Bible Commentaries
Luke 9

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Verse 1

Luke 9:1 . συγκαλεσάμενος δὲ : the δὲ turns attention to a new subject, and the part συγκαλ . implies that it is a matter of importance: calling together the Twelve , out of the larger company of disciples that usually followed Jesus, including the women mentioned in Luke 8:1-3 . δύναμιν καὶ ἐξουσίαν , power and right; power implies right. The man that can cast out devils and heal disease is entitled to do so, nay bound. This principle found an important application in St. Paul’s claim to be an apostle, which really rested on fitness, insight. I understand Christianity, therefore I am entitled to be an apostle of it. Lk. alone has both words to express unlimited authority (Hahn). Mt. and Mk. have ἐξουσίαν . ἐπὶ πάντα , etc., over all the demons, and (also power and authority) to heal diseases, the latter a subordinate function; thoroughly to quell the demons ( πάντα emphatic) the main thing. Hence the Seventy on their return speak of that alone (Luke 10:17 ).

Verses 1-6

Luke 9:1-6 . The mission of the Twelve (Matthew 10:1 ; Matthew 10:5-15 , Mark 6:7-13 ).

Verses 1-50

Luke 9:1-50 contain sundry particulars which together form the closing scenes of the Galilean ministry: the mission of the Twelve, the feeding of the thousands, the conversation on the Christ and the cross, the transfiguration, the epileptic boy, the conversation on “who is the greatest”. At Luke 9:51 begins the long division of the Gospel, extending to Luke 18:14 , which forms the chief peculiarity of Lk., sometimes called the Great Interpolation or Insertion, purporting to be the narrative of a journey southwards towards Jerusalem through Samaria , therefore sometimes designated the Samaritan ministry (Baur and the Tübingen school), but in reality consisting for the most part of a miscellaneous collection of didactic pieces. At Luke 18:15 Lk. rejoins the company of his brother evangelists, not to leave them again till the tragic end.

Verse 2

Luke 9:2 . This might have been viewed as an incidental mention of preaching as another subordinate function, but for the reference to healing ( ἰᾶσθαι ), which suggests that this verse is another way of stating the objects of the mission, perhaps taken from another source.

Verse 3

Luke 9:3 . The instructions in this and the next two verses follow pretty closely the version in Mk. μηδὲν αἴρετε εἰς τὴν ὁδόν : as in Mk., but in direct speech, while Mk.’s is indirect ( ἵνα μ . αἴρωσιν .) μήτε ῥάβδον : Lk. interprets tie prohibition more severely than Mk. Not a staff (Mk. except a staff only). ἀργύριον , silver, for Mk.’s χαλκόν : silver the common metal for coinage among the Greeks, copper among the Romans. δύο χιτῶνας , two tunics each, one on and one for change. ἔχειν : infinitive, after αἴρετε , imperative. It may be a case of the infinitive used as an imperative, of which one certain instance is to be found in Philippians 3:16 ( στοιχεῖν = walk), or it may be viewed as a transition from direct to indirect speech (so most commentators). Bengel favours the first view.

Verse 4

Luke 9:4 . Thus far of material wants. We now pass to social relations. The general direction here is: stay in the same house all the time you are in a place; pithily put by Lk. = ἐκεῖ μένετε , ἐκεῖθεν ἐξέρχεσθε , there remain, thence depart, both adverbs referring to οἰκίαν .

Verse 5

Luke 9:5 . By omitting the ἀκούσωσιν ὑμῶν of Mk. Lk. gives the impression that non-receiving refers to the missionaries not as preachers but as guests = If they will not take you into the house you select, do not try another house, leave the place (so Hahn). This would be rather summary action, and contrary to the spirit of the incident Luke 9:52-56 .

Verse 6

Luke 9:6 . Brief statement, as in Mk., as to the execution of the mission, but wanting his reference to the use of oil in healing.

Hahn states that this mission was purely pedagogic, for the benefit of the Twelve, not of the people. This is a mere unfounded assertion. The training of the Twelve by no means appears a prominent aim of Jesus in the pages of Lk.; much less so than in Mt. and Mk.

Verses 7-9

Luke 9:7-9 . Herod’s interest in Jesus (Matthew 14:1-2 , Mark 6:14-16 ). ὁ τετράρχης as in Mt., βασιλεὺς in Mk. τὰ γινόμενα πάντα , all the things which were happening, most naturally taken as referring to the mission of the Twelve, though it is difficult to believe that Herod had not heard of Jesus till then. διηπόρει , was utterly perplexed, in Lk.’s writings only. διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπὸ τινῶν . What Lk. represents as said by some, Mt. and Mk., doubtless truly, make Herod himself say. Vide notes on Mt. and Mk.

Verse 8

Luke 9:8 . ἐφάνη , appeared, the proper word to use of one who had not died, but been translated.

Verse 9

Luke 9:9 . Ἰ . ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα : the fact stated in the form of a confession by the criminal, but the grim story not told. ἐγὼ , emphatic, the “I” of a guilty troubled conscience. τις : he has no theory, but is simply puzzled, yet the question almost implies suspicion that Jesus is John returned to life. Could there be two such men at the same period? καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν : this points forward to Luke 23:8 .

Verse 10

Luke 9:10 . The Twelve return from their mission and report what they had done ; Mk. adds and taught . ὑπεχώρησε , withdrew, here and in Luke 5:16 , only, in N. T. The reason of this retirement does not appear in Lk.’s narrative, nor whether Jesus with His disciples went by land or by sea.

Verses 10-17

Luke 9:10-17 . Feeding of the multitude (Matthew 14:13-21 , Mark 6:30-44 , John 6:1-14 ).

Verse 11

Luke 9:11 . οἱ ὄχλοι : no particular multitude is meant, but just the crowds that were wont to gather around Jesus. In Mt. and Mk. Jesus appears as endeavouring (in vain) to escape from the people. In Lk. this feature is not prominent. Even the expression τόπον ἔρημον in Luke 9:10 is probably not genuine. What Lk. appears to have written is that Jesus withdrew privately into a city called Bethsaida. ἀποδεξάμενος , the more probable reading, implies a willing reception or the multitude. Vide Luke 8:40 .

Verse 12

Luke 9:12 . κλίνειν , the day began to decline ; the fact is alluded to here, not in a participial clause, but in an independent sentence, as bringing an unwelcome close to the beneficent labours of Jesus. He went on teaching and healing, but ( δὲ ) the day, etc. καταλύσωσι : the disciples in Lk. are solicitous about the lodging as well as the feeding of the people. ἐπισιτισμόν , provisions, here only in N. T., but often in classics, e.g. , with reference to the provisioning of an army (commeatus).

Verse 13

Luke 9:13 . πλεῖον ἢ : on the construction, vide Winer, § 58, 4 obs. 1. εἰ μήτι … ἀγοράσωμεν , unless perhaps we are to buy, etc.; εἰ with subjunctive is one of the forms of protasis in N. T. to express a future supposition with some probability, εἰ takes also present and future indicative. Vide Burton, M. and T., § 252. That Lk. did not regard this proposal as, if possible, very feasible, appears from his mentioning the number present at this stage

Verse 14

Luke 9:14 . Hence also he does not think it worth while to mention the amount of money at their disposal (200 denarii, Mark 6:37 ). κλισίας , dining parties, answering to Mk.’s συμπόσια . Mk.’s πρασιαὶ , describing the appearance to the eye. like flower beds, with their gay garments, red, blue, yellow, Lk. omits.

Verse 16

Luke 9:16 . εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς , He blessed them (the loaves), and by the blessing made them sufficient for the wants of all. In Mt. and Mk. εὐλόγησεν has no object. This is the only trait added by Lk. to enhance the greatness of the miracle, unless the position of πάντες after ἐχορτάσθησαν be another = they ate and were filled, all ; not merely a matter of each getting a morsel.

Verses 18-27

Luke 9:18-27 . The Christ and the cross (Matthew 16:13-28 , Mark 8:27 to Mark 9:1 ). At this point occurs a great gap in Lk.’s narrative as compared with those of Mt. and Mk., all between Matthew 14:22 ; Matthew 16:12 and between Mark 6:45 ; Mark 8:27 being omitted. Various explanations of the omission have been suggested: accident (Meyer, Godet), not in the copy of Mk. used by Lk. (Reuss), mistake of the eye, passing from the second feeding as if it were the first (Beyschlag). These and other explanations imply that the omission was unintentional. But against this hypothesis is the fact that the edges of the opposite sides of the gap are brought together in Lk.’s narrative at Luke 9:18 : Jesus alone praying , as in Matthew 14:23 , Mark 6:45-46 , yet the disciples are with Him though alone ( κατὰ μόνας συνῆσαν α . οἱ μαθηταί ), and He proceeds to interrogate them. This raises the question as to the motives for intentional omission, which may have been such as these: avoidance of duplicates with no new lesson (second feeding), anti-Pharisaic matter much restricted throughout (ceremonial washing), Jewish particularism not suitable in a Gentile Gospel, not even the appearance of it (Syrophenician woman). κατὰ μόνας , the scene remains unchanged in Lk. that of the feeding of the 5000. No trace in this Gospel of Caesarea Philippi, or indeed of the great northerly journey (or journeys) so prominently recognised in Mk., the aim of which was to get away from crowds, and obtain leisure for intercourse with the Twelve in view of the approaching fatal crisis. This omission can hardly be without intention. Whether Lk. knew Mk.’s Gospel or not, so careful and interested an inquirer can hardly have been ignorant of that northern excursion. He may have omitted it because it was not rich in incident, in favour of the Samaritan journey about which he had much to tell. But the very raison d’être of the journey was the hope that it might be a quiet one, giving leisure for intercourse with the Twelve. But this private fellowship of Jesus with His disciples with a view to their instruction is just one of the things to which justice is not done in this Gospel. Their need of instruction is not emphasised. From Lk.’s narrative one would never guess the critical importance of the conversation at Caesarea Philippi, as regards either Peter’s confession or the announcement by Jesus of the coming passion.

Verse 20

Luke 9:20 . τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ : even the form of the confession, as here given, hides its significance. Peter speaks the language of the apostolic age, the Christ of God , a commonplace of the Christian faith. Mk.’s Thou art the Christ , laconic, emphatic, is original by comparison, and Mt.’s form still more sounds like the utterance of a fresh, strong conviction, a new revelation flashed into the soul of Peter.

Verses 21-27

Luke 9:21-27 . The cross and cross-bearing .

Verse 22

Luke 9:22 . εἰπὼν introduces reference to the coming sufferings of Jesus in a quite incidental way as a reason why the disciples should keep silence as to the Messiahship of their Master, just confessed. The truth is that the conversation as to the Christ was a mere prelude to a very formal, solemn, and plain-spoken announcement on a painful theme, to which hitherto Jesus had alluded only in veiled mystic language. Cf. the accounts in Mt. and Mk. (Matthew 16:21 , Mark 8:31 ). ὅτι δεῖ , etc., the announcement is given in much the same words as in Mk.

Verse 23

Luke 9:23 . ἔλεγε δὲ πρὸς πάντας : with this formula Lk. smoothly passes from Christ’s statement concerning His own Passion to the kindred topic of cross-bearing as the law of discipleship. The discourse on that theme is reproduced in much the same terms as in the parallel accounts. But it loses greatly in point by the omission of the Master’s rebuke to Peter for his opposition to the Passion. That rebuke gives to the discourse this meaning: you object to my suffering? I tell you not only must I suffer; it is the inevitable lot of all who have due regard to the Divine interest in this world. Thus the first lesson Jesus taught the Twelve on the significance of His death was that it was the result of moral fidelity, and that as such it was but an instance of a universal law of the moral order of the world. This great doctrine, the ethical aspect of the Passion, is not made clear in Lk. καθʼ ἡμέραν , daily, in Lk. only, a true epexegetical addition, yet restricting the sense, directing attention to the commonplace trials of ordinary Christian life, rather than to the great tribulations at crises in a heroic career, in which the law of cross-bearing receives its signal illustration. This addition makes it probable that πάντας refers not only to the disciples, but to a larger audience: the law applies not to leaders only but to all followers of Jesus.

Verse 25

Luke 9:25 . ἑαυτὸν ἀπολέσας ἢ ζημιωθείς = losing, or receiving damage in, his own self (Field, Ot. Nor. ). The idea expressed by the second participle seems to be that even though it does not come to absolute loss, yet if gaining the world involve damage to the self, the moral personality taint, lowering of the tone, vulgarising of the soul we lose much more than we gain.

Verse 26

Luke 9:26 . ἐν τῇ δόξῃ , etc., in the glory of Father, Son, and holy angels, a sort of trinitarian formula.

Verse 27

Luke 9:27 . ἀληθῶς = ἀμὴν in parallels. αὐτοῦ , here = ὧδε in parallels. τὴν βασ . τ . Θ ., the Kingdom of God, a simplified expression compared with those in Mt. and Mk., perhaps due to the late period at which Lk. wrote, probably understood by him as referring to the origination of the church at Pentecost.

Verse 28

Luke 9:28 . τοὺς λόγους τούτους : the words about the Passion and cross-bearing. ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτώ : no real discrepancy between Lk. and the other evangelists (after six days). Πέτρον , etc., Peter, John and James , same order as in Luke 8:51 ( [90] [91] , etc.). εἰς τὸ ὄρος : the mountain contiguous to the scene of the feeding, according to the sequence of Lk.’s narrative. προσεύξασθαι : prayer again ( cf. Luke 9:18 ). In Lk.’s delineation of the character of Jesus prayer occupies a prominent place.

[90] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[91] Codex Ephraemi

Verses 28-36

Luke 9:28-36 . The transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13 , Mark 9:2-13 ).

Verse 29

Luke 9:29 . ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαι , while praying, and as the result of the exercise. ἕτερον , different; a real objective change, not merely to the view of the three disciples. Lk. omits ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν . λευκὸς may be viewed as an adverb in function , qualifying ἐξαστράπτων (De Wette), but there is no reason why it should not be co-ordinate with ἐξασ ., καὶ being omitted = white, glistering. ἐξαστράπτων : in N. T. here only, flashing like lightning.

Verse 31

Luke 9:31 . ἐν δόξῃ : this is peculiar to Lk. ἔλεγον , were speaking about. Kypke thinks more is meant: speaking with praise ( cum laude aliquid commemorare ). One could have accepted this sense had Peter’s opposition been reported. τὴν ἔξοδον , decease, death; so in 2 Peter 1:15 . Other words for death are ἔκβασις (Hebrews 13:7 ), ἄφιξις (Acts 20:29 ), ἀνάλυσις (2 Timothy 4:6 ). Perhaps the exodus here spoken of should be taken comprehensively as including death, resurrection and ascension. (So Kypke, also Godet.) πληροῦν in that case will mean “pass through all the stages”. But against this wide sense is ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ .

Verse 32

Luke 9:32 . βεβαρ . ὕπνῳ : this particular, in Lk. only, implies that it was a night scene; so also the expression ἐν τῇ ἑξῆς ἡμέρᾳ , Luke 9:37 . The celestial visitants are supposed to arrive while the disciples are asleep. They fell asleep while their Master prayed, as at Gethsemane. διαγρηγορήσαντες , having thoroughly wakened up, so as to be able to see distinctly what passed (here only in N.T.).

Verse 33

Luke 9:33 . While the two celestials were departing Peter made his proposal, to prevent them from going. μὴ εἰδὼς , etc., not knowing what he said; an apology for a proposal to keep the two celestials from returning to heaven.

Verse 34

Luke 9:34 . It is not clear who were enveloped by the cloud. If the reading ἐκείνους before εἰσελθεῖν were retained it would imply that the three disciples were outside; αὐτοὺς , the reading of [92] , etc., implies that all were within.

[92] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

Verse 35

Luke 9:35 . ἐκλελεγμένος , the reading of [93] [94] [95] , is to be preferred, because ἀγαπητός , T. R., is conformed to that in the parallels; here only in N. T.

[93] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[94] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[95] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

Verse 36

Luke 9:36 . ἐσίγησαν , they were silent; “in those days,” it is added, implying that afterwards (after the resurrection) they spoke of the experience. Lk. does not mention the injunction of Jesus to keep silence, nor the conversation on the way down the hill about Elijah and John the Baptist.

Verses 37-43

Luke 9:37-43 a. The epileptic boy (Matthew 17:14-21 , Mark 9:14-29 ).

Verse 38

Luke 9:38 . ἐπιβλέψαι , to look with pity, as in Luke 1:48 . μονογενής , only son, as in Luke 7:12 , Luke 8:42 . to bring out the benevolence of the miracle.

Verse 39

Luke 9:39 . κράζει , he (the boy) crieth. σπαράσσει , he (the demon) teareth him.

Verse 42

Luke 9:42 . προσερχομένου αὐτοῦ , while the boy was approaching Jesus, in accordance with His request that he should be brought to Him, the demon made a final assault on his victim, rending and convulsing him.

Verse 43

Luke 9:43 . ἐπὶ τῇ μεγαλειότητι τ . Θεοῦ , the people were astonished at the majesty of God , revealed in the power that could work such a cure. In Acts 2:22 God is represented as working miracles through Jesus. So the matter is conceived here. But Lk. thinks of the majesty of God as immanent in Jesus.

Verses 43-45

Luke 9:43-45 . Second prediction of the Passion (Matthew 17:22-23 , Mark 9:30-32 ). πάντων θαυμαζόντων , etc., while all were wondering at all the things which He did. The reference is to the cure of the epileptic, which led the multitude to see in Jesus the bearer of the majesty or greatness of the Almighty. εἶπε . Jesus spoke a second time of His approaching death, in connection with this prevailing wonder, and His aim was to keep the disciples from being misled by it. The setting in Mt. and Mk. is different. There Jesus speaks of His passion, while He with the Twelve is wandering about in Galilee, endeavouring, according to Mk., to remain unnoticed, and He speaks of it simply because it is the engrossing theme with which His mind is constantly preoccupied. Here, on the other hand, the second announcement is elicited by an external occasion, the admiration of the people.

Verse 44

Luke 9:44 . μέλλει παραδίδοσθαι , is about to be betrayed. Lk. gives the specialty of the second prediction as in the parallels. Where he fails in comparison with Mt. and Mk. is in grasping the psychological situation the emotional state of Christ’s mind. Cf. remarks on Mk., ad loc. Lk.’s Christ is comparatively passionless.

Verse 46

Luke 9:46 . εἰσῆλθε διαλογισμὸς , now there entered in among them (the Twelve) a thought . Lk.’s way of introducing this subject seems to show a desire, by way of sparing the future Apostles, to make as little of it as possible. It is merely a thought of the heart ( τῆς καρδίας , Luke 9:47 ), not a dispute as in Mk., and inferentially also in Mt. It came into their minds, how or why does not appear. Mk.’s narrative leads us to connect the dispute with Christ’s foreboding references to His Passion. While they walked along the way ( ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ), the Master thinking always, and speaking often, of His death, they, realising that a crisis of some sort was approaching but not knowing its nature, discussed the question τίς μείζων ; so supplying the comic side of the tragic drama. τὸ τίς , etc., this, viz. , who might be the greater of them , or, who might be greater than they . αὐτῶν may be taken either partitively, or as a genitive of comparison. It is ordinarily taken in the former sense, whereby Lk.’s account is brought into line with the parallels; but Weiss (Mk.-Evang., also J. Weiss in Meyer) contends for the latter. His idea is that the Twelve, in Lk.’s view, were all conscious of their common importance as disciples of Jesus, and wondered if anybody could be greater than they all were. He connects the “thought” of the Twelve with the exorcist incident (Luke 9:49 ) as evincing a similar self-importance. This view cannot be negatived on purely exegetical grounds.

Verses 46-50

Luke 9:46-50 . Who might be the greatest (Matthew 18:1-5 , Mark 9:33-41 ).

Verse 47

Luke 9:47 . παρʼ ἑαυτῷ , beside Himself, not ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν , as in Mt. and Mk., as if to say, here is the greater one.

Verse 48

Luke 9:48 . τοῦτο τὸ παιδίον , this particular child not such a child, or what such a child represents, the little and insignificant as in Mt. and Mk. Yet Lk.’s expression practically means that = this child, for example. δέξηται : in Lk. the receiving of the little child is placed first in the discourse of Jesus, whereas in Mk. the general maxim that the man who is willing to be last is first, comes first. This position favours the view that not internal rivalry but a common self-exaltation in relation to those without is the vice in the view of Lk. Jesus says in effect: Be not high-minded; an appreciative attitude towards those you are prone to despise is what I and my Father value. ἐν πᾶσιν ὑμῖν : this phrase, on the other hand, seems to point to internal rivalries. There had been a question among them as to greater and less, to which the Master’s answer was: the least one is the great one. Lk.’s version of this important discourse is, as De Wette remarks, inferior in point and clearness to Mt.’s.

Verse 49

Luke 9:49 . ἐκωλύσαμεν (T. R.), aorist, instead of Mk.’s imperfect; the former implies successful repression, the latter an attempt at it. Vide notes on Mk., ad loc. μεθʼ ἡμῶν : Phrynichus objects to this construction after ἀκολουθεῖν , and says it should be followed by the dative. But Lobeck gives examples of the former construction from good authors ( vide p. 353).

Chapter 9, as Farrar remarks (C. G. T.), should have ended here, as with Luke 9:51 begins an entirely distinct, large, and very important division of Lk.’s Gospel.

Verse 51

Luke 9:51 forms the introduction to the great division, Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:15 . It makes all that follows up to the terminus ad quem stand under the solemn heading: the beginning of the end . From this time forth Jesus has the close of His earthly career in view. His face is fixedly set towards Jerusalem and heaven . This conception of Jesus, as from this point onwards looking forward to the final crisis, suggests various reflections.

1. The reference to the last act of the drama comes in at a very early place in Lk.’s history.

2. The part of the story lying behind us does not adequately account for the mood of Jesus. We do not see why He should be thinking so earnestly of a final crisis of a tragic character, or even why there should be such a crisis at all. That the religious guides of Israel more or less disapproved of His ways has appeared, but it has not been shown that their hostility was of a deadly character. The dinner in Simon’s house speaks to relations more or less friendly, and the omission of the sharp encounter in reference to hand-washing, and of the ominous demand for a sign from heaven, greatly tends to obscure the forces that were working towards a tragic end, and had the cross for their natural outcome. It does not seem to have entered into Lk.’s plan to exhibit Christ’s death as the natural result of the opinions, practices, prejudices and passions prevalent in the religious world. He contemplated the event on the Godward, theological side, or perhaps it would be more correct to say on the side of fulfilment of O. T. prophecy. The necessity of Christ’s death, the δεῖ (Luke 9:22 ) = the demand of O. T. Scripture for fulfilment, vide Luke 24:26 .

3. In the long narrative contained in the next eight chapters, Jesus does not seem to be constantly thinking of the end. In Mk. and Mt. it is otherwise. From the period at which Jesus began to speak plainly of His death He appears constantly preoccupied with the subject. His whole manner and behaviour are those of one walking under the shadow of the cross. This representation is true to life. In Lk., on the other hand, while the face of Jesus is set towards Jerusalem, His mind seems often to be thinking of other things, and the reader of the story forgets about the cross as he peruses its deeply interesting pages.

συμπληροῦσθαι , etc., when the days of His assumption were in course of accomplishment, implying the approach of the closing scenes of Christ’s earthly experience; here and in Acts 2:1 , only, of time ; in Luke 8:23 in the literal sense. ἀναλήψεως α . His assumption into heaven, as in Acts 1:2 . The substantive in this sense is a ἅπ . λεγ . in N. T. It occurs in the Test., xii. Patr. The verb occurs in a similar sense in various places in the Sept [96] The assumption into heaven includes the crucifixion in Lk.’s conception, just as the glorification of Jesus includes the Passion in the Johannine conception. “Instabat adhuc passio, crux, mors, sepulchrum; sed per haec omnia ad metam prospexit Jesus, cujus sensum imitatur stylus evangelistae,” Bengel. The ἀνάληψις was an act of God. ἐστήρισεν , He made His face firm (from στῆριγξ , akin to στερεός , Thayer’s Grimm), as if to meet something formidable and unwelcome, the cross rather than what lay beyond, here in view. Hahn, who does not believe that Lk. is here referring to Christ’s final journey to Jerusalem, tones down the force of this word so as to make it express in Oriental fashion the idea of Jesus addressing Himself to a journey not specially momentous.

[96] Septuagint.

Verses 51-56

Luke 9:51-56 . Looking southward. Samaritan intolerance .

Verses 52-56

Luke 9:52-56 . Samaritan intolerance . εἰς κώμην Σαμαρειτῶν : this indicates an intention to go southward through Samaritan territory. Not an unusual thing. Josephus (Antiq., xx., vi. 1) states that it was the custom for Galileans going to Jerusalem to the feasts to pass through Samaria. ἐτοιμάσαι α ., to prepare for Him, i.e. , to find lodgings for the night. ὥστε in view of the sequel can only express tendency or intention. οὐκ ἐδέξαντο α .: the aorist, implying “that they at once rejected Him,” Farrar (C. G. T.). ὅτι introduces the reason: Christ’s face was, looked like, going to Jerusalem. In view of what Josephus states, this hardly accounts for the inhospitable treatment. Perhaps the manner of the messengers had something to do with it. Had Jesus gone Himself the result might have been different. Perhaps He was making an experiment to see how His followers and the Samaritans would get on together. In that case the result would make Him change His plan, and turn aside from Samaria into Peraea. If so then Baur’s idea of a Samaritan ministry is a misnomer.

Verse 54

Luke 9:54 . Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης : their outburst of temper, revealed in their truculent proposal, probably indicated the attitude of the whole company. In that case journeying through Samaria was hopeless. καταβῆναι , infinitive, instead of ἵνα with subjunctive as often after εἰπεῖν .

Verse 55

Luke 9:55 . στραφεὶς : an imposing gesture, as in Luke 7:9 ; Luke 7:44 .

Verse 56

Luke 9:56 . εἰς ἑτέραν κώμην , to another village, probably in Galilee; both in the borderland.

Verses 57-62

Luke 9:57-62 . New disciples . ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ : the indication of time is not precise. It does not mean, on the way to the other village, mentioned just before (Meyer), but on the way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51 ). Grotius thinks the connection is purely topical. “Visum est Lucae connectere τὰ ὁμογενέα .” The first two of the three cases are reported by Mt. (Matthew 8:19-22 ). τις : Mt. (Matthew 8:19 ) designates this certain one a scribe. ἀπέρχη implies a departure from a place. It would be a leaving of home for the disciple.

Verse 58

Luke 9:58 . This remarkable saying is given in identical terms by Mt. and Lk. Vide on Mt.

Verses 59-60

Luke 9:59-60 . The second case (Matthew 8:21-22 ). ἀκολούθει μοι . Jesus takes the initiative in this case. That He should not have done so in the first is intelligible if the aspirant was a scribe . Jesus did not look for satisfactory discipleship from that quarter. σὺ δὲ , but thou , emphatic, implying that the man addressed is not among the dead, but one who appreciates the claims of the kingdom. διάγγελλε , keep proclaiming on every side the Kingdom of God; that, thy sole business henceforth, to which everything else, even burying parents, must be sacrificed: seek first the kingdom.

Verses 61-62

Luke 9:61-62 . The third case , peculiar to Lk., and setting forth a distinct type. ἀκολουθήσω σοι , I will follow Thee, implying that he also has been asked to do so, and that he is ready, but on a condition. ἐπίτρεψόν μοι : this is a type of man who always wants to do something, in which he is himself specially interested first ( πρῶτον ), before he addresses himself to the main duty to which he is called. ἀποτάξασθαι : in this case it is to bid good-bye to friends, a sentimental business; that also characteristic. τοῖς εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου . The verb ἀπ . is used in later Greek both with the dative of a person to denote “to take leave of,” and with the dative of a thing = to renounce (so in Luke 14:33 ). Both senses are admissible here, as τοῖς may be either masculine or neuter, but the first sense is the only one suitable to the character (sentimental) and to the request, as property could be renounced on the spot; though this reason is not so conclusive, as some legal steps might be necessary to denude oneself of property.

Verse 62

Luke 9:62 . οὐδεὶς ἐπιβαλὼν , etc.: the necessity of self-concentration inculcated in proverbial language borrowed from agricultural life. Wetstein cites from Hesiod, Ἔργ ., ver. 443, the well-known lines: ἰθεῖαν αὔλακʼ ἐλαύνοι , Μηκέτι παπταίνων μεθʼ ὁμήλικας , ἀλλʼ ἐπὶ ἔργῳ Θυμὸν ἔχων . The ambition to make a straight furrow has been common to ploughmen in all ages and countries, and it needs, like the highest calling, steady intention and a forward-cast eye. Furrer compliments the Palestine fellah on his skill in drawing a long straight furrow ( Wanderungen , p. 149). His plough is a very inferior article to that used in this country. εὐθετός , well fitted, apt; here and in chap. Luke 14:35 , Hebrews 6:7 . The first case is that of inconsiderate impulse , the second that of conflicting duties , the third that of a divided mind . The incidents are related by Lk., not so much possibly for their psychological interest as to show how Jesus came to have so many disciples as chap. Luke 10:1-16 implies, and yet how particular He was.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 9". The Expositor's Greek Testament. 1897-1910.