Sending out the Twelve (9:1-6)
Herod’s Perplexity (9:7-9)
Feeding the Five Thousand
Christ’s Identity, Suffering, and
Peter’s confession of Christ
Prediction about suffering,
death, and resurrection (21-22)
Losing life for Christ’s sake
The Transfiguration (28-36)
Healing of A Boy with An Unclean
Two Cases of Rivalry (9:46-50)
Power/authority, sent, preach,
heal, “who do you say that I am?”, Christ of God, suffer, deny himself, take up
his cross daily, follow me, save/lose life, pray, glory, His decease, Beloved
Son, hear Him, faithless and perverse generation, amazed/marveled, betrayed,
dispute, greatest, receives/little child, least/great, “he who is not against
us is on our side.”
1. See verses 2 and 6.
2. He gave them power and
authority (1). He also gave them instructions about how to conduct their
As messengers of the gospel, we
cannot rely on our own strength or eloquence. Rather, we need to receive power,
authority, and instruction from the One who sent us in order to successfully
carry out our commission. We need to pray for signs and miracles to confirm the
message we preach (cf. Mk 16:19-20). We must also learn to submit to the
guidance and instruction of the Lord in everything we do.
3. Workers of God are entitled to
the hospitality of the people they minister to (10:7). Instead of being weighed
down by much possession, preachers need to live simply and learn to depend on
God’s daily provision through the hospitality of the believers.
4. The key statement of this
paragraph is Herod’s question, “who is this of whom I hear such things?” (9).
This opens the theme of Jesus’ identity, which is picked up again in verse 18.
5. Jesus involved the disciples
in every step of this miracle (13-16). He gave them the responsibility of
feeding the multitude as part of their ministry to the people. From this
miracle, the disciples learned responsible service, dependence on God, and
Christ’s marvelous provision.
6. The action of looking up to
heaven teaches us that the power and blessings of our ministry come from God.
Giving the bread to the disciples to set before the multitude could be symbolic
of Christ commissioning the disciples to minister to all the people.
7. With the blessings of God,
even limited resources can result in overflowing abundance that goes beyond our
expectations (Eph 3:20).
8a. While many had various views
about Jesus’ identity, Jesus did not want His followers to have only a
second-hand knowledge of Him and be swayed by popular opinion. As disciples,
they must have a personal knowledge and conviction in the Lord in order to
follow Him to the end.
9. It literally means “the
anointed of God.” In other words, Jesus was sent by God with a special mission.
This term is a reference to Jesus’ kingship as the fulfillment of the Messianic
promises (Ps 2:2; Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-16; Lk1:32).
10. The people at that time had a
false expectation of what the Messiah would be. Declaration that Jesus was the
Messiah at this time would only further mislead the people or even hinder the
ministry. The disciples were told to preach that Jesus was the Christ only
after His resurrection (Mt 17:9). Jesus wanted the people to come to believe
Him not because they expected him to be a national hero, but through belief,
repentance, and obedience. Another possible reason for concealing His identity
is that widespread proclamation of his Messiahship might bring about intense
11a. Giving up of one’s will and
11b. The man condemned to
crucifixion would be forced to take up his cross. This command means being
ready to go through suffering and death for Christ. It involves putting to
death the sinful nature (Rom 8:13; Gal 5:24; 6:14).
11c. Following the footsteps of
Christ, doing what He would do(1Pet 2:21; Jn 12:26; 1Cor 11:1; 1Jn 2:6).
11d. The first “life” refers to
things of the world, i.e. walking according to our desires (1Jn 2:15-17). The
second “life” refers to spiritual, or eternal, life and the glory that we will
receive (26,27). We cannot have eternal life unless we deny our own will and
follow the will of God in our lives.
12a. They are those who do not
have the courage to live according to Christ’s teachings because of the
pressure of secular values and opinions.
13. According to the Lord Jesus,
some of the people of His time would live to see the kingdom of God. Out of
many interpretations that have been offered on this verse, two are most
plausible. The first interpretation states that the coming of the kingdom of
God refers to the Transfiguration, which would take place six days after its
prediction (17:1ff). During the transfiguration, the disciples witnessed Christ
in his glory, and the subject of Christ’s conversation with Moses and Elijah
was the glory that would be achieved through suffering (Lk 9:31). The second
interpretation, which is linked to the first, believes this prediction to be
referring to the mighty work of the Holy Spirit in the church after Jesus’
ascension. The kingdom of God was manifest in the church through powerful preaching, large numbers of
conversions, and signs and miracles.
14. Their appearance tells us who
Jesus was. Both were great prophets and mighty workers in the Old Testament.
Moses represented the Law and Elijah the Prophets, both of which Jesus
fulfilled (Mt 5:17; 11:12-13). The Transfiguration teaches us that Jesus, being
greater than Moses and Elijah, was the one all the prophets had been waiting
15. The subject of Jesus’
departure at Jerusalem highlights the purpose of Jesus’ mission (a theme
central to Luke)—death on the cross for salvation. It further sheds light on
Jesus’ role as the suffering Messiah.
16. As Moses and Elijah “were
parting from Him,” Peter tried to keep them from leaving (33). He did not
understand that it was the Lord Jesus that they must look to and “hear” (35).
The appearance of Moses and Elijah was only to confirm that Jesus was the
Christ and the beloved Son of God. Christ alone deserves attention and glory.
That was the final message of the Transfiguration experience: “Jesus was found
alone” (36). Peter’s desire to remain on the mountain was also out of place because
the Lord did not intend to stay on the mountain. He had to continue his mission
and suffer in order to achieve glory. Likewise, the disciples must also suffer
for the kingdom before they could receive the glory in the future.
17. Jesus is the beloved Son of
God, who came to do the will of the Father. The Lord’s ministry and ultimate
sacrifice were truly pleasing to God (Jn 8:29; Heb 10:5-10). The words also
recall Moses’ prophecy about the Messiah (Deut 18:15). The Lord Jesus was sent
from God; his words are the words of God. We will not escape if we ignore his
solemn message (Heb 2:3-4). But if we hear His voice and obey him, we will have
18. 1. To confirm that Jesus was the Christ whom the prophets of
the past had spoken about.
2. To let the disciples understand that the Christ
must go through sufferings and death
To give the disciples a preview of the Son of Man in glory so that they know
for certain that the followers of Christ will receive reward on that day
(24-27; Mt 16:27). The experience left a deep impression on the three apostles.
Peter could still recall this experience in his old age when he witnessed to
the believers about the coming of the Lord (2Pet 1:16-18).
19. If we cross-reference the
account in Mark (Mk 9:14-29), we understand that the father of the boy was in
total despair, and he had probably lost his faith in God after the disciples’
failure to cast out the evil spirit. On top of the distresses of the father and
the disciples, there were scribes present who disputed with the disciples,
probably in an attempt to discredit Jesus (Mk 9:14). So Jesus’ statement in 41
might have been addressed to the father, the disciples, as well as the scribes.
It’s also possible that Jesus was expressing His grief over the people in
general, seeing the sufferings caused by demonic torment and men’s inability to
do anything about it because of lack of faith.
20. Having witnessed the
Transfiguration and the powerful healing on the boy, it must have been
difficult for the disciples to foresee any suffering or death in Jesus’ life.
Therefore, Jesus reminded them again with very solemn words about His impending
betrayal to call their attention to His true identity and mission, and so that
when all these things happened according to His predictions, the disciples
might recall them and fully understand the purpose of Christ’s ministry.
21. By receiving a little child.
In other words, we should care for those who are lowly on behalf of Christ (cf.
Rom 12:16; Mt 25:34-40; Lk 14:12-14). Doing such acts, which are often not
prominent and seemingly unrewarding, calls for great humility. Only if we
consider ourselves “the least” would we be able to “receive a little child”.
22a. Verse 49.
22b. A disciple should look to
the Lord’s interest rather than his own. When someone else accomplishes God’s
work, we should rejoice even if we were not included (cf. Php1:15-18). Such
attitude calls for self-denial, a requirement for discipleship.
23. Pride and self-centeredness
is a great hindrance to our ministry. Only when we humble ourselves and remove
our ego can we serve together in unity and carry out God’s work for His glory.