Luke 9

Jesus Christ is God’s anointed, owned to be so from the opened heavens and by the lives of witnesses and shown to be so in His superiority over all forces; His ability to empower others for supernatural work; His power to supply both temporal and spiritual needs and His authority over malignant spirits. Wise are they who give up all to cleave to Him, for though they lose their lives for His sake, they shall gain life to their unspeakable advantage.

1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.

4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.

5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

7 ¶ Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;

8 And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.

9 And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.

10 ¶ And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

12 And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.

13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.

14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.

15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.

16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.

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

18 ¶ And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?

19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.

20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.

21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;

22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

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.

24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

28 ¶ And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:

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

32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.

33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.

34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

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.

37 ¶ And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him.

38 And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.

39 And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him.

40 And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.

41 And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

42 And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.

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,

44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.

45 But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.

46 ¶ Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,

48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

49 ¶ And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.

50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

51 ¶ And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

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

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

57 ¶ And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

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.

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

Luke 9:1-10 – ​Working through His Followers

   The Galilean ministry was coming to a close. The light that had shone there was to move southward and set behind the Cross. Before finally leaving the district our Lord made one last effort on its behalf. Calling together the Apostles He laid His plans before them, divided the district into sections and sent them out in pairs. He gave them no outward investiture, but the inward power of casting out evil spirits. Nothing was to distract them from the great object of heralding the kingdom of God.
   Here we seem to encounter the origin of medical missions: their object in healing body and mind; their authority in the command of our Savior; their claims for support. George Eliot once said wisely: “The tale of divine pity was never yet believed from lips that had not first been moved by human pity.”
   Notice how Herod’s conscience tormented him! He had begun to feel that scourge, which has never failed to find and follow out the murderer, from Cain onward. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 9:11-17 – ​“Give Ye Them to Eat”

   Christ feeds the world by His Church. The disciples passed the bread from His hands to those of the hungry crowds. What an honor that though we are least of saints we should have this opportunity of co-operation! But how often are we prepared for our work by being compelled to study the inadequacy of our resources. The only thing for us to do is to place them at His disposal.
   But the bread of life is sufficient for all mankind. “They… were all filled.” There is a universal adaptation between hunger and bread. Other foods are confined to special countries and districts, but bread is for the educated and ignorant, the rich and poor, the old and young. So with Jesus Christ. To every soul on earth His living, dying love makes its appeal, and is enough to satisfy.
   The fragments feed the distributers. More was left over than had been possessed at first. To impart to others is to gain for oneself. Fling the seed broadcast. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 9:18-27 – ​The True Use of Life

   Here and also in Luke 9:28 reference is made to the Master’s prayers. He was praying alone, before He broke to His friends the death which awaited Him and in which we may have some share; He was praying, too, when the cloud of glory overshadowed Him. Would it not be well to begin this new day with the resolve to pray more! If the Lord needed it, surely we do, whether for the Cross or the Transfiguration Mount.
   Into such prayer, petition and intercession must needs enter. But, ah, what prayer that is, which is neither of these, but the opening of our nature to the inflowing of the divine nature, which is Love, when the soul recognizes its oneness with God and the whole universe!
   Our Lord asked these questions that He might lead the Apostles to crystallize their own conceptions in Peter’s magnificent affirmation. But they who will follow His footsteps must expect His lot! First, the Cross is set up in our heart, and day by day our old self-nature is crucified there; then we have to endure for others the Cross of rejection, shame and death. But it is thus that we gain ourselves and come into possession of our own souls. If we dare take this path, neither here nor hereafter will Christ be ashamed of us. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 9:23

​   We are wont to say that Christ died that we might not die. We should speak more truly if we affirmed that He died that we might die. He died for sin that we might die to sin; He bore our guilt in His own body that we might bear about His dying in our bodies.
   Our wills surrender to Christ’s, even as His will was surrendered to the Father’s; our self-pleasing daily foregone for His sake Who “pleased not himself” (Romans 15:3); our ease surrendered day by day in order that we may endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, – these are the crucial tests of discipleship. Our souls are saved only by Christ’s outward cross of atonement; they are sanctified only by His inward cross of self-abnegation. (A.J. Gordon)

Luke 9:28-36 – ​A Glimpse of Glory

   From some aspects this was the highest point in our Savior’s earthly career. He was the second Adam and had not sinned. There was no reason, therefore, that He should die. He might in a moment have been changed; that which was mortal might have been swallowed up of life. The door through which Moses and Elijah had come stood open, and by it our Lord might have returned. But He could never, under those circumstances, have been the Savior of mankind. He knew this, so He turned His back on the joy set before Him and set His face toward Calvary.
   Moses came as representing the Law; and Elijah, the Prophets. Each of these great departments of divine revelation had anticipated His coming, Luke 24:27, 44. As stars fade in the sunrise, so their mission was now merged in Him. They spoke of His decease, and it was from this that Peter caught the term which he applied to his own death, II Peter 1:15. The Apostles never forgot this manifestation of the glory of the Lord, I John 1:1-4; II Peter 1:17. When you hear that Christ is the Beloved of God, remember Ephesians 1:6. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 9:30-31—Behold, there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias.

​   What a spectacle was this, on the slopes of Lebanon, with light transcending that of the moon light shining in the upper heights! And what converse! Possibly that transfiguration was an example of the way in which Adam and all his race might have passed into heaven, had not death come on us all through sin; and therefore it was the greater proof of the love of our dear Lord, when He deliberately turned from all the radiant light and took the way of the cross. His death is here called his decease: the Greek word is also rendered departing in Hebrews 11:22. How much these two great souls, Moses and Elijah, had to say about it: the one representing the law; the other the prophets.
   Moses would remind Him of the lamb that would be slain before the children of Israel could escape from Egypt; of the rock that must be smitten, before the water could flow forth for the thirsty crowds; of the serpent that must be fixed on the pole, before the dying Israelites could look and live.
   Elijah would remind the Lord of Psalm 22, beginning with a wail and ending with praise; of Isaiah 53, finishing with a burst of triumph; and many another sacred and familiar passage.
   And after all it was only a departing, the going forth of his spirit from the Time-sphere to the Eternal; from contact with a very weary world to victory and joy-mending. Lighted by the Shechinah glory; following through the Red Sea of Blood; hastening to the morning, with its vision of enemies strewn dead on the sea-shore. The memory of this talk so far robbed death of its terror, in the heart of one of the disciples at least, that afterwards he described his own death as an exodus (II Peter 1:15). —Our Daily Homily

Luke 9:37-50 – ​The Greatest Serve the Neediest

   When the mountain is bathed in the glory of God we are loath to leave it. But we must not tarry in the enjoyment of its raptures, when the plain contains so much misery. Saints and angels on the one hand, demons on the other! The disciples that have not enjoyed the mountain fellowship have no power over the unclean spirits that haunt men. It is easy to denounce demons; we must do more—we must exorcize them.
   But let it never be forgotten that if you are able to cope with the devil, in the power of God, you must be prepared for the Cross, Luke 9:44-45. We cannot die for men, as Jesus did; but we can suffer rebuke and shame with Him, and thus “fill up that which is behind” of His afflictions, Colossians 1:24.
   Let us seek the child-heart! We must distinguish between childishness and childlikeness. One of the loveliest pictures of the coming time is Isaiah 11:6. Only childlike souls can tame and conquer the beasts. Let us welcome simple holy souls, and be ourselves of that class; and let us cultivate large-hearted charity toward those who cast out demons, though they be not of our school. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 9:51-62 – ​The Steadfast Face

   The Master’s steadfast face rebukes us! Alas, we so often flinch and cannot appropriate Isaiah 50:7. But whether we follow afar off or closely, that lithe, alert, eager figure is always in front and taking the upward path.
   We need to remember which kingdom we belong to. We have passed out of the sphere of force and war, into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love. It is a reversal of the divine plan of evolution to go back to the fire of vengeance. The only fire that we can invoke is that of the Holy Spirit; and it is remarkable that one of these two brothers lived to call down that very fire on those same villages. See Acts 8:14-25.
   The Lord was ever acting as a winnowing fan, detecting the wheat and the chaff in human motive. Be prepared to follow your Lord through loneliness, homelessness, the rupture of tender ties, and the plowing of a solitary furrow. But keep your eye fixed on the correlatives supplied on the eternal side of your life! —Through the Bible Day by Day