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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Luke 9

 

 

Verses 1-17

Jesus Delegates His Authority to the Apostles - In Luke 9:1-17 we have two stories of how Jesus delegated His authority to His disciples. He sends them out to use the authority of His name and heal the sick, and He tests their faith in the miracle of feeding the five thousand.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Sends Out His Disciples — Luke 9:1-6

2. Herod's Perplexity — Luke 9:7-9

3. Feeding the Five Thousand — Luke 9:10-17

Luke 9:1-6 — Jesus Sends Out His Disciples ( Matthew 10:5-15, Mark 6:7-13) - In Luke 9:1-6 we have the story of Jesus sending out His twelve apostles by delegating to them the authority of His name.

Comparison of Narrative Material in the Synoptic Gospels- When we compare this story in the three Synoptic Gospels, we can easily recognize how they each emphasize their themes by the differences given in each account. We find Mark clearly emphasizing the proclamation of the Gospel by His disciples with signs and miracles accompanying them. This version is thus emphasizing the theme of the Gospel of Mark.

Mark 6:12-13, "And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them."

Luke's Gospel emphasizes the effectiveness of the disciples as they ministered under the authority of Jesus name, while taking the Gospel to many towns and villages when it says, "(they) went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where."

Luke 9:6, "And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where"

Matthew's Gospel makes no reference to the preaching of the disciples, but rather, gives us a lengthy discourse by Jesus. This is because Matthew's Gospel is structured around Jesus' five discourses, which emphasizes the teaching ministry as the means of taking the Gospel to the world.

Luke 9:7-9 — Herod's Perplexity ( Matthew 14:1-12, Mark 6:14-29) - Luke 9:7-9 records the story of Herod's perplexity about Jesus' ministry and the death of John the Baptist. When comparing this story in the Synoptic Gospels, we see that Mark 6:14-29 records the most lengthy account of the death of John the Baptist. Mark gives more detail of the reason for his death, which was because of his preaching a Gospel of repentance to King Herod, and it records Herod's perplexity of Jesus' miracles; thus making an emphasis upon preaching and miracles. Luke's Gospel gives the shortest account by simply noting Herod's testimony of perplexity as to who Jesus was, having heard so many things about Him. Matthew's record of this account is placed among a collection of accounts of how to handle offences in the Kingdom of God; for the death of John the Baptist was an opportunity to get offended.

Luke 9:10-17 — The Feeding of the Five Thousand ( Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, John 6:1-14) - Luke 9:10-17 records the story of the feeding of the five thousand. This story is place in the same subsection of narrative material as Jesus sending out His twelve disciples because these twelve apostles were a part of this miracle of feeding the five thousand by handing out the bread and fish. Thus, they were partaking of the same anointing that Jesus ministered under to perform this miracle.

Symbolic Meaning of the Bread- Notes these insightful words of Frances J. Roberts regarding the symbolic meaning of the bread:

"It is a joy to My heart when My children rely upon Me. I delight in working things out for thee, but I delight even more in thee thyself than in anything I do to help thee. Even Song of Solomon , I want you to delight in Me just for Myself, rather than in anything ye do for Me. Service is the salvage of love. It is like the twelve baskets of bread that were left over. The bread partaken of was like fellowship mutually given; and the excess and overflow was a symbol of service. I do not expect thee to give to others until ye have first thyself been a partaker. I will provide you with plentiful supply to give if ye first come to receive for thine own needs. This is in no way selfishness. It is the Law of Life. Can the stalk of corn produce the ear unless first it receive its own life from the parent seed? No more can ye produce fruit in thy ministry except ye be impregnated with divine life from its source in God Himself. It was from the hands of the Christ that the multitudes received bread. From His hands ye also must receive thy nurture, the Bread of Life to sustain thy health and thy life.

"Let Him fully satisfy thy soul-hunger, and then thou shalt go forth with a full basket on thine arm. Twelve baskets there were ( Matthew 14:20). One for each disciple. There will always be the multitudes to be fed, but the few called to minister. This is by My own arrangement. As the Scripture says: Do not many desire to be teachers, for thereby is attached more heavy responsibility ( James 3:1)." 212]

212] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 153-4.

Jesus' Touch- As Jesus touched the bread, it brought life to the loaves and they multiplied, much like the rod of Aaron's that budded when placed into the Ark of the Covenant.

The Ministry of Helps- The principle of the ministry of helps is seen in this story. The twelve disciples were helping Jesus to distribute the bread. As the blessing and anointing was flowing through Jesus Christ to break the bread, so was this anointing imparted unto the disciples as they took of this bread and broke it and saw it multiply by their hands also. Noting that this event took place late in the day, Jesus would not have had time to break enough bread himself to feed the five thousand. The disciples were clearly breaking the bread they had received from Jesus. This story teaches us that there is an anointing imparted as we serve in the ministry of helps.

The Divine Principle of Thankfulness- Today in Israel, tour guides will suggest that there were about 40 ,000 people present at this time that were feed miraculously. In this story, we see a divine principle that will work in our lives. Jesus took what small provision His Heavenly Father provided and gave God thanks for it. God was then able to bless what He had and cause it to multiply. Our Father will do the same for us. We are to be thankful for what we presently have and serve Him so that He can bless and multiply our provision.

Luke 9:11 — Comments - The public ministry of Jesus Christ reached its peak of popularity during the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand, as the multitudes around Galilee followed Him. At the end of the narrative section in John 6:60-66 many disciples forsook Him. Jesus will be left standing in the synagogue of Capernaum asking His closest disciples if they will forsake Him also ( John 6:67-71). Jesus' miracles have brought attention to His message, but not commitment from His followers.

Luke 9:13 — Comments- The Gospel of John tells us that there was a small boy in the crowd who has some food. He was willing to offer it unto Jesus and His disciples. We know that there were others who had brought some small portions of food with them, but had not offered it, probably because they did not think that it was enough to help the situation. God can take our smallest gifts and work mighty miracles with it if we will only be willing to offer it unto Him.

Note these insightful words from Sadhu Sundar Singh regarding the lad with the loaves and fishes.

"Sometimes when there is some great act of service to be done, I choose for My purpose those who are little esteemed in the eyes of the world, for they make no boast of their own power or Wisdom of Solomon , but putting their entire trust in Me, and accounting what little ability they possess as of no great value, they devote all they have and are to My work for men (1Cor. i 26-30). For instance, when I fed in the wilderness five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, you will remember that I did not perform this miracle by the agency of My disciples, for they were full of doubt and perplexity and wished to send the multitude away hungry (John vi 9). My servant on that occasion was a little lad whom I had cured of the palsy. Filled with a desire to hear My words he determined to follow Me. His poor mother wrapped up in his clothes some barley cakes and dried fish, enough for two or three days journey, so when inquiry was made for food for the multitude this faithful little lad at once brought all that he had and laid it at the disciples' feet. Though there were wealthy people there who had with them much better food, such as wheaten cakes, they were not prepared to give them up; so it was from the barley cakes of this boy, My namesake, that by My blessing the multitude was fed with the choicest food." 213]

213] Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master's Feet, translated by Arthur Parker (London: Fleming H. Revell Co, 1922) [on-line], accessed 26 October 2008, available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh/feet.html; Internet, "IV Service," section 2, part 6.

Luke 9:16Word Study on "loaves" - The Greek word ἄ ρτος means "bread." Leon Morris describes this bread as the size of a "bun" so that several pieces could be eaten at a single meal. 214]

214] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew , in The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 378.

Luke 9:17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

Luke 9:17Comments- These twelve baskets of bread served as physical evidence of the miracle of feeding five thousand. The small boy had given so little, yet the returns were enormous. It is the same way in our lives when we give to Jesus. Jesus may have offered these twelve baskets of bread to the little boy who first gave his food to Jesus.


Verses 18-27

Peter's Confession About Jesus as the Christ ( Matthew 16:13-28, Mark 8:27 to Mark 9:1) - Luke 9:18-27 gives us the story of Peter making his famous confession to Jesus Christ that He is truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God and Jesus response by prophesying to the disciples of His death and resurrection. This story is a pivotal point in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as He begins for the first time to explain to His disciples His need to suffer and die on Calvary. In the Gospel of Luke , this event immediately precedes the point at which Jesus sets His face towards Jerusalem ( Luke 9:51). This became the time for Jesus to be received up.

We see that Peter's confession was the culmination of the Lord's training for His disciples. Peter's confession represented the voice of the twelve apostles. Jesus had called many disciples. These twelve had forsaken all to follow Him. They had been sent out and learned how to minister the Gospel to others and set people free. Now they understood who Jesus Christ was, the Son of the living God.

Jesus could have continued His earthly ministry for the sake of healing the multitudes and teaching the principles of the Kingdom of God, but He his goal was to delegate this duty to the apostles so that He could redeem mankind at Calvary and send the Holy Spirit from heaven to empower His disciples. Thus, Peter's confession is the culmination of Jesus' training and now Jesus set His face towards Calvary to bring His earthly ministry to an end.

Within the context of the theme of Luke's Gospel, which is the prophetic testimonies of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world, Peter makes his first prophetic utterance on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Luke 9:18 — "And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him" - Comments - I did not understand this wording for years, until I had children of my own. When I went into my prayer closet and shut the door, my children would sometimes come in. At first, they were noisy and I made them leave, but as they grew older, they learned to be quiet and I let them stay, knowing that they needed to see their father in prayer.

We see Mark making another reference to Jesus being alone while His disciples were with him. It becomes clear from the context of Mark 4:10 that the crowds had left Jesus and His disciples alone for a season.

Mark 4:10, "And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable."

Luke 9:20Comments - In Luke 9:20 Peter speaks prophetically for the first time in his declaration of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Luke 9:22Comments - Jesus makes His first declaration of His Passion and Resurrection in Luke 9:22. He will make several more of these predictions to His disciples leading up to these actual events. It is important to note that Jesus waited until the disciples came to the revelation of His deity and made this confession in Luke 9:20 before revealing His Resurrection.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luke 9:23Comments - Jesus Christ did not expound upon the meaning of taking up one's cross. Perhaps the disciples were not ready for such doctrinal teachings. Jesus did illustrate this statement comparing the value man's physical life to his eternal life, and the value of this world's riches to eternal riches, and temporal, earthly shame to eternal glory. It would be almost twenty years before Paul the apostle would address this truth in his epistles with such statements as "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" ( Galatians 2:20), and "I die daily" ( 1 Corinthians 15:31), and "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body"s sake, which is the church." ( Colossians 1:24 )

The preaching of the Cross is not just telling others the message that Jesus died and rose again. It is telling others that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ must take up their cross daily in order to follow him. The preaching of the Cross is a message of sacrifice, and not pleasure. If we are not taking up our cross today, then it means we are walking in our own path that day, and not following Christ. Rick Joyner adds insight into this passage in his book The Final Quest.

"When we (Paul and his co-workers) served, being in ministry was the greatest sacrifice that one could make, and this reflected the message of the greatest sacrifice that was made - the Cross. The Cross is the power of God, and it is the center of all that we are called to live by. You have so little power to transform the minds and hearts of the disciples now because you do not live, and do not preach, the Cross. Therefore, we have difficulty seeing much difference between the disciples and the heathen. That is not the Gospel or the salvation with which we were entrusted. You must return to the Cross." 215]

215] Rick Joyner, The Final Quest (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1977), 136.


Verses 18-50

Jesus' Authority Revealed - After the disciples of Jesus saw His divine authority displayed in every area of human life and even over creation itself, and after they were sent out and walked in this authority, Luke 9:18-50 records how they came to the place of understanding Him as the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Peter's Confession — Luke 9:18-27

2. The Transfiguration of Jesus — Luke 9:28-36

3. A Healing that Revealed His Majesty — Luke 9:37-45

4. The Disciples Dispute Over Greatness — Luke 9:46-50


Verses 28-36

The Transfiguration of Jesus ( Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 2-8) - Luke 9:28-36 records the events during the day that Jesus was transfigured upon the mount revealing Himself in His heavenly glory to three disciples. This passage supports the previous story of Peter's confession as Jesus reveals Himself to the disciples to a greater degree.

Luke 9:31Comments - Man walked in this glory before his fall in the Garden of Eden ( Psalm 8:4-5).

Psalm 8:4-5, "What is Prayer of Manasseh , that thou art mindful of him? and the son of Prayer of Manasseh , that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour."

Luke 9:35Comments - The voice of God the Father spoke from Heaven to mankind on a number of occasions. God spoke to King Nebuchadnezzar when he took his mind from him for a season ( Daniel 4:31). God spoke from Heaven at the water baptism of His Son Jesus Christ ( Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22). God spoke to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration ( Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35-36, 2 Peter 1:17-18). God spoke to Jesus when He rode into Jerusalem before His Passion ( John 12:28-29). Jesus spoke to Paul from Heaven on the road to Damascus ( Acts 9:3-7).

Luke 9:36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.


Verses 37-45

A Healing that Revealed His Majesty ( Matthew 17:14-18; Matthew 17:22-23, Mark 9:14-27; Mark 9:30-32) - Luke 9:37-45 gives the account of Jesus healing the boy with the unclean spirit. This healing is placed within the subsection emphasizing Jesus revealing Himself to His disciples as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. This healing is place here because it also reveals Jesus' majesty, for the people were all amazed at the "majesty" of God.

Luke 9:43, "And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,"

Grammar-Syntax- It is interesting to note that Peter uses this same Greek word to describe the appearance of Jesus Christ while on the Mount of Transfiguration, which is part of the narrative material found within this subsection revealing Jesus' majesty.

2 Peter 1:16, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."

Luke 9:43Word Study on "the mighty power" - Strong says the Greek word μεγαλειό της (G 3168) means, "superbness, i.e. glory or spendor." BDAG defines it as "grandeur, sublimity, or majesty." The Enhanced Strong says it is used only 3times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "mighty power 1, magnificence 1, majesty 1." The other two uses are found in Acts 19:27 and 2 Peter 1:16. It is interesting to note that Peter uses this same Greek word to describe the appearance of Jesus Christ while on the Mount of Transfiguration, which is part of the narrative material found within this subsection revealing Jesus' majesty.

Acts 19:27, "So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth."

2 Peter 1:16, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."


Verses 46-50

The Disciples Dispute Over Greatness ( Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-37) - Luke 9:46-50 reveals the respond of the disciples to the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who dwells in glory and majesty. They become covetous to share in this glory ( Luke 9:46-48) and jealous of others who may possess some of it ( Luke 9:49-50). Both of these vices are the results of pride in man's heart. Thus, Jesus spoke to them on humility ( Luke 9:46-48) and unity ( Luke 9:49-50) among His disciples. These two issues are a great problem among Christian leaders in the body of Christ today.

A Dispute Over Greatness - In Luke 9:46-48 Jesus deals with pride in the hearts of the disciples as they argue over which one of them is the greatest. Therefore, He explains to them the principles of the Kingdom regarding greatness, which lies in humility.

Jealously Over Another's Ministry ( Mark 9:38-40) - After teaching on humility Jesus had to deal with jealously and division among His disciples ( Luke 9:49-50). In this passage of Scripture Jesus responds to complains of others who were not with them by telling them a divine principle of unity in the body of Christ. This theme will later become a part of Paul's message in his epistles as he teaches on unity in the body of Christ.


Verse 51

Training for Discipleship - Luke 9:51 to Luke 10:37 give us three accounts of Jesus teaching His disciples on different aspects of serving in the Kingdom of God. He teaches on the right attitude of a disciple, which is to walk in love ( Luke 9:51-56), on the cost of discipleship, which involves a person's willingness to serve the Lord with all of his heart, mind, body and finances ( Luke 9:57-62), and on using the authority of the name of Jesus ( Luke 10:1-24). These narrative stories reveal the progressive training of Christian disciples. One must first have the right attitude of the heart, always desiring to save others rather than to destroy lives ( Luke 9:51-56). This is the preparation of the heart. Then a disciple has to be willing to give himself entirely to the Lord ( Luke 9:57-62). This involves a mental decision of the mind. When one takes these two steps, he is ready to go out with authority and power in the name of Jesus and work signs and miracles ( Luke 10:1-24). This is the physical service of our bodies yielded to Him. Thus, we have three lessons by Jesus Christ on the spiritual, mental and physical preparations for discipleship. Just as He "stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem," so must His disciples be ready to do the same.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Rebuke- Rejection by Samaritans — Luke 9:51-56

2. Correction- Three Examples of Cost of Discipleship — Luke 9:57-62

3. Exhortation- The Seventy Sent Out — Luke 10:1-24

4. Instruction- Instructs Lawyer on Eternal Life — Luke 10:25-37

The Travel Narrative to Jerusalem: Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Testify and Walk in His Authority - Luke 9:51 to Luke 21:38 is commonly called the Travel Narrative because it gives us the longest account of Jesus' final journey to Jerusalem. This narrative material begins with His rejection by the Samaritans while passing through their country and culminates in His triumphant entry into the city of David and His daily teaching in the Temple. Luke gives his readers unique narrative material in this section of his Gospel in an effort to show how all of these events led to His death and atonement on Calvary. In this section, emphasis is placed upon Jesus training the twelve apostles to become witnesses of Him through His teaching ministry. We see Jesus' teaching ministry mentioned in Luke 13:22.

Luke 13:22, "And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem."

At this point in Jesus' ministry, He sets His face towards Jerusalem with the decision that His time in Galilee was ending, where He had enjoyed a successful ministry, and it was time to face Calvary. His objective has been reached, as He had revealed Himself to the Twelve as the Savior of the World and the Son of God, and they had embraced Him. These disciples now saw Him as the Christ, the Son of the Living God ( Luke 9:20). With this phase of His ministry complete, it was now time for His destiny to Calvary to be fulfilled.

The emphasis in the Travel Narrative changes from Jesus revealing His divine authority and power to His disciples towards an emphasis upon teaching and instructing His disciples on how to walk in the authority of His name. The Travel Narrative begins by showing Jesus training and sending out the seventy disciples to become witnesses of the Kingdom of God. We find Him exhorting, correcting and rebuking the people He meets along this journey. This journey to Jerusalem, thus, serves as a training ground for the twelve apostles to learn how to fulfill their divine commission after His ascension into Heaven. They, too, will embark upon their own separate journeys to the Cross, while testifying of the Kingdom of God as will be recorded in the book of Acts. They, too, will encounter people on a daily basis and learn how to minister to them by watching Jesus during His journey to the Cross. Jesus' final words before His ascension will be a commission to His disciples to be witnesses of the Kingdom of God ( Luke 24:46-49).

In 2 Timothy 4:1-2 Paul instructs young Timothy in a similar manner. He says, "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." Thus, Paul's phrase "be instant in season, out of season" means to be always ready to speak under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit because He will be there every time to anoint a preacher of the Gospel. Paul was simply telling this young preach from years of personal experience that God would be faithful to speak through him on all occasions and with all types of messages. Young Timothy must learn to let the Holy Spirit lead him on what needed to be said for each occasion, whether it was with reprove, rebuke, or exhortation with all longsuffering and doctrine. For we see Jesus Christ in the Gospel speaking different ways to different people. Some He instructed and encouraged because of their good hearts. Others He rebuked because of the hardness of their hearts. While others He corrected because of their simple ignorance. This is what we find Jesus doing in His Travel Narrative from Galilee to Jerusalem.

It is interesting to note that much of this material in the Travel Narrative, particularly Luke 9:51 to Luke 19:48, is unique to the four Evangelists. This is because Luke is giving a unique message to his readers, which message is the equipping and training of the Twelve to take the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the world.


Verses 51-56

Jesus Rebukes His Own Disciples: Rejection by the Samaritans - In Luke 9:51-56 we have the unique story of Jesus and His disciples being rejected by a village in Samaria. Jesus has been rejected before, such as the story of His visit to the city of Nazareth. But this story of a village in Samaria places emphasis, not upon His lack of healings, but rather upon Jesus training His disciples on how to handle rejection with the right attitude of the spirit, or the heart. Thus, a key phrase in this passage is "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of," ( Luke 9:55).

Luke 9:51Comments- In Luke 9:51 Jesus set His face towards Calvary. Jesus had just returned from the Mount of Transfiguration where He was strengthened by Moses and Elijah, who discussed Jesus" death at Jerusalem.

Luke 9:31, "Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem."

Now note:

Luke 9:62, "And Jesus said unto him, No Prayer of Manasseh , having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

Jesus was not just going to the city of Jerusalem. He was heading towards an event, which was the Cross. Jesus set His face towards Jerusalem because He had set His heart to be obedient to the Father ( Philippians 2:8). We see in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus endured the Cross for the joy that was set before Him. Song of Solomon , Jesus" face was not just set towards Jerusalem and to the event of the Cross. His face was ultimately set towards the joy that would come through His obedience unto death.

Philippians 2:8, "And being found in fashion as a Prayer of Manasseh , he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

Hebrews 12:1, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"

The Lord will often give us a divine Word or visitation when we have very important issues to fact in our lives. Kenneth Hagin explains that these divine encounters are given to us to strengthen us for the long and difficult task ahead. 216]

216] Kenneth Hagin, Following God's Plan For Your Life (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1993, 1994), 118.

The Purpose of Jesus' Decision to go to Jerusalem- Jesus experienced several times of testing, when God the Father tested Him to demonstrate His love and devotion to God. The most obvious time was Jesus' forty days of temptation in the wilderness preceding His public ministry ( Luke 4:1-13). However, Jesus' decision to stay in Jerusalem and dialogue with the priests was perhaps His first tests ( Luke 2:49), when He chose to pursue His love for God's Word instead of following His parent's home to Nazareth. The next time when Jesus faced a difficult decision was when His set His face towards Jerusalem, where Calvary awaited ( Luke 9:51). Another time of testing came in the Garden of Gethsemane when His prayed, "Not my will, but thine." ( Luke 22:41-42) Reflecting upon these four periods of testing, we see how they each preceded Jesus' move from one phase of ministry into a higher phase, leading Him from justification, indoctrination, divine service, perseverance, to glorification with the Father. For example, His decision to stay with the teachers of the Law in the temple as the age of twelve indicated that He was moving from a time of justification as a child to indoctrination and training in God's Word. His forty days of tempting in the wilderness preceded His phase of divine service. His decision to set His face towards Jerusalem preceded a period of perseverance, and His decision in the Garden to go to the Cross preceded His glorification with the Father. We, too, will face similar seasons of testing, where our Heavenly Father wants us to demonstrate our love and devotion to Him.

Scripture Reference- Note a similar verse:

Isaiah 50:7, "For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed."

Luke 9:54Comments- The apostles of Jesus Christ still have some racial prejudices against the Samaritans despite hearing the teachings of Jesus. Luke 9:54 demonstrates how we all have to go through a growing process as Christians and that God will use us while we are growing. Man's anger cannot fulfill the righteousness of God. Note:

James 1:19, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God."

This story is similar to the one Isaiah 2Kings where the King of Israel wanted to smite the armies of Syria. Note:

2 Kings 6:21-22, "And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them? And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master."

The calling down of fire by Elijah"s actions was a defensive measure in 2 Kings 1:3-17. In contrast, Jesus" disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven in an offensive Acts , which is a different spirit from what Elijah"s had. Note also:

2 Corinthians 10:8, "For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:"

Luke 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

Luke 9:55Comments- In Luke 9:55 Jesus told His disciples that they were not being led by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He will begin to teach them that they must learn to move by the Spirit.

Luke 11:13, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

Luke 12:12, "For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say."

Luke 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men"s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Luke 9:56 — "For the Son of man is not come to destroy men"s lives, but to save them" - Scripture Reference- Note a similar verse:

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Song of Solomon , that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."


Verses 57-62

Jesus Corrects His Disciples: Three Examples of the Cost of Discipleship ( Matthew 8:19-22) - In Luke 9:57-62 we have the story of Jesus confronting His followers with the true cost of discipleship. Jesus is still calling disciples at this time in His public ministry, because in the following passage he sends out the Seventy for training. The early Church fathers testify that many of these Seventy served in the early Church.

The emphasis in Luke 9:57-62 is how Jesus corrected some of the disciples who followed Him because of their unwillingness to forsake all to follow Him. Thus, it deals with a person's mental preparation for Christian service. In this passage, Jesus encounters three followers whose hearts were eager to follow Him. Jesus tests their willingness to do so. He first deals with the cost of forsaking all material pursuits ( Luke 9:57-58), then of putting the work of the Kingdom first ( Luke 9:59-60), and finally of perseverance ( Luke 9:61-62). Although our hearts may be willing to serve the Lord as these three followers showed, they must develop discipline in their finances ( Luke 9:57-58), in their physical activity ( Luke 9:59-60) and determine by their will to stick to their calling ( Luke 9:61-62). Thus, after one gives their heart to the Lord, they must then determine by their will to forsake all, in finances, in body and in mind in order to be a true disciple. Thus, this passage of Scripture teaches us that a true disciple of Christ Jesus must be willing to give himself entirely to the Lord, his heart, his mind and will, his body in service and his finances. It places emphasis upon the mind of man.

We find Jesus referring to the cost of discipleship and the need to forsake all in Matthew 19:23-30. In Matthew's passage, He has just spoken to the rich young rule and told him to sell all that he has and come follow Him. After this man turned away sorrowful, Jesus said that "every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name"s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." Thus, He noted that when we are willing to forsake these things, He would return them to us both in this life and in the life to come. Song of Solomon , the point is not that He does not want us to have these nice things, but that He does not want them to have us and to control us and to prevent us from serving the Lord. If we will give our lives totally to Him, then He will give us back these things the way He sees it is best for us.

Note that Luke 9:57-62 immediately precedes the passage where Jesus appoints another seventy disciples in order to send them out. Thus, in this passage of Scripture Jesus was identifying those who were not willing to forsake all and follow Him and excluding them from this higher calling.

Luke 9:58Comments- Abraham left Haran at the age of seventy-five and wandered for one hundred years in the promised. He died at the age of one hundred seventy-five. His willingness to abandon the financial security of his home and relatives resulted in God making Him rich financially.

Hebrews 11:8-10, "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

In addition, our citizenship is in heaven ( Philippians 3:20). Jesus was not of this world (verse 14). We are in the world, but not of the world ( John 17:11; John 17:14).

Philippians 3:20, "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:"

John 17:11, "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are."

John 17:14, "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

Also, the children of Israel wandered for forty years in the wilderness before entering Canaan to settle down.

Jesus is our example. When we are born again, we are to live by faith and no longer pursue and store up earthly treasures. We are to become mindful of heavenly rewards and future promises. We are no longer of this sinful world.

1 John 5:19, "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness."

Luke 9:60Comments- In Luke 9:60 Jesus tells this person to forsake all and go preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Jesus will send out the Seventy in the next passage of Scripture, so He is looking for those who are willing to follow Him.

When we are saved, we put God above our family ( Matthew 10:37).

Illustrations- Abraham left many of his family members when he left Ur and headed for Canaan. Also, Jesus put His ministry above His earthly family ( Luke 8:19-21).

Matthew 10:37, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."

Luke 8:19-21, "Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. It was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. He answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it."

Luke 9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No Prayer of Manasseh , having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Luke 9:62Scripture References- Note the following reference verses that discuss the issue of perseverance and not drawing back:

Genesis 19:17, "And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed."

Genesis 19:24, "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;"

Hebrews 10:39, "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Luke 9:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/luke-9.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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