Luke 9

1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,
2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.
3 And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.
4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.
5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them."
6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead,
8 by some that Eli'jah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen.
9 Herod said, "John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?" And he sought to see him.
10 On their return the apostles told him what they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a city called Beth-sa'ida.
11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him; and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God, and cured those who had need of healing.
12 Now the day began to wear away; and the twelve came and said to him, "Send the crowd away, to go into the villages and country round about, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a lonely place."
13 But he said to them, "You give them something to eat." They said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish--unless we are to go and buy food for all these people."
14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, "Make them sit down in companies, about fifty each."
15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.
16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
17 And all ate and were satisfied. And they took up what was left over, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?"
19 And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say, Eli'jah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen."
20 And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
21 But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,
22 saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."
23 And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
24 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.
25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white.
30 And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Eli'jah,
31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.
32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah" --not knowing what he said.
34 As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"
36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him.
38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried, "Teacher, I beg you to look upon my son, for he is my only child;
39 and behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him till he foams, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him.
40 And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not."
41 Jesus answered, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here."
42 While he was coming, the demon tore him and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.
43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he did, he said to his disciples,
44 "Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men."
45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
46 And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.
47 But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side,
48 and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great."
49 John answered, "Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us."
50 But Jesus said to him, "Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you."
51 When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him;
53 but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?"
55 But he turned and rebuked them.
56 And they went on to another village.
57 As they were going along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head."
59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60 But he said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."
62 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.

Luke 9 Commentaries