Luke 9

1 He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them out to preach God’s Kingdom and to heal the sick. 3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey—neither staffs, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats apiece. 4 Into whatever house you enter, stay there, and depart from there. 5 As many as don’t receive you, when you depart from that city, shake off even the dust from your feet for a testimony against them.” 6 They departed, and went throughout the villages, preaching the Good News, and healing everywhere. 7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him; and he was very perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, 8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. 9 Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this, about whom I hear such things?” He sought to see him. 10 The apostles, when they had returned, told him what things they had done. He took them, and withdrew apart to a deserted place of a city called Bethsaida. 11 But the multitudes, perceiving it, followed him. He welcomed them, and spoke to them of God’s Kingdom, and he cured those who needed healing. 12 The day began to wear away; and the twelve came, and said to him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and farms, and lodge, and get food, for we are here in a deserted place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we should go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For they were about five thousand men. He said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 They did so, and made them all sit down. 16 He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to the sky, he blessed them, and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 They ate, and were all filled. They gathered up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over. 18 As he was praying alone, the disciples were with him, and he asked them, “Who do the multitudes say that I am?” 19 They answered, “‘John the Baptizer,’ but others say, ‘Elijah,’ and others, that one of the old prophets is risen again.” 20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21 But he warned them, and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.” 23 He said to all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits his own self? 26 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you the truth: There are some of those who stand here, who will in no way taste of death, until they see God’s Kingdom.” 28 About eight days after these sayings, he took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up onto the mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became white and dazzling. 30 Behold, two men were talking with him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory, and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they were fully awake, they saw his glory, and the two men who stood with him. 33 As they were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let’s make three tents: one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah,” not knowing what he said. 34 While he said these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered into the cloud. 35 A voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!” 36 When the voice came, Jesus was found alone. They were silent, and told no one in those days any of the things which they had seen. 37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great multitude met him. 38 Behold, a man from the crowd called out, saying, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 Behold, a spirit takes him, he suddenly cries out, and it convulses him so that he foams, and it hardly departs from him, bruising him severely. 40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, and they couldn’t.” 41 Jesus answered, “Faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him violently. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 They were all astonished at the majesty of God. But while all were marveling at all the things which Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears, for the Son of Man will be delivered up into the hands of men.” 45 But they didn’t understand this saying. It was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying. 46 There arose an argument amongst them about which of them was the greatest. 47 Jesus, perceiving the reasoning of their hearts, took a little child, and set him by his side, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me. Whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For whoever is least amongst you all, this one will be great.” 49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he doesn’t follow with us.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Don’t forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us.” 51 It came to pass, when the days were near that he should be taken up, he intently set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before his face. They went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, so as to prepare for him. 53 They didn’t receive him, because he was traveling with his face set towards Jerusalem. 54 When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them, “You don’t know of what kind of spirit you are. 56 For the Son of Man didn’t come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” They went to another village. 57 As they went on the way, a certain man said to him, “I want to follow you wherever you go, Lord.” 58 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another, “Follow me!” But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce God’s Kingdom.” 61 Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to say good-bye to those who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for God’s Kingdom.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–9

Christ sent his twelve disciples abroad, who by this time were able to teach others what they had received from the Lord. They must not be anxious to commend themselves to people’s esteem by outward appearance. They must go as they were. The Lord Jesus is the fountain of power and authority, to whom all creatures must, in one way or another, be subject; and if he goes with the word of his ministers in power, to deliver sinners from Satan’s bondage, they may be sure that he will care for their wants. When truth and love thus go together, and yet the message of God is rejected and despised, it leaves men without excuse, and turns to a testimony against them. Herod’s guilty conscience was ready to conclude that John was risen from the dead. He desired to see Jesus; and why did he not go and see him? Probably, because he thought it below him, or because he wished not to have any more reprovers of sin. Delaying it now, his heart was hardened, and when he did see Jesus, he was as much prejudiced against him as others, Lu 23:11.

Verses 10–17

The people followed Jesus, and though they came unseasonably, yet he gave them what they came for. He spake unto them of the kingdom of God. He healed those who had need of healing. And with five loaves of bread and two fishes, Christ fed five thousand men. He will not see those that fear him, and serve him faithfully, want any good thing. When we receive creature-comforts, we must acknowledge that we receive them from God, and that we are unworthy to receive them; that we owe them all, and all the comfort we have in them, to the mediation of Christ, by whom the curse is taken away. The blessing of Christ will make a little go a great way. He fills every hungry soul, abundantly satisfies it with the goodness of his house. Here were fragments taken up: in our Father’s house there is bread enough, and to spare. We are not straitened, nor stinted in Christ.

Verses 18–27

It is an unspeakable comfort that our Lord Jesus is God’s Anointed; this signifies that he was both appointed to be the Messiah, and qualified for it. Jesus discourses concerning his own sufferings and death. And so far must his disciples be from thinking how to prevent his sufferings, that they must prepare for their own. We often meet with crosses in the way of duty; and though we must not pull them upon our own heads, yet, when they are laid for us, we must take them up, and carry them after Christ. It is well or ill with us, according as it is well or ill with our souls. The body cannot be happy, if the soul be miserable in the other world; but the soul may be happy, though the body is greatly afflicted and oppressed in this world. We must never be ashamed of Christ and his gospel.

Verses 28–36

Christ’s transfiguration was a specimen of that glory in which he will come to judge the world; and was an encouragement to his disciples to suffer for him. Prayer is a transfiguring, transforming duty, which makes the face to shine. Our Lord Jesus, even in his transfiguration, was willing to speak concerning his death and sufferings. In our greatest glories on earth, let us remember that in this world we have no continuing city. What need we have to pray to God for quickening grace, to make us lively! Yet that the disciples might be witnesses of this sign from heaven, after awhile they became awake, so that they were able to give a full account of what passed. But those know not what they say, that talk of making tabernacles on earth for glorified saints in heaven.

Verses 37–42

How deplorable the case of this child! He was under the power of an evil spirit. Disease of that nature are more frightful than such as arise merely from natural causes. What mischief Satan does where he gets possession! But happy those that have access to Christ! He can do that for us which his disciples cannot. A word from Christ healed the child; and when our children recover from sickness, it is comfortable to receive them as healed by the hand of Christ.

Verses 43–50

This prediction of Christ’s sufferings was plain enough, but the disciples would not understand it, because it agreed not with their notions. A little child is the emblem by which Christ teaches us simplicity and humility. What greater honour can any man attain to in this world, than to be received by men as a messenger of God and Christ; and to have God and Christ own themselves received and welcomed in him! If ever any society of Christians in this world, had reason to silence those not of their own communion, the twelve disciples at this time had; yet Christ warned them not to do the like again. Those may be found faithful followers of Christ, and may be accepted of him, who do not follow with us.

Verses 51–56

The disciples did not consider that the conduct of the Samaritans was rather the effect of national prejudices and bigotry, than of enmity to the word and worship of God; and through they refused to receive Christ and his disciples, they did not ill use or injure them, so that the case was widely different from that of Ahaziah and Elijah. Nor were they aware that the gospel dispensation was to be marked by miracles of mercy. But above all, they were ignorant of the prevailing motives of their own hearts, which were pride and carnal ambition. Of this our Lord warned them. It is easy for us to say, Come, see our zeal for the Lord! and to think we are very faithful in his cause, when we are seeking our own objects, and even doing harm instead of good to others.

Verses 57–62

Here is one that is forward to follow Christ, but seems to have been hasty and rash, and not to have counted the cost. If we mean to follow Christ, we must lay aside the thoughts of great things in the world. Let us not try to join the profession of Christianity, with seeking after worldly advantages. Here is another that seems resolved to follow Christ, but he begs a short delay. To this man Christ first gave the call; he said to him, Follow me. Religion teaches us to be kind and good, to show piety at home, and to requite our parents; but we must not make these an excuse for neglecting our duty to God. Here is another that is willing to follow Christ, but he must have a little time to talk with his friends about it, and to set in order his household affairs, and give directions concerning them. He seemed to have worldly concerns more upon his heart than he ought to have, and he was willing to enter into a temptation leading him from his purpose of following Christ. No one can do any business in a proper manner, if he is attending to other things. Those who begin with the work of God, must resolve to go on, or they will make nothing of it. Looking back, leads to drawing back, and drawing back is to perdition. He only that endures to the end shall be saved.

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