Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Luke 9

Verse 1

He called the twelve together (συνκαλεσαμενος τους δωδεκαsunkalesamenos tous dōdeka). Mark 6:7; Matthew 10:1 have προσκαλεωμαιproskaleōmai to call to him. Both the indirect middle voice.

Verse 2

He sent them forth (απεστειλεν αυτουςapesteilen autous). First aorist active indicative of αποστελλωapostellō preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick (κηρυσσειν την βασιλειαν του τεου και ιασταιkērussein tēn basileian tou theou kai iāsthai). Present indicative for the continuous functions during this campaign. This double office of herald (κηρυσσεινkērussein) and healer (ιασταιiāsthai) is stated directly in Matthew 10:7-8. Note the verb ιαομαιiaomai for healing here, though τεραπευεινtherapeuein in Luke 9:1, apparently used interchangeably.

Verse 3

Neither staff (μητε ραβδονmēte rabdon). For the apparent contradiction between these words (= Matthew 10:10) and Mark 6:8 see note there. For πηρανpēran (wallet) see also Mark 6:8 and note on Matthew 10:10 for this and other details here.

Verse 5

As many as receive you not (οσοι αν μη δεχωνται υμαςhosoi an mē dechōntai humas). Indefinite relative plural with ανan and present middle subjunctive and the negative μηmē Here Matthew 10:14 has the singular (whosoever) and Mark 6:11 has “whatsoever place.”

For a testimony against them (εις μαρτυριον επ αυτουςeis marturion ep' autous). Note use of επ αυτουςep' autous where Mark 6:11 has simply the dative αυτοιςautois (disadvantage), really the same idea.

Verse 6

Went (διηρχοντοdiērchonto). Imperfect middle, continuous and repeated action made plainer also by three present participles (εχερχομενοι ευαγγελιζομενοι τεραπευοντεςexerchomenoi κατα τας κωμαςeuaggelizomenoi καταtherapeuontes), describing the wide extent of the work through all the villages (πανταχουkata tas kōmas distributive use of kata) everywhere (pantachou) in Galilee.

Verse 7

All that was done (τα γινομενα πανταta ginomena panta). Present middle participle, “all that was coming to pass.”

He was much perplexed (διηπορειdiēporei). Imperfect active of διαπορεωdiaporeō to be thoroughly at a loss, unable to find a way out (δια αdia ποροςa privative, δια το λεγεσταιporos way), common ancient verb, but only in Luke‘s writings in the N.T.

Because it was said (διαdia to legesthai). Neat Greek idiom, the articular passive infinitive after οτιdia Three reports came to the ears of Herod as Luke has it, each introduced by υπο τινωνhoti (that) in indirect discourse: “By some” (υπο τινων δεhupo tinōn), “by some” (αλλων δε υποhupo tinōn de), “by others” (ηγερτηallōn de επανηhupo not here expressed, but carried over). The verbs in the indirect discourse here (Luke 9:7, Luke 9:8) are all three aorists (ανεστηēgerthē first passive; ephanē second passive; anestē second active), not past perfects as the English has them.

Verse 9

He sought (εζητειezētei). Imperfect active. He keep on seeking to see Jesus. The rumours disturbed Herod because he was sure that he had put him to death (“John I beheaded”).

Verse 10

Declared (διηγησαντοdiēgēsanto). First aorist middle of διηγεομαιdiēgeomai to carry a narrative through to the end. Jesus listened to it all.

They had done (εποιησανepoiēsan). Aorist active indicative, they did.

He took them (παραλαβων αυτουςparalabōn autous). Second aorist active participle of παραλαμβανωparalambanō Very common verb.

Bethsaida (ητσαιδαBēthsaida). Peculiar to Luke. Bethsaida Julias is the territory of Philip, for it is on the other side of the Sea of Galilee (John 6:1).

Verse 11

Spake (ελαλειelalei). Imperfect active, he continued speaking.

He healed (ιατοiāto). Imperfect middle, he continued healing.

Verse 12

To wear away (κλινεινklinein). Old verb usually transitive, to bend or bow down. Many compounds as in English decline, incline, recline, clinic (κλινηklinē bed), etc. Luke alone in the N.T. uses it intransitively as here. The sun was turning down towards setting.

Lodge (καταλυσωσινkatalusōsin). First aorist active subjunctive of καταλυωkataluō a common verb, to dissolve, destroy, overthrow, and then of travellers to break a journey, to lodge (καταλυμαkataluma inn, Luke 2:7). Only here and Luke 19:7 in the N.T. in this sense.

Get victuals (ευρωσιν επισιτισμονheurōsin episitismon). Ingressive aorist active of ευρισκωheuriskō very common verb.

Victuals (επισιτισμονepisitismon from επισιτιζομαιepisitizomai to provision oneself, σιτιζωsitizō from σιτονsiton wheat) only here in the N.T., though common in ancient Greek, especially for provisions for a journey (snack). See notes on Mark 6:32-44; notes on Matthew 14:13-21 for discussion of details.

Verse 13

Except we should go and buy food (ει μητι πορευτεντες ημεις αγορασωμεν βρωματαei mēti poreuthentes hēmeis agorasōmen brōmata). This is a condition of the third class with the aorist subjunctive (αγορασωμενagorasōmen), where the conjunction is usually εανean (with negative εαν μηean mē), but not always or necessarily so especially in the Koiné. So in 1 Corinthians 14:5 ει μη διερμηνευηιei mē diermēneuēi and in Philippians 3:12 ει και καταλαβωei kai katalabō “Unless” is better here than “except.”

Food (βρωματαbrōmata), means eaten pieces from βιβρωσκωbibrōskō to eat, somewhat like our “edibles” or vernacular “eats.”

Verse 14

About (ωσειhōsei). Luke as Matthew 14:21 adds this word to the definite statement of Mark 6:44 that there were 5, 000 men, a hundred companies of fifty each.

Sit down (κατακλινατεkataklinate). First aorist active imperative. Recline, lie down. Only in Luke in the N.T. See also Luke 9:15.

In companies (κλισιαςklisias). Cognate accusative after ωσει ανα πεντηκονταkataklinate Only here in the N.T. A row of persons reclining at meals (table company).

About fifty each (αναhōsei ana pentēkonta). Distributive use of ωσειana and approximate number again (hōsei).

Verse 16

The five  …  the two (τους πεντε τους δυοtous pente tous duo). Pointing back to Luke 9:13, fine example of the Greek article.

And gave (και εδιδουkai edidou). Imperfect active of διδωμιdidōmi kept on giving. This picturesque imperfect is preceded by the aorist κατεκλασενkateklasen (brake), a single act. This latter verb in the N.T. only here and the parallel in Mark 6:41, though common enough in ancient Greek. We say “break off” where here the Greek has “break down” (or thoroughly), perfective use of καταkata f0).

Verse 17

Twelve baskets (κοπινοι δωδεκαkophinoi dōdeka). For discussion of κοπονοιkophonoi and σπυριδεςsphurides as well as of κλασματαklasmata (broken pieces) See Mark 6:43; note on Matthew 14:20.

Verse 18

As he was praying (εν τωι ειναι αυτον προσευχομενονen tōi einai auton proseuchomenon). Common Lukan idiom of ενen with the articular infinitive for a temporal clause, only here Luke has the periphrastic infinitive (ειναι προσευχομενονeinai proseuchomenon) as also in Luke 11:1. This item about Christ‘s praying alone in Luke.

Alone (κατα μοναςkata monas). In the N.T. only here and Mark 4:10. Perhaps χωραςchōras (places) is to be supplied with μοναςmonas (lonely places).

Were with him (συνησαν αυτωιsunēsan autōi). This seems like a contradiction unless “alone” is to be taken with συνησανsunēsan Westcott and Hort put συνηντησανsunēntēsan in the margin. This would mean that as Jesus was praying alone, the disciples fell in with him. At any rate he was praying apart from them.

Verse 19

That I am (με ειναιme einai). Accusative and infinitive in indirect assertion, a common Greek idiom. Matthew 16:13 for “I” has “the Son of man” as identical in the consciousness of Christ. The various opinions of men about Jesus here run parallel to the rumours heard by Herod (Luke 9:8, Luke 9:9).

Verse 20

But who say ye? (υμεις δε τινα λεγετεHumeis de tina legete̱). Note the emphatic proleptical position of υμειςhumeis “But ye who do ye say? This is really what mattered now with Jesus.

The Christ of God (Τον χριστον του τεουTon christon tou theou). The accusative though the infinitive is not expressed. The Anointed of God, the Messiah of God. See note on Luke 2:11 for “the Anointed of the Lord.” See note on Matthew 16:17 for discussion of Peter‘s testimony in full. Mark 6:29 has simply “the Christ.” It is clear from the previous narrative that this is not a new discovery from Simon Peter, but simply the settled conviction of the disciples after all the defections of the Galilean masses and the hostility of the Jerusalem ecclesiastics. The disciples still believed in Jesus as the Messiah of Jewish hope and prophecy. It will become plain that they do not grasp the spiritual conception of the Messiah and his kingdom that Jesus taught, but they are clear that he is the Messiah however faulty their view of the Messiah may be. There was comfort in this for Jesus. They were loyal to him.

Verse 21

To tell this to no man (μηδενι λεγειν τουτοmēdeni legein touto). Indirect command with the negative infinitive after commanded (παρηγγειλενparēggeilen). It had been necessary for Jesus to cease using the word Messiah (ΧριστοςChristos) about himself because of the political meaning to the Jews. Its use by the disciples would lead to revolution as was plain after the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:15).

Verse 22

Rejected (αποδοκιμαστηναιapodokimasthēnai). First aorist passive infinitive of αποδοκιμαζωapodokimazō to reject after trial.

The third day (τηι τριτηι ημεραιtēi tritēi hēmerāi). Locative case of time as in Matthew 16:21. Here in the parallel passage Mark 8:31 has “after three days” (μετα τρεις ημεραςmeta treis hēmeras) in precisely the same sense. That is to say, “after three days” is just a free way of saying “on the third day” and cannot mean “on the fourth day” if taken too literally. For discussion of this plain prediction of the death of Christ with various details see note on Matthew 16:21 and note on Mark 8:31. It was a melancholy outlook that depressed the disciples as Mark and Matthew show in the protest of Peter and his rebuke.

Verse 23

He said unto all (ελεγεν δε προς πανταςelegen de pros pantas). This is like Luke (cf. Luke 9:43). Jesus wanted all (the multitude with his disciples, as Mark 8:34 has it) to understand the lesson of self-sacrifice. They could not yet understand the full meaning of Christ‘s words as applied to his approaching death of which he had been speaking. But certainly the shadow of the cross is already across the path of Jesus as he is here speaking. For details (soul, life, forfeit, gain, profit, lose, world) see notes on Matthew 16:24-26 and note on Mark 8:34-37. The word for lose (απολεσειapolesei from απολλυμιapollumi a very common verb) is used in the sense of destroy, kill, lose, as here. Note the mercantile terms in this passage (gain, lose, fine or forfeit, exchange).

Daily (κατ ημερανkath' hēmeran). Peculiar to Luke in this incident. Take up the cross (his own cross) daily (aorist tense, αρατωāratō), but keep on following me (ακολουτειτωakoloutheitō present tense). The cross was a familiar figure in Palestine. It was rising before Jesus as his destiny. Each man has his own cross to meet and bear.

Verse 26

Whosoever shall be ashamed (ος αν επαισχυντηιhos an epaischunthēi). Rather, Whosoever is ashamed as in Mark 8:38. The first aorist passive subjunctive in an indefinite relative clause with ανan The passive verb is transitive here also. This verb is from επιepi and αισχυνηaischunē shame (in the eyes of men). Jesus endured the shame of the cross (Hebrews 12:2). The man at the feast who had to take a lower seat did it with shame (Luke 14:9). Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel (Romans 1:16). Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul (2 Timothy 1:16).

In his own glory (εν τηι δοχηι αυτουen tēi doxēi autou). This item added to what is in Mark 8:38; Matthew 16:27.

Verse 27

Till they see (εως αν ιδωσινheōs an idōsin). Second aorist active subjunctive with εωςheōs and ανan referring to the future, an idiomatic construction. So in Mark 9:1; Matthew 16:28. In all three passages “shall not taste of death” (ου μη γευσωνται τανατουou mē geusōntai thanatou double negative with aorist middle subjunctive) occurs also. Rabbinical writings use this figure. Like a physician Christ tasted death that we may see how to die. Jesus referred to the cross as “this cup” (Mark 14:36; Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42). Mark speaks of the kingdom of God as “come” (εληλυτυιανelēluthuian second perfect active participle). Matthew as “coming” (ερχομενονerchomenon) referring to the Son of man, while Luke has neither form. See Matthew and Mark for discussion of the theories of interpretation of this difficult passage. The Transfiguration follows in a week and may be the first fulfilment in the mind of Jesus. It may also symbolically point to the second coming.

Verse 28

About eight days (ωσει ημεραι οκτωhōsei hēmerai oktō). A nominativus pendens without connexion or construction. Mark 9:2 (Matthew 17:1) has “after six days” which agrees with the general statement.

Into the mountain (εις το οροςeis to oros). Probably Mount Hermon because we know that Jesus was near Caesarea Philippi when Peter made the confession (Mark 8:27; Matthew 16:13). Hermon is still the glory of Palestine from whose heights one can view the whole of the land. It was a fit place for the Transfiguration.

To pray (προσευχασταιproseuxasthai). Peculiar to Luke who so often mentions Christ‘s habit of prayer (cf. Luke 3:21). See also Luke 9:29 “as he was praying” (εν τωι προσευχεσταιen tōi proseuchesthai one of Luke‘s favourite idioms).

His countenance was altered (εγενετο το ειδος του προσωπου αυτου ετερονegeneto to eidos tou prosōpou autou heteron). Literally, “the appearance of his face became different.” Matthew 17:2 says that “his face did shine as the sun.” Luke does not use the word “transfigured” (μετεμορπωτηmetemorphōthē) in Mark 9:2; Matthew 17:2. He may have avoided this word because of the pagan associations with this word as Ovid‘s ΜεταμορποσεςMetamorphoses his raiment became white and dazzling (και ο ιματισμος αυτου λευκος εχαστραπτωνkai ho himatismos autou leukos exastraptōn). Literally, And his raiment white radiant. There is no and between “white” and “dazzling.” The participle εχαστραπτωνexastraptōn is from the compound verb meaning to flash (αστραπτωastraptō) out or forth (εχex). The simple verb is common for lightning flashes and bolts, but the compound in the lxx and here alone in the N.T. See note on Mark 9:3 “exceeding white” and the note on Matthew 17:2 “white as the light.”

Verse 31

There talked with him (συνελαλουν αυτωιsunelaloun autōi). Imperfect active, were talking with him.

Who appeared in glory (οι οπτεντες εν δοχηιhoi ophthentes en doxēi). First aorist passive participle of οραωhoraō This item peculiar to Luke. Compare Luke 9:26.

Spake of his decease (ελεγον την εχοδονelegon tēn exodon). Imperfect active, were talking about his εχοδυςexodus (departure from earth to heaven) very much like our English word “decease” (Latin decessus, a going away). The glorious light graphically revealed Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus about the very subject concerning which Peter had dared to rebuke Jesus for mentioning (Mark 8:32; Matthew 16:22). This very word εχοδυςexodus (way out) in the sense of death occurs in 2 Peter 1:15 and is followed by a brief description of the Transfiguration glory. Other words for death (τανατοςthanatos) in the N.T. are εκβασιςekbasis going out as departure (Hebrews 13:7), απιχιςaphixis departing (Acts 20:29), αναλυσιςanalusis loosening anchor (2 Timothy 4:6) and αναλυσαιanalusai (Philemon 1:23).

To accomplish (πληρουνplēroun). To fulfil. Moses had led the Exodus from Egypt. Jesus will accomplish the exodus of God‘s people into the Promised Land on high. See notes on Mark and note on Matthew for discussion of significance of the appearance of Moses and Elijah as representatives of law and prophecy and with a peculiar death. The purpose of the Transfiguration was to strengthen the heart of Jesus as he was praying long about his approaching death and to give these chosen three disciples a glimpse of his glory for the hour of darkness coming. No one on earth understood the heart of Jesus and so Moses and Elijah came. The poor disciples utterly failed to grasp the significance of it all.

Verse 32

Were heavy with sleep (ησαν βεβαρημενοι υπνωιēsan bebarēmenoi hupnōi). Periphrastic past perfect of βαρεωbareō a late form for the ancient βαρυνωbarunō (not in N.T. save Textus Receptus in Luke 21:34). This form, rare and only in passive (present, aorist, perfect) in the N.T., is like βαρυνωbarunō from βαρυςbarus and that from βαροςbaros weight, burden (Galatians 6:2). υπνωιHupnōi is in the instrumental case. They had apparently climbed the mountain in the early part of the night and were now overcome with sleep as Jesus prolonged his prayer. Luke alone tells of their sleep. The same word is used of the eyes of these three disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:43) and of the hearts of many (Luke 21:34).

But when they were fully awake (διαγρηγορησαντες δεdiagrēgorēsantes de). First aorist active participle of this late (Herodian) and rare compound verb (here alone in the N.T.), διαγρηγορεωdiagrēgoreō (Luke is fond of compounds with διαdia). The simple verb γρηγορεωgrēgoreō (from the second perfect active εγρηγοραegrēgora) is also late, but common in the lxx and the N.T. The effect of διαdia can be either to remain awake in spite of desire to sleep (margin of Revised Version) or to become thoroughly awake (ingressive aorist tense also) as Revised Version has it. This is most likely correct. The Syriac Sinaitic has it “When they awoke.” Certainly they had been through a strain.

His glory (την δοχαν αυτουtēn doxan autou). See also Luke 9:26 in the words of Jesus.

Verse 33

As they were departing from him (εν τωι διαχωριζεσται αυτους απ αυτουen tōi diachōrizesthai autous ap' autou). Peculiar to Luke and another instance of Luke‘s common idiom of ενen with the articular infinitive in a temporal clause. This common verb occurs here only in the N.T. The present middle voice means to separate oneself fully (direct middle). This departing of Moses and Elijah apparently accompanied Peter‘s remark as given in all three Gospels. See for details on Mark and Matthew.

Master (ΕπισταταEpistata) here, Rabbi (Mark 9:5), Lord (ΚυριεKurie Matthew 17:4).

Let us make (ποιησωμενpoiēsōmen first aorist active subjunctive) as in Mark 9:5, but Matthew 17:4 has “I will make” (ποιησωpoiēsō). It was near the time of the feast of the tabernacles. So Peter proposes that they celebrate it up here instead of going to Jerusalem for it as they did a bit later (John 7).

Not knowing what he said (μη ειδως ο λεγειmē eidōs ho legei). Literally, not understanding what he was saying (μηmē regular negative with participle and λεγειlegei present indicative retained in relative clause in indirect discourse). Luke puts it more bluntly than Mark (Peter‘s account), “For he wist not what to answer; for they became sore afraid” (Mark 9:6). Peter acted according to his impulsive nature and spoke up even though he did not know what to say or even what he was saying when he spoke. He was only half awake as Luke explains and he was sore afraid as Mark (Peter) explains. He had bewilderment enough beyond a doubt, but it was Peter who spoke, not James and John.

Verse 34

Overshadowed them (επεσκιαζεν αυτουςepeskiazen autous). Imperfect active (aorist in Matthew 17:5) as present participle in Mark 9:7, inchoative, the shadow began to come upon them. On Hermon as on many high mountains a cloud will swiftly cover the cap. I have seen this very thing at Blue Ridge, North Carolina. This same verb is used of the Holy Spirit upon Mary (Luke 1:35). Nowhere else in the N.T., though an old verb (επι σκιαζωepi σκιαskiazō from εν τωι εισελτειν αυτους εις την νεπεληνskia shadow).

As they entered into the cloud (ενen tōi eiselthein autous eis tēn nephelēn). Luke‘s idiom of εποβητησανen with the articular infinitive again (aorist active this time, on the entering in as to them). All six “entered into” the cloud, but only Peter, James, and John “became afraid” (ephobēthēsan ingressive first aorist passive).


Verse 35

If εκεινουςekeinous be accepted here instead of αυτουςautous the three disciples would be outside of the cloud.

Out of the cloud (εκ της νεπεληςek tēs nephelēs). This voice was the voice of the Father like that at the baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:22; Mark 1:11; Matthew 3:17) and like that near the end (John 12:28-30) when the people thought it was a clap of thunder or an angel.

My son, my chosen (ο υιος μου ο εκλελεγμενοςHo huios mou ho eklelegmenos). So the best documents (Aleph B L Syriac Sinaitic). The others make it “My Beloved” as in Mark 9:7; Matthew 17:5. These disciples are commanded to hear Jesus, God‘s Son, even when he predicts his death, a pointed rebuke to Simon Peter as to all.

Verse 36

When the voice came (εν τοι γενεσται την πωνηνen toi genesthai tēn phōnēn). Another example of Luke‘s idiom, this time with the second aorist middle infinitive. Literally, “on the coming as to the voice” (accusative of general reference). It does not mean that it was “after” the voice was past that Jesus was found alone, but simultaneously with it (ingressive aorist tense).

Alone (μονοςmonos). Same adjective in Mark 9:8; Matthew 17:8 translated “only.” Should be rendered “alone” there also.

They held their peace (εσιγησανesigēsan). Ingressive aorist active of common verb σιγαωsigaō became silent. In Mark 9:9; Matthew 17:9, Jesus commanded them not to tell till His Resurrection from the dead. Luke notes that they in awe obeyed that command and it turns out that they finally forgot the lesson of this night‘s great experience. By and by they will be able to tell them, but not “in those days.”

Which they had seen (ων εωρακανhōn heōrakan). Attraction of the relative αha into the case of the unexpressed antecedent τουτωνtoutōn Perfect active indicative εωρακανheōrakan with Koiné (papyri) form for the ancient εωρακασινheōrakāsin changed by analogy to the first aorist ending in -ανan instead of -ασινasin f0).

Verse 37

On the next day (τηι εχης ημεραιtēi hexēs hēmerāi). Alone in Luke. It shows that the Transfiguration took place on the preceding night.

They were come down (κατελτοντων αυτωνkatelthontōn autōn). Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of κατερχομαιkaterchomai a common enough verb, but in the N.T. only in Luke‘s writings save James 3:15.

Met him (συνηντησεν αυτωιsunēntēsen autōi). First aorist active of συνανταωsunantaō common compound verb, to meet with, only in Luke‘s writings in the N.T. save Hebrews 7:1. With associative instrumental case αυτωιautōi f0).

Verse 38

Master (ΔιδασκαλεDidaskale). Teacher as in Mark 9:17.

Lord (κυριεkurie Matthew 17:15).

To look upon (επιβλεπσαιepiblepsai). Aorist active infinitive of επιβλεπωepiblepō (επιepi upon, βλεπωblepō look), common verb, but in the N.T. only here and James 2:3 except Luke 1:48 in quotation from lxx. This compound verb is common in medical writers for examining carefully the patient.

Mine only child (μονογενης μοιmonogenēs moi). Only in Luke as already about an only child in Luke 7:12; Luke 8:42.

Verse 39

Suddenly (εχεπνηςexephnēs). Old adverb, but in the N.T. only in Luke‘s writings save Mark 13:36. Used by medical writers of sudden attacks of disease like epilepsy.

It teareth him that he foameth (σπαρασσει αυτον μετα απρουsparassei auton meta aphrou). Literally, “It tears him with (accompanied with, μεταmeta) foam” (old word, απροςaphros only here in the N.T.). From σπαρασσωsparassō to convulse, a common verb, but in the N.T. only here and Mark 1:26; Mark 9:26 (and συνσπαρασσωsunsparassō Mark 9:20). See Mark 9:17; and note on Matthew 17:15 for variations in the symptoms in each Gospel. The use of μετα απρουmeta aphrou is a medical item.

Hardly (μολιςmolis). Late word used in place of μογιςmogis the old Greek term (in some MSS. here) and alone in Luke‘s writings in the N.T. save 1 Peter 4:18; Romans 5:7.

Bruising him sorely (συντριβον αυτονsuntribon auton). Common verb for rubbing together, crushing together like chains (Mark 5:4) or as a vase (Mark 14:3). See notes on Matthew 17:15 and notes on Mark 9:17 for discussion of details here.

Verse 41

How long shall I be with you and bear with you? (εως ποτε εσομαι προς υμας και ανεχομαι υμωνheōs pote esomai pros humās kai anexomai humōṉ). Here the two questions of Mark 9:19 (only one in Matthew 17:17) are combined in one sentence.

Bear with (ανεχομαιanexomai direct middle future) is, hold myself from you (ablative case υμωνhumōn).

Faithless (απιστοςapistos) is disbelieving and perverse (διεστραμμενηdiestrammenē perfect passive participle of διαστρεπωdiastrephō), is twisted, turned, or torn in two.

Verse 42

As he was yet a coming (ετι προσερχομενου αυτουeti proserchomenou autou). Genitive absolute. While he was yet coming (the boy, that is, not Jesus). Note quaint English “a coming” retained in the Revised Version.

Dashed him (ερρηχεν αυτονerrēxen auton). First aorist active indicative of ρηγνυμιrēgnumi or ρησσωrēssō to rend or convulse, a common verb, used sometimes of boxers giving knockout blows.

Tare grievously (συνεσπαραχενsunesparaxen). Rare word as only here and Mark 9:20 in the N.T., which see note.

Gave him back to his father (απεδωκεν αυτον τωι πατρι αυτουapedōken auton tōi patri autou). Tender touch alone in Luke as in Luke 7:15.

Verse 43

They were all astonished (exeplēssonto de pantes). Imperfect passive of the common verb ekplēssō or ekplēgnumi to strike out, a picturesque description of the amazement of all at the easy victory of Jesus where the nine disciples had failed.

At the majesty of God (epi tēi megaleiotēti tou theou). A late word from the adjective megaleios and that from megas (great). In the N.T. only here and Acts 19:27 of Artemis and in 2 Peter 1:16 of the Transfiguration. It came to be used by the emperors like our word “Majesty.”

Which he did (hois epoiei). This is one of the numerous poor verse divisions. This sentence has nothing to do with the first part of the verse. The imperfect active epoiei covers a good deal not told by Luke (See Mark 9:30 = Matthew 17:22). Note the attraction of the relative hois into the case of pāsin its antecedent.

Verse 44

Sink into your ears (Τεστε υμεις εις τα ωτα υμωνThesthe humeis eis ta ōta humōn). Second aorist imperative middle of τιτημιtithēmi common verb. “Do you (note emphatic position) yourselves (whatever others do) put into your ears.” No word like “sink” here. The same prediction here as in Mark 9:31 = Matthew 17:22 about the Son of man only without mention of death and resurrection as there. See note on Mark 9:31 for discussion.

Verse 45

It was concealed from them (ην παρακεκαλυμμενον απ αυτωνēn parakekalummenon ap' autōn). Periphrastic past perfect of παρακαλυπτωparakaluptō a common verb, but only here in the N.T., to cover up, to hide from. This item only in Luke.

That they should not perceive it (ινα μη αιστωνται αυτοhina mē aisthōntai auto). Second aorist middle subjunctive of the common verb αιστανομαιaisthanomai used with ινα μηhina mē negative purpose. This explanation at least relieves the disciples to some extent of full responsibility for their ignorance about the death of Jesus as Mark 9:32 observes, as does Luke here that they were afraid to ask him. Plummer says, “They were not allowed to understand the saying then, in order that they might remember it afterwards, and see that Jesus had met His sufferings with full knowledge and free will.” Perhaps also, if they had fully understood, they might have lacked courage to hold on to the end. But it is a hard problem.

Verse 46

A reasoning (διαλογισμοςdialogismos). A dispute. The word is from διαλογιζομαιdialogizomai the verb used in Mark 9:33 about this incident. In Luke this dispute follows immediately after the words of Jesus about his death. They were afraid to ask Jesus about that subject, but Matthew 18:1 states that they came to Jesus to settle it.

Which of them should be greatest (το τις αν ειη μειζων αυτωνto tis an eiē meizōn autōn). Note the article with the indirect question, the clause being in the accusative of general reference. The optative with ανan is here because it was so in the direct question (potential optative with ανan retained in the indirect). But Luke makes it plain that it was not an abstract problem about greatness in the kingdom of heaven as they put it to Jesus (Matthew 18:1), but a personal problem in their own group. Rivalries and jealousies had already come and now sharp words. By and by James and John will be bold enough to ask for the first places for themselves in this political kingdom which they expect (Mark 10:35; Matthew 20:20). It is a sad spectacle.

Verse 47

Took a little child (επιλαβομενος παιδιονepilabomenos paidion). Second aorist middle participle of the common verb επιλαμβανωepilambanō Strictly, Taking a little child to himself (indirect middle). Mark 9:36 has merely the active λαβωνlabōn of the simple verb λαμβανωlambanō Set him by his side (εστησεν αυτο παρ εαυτωιestēsen auto par' heautōi). “In his arms” Mark 9:36 has it, “in the midst of them” Matthew 18:3 says. All three attitudes following one another (the disciples probably in a circle around Jesus anyhow) and now the little child (Peter‘s child?) was slipped down by the side of Jesus as he gave the disciples an object lesson in humility which they sorely needed.

Verse 48

This little child (τουτο το παιδιονtouto to paidion). As Jesus spoke he probably had his hand upon the head of the child. Matthew 18:5 has “one such little child.” The honoured disciple, Jesus holds, is the one who welcomes little children “in my name” (επι τωι ονοματι μουepi tōi onomati mou), upon the basis of my name and my authority. It was a home-thrust against the selfish ambition of the Twelve. Ministry to children is a mark of greatness. Have preachers ever yet learned how to win children to Christ? They are allowed to slip away from home, from Sunday school, from church, from Christ.

For he that is least among you all (ο γαρ μικροτερος εν πασιν υμιν υπαρχωνho gar mikroteros en pasin humin huparchōn). Note the use of υπαρχωhuparchō as in Luke 8:41; Luke 23:50. The comparative μικροτεροςmikroteros is in accord with the Koiné idiom where the superlative is vanishing (nearly gone in modern Greek). But great (μεγαςmegas) is positive and very strong. This saying peculiar to Luke here.

Verse 49

And John answered (αποκριτεις δε Ιωανηςapokritheis de Iōanēs). As if John wanted to change the subject after the embarrassment of the rebuke for their dispute concerning greatness (Luke 9:46-48).

Master (επισταταepistata). Only in Luke in the N.T. as already four times (Luke 5:5; Luke 8:24, Luke 8:45; Luke 9:33).

We forbade him (εκωλυομεν αυτονekōluomen auton). Conative imperfect as in Mark 9:38, We tried to hinder him.

Because he followeth not with us (οτι ουκ ακολουτει μετ ημωνhoti ouk akolouthei meth hēmōn). Present tense preserved for vividness where Mark has imperfect μετ ημωνe4kolouthei Note also here “with us” (ημινmeth' hēmōn) where Mark has associative instrumental hēmin It is a pitiful specimen of partisan narrowness and pride even in the Beloved Disciple, one of the Sons of Thunder. The man was doing the Master‘s work in the Master‘s name and with the Master‘s power, but did not run with the group of the Twelve.

Verse 50

“Against you is for you” (κατ μων υπερ μωνkath' hūmōn huper hūmōn). Mark 9:40 has “against us is for us” (ημων ημωνhēmōn …  ηhēmōn). The Koiné Greek and μη κωλυετε μη were often pronounced alike and it was easy to interchange them. So many MSS. here read just as in Mark. The point is precisely the same as it is a proverbial saying. See a similar saying in Luke 11:23: “He that is not with me is against me.” The prohibition here as in Mark 9:39 is general: “Stop hindering him” (μηmē kōluete mē and the present imperative, not mē and the aorist subjunctive). The lesson of toleration in methods of work for Christ is needed today.

Verse 51

When the days were well-nigh come (εν τωι συμπληρουσται τας ημεραςen tōi sumplērousthai tas hēmeras). Luke‘s common idiom ενen with the articular infinitive, “in the being fulfilled as to the days.” This common compound occurs in the N.T. only here and Luke 8:23; Acts 2:1. The language here makes it plain that Jesus was fully conscious of the time of his death as near as already stated (Luke 9:22, Luke 9:27, Luke 9:31).

That he should be received up (της αναλημπσεως αυτουtēs analēmpseōs autou). Literally, “of his taking up.” It is an old word (from Hippocrates on), but here alone in the N.T. It is derived from αναλαμβανωanalambanō (the verb used of the Ascension, Acts 1:2, Acts 1:11, Acts 1:22; 1 Timothy 3:16) and refers here to the Ascension of Jesus after His Resurrection. Not only in John‘s Gospel (John 17:5) does Jesus reveal a yearning for a return to the Father, but it is in the mind of Christ here as evidently at the Transfiguration (Luke 9:31) and later in Luke 12:49.

He steadfastly set his face (αυτος το προσωπον εστηρισενautos to prosōpon estērisen). Note emphatic αυτοςautos he himself, with fixedness of purpose in the face of difficulty and danger. This look on Christ‘s face as he went to his doom is noted later in Mark 10:32. It is a Hebraistic idiom (nine times in Ezekiel), this use of face here, but the verb (effective aorist active) is an old one from στηριζωstērizō (from στηριγχstērigx a support), to set fast, to fix.

To go to Jerusalem (του πορευεσται εις Ιερουσαλημtou poreuesthai eis Ierousalēm). Genitive infinitive of purpose. Luke three times mentions Christ making his way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51; Luke 13:22; Luke 17:11) and John mentions three journeys to Jerusalem during the later ministry (John 7:10; John 11:17; John 12:1). It is natural to take these journeys to be the same in each of these Gospels. Luke does not make definite location of each incident and John merely supplements here and there. But in a broad general way they seem to correspond.

Verse 52

Sent messengers (απεστειλεν αγγελουςapesteilen aggelous). As a precaution since he was going to Jerusalem through Samaria. The Samaritans did not object when people went north from Jerusalem through their country. He was repudiating Mount Gerizim by going by it to Jerusalem. This was an unusual precaution by Jesus and we do not know who the messengers (angels) were.

To make ready for him (ως ετοιμασαι αυτωιhōs hetoimasai autōi). ωςHōs is correct here, not ωστεhōste The only examples of the final use of ωςhōs with the infinitive in the N.T. are this one and Hebrews 7:9 (absolute use). In Acts 20:24 Westcott and Hort read ως τελειωσωhōs teleiōsō and put ως τελειωσαιhōs teleiōsai in the margin (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1091).

Verse 53

And they did not receive him (και ουκ εδεχαντο αυτονkai ouk edexanto auton). Adversative use of καιkai = But.

Because his face was going to Jerusalem (οτι το προσωπον αυτου ην πορευομενον εις Ιερουσαλημhoti to prosōpon autou ēn poreuomenon eis Ierousalēm). Periphrastic imperfect middle. It was reason enough to the churlish Samaritans.

Verse 54

Saw this (ιδοντεςidontes). Second aorist active participle of οραωhoraō Saw the messengers returning.

We bid (τελεις ειπωμενtheleis eipōmen). Deliberative subjunctive ειπωμενeipōmen after τελειςtheleis without ιναhina probably two questions, Dost thou wish? Shall we bid? Perhaps the recent appearance of Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration reminded James and John of the incident in 2 Kings 1:10-12. Some MSS. add here “as Elijah did.” The language of the lxx is quoted by James and John, these fiery Sons of Thunder. Note the two aorist active infinitives (καταβηναι αναλωσαιkatabēnai analōsai the first ingressive, the second effective).

Verse 55

But he turned (στραπεις δεstrapheis de). Second aorist passive participle of στρεπωstrephō common verb, to turn round. Dramatic act. Some ancient MSS. have here: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of (ουκ οιδατε ποιου πνευματος εστεouk oidate poiou pneumatos este). This sounds like Christ and may be a genuine saying though not a part of Luke‘s Gospel. A smaller number of MSS. add also: For the Son of Man came not to destroy men‘s lives, but to save them (ο γαρ υιος του αντρωπου ουκ ηλτεν πσυχας αντρωπων απολεσαι αλλα σωσαιHo gar huios tou anthrōpou ouk ēlthen psuchas anthrōpōn apolesai alla sōsai), a saying reminding us of Matthew 5:17; Luke 19:10. Certain it is that here Jesus rebuked the bitterness of James and John toward Samaritans as he had already chided John for his narrowness towards a fellow-worker in the kingdom.

Verse 57

A certain man (τιςtis). Matthew 8:19 calls him “a scribe.” Luke 9:57-60; Matthew 8:19-22, but not in Mark and so from Q or the Logia.

Wherever you go (οπου εαν απερχηιhopou ean aperchēi) is the present middle subjunctive with the indefinite relative adverb εανean common Greek idiom. See note on Matthew 8:20 for “holes,” “nests,” “Son of man.” The idiom “where to lay his head” (που την κεπαλην κλινηιpou tēn kephalēn klinēi) is the same in both, the deliberative subjunctive retained in the indirect question. “Jesus knows the measure of the scribe‘s enthusiasm” (Plummer). The wandering life of Jesus explains this statement.

Verse 59

And he said unto another (ειπεν δε προς ετερονeipen de pros heteron). Matthew 8:21 omits Christ‘s “Follow me” (ακολουτει μοιakolouthei moi) and makes this man a volunteer instead of responding to the appeal of Jesus. There is no real opposition, of course. In Matthew‘s account the man is apologetic as in Luke. Plummer calls him “one of the casual disciples” of whom there are always too many. The scribes knew how to give plausible reasons for not being active disciples.

First (πρωτονprōton). One of the problems of life is the relation of duties to each other, which comes first. The burial of one‘s father was a sacred duty (Genesis 25:9), but, as in the case of Tobit 4:3, this scribe‘s father probably was still alive. What the scribe apparently meant was that he could not leave his father while still alive to follow Jesus around over the country.

Verse 60

Leave the dead to bury their own dead (απες τους νεκρους ταπσαι τους εαυτων νεκρουςaphes tous nekrous thapsai tous heautōn nekrous). This paradox occurs so in Matthew 8:22. The explanation is that the spiritually dead can bury the literally dead. For such a quick change in the use of the same words, see John 5:21-29 (on spiritual resurrection from sin in John 5:21-27, on bodily resurrection from the grave, John 5:28-29) and John 11:25. The harshness of this proverb to the scribe probably is due to the fact that he was manifestly using his aged father as an excuse for not giving Christ active service.

But go thou and publish abroad the kingdom of God (συ δε απελτων διαγγελλε την βασιλειαν του τεουsu de apelthōn diaggelle tēn basileian tou theou). The scribe‘s duty is put sharply (υτ δο του συ δεBut do thou su de). Christ called him to preach, and he was using pious phrases about his father as a pretext. Many a preacher has had to face a similar delicate problem of duty to father, mother, brothers, sisters and the call to preach. This was a clear case. Jesus will help any man called to preach to see his duty. Certainly Jesus does not advocate renunciation of family duties on the part of preachers.

Verse 61

And another also said (ειπεν δε και ετεροςeipen de kai heteros). A volunteer like the first. This third case is given by Luke alone, though the incident may also come from the same Logia as the other two. ετεροςHeteros does not here mean one of a “different” sort as is sometimes true of this pronoun, but merely another like αλλοςallos (Robertson, Grammar, p. 749).

But first (πρωτον δεprōton de). He also had something that was to come “first.”

To bid farewell to them that are at my house (αποταχασται τοις εις τον οικον μουapotaxasthai tois eis ton oikon mou). In itself that was a good thing to do. This first aorist middle infinitive is from αποτασσωapotassō an old verb, to detach, to separate, to assign as a detachment of soldiers. In the N.T. it only appears in the middle voice with the meaning common in late writers to bid adieu, to separate oneself from others. It is used in Acts 18:18 of Paul taking leave of the believers in Corinth. See also Mark 6:46; 2 Corinthians 2:13. It is thus a formal function and this man meant to go home and set things in order there and then in due time to come and follow Jesus.

Verse 62

Having put his hand to the plough (επιβαλων την χειρα επ αροτρονepibalōn tēn cheira ep' arotron). Second aorist active participle of επιβαλλωepiballō an old and common verb, to place upon. Note repetition of preposition επιepi before αροτρονarotron (plough). This agricultural proverb is as old as Hesiod. Pliny observes that the ploughman who does not bend attentively to his work goes crooked. It has always been the ambition of the ploughman to run a straight furrow. The Palestinefellah had good success at it.

And looking back (και βλεπων εις τα οπισωkai blepōn eis ta opisō). Looking to the things behind. To do that is fatal as any ploughman knows. The call to turn back is often urgent.

Fit (ευτετοςeuthetos). From ευeu and τιτημιtithēmi =well-placed, suited for, adapted to. “The first case is that of inconsiderate impulse, the second that of conflicting duties, the third that of a divided mind” (Bruce).

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.