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Bible Commentaries
Luke 9

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verses 1-6


Jesus called the twelve disciples together. The “sending out” of the Twelve is given in the greatest detail by Matthew. See notes on Matthew 10:1-15.

Verses 7-9


Herod, the ruler of Galilee. [Herod Antipas. See note on Matthew 2:1.] For notes on Herod’s confusion, see Matthew 14:1-12.

Verses 10-17


They went off by themselves. See notes on Matthew 14:13-27 about the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Bethsaida. This is Bethsaida-Julias, at the top of Lake Galilee, near where the Jordan flows into it. [The other Bethsaida was on the western shore of the lake, near Capernaum.] Matthew tells us they were in a lonely place, which was probably the narrow plain of El-Batihah on the eastern shore.

Verses 18-21


One time when Jesus was praying alone. Only Luke mentions that he was praying alone when the disciples came to him and he asked them this question. Who do the crowds say I am? He does not ask this for information, but to “draw out” a declaration of their own faith. See notes on Matthew 16:13-20. You are God’s Messiah. Peter says what they all believe. This fact that Jesus is God’s Messiah is the foundation stone upon which the church of Christ is built.

Verses 22-27


The Son of Man must suffer much. [Son of Man: see Luke 22:69-70.] This is his first announcement that he must suffer and die. See notes on Matthew 16:20-28.

Verses 28-36


About a week after he had said these things. [A week ends as the eighth day begins.] Luke tells us that Jesus went up a hill to pray, and that while he was praying the Transfiguration took place. See notes on Matthew 17:1 to Matthew 9:31. How he would soon fulfill God’s purpose. Not by setting up an earthly kingdom (compare John 6:15), but by dying in Jerusalem (compare John 10:17-18). God’s purpose was to make peace through his Son’s death (Colossians 1:20). All men take part in Christ’s death (2 Corinthians 5:14), and what mankind unconditionally lost in Adam, mankind unconditionally receives in Christ (Romans 5:18-19), so that all who believe can become NEW in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:0). Jesus said: “If you obey my teaching you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).

Verses 37-42


Teacher! Look, I beg you, at my son. For the healing of this boy with an evil spirit, see notes on Matthew 17:14-21.

Verses 43-45


Don’t forget what I am about to tell you. For this second announcement of his death, see notes on Matthew 17:22-23.

Verses 46-50


As to which one of them was the greatest. See notes on Matthew 18:1-6. John spoke up. See notes on John’s statement in Mark 9:38-40.

Verses 51-52


As the days drew near. The time when he must suffer and die. Set out on his way to Jerusalem. He knew what he must face there, but he has made up his mind, and will do as God wants him to do. It is impossible to know the exact time frame here. This seems to be still early in Jesus’ public ministry. Luke must intend to show that Jesus was aware of the Cross long before he came to it, and that this Cross fulfilled Old Testament prophecy. Compare Luke 24:25-26. He sent messengers ahead of him. To find a place to stay for the night. Went into a Samaritan village. Josephus says the Galileans usually went through Samaria on their way to Jerusalem for the Feasts. The Samaritans and the Jews hated each other.

Verses 53-54


Would not receive him. The reason given for this is that it was plain he was going to Jerusalem. Perhaps if he had planned to stay there and teach and heal, they would have received him. Lord, do you want us to call fire down? To refuse to receive a religious teacher was considered the same as rejecting his teaching. The two “Men of Thunder” (Mark 3:17) are ready to destroy the whole village. Religious enthusiasm has caused people to sin by persecuting others. [But compare Elijah, 2 Kings 2:9-12.]

Verse 55


Jesus turned and rebuked them. He had not come to destroy, but to save! [A few manuscripts add: “You don’t know what kind of Spirit you belong to; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. “]

Verses 57-62


A certain man said to Jesus. This must have happened many times. See notes on Matthew 8:18-22. Matthew identifies this man as a teacher of the Law. I will follow you. That is, become a disciple and travel with Jesus. But the Son of Man. The Messiah (see note on Matthew 10:23). Jesus tests this man’s sincerity by pointing out the hardships. Jesus had no permanent home, and often spent the night out in the open. He said to another man. A disciple. See note on Matthew 8:21. Let the dead bury their own dead. This disciple may have been an apostle who wanted to stay with his father until his father’s death. Preaching the Kingdom of God has the very highest priority. Let the world take care of its own duties. And then keeps looking back. This was not just “saying good-bye” to his family. This man feels he cannot leave his family. A believer, ready to be buried with Christ in baptism, who goes home to talk it over with unbelieving relatives, has a good chance of being talked out of doing it. See Matthew 10:34-39 and notes there.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 9". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/luke-9.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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