Luke 9
Expositor's Greek Testament


Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
Luke 9:1-50 contain sundry particulars which together form the closing scenes of the Galilean ministry: the mission of the Twelve, the feeding of the thousands, the conversation on the Christ and the cross, the transfiguration, the epileptic boy, the conversation on “who is the greatest”. At Luke 9:51 begins the long division of the Gospel, extending to Luke 18:14, which forms the chief peculiarity of Lk., sometimes called the Great Interpolation or Insertion, purporting to be the narrative of a journey southwards towards Jerusalem through Samaria, therefore sometimes designated the Samaritan ministry (Baur and the Tübingen school), but in reality consisting for the most part of a miscellaneous collection of didactic pieces. At Luke 18:15 Lk. rejoins the company of his brother evangelists, not to leave them again till the tragic end.

Luke 9:1-6. The mission of the Twelve (Matthew 10:1; Matthew 10:5-15, Mark 6:7-13).

Luke 9:1. συγκαλεσάμενος δὲ: the δὲ turns attention to a new subject, and the part συγκαλ. implies that it is a matter of importance: calling together the Twelve, out of the larger company of disciples that usually followed Jesus, including the women mentioned in Luke 8:1-3.—δύναμιν καὶ ἐξουσίαν, power and right; power implies right. The man that can cast out devils and heal disease is entitled to do so, nay bound. This principle found an important application in St. Paul’s claim to be an apostle, which really rested on fitness, insight. I understand Christianity, therefore I am entitled to be an apostle of it. Lk. alone has both words to express unlimited authority (Hahn). Mt. and Mk. have ἐξουσίαν.—ἐπὶ πάντα, etc., over all the demons, and (also power and authority) to heal diseases, the latter a subordinate function; thoroughly to quell the demons (πάντα emphatic) the main thing. Hence the Seventy on their return speak of that alone (Luke 10:17).

And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
Luke 9:2. This might have been viewed as an incidental mention of preaching as another subordinate function, but for the reference to healing (ἰᾶσθαι), which suggests that this verse is another way of stating the objects of the mission, perhaps taken from another source.

And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
Luke 9:3. The instructions in this and the next two verses follow pretty closely the version in Mk.—μηδὲν αἴρετε εἰς τὴν ὁδόν: as in Mk., but in direct speech, while Mk.’s is indirect (ἵνα μ. αἴρωσιν.)—μήτε ῥάβδον: Lk. interprets tie prohibition more severely than Mk. Not a staff (Mk. except a staff only).—ἀργύριον, silver, for Mk.’s χαλκόν: silver the common metal for coinage among the Greeks, copper among the Romans.—δύο χιτῶνας, two tunics each, one on and one for change.—ἔχειν: infinitive, after αἴρετε, imperative. It may be a case of the infinitive used as an imperative, of which one certain instance is to be found in Php 3:16 (στοιχεῖν = walk), or it may be viewed as a transition from direct to indirect speech (so most commentators). Bengel favours the first view.

And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
Luke 9:4. Thus far of material wants. We now pass to social relations. The general direction here is: stay in the same house all the time you are in a place; pithily put by Lk. = ἐκεῖ μένετε, ἐκεῖθεν ἐξέρχεσθε, there remain, thence depart, both adverbs referring to οἰκίαν.

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.
Luke 9:5. By omitting the ἀκούσωσιν ὑμῶν of Mk. Lk. gives the impression that non-receiving refers to the missionaries not as preachers but as guests = If they will not take you into the house you select, do not try another house, leave the place (so Hahn). This would be rather summary action, and contrary to the spirit of the incident Luke 9:52-56.

And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
Luke 9:6. Brief statement, as in Mk., as to the execution of the mission, but wanting his reference to the use of oil in healing.

Hahn states that this mission was purely pedagogic, for the benefit of the Twelve, not of the people. This is a mere unfounded assertion. The training of the Twelve by no means appears a prominent aim of Jesus in the pages of Lk.; much less so than in Mt. and Mk.

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;
Luke 9:7-9. Herod’s interest in Jesus (Matthew 14:1-2, Mark 6:14-16).—ὁ τετράρχης as in Mt., βασιλεὺς in Mk.—τὰ γινόμενα πάντα, all the things which were happening, most naturally taken as referring to the mission of the Twelve, though it is difficult to believe that Herod had not heard of Jesus till then.—διηπόρει, was utterly perplexed, in Lk.’s writings only.—διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπὸ τινῶν. What Lk. represents as said by some, Mt. and Mk., doubtless truly, make Herod himself say. Vide notes on Mt. and Mk.

And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.
Luke 9:8. ἐφάνη, appeared, the proper word to use of one who had not died, but been translated.

And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.
Luke 9:9. . ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα: the fact stated in the form of a confession by the criminal, but the grim story not told.—ἐγὼ, emphatic, the “I” of a guilty troubled conscience.—τις: he has no theory, but is simply puzzled, yet the question almost implies suspicion that Jesus is John returned to life. Could there be two such men at the same period?—καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν: this points forward to Luke 23:8.

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.
Luke 9:10-17. Feeding of the multitude (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, John 6:1-14).

Luke 9:10. The Twelve return from their mission and report what they had done; Mk. adds and taught.—ὑπεχώρησε, withdrew, here and in Luke 5:16, only, in N. T. The reason of this retirement does not appear in Lk.’s narrative, nor whether Jesus with His disciples went by land or by sea.

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.
Luke 9:11. οἱ ὄχλοι: no particular multitude is meant, but just the crowds that were wont to gather around Jesus. In Mt. and Mk. Jesus appears as endeavouring (in vain) to escape from the people. In Lk. this feature is not prominent. Even the expression τόπον ἔρημον in Luke 9:10 is probably not genuine. What Lk. appears to have written is that Jesus withdrew privately into a city called Bethsaida.—ἀποδεξάμενος, the more probable reading, implies a willing reception or the multitude. Vide Luke 8:40.

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.
Luke 9:12. κλίνειν, the day began to decline; the fact is alluded to here, not in a participial clause, but in an independent sentence, as bringing an unwelcome close to the beneficent labours of Jesus. He went on teaching and healing, but (δὲ) the day, etc.—καταλύσωσι: the disciples in Lk. are solicitous about the lodging as well as the feeding of the people.—ἐπισιτισμόν, provisions, here only in N. T., but often in classics, e.g., with reference to the provisioning of an army (commeatus).

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.
Luke 9:13. πλεῖον ἢ: on the construction, vide Winer, § 58, 4 obs. 1.—εἰ μήτιἀγοράσωμεν, unless perhaps we are to buy, etc.; εἰ with subjunctive is one of the forms of protasis in N. T. to express a future supposition with some probability, εἰ takes also present and future indicative. Vide Burton, M. and T., § 252. That Lk. did not regard this proposal as, if possible, very feasible, appears from his mentioning the number present at this stage

For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
Luke 9:14. Hence also he does not think it worth while to mention the amount of money at their disposal (200 denarii, Mark 6:37).—κλισίας, dining parties, answering to Mk.’s συμπόσια. Mk.’s πρασιαὶ, describing the appearance to the eye. like flower beds, with their gay garments, red, blue, yellow, Lk. omits.

And they did so, and made them all sit down.
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.
Luke 9:16. εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς, He blessed them (the loaves), and by the blessing made them sufficient for the wants of all. In Mt. and Mk. εὐλόγησεν has no object. This is the only trait added by Lk. to enhance the greatness of the miracle, unless the position of πάντες after ἐχορτάσθησαν be another = they ate and were filled, all; not merely a matter of each getting a morsel.

And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
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?
Luke 9:18-27. The Christ and the cross (Matthew 16:13-28, Mark 8:27 to Mark 9:1). At this point occurs a great gap in Lk.’s narrative as compared with those of Mt. and Mk., all between Matthew 14:22; Matthew 16:12 and between Mark 6:45; Mark 8:27 being omitted. Various explanations of the omission have been suggested: accident (Meyer, Godet), not in the copy of Mk. used by Lk. (Reuss), mistake of the eye, passing from the second feeding as if it were the first (Beyschlag). These and other explanations imply that the omission was unintentional. But against this hypothesis is the fact that the edges of the opposite sides of the gap are brought together in Lk.’s narrative at Luke 9:18 : Jesus alone praying, as in Matthew 14:23, Mark 6:45-46, yet the disciples are with Him though alone (κατὰ μόνας συνῆσαν α. οἱ μαθηταί), and He proceeds to interrogate them. This raises the question as to the motives for intentional omission, which may have been such as these: avoidance of duplicates with no new lesson (second feeding), anti-Pharisaic matter much restricted throughout (ceremonial washing), Jewish particularism not suitable in a Gentile Gospel, not even the appearance of it (Syrophenician woman).—κατὰ μόνας, the scene remains unchanged in Lk.—that of the feeding of the 5000. No trace in this Gospel of Caesarea Philippi, or indeed of the great northerly journey (or journeys) so prominently recognised in Mk., the aim of which was to get away from crowds, and obtain leisure for intercourse with the Twelve in view of the approaching fatal crisis. This omission can hardly be without intention. Whether Lk. knew Mk.’s Gospel or not, so careful and interested an inquirer can hardly have been ignorant of that northern excursion. He may have omitted it because it was not rich in incident, in favour of the Samaritan journey about which he had much to tell. But the very raison d’être of the journey was the hope that it might be a quiet one, giving leisure for intercourse with the Twelve. But this private fellowship of Jesus with His disciples with a view to their instruction is just one of the things to which justice is not done in this Gospel. Their need of instruction is not emphasised. From Lk.’s narrative one would never guess the critical importance of the conversation at Caesarea Philippi, as regards either Peter’s confession or the announcement by Jesus of the coming passion.

They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.
He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
Luke 9:20. τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ: even the form of the confession, as here given, hides its significance. Peter speaks the language of the apostolic age, the Christ of God, a commonplace of the Christian faith. Mk.’s Thou art the Christ, laconic, emphatic, is original by comparison, and Mt.’s form still more sounds like the utterance of a fresh, strong conviction, a new revelation flashed into the soul of Peter.

And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;
Luke 9:21-27. The cross and cross-bearing.

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.
Luke 9:22. εἰπὼν introduces reference to the coming sufferings of Jesus in a quite incidental way as a reason why the disciples should keep silence as to the Messiahship of their Master, just confessed. The truth is that the conversation as to the Christ was a mere prelude to a very formal, solemn, and plain-spoken announcement on a painful theme, to which hitherto Jesus had alluded only in veiled mystic language. Cf. the accounts in Mt. and Mk. (Matthew 16:21, Mark 8:31).—ὅτι δεῖ, etc., the announcement is given in much the same words as in Mk.

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 9:23. ἔλεγε δὲ πρὸς πάντας: with this formula Lk. smoothly passes from Christ’s statement concerning His own Passion to the kindred topic of cross-bearing as the law of discipleship. The discourse on that theme is reproduced in much the same terms as in the parallel accounts. But it loses greatly in point by the omission of the Master’s rebuke to Peter for his opposition to the Passion. That rebuke gives to the discourse this meaning: you object to my suffering? I tell you not only must I suffer; it is the inevitable lot of all who have due regard to the Divine interest in this world. Thus the first lesson Jesus taught the Twelve on the significance of His death was that it was the result of moral fidelity, and that as such it was but an instance of a universal law of the moral order of the world. This great doctrine, the ethical aspect of the Passion, is not made clear in Lk.—καθʼ ἡμέραν, daily, in Lk. only, a true epexegetical addition, yet restricting the sense, directing attention to the commonplace trials of ordinary Christian life, rather than to the great tribulations at crises in a heroic career, in which the law of cross-bearing receives its signal illustration. This addition makes it probable that πάντας refers not only to the disciples, but to a larger audience: the law applies not to leaders only but to all followers of Jesus.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Luke 9:25. ἑαυτὸν ἀπολέσας ἢ ζημιωθείς = losing, or receiving damage in, his own self (Field, Ot. Nor.). The idea expressed by the second participle seems to be that even though it does not come to absolute loss, yet if gaining the world involve damage to the self, the moral personality—taint, lowering of the tone, vulgarising of the soul—we lose much more than we gain.

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.
Luke 9:26. ἐν τῇ δόξῃ, etc., in the glory of Father, Son, and holy angels, a sort of trinitarian formula.

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.
Luke 9:27. ἀληθῶς = ἀμὴν in parallels.—αὐτοῦ, here = ὧδε in parallels.—τὴν βασ. τ. Θ., the Kingdom of God, a simplified expression compared with those in Mt. and Mk., perhaps due to the late period at which Lk. wrote, probably understood by him as referring to the origination of the church at Pentecost.

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.
Luke 9:28-36. The transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13).

Luke 9:28. τοὺς λόγους τούτους: the words about the Passion and cross-bearing.—ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτώ: no real discrepancy between Lk. and the other evangelists (after six days).—Πέτρον, etc., Peter, John and James, same order as in Luke 8:51 ([90] [91], etc.).—εἰς τὸ ὄρος: the mountain contiguous to the scene of the feeding, according to the sequence of Lk.’s narrative.—προσεύξασθαι: prayer again (cf. Luke 9:18). In Lk.’s delineation of the character of Jesus prayer occupies a prominent place.

[90] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[91] Codex Ephraemi

And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
Luke 9:29. ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαι, while praying, and as the result of the exercise.—ἕτερον, different; a real objective change, not merely to the view of the three disciples. Lk. omits ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν.—λευκὸς may be viewed as an adverb in function, qualifying ἐξαστράπτων (De Wette), but there is no reason why it should not be co-ordinate with ἐξασ., καὶ being omitted = white, glistering.—ἐξαστράπτων: in N. T. here only, flashing like lightning.

And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
Luke 9:31. ἐν δόξῃ: this is peculiar to Lk.—ἔλεγον, were speaking about. Kypke thinks more is meant: speaking with praise (cum laude aliquid commemorare). One could have accepted this sense had Peter’s opposition been reported.—τὴν ἔξοδον, decease, death; so in 2 Peter 1:15. Other words for death are ἔκβασις (Hebrews 13:7), ἄφιξις (Acts 20:29), ἀνάλυσις (2 Timothy 4:6). Perhaps the exodus here spoken of should be taken comprehensively as including death, resurrection and ascension. (So Kypke, also Godet.) πληροῦν in that case will mean “pass through all the stages”. But against this wide sense is ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ.

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.
Luke 9:32. βεβαρ. ὕπνῳ: this particular, in Lk. only, implies that it was a night scene; so also the expression ἐν τῇ ἑξῆς ἡμέρᾳ, Luke 9:37. The celestial visitants are supposed to arrive while the disciples are asleep. They fell asleep while their Master prayed, as at Gethsemane.—διαγρηγορήσαντες, having thoroughly wakened up, so as to be able to see distinctly what passed (here only in N.T.).

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.
Luke 9:33. While the two celestials were departing Peter made his proposal, to prevent them from going.—μὴ εἰδὼς, etc., not knowing what he said; an apology for a proposal to keep the two celestials from returning to heaven.

While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.
Luke 9:34. It is not clear who were enveloped by the cloud. If the reading ἐκείνους before εἰσελθεῖν were retained it would imply that the three disciples were outside; αὐτοὺς, the reading of [92], etc., implies that all were within.

[92] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
Luke 9:35. ἐκλελεγμένος, the reading of [93] [94] [95], is to be preferred, because ἀγαπητός, T. R., is conformed to that in the parallels; here only in N. T.

[93] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[94] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[95] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

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.
Luke 9:36. ἐσίγησαν, they were silent; “in those days,” it is added, implying that afterwards (after the resurrection) they spoke of the experience. Lk. does not mention the injunction of Jesus to keep silence, nor the conversation on the way down the hill about Elijah and John the Baptist.

And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him.
Luke 9:37-43 a. The epileptic boy (Matthew 17:14-21, Mark 9:14-29).

And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.
Luke 9:38. ἐπιβλέψαι, to look with pity, as in Luke 1:48.—μονογενής, only son, as in Luke 7:12, Luke 8:42. to bring out the benevolence of the miracle.

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.
Luke 9:39. κράζει, he (the boy) crieth.—σπαράσσει, he (the demon) teareth him.

And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.
And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.
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.
Luke 9:42. προσερχομένου αὐτοῦ, while the boy was approaching Jesus, in accordance with His request that he should be brought to Him, the demon made a final assault on his victim, rending and convulsing him.

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,
Luke 9:43-45. Second prediction of the Passion (Matthew 17:22-23, Mark 9:30-32).—πάντων θαυμαζόντων, etc., while all were wondering at all the things which He did. The reference is to the cure of the epileptic, which led the multitude to see in Jesus the bearer of the majesty or greatness of the Almighty.—εἶπε. Jesus spoke a second time of His approaching death, in connection with this prevailing wonder, and His aim was to keep the disciples from being misled by it. The setting in Mt. and Mk. is different. There Jesus speaks of His passion, while He with the Twelve is wandering about in Galilee, endeavouring, according to Mk., to remain unnoticed, and He speaks of it simply because it is the engrossing theme with which His mind is constantly preoccupied. Here, on the other hand, the second announcement is elicited by an external occasion, the admiration of the people.

Luke 9:43. ἐπὶ τῇ μεγαλειότητι τ. Θεοῦ, the people were astonished at the majesty of God, revealed in the power that could work such a cure. In Acts 2:22 God is represented as working miracles through Jesus. So the matter is conceived here. But Lk. thinks of the majesty of God as immanent in Jesus.

Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
Luke 9:44. μέλλει παραδίδοσθαι, is about to be betrayed. Lk. gives the specialty of the second prediction as in the parallels. Where he fails in comparison with Mt. and Mk. is in grasping the psychological situation the emotional state of Christ’s mind. Cf. remarks on Mk., ad loc. Lk.’s Christ is comparatively passionless.

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.
Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
Luke 9:46-50. Who might be the greatest (Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-41).

Luke 9:46. εἰσῆλθε διαλογισμὸς, now there entered in among them (the Twelve) a thought. Lk.’s way of introducing this subject seems to show a desire, by way of sparing the future Apostles, to make as little of it as possible. It is merely a thought of the heart (τῆς καρδίας, Luke 9:47), not a dispute as in Mk., and inferentially also in Mt. It came into their minds, how or why does not appear. Mk.’s narrative leads us to connect the dispute with Christ’s foreboding references to His Passion. While they walked along the way (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ), the Master thinking always, and speaking often, of His death, they, realising that a crisis of some sort was approaching but not knowing its nature, discussed the question τίς μείζων; so supplying the comic side of the tragic drama.—τὸ τίς, etc., this, viz., who might be the greater of them, or, who might be greater than they. αὐτῶν may be taken either partitively, or as a genitive of comparison. It is ordinarily taken in the former sense, whereby Lk.’s account is brought into line with the parallels; but Weiss (Mk.-Evang., also J. Weiss in Meyer) contends for the latter. His idea is that the Twelve, in Lk.’s view, were all conscious of their common importance as disciples of Jesus, and wondered if anybody could be greater than they all were. He connects the “thought” of the Twelve with the exorcist incident (Luke 9:49) as evincing a similar self-importance. This view cannot be negatived on purely exegetical grounds.

And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
Luke 9:47. παρʼ ἑαυτῷ, beside Himself, not ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν, as in Mt. and Mk., as if to say, here is the greater one.

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.
Luke 9:48. τοῦτο τὸ παιδίον, this particular child—not such a child, or what such a child represents, the little and insignificant—as in Mt. and Mk. Yet Lk.’s expression practically means that = this child, for example.—δέξηται: in Lk. the receiving of the little child is placed first in the discourse of Jesus, whereas in Mk. the general maxim that the man who is willing to be last is first, comes first. This position favours the view that not internal rivalry but a common self-exaltation in relation to those without is the vice in the view of Lk. Jesus says in effect: Be not high-minded; an appreciative attitude towards those you are prone to despise is what I and my Father value.—ἐν πᾶσιν ὑμῖν: this phrase, on the other hand, seems to point to internal rivalries. There had been a question among them as to greater and less, to which the Master’s answer was: the least one is the great one. Lk.’s version of this important discourse is, as De Wette remarks, inferior in point and clearness to Mt.’s.

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.
Luke 9:49. ἐκωλύσαμεν (T. R.), aorist, instead of Mk.’s imperfect; the former implies successful repression, the latter an attempt at it. Vide notes on Mk., ad loc.μεθʼ ἡμῶν: Phrynichus objects to this construction after ἀκολουθεῖν, and says it should be followed by the dative. But Lobeck gives examples of the former construction from good authors (vide p. 353).

Chapter 9, as Farrar remarks (C. G. T.), should have ended here, as with Luke 9:51 begins an entirely distinct, large, and very important division of Lk.’s Gospel.

And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
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,
Luke 9:51-56. Looking southward. Samaritan intolerance.

Luke 9:51 forms the introduction to the great division, Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:15. It makes all that follows up to the terminus ad quem stand under the solemn heading: the beginning of the end. From this time forth Jesus has the close of His earthly career in view. His face is fixedly set towards Jerusalem and—heaven. This conception of Jesus, as from this point onwards looking forward to the final crisis, suggests various reflections.

1. The reference to the last act of the drama comes in at a very early place in Lk.’s history.

2. The part of the story lying behind us does not adequately account for the mood of Jesus. We do not see why He should be thinking so earnestly of a final crisis of a tragic character, or even why there should be such a crisis at all. That the religious guides of Israel more or less disapproved of His ways has appeared, but it has not been shown that their hostility was of a deadly character. The dinner in Simon’s house speaks to relations more or less friendly, and the omission of the sharp encounter in reference to hand-washing, and of the ominous demand for a sign from heaven, greatly tends to obscure the forces that were working towards a tragic end, and had the cross for their natural outcome. It does not seem to have entered into Lk.’s plan to exhibit Christ’s death as the natural result of the opinions, practices, prejudices and passions prevalent in the religious world. He contemplated the event on the Godward, theological side, or perhaps it would be more correct to say on the side of fulfilment of O. T. prophecy. The necessity of Christ’s death, the δεῖ (Luke 9:22) = the demand of O. T. Scripture for fulfilment, vide Luke 24:26.

3. In the long narrative contained in the next eight chapters, Jesus does not seem to be constantly thinking of the end. In Mk. and Mt. it is otherwise. From the period at which Jesus began to speak plainly of His death He appears constantly preoccupied with the subject. His whole manner and behaviour are those of one walking under the shadow of the cross. This representation is true to life. In Lk., on the other hand, while the face of Jesus is set towards Jerusalem, His mind seems often to be thinking of other things, and the reader of the story forgets about the cross as he peruses its deeply interesting pages.

συμπληροῦσθαι, etc., when the days of His assumption were in course of accomplishment, implying the approach of the closing scenes of Christ’s earthly experience; here and in Acts 2:1, only, of time; in Luke 8:23 in the literal sense.—ἀναλήψεως α. His assumption into heaven, as in Acts 1:2. The substantive in this sense is a ἅπ. λεγ. in N. T. It occurs in the Test., xii. Patr. The verb occurs in a similar sense in various places in the Sept[96] The assumption into heaven includes the crucifixion in Lk.’s conception, just as the glorification of Jesus includes the Passion in the Johannine conception. “Instabat adhuc passio, crux, mors, sepulchrum; sed per haec omnia ad metam prospexit Jesus, cujus sensum imitatur stylus evangelistae,” Bengel. The ἀνάληψις was an act of God.—ἐστήρισεν, He made His face firm (from στῆριγξ, akin to στερεός, Thayer’s Grimm), as if to meet something formidable and unwelcome, the cross rather than what lay beyond, here in view. Hahn, who does not believe that Lk. is here referring to Christ’s final journey to Jerusalem, tones down the force of this word so as to make it express in Oriental fashion the idea of Jesus addressing Himself to a journey not specially momentous.

[96] Septuagint.

And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
Luke 9:52-56. Samaritan intolerance.—εἰς κώμην Σαμαρειτῶν: this indicates an intention to go southward through Samaritan territory. Not an unusual thing. Josephus (Antiq., xx., vi. 1) states that it was the custom for Galileans going to Jerusalem to the feasts to pass through Samaria.—ἐτοιμάσαι α., to prepare for Him, i.e., to find lodgings for the night.—ὥστε in view of the sequel can only express tendency or intention.—οὐκ ἐδέξαντο α.: the aorist, implying “that they at once rejected Him,” Farrar (C. G. T.).—ὅτι introduces the reason: Christ’s face was, looked like, going to Jerusalem. In view of what Josephus states, this hardly accounts for the inhospitable treatment. Perhaps the manner of the messengers had something to do with it. Had Jesus gone Himself the result might have been different. Perhaps He was making an experiment to see how His followers and the Samaritans would get on together. In that case the result would make Him change His plan, and turn aside from Samaria into Peraea. If so then Baur’s idea of a Samaritan ministry is a misnomer.

And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
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?
Luke 9:54. Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης: their outburst of temper, revealed in their truculent proposal, probably indicated the attitude of the whole company. In that case journeying through Samaria was hopeless.—καταβῆναι, infinitive, instead of ἵνα with subjunctive as often after εἰπεῖν.

But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
Luke 9:55. στραφεὶς: an imposing gesture, as in Luke 7:9; Luke 7:44.

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. εἰς ἑτέραν κώμην, to another village, probably in Galilee; both in the borderland.

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.
Luke 9:57-62. New disciples.—ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ: the indication of time is not precise. It does not mean, on the way to the other village, mentioned just before (Meyer), but on the way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). Grotius thinks the connection is purely topical. “Visum est Lucae connectere τὰ ὁμογενέα.” The first two of the three cases are reported by Mt. (Matthew 8:19-22).—τις: Mt. (Matthew 8:19) designates this certain one a scribe.—ἀπέρχη implies a departure from a place. It would be a leaving of home for the disciple.

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.
Luke 9:58. This remarkable saying is given in identical terms by Mt. and Lk. Vide on Mt.

And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Luke 9:59-60. The second case (Matthew 8:21-22).—ἀκολούθει μοι. Jesus takes the initiative in this case. That He should not have done so in the first is intelligible if the aspirant was a scribe. Jesus did not look for satisfactory discipleship from that quarter.—σὺ δὲ, but thou, emphatic, implying that the man addressed is not among the dead, but one who appreciates the claims of the kingdom.—διάγγελλε, keep proclaiming on every side the Kingdom of God; that, thy sole business henceforth, to which everything else, even burying parents, must be sacrificed: seek first the kingdom.

Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
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 9:61-62. The third case, peculiar to Lk., and setting forth a distinct type.—ἀκολουθήσω σοι, I will follow Thee, implying that he also has been asked to do so, and that he is ready, but on a condition.—ἐπίτρεψόν μοι: this is a type of man who always wants to do something, in which he is himself specially interested first (πρῶτον), before he addresses himself to the main duty to which he is called.—ἀποτάξασθαι: in this case it is to bid good-bye to friends, a sentimental business; that also characteristic.—τοῖς εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου. The verb ἀπ. is used in later Greek both with the dative of a person to denote “to take leave of,” and with the dative of a thing = to renounce (so in Luke 14:33). Both senses are admissible here, as τοῖς may be either masculine or neuter, but the first sense is the only one suitable to the character (sentimental) and to the request, as property could be renounced on the spot; though this reason is not so conclusive, as some legal steps might be necessary to denude oneself of property.

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 9:62. οὐδεὶς ἐπιβαλὼν, etc.: the necessity of self-concentration inculcated in proverbial language borrowed from agricultural life. Wetstein cites from Hesiod, Ἔργ., ver. 443, the well-known lines: ἰθεῖαν αὔλακʼ ἐλαύνοι, Μηκέτι παπταίνων μεθʼ ὁμήλικας, ἀλλʼ ἐπὶ ἔργῳ Θυμὸν ἔχων. The ambition to make a straight furrow has been common to ploughmen in all ages and countries, and it needs, like the highest calling, steady intention and a forward-cast eye. Furrer compliments the Palestine fellah on his skill in drawing a long straight furrow (Wanderungen, p. 149). His plough is a very inferior article to that used in this country.—εὐθετός, well fitted, apt; here and in chap. Luke 14:35, Hebrews 6:7.—The first case is that of inconsiderate impulse, the second that of conflicting duties, the third that of a divided mind. The incidents are related by Lk., not so much possibly for their psychological interest as to show how Jesus came to have so many disciples as chap. Luke 10:1-16 implies, and yet how particular He was.

The Expositor's Greek Testament - Nicoll

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