about his departure which he would soon bring about in Jerusalem.
32 Peter and the others were very sleepy, but when they awoke fully, they saw the glory of Jesus and the two men standing with him.
33 When Moses and Elijah were about to leave, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents -- one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." (Peter did not know what he was talking about.)
34 While he was saying these things, a cloud came and covered them, and they became afraid as the cloud covered them.
35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Listen to him!"
36 When the voice finished speaking, only Jesus was there. Peter, John, and James said nothing and told no one at that time what they had seen.
37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus.
38 A man in the crowd shouted to him, "Teacher, please come and look at my son, because he is my only child.
39 An evil spirit seizes my son, and suddenly he screams. It causes him to lose control of himself and foam at the mouth. The evil spirit keeps on hurting him and almost never leaves him.
40 I begged your followers to force the evil spirit out, but they could not do it."
41 Jesus answered, "You people have no faith, and your lives are all wrong. How long must I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."
42 While the boy was coming, the demon threw him on the ground and made him lose control of himself. But Jesus gave a strong command to the evil spirit and healed the boy and gave him back to his father.
43 All the people were amazed at the great power of God. While everyone was wondering about all that Jesus did, he said to his followers,
44 "Don't forget what I tell you now: The Son of Man will be handed over to people."
45 But the followers did not understand what this meant; the meaning was hidden from them so they could not understand. But they were afraid to ask Jesus about it.
46 Jesus' followers began to have an argument about which one of them was the greatest.
47 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he took a little child and stood the child beside him.
48 Then Jesus said, "Whoever accepts this little child in my name accepts me. And whoever accepts me accepts the One who sent me, because whoever is least among you all is really the greatest."
49 John answered, "Master, we saw someone using your name to force demons out of people. We told him to stop, because he does not belong to our group."
50 But Jesus said to him, "Don't stop him, because whoever is not against you is for you."
51 When the time was coming near for Jesus to depart, he was determined to go to Jerusalem.
52 He sent some men ahead of him, who went into a town in Samaria to make everything ready for him.
53 But the people there would not welcome him, because he was set on going to Jerusalem.
54 When James and John, followers of Jesus, saw this, they said, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy those people?"
55 But Jesus turned and scolded them.
56 Thenn they went to another town.
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Jesus, "I will follow you any place you go."
58 Jesus said to them, "The foxes have holes to live in, and the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest his head."
59 Jesus said to another man, "Follow me!" But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
60 But Jesus said to him, "Let the people who are dead bury their own dead. You must go and tell about the kingdom of God."
61 Another man said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to my family."
62 Jesus said, "Anyone who begins to plow a field but keeps looking back is of no use in 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