for this week: 2 Tim 4:7 I have fought
a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
We continue our study of
the book of Luke this week as we begin chapter 9. In chapter eight
we studied about Jesus preaching and healing in Galilee. We also
covered the parables of the sower and lighted candle. Jesus
stilled the waters and brought calm from the storm as he and his
disciples traveled in a ship and had a storm come upon them in the
middle of the night. We closed with the healing of Jairusí
daughter who was raised from the dead by Christ.
Disciples Sent Forth to Preach
9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them
power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the
Jesus called his
twelve disciples together and sent them out to preach the gospel.
It is crucial that if a person is a pastor, he should be called of
the Lord. We all should tell others about Christ, but only called
men should be in the ministry. Jesus gave these 12 special
apostolic powers that we can no longer do today. These men before
this time could not heal the sick or cure any disease. But now, at
Christís word, they had the power and authority over devils, and
they could cure diseases and heal the sick. Most importantly, they
were to go forth and preach the kingdom of God. We as a church
still have the responsibility to preach the gospel today.
9:3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither
staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two
9:4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence
9:5 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
Jesus gave these
12 special instructions as to how they were to go forth. They were
to take nothing for their journey. They were not to take a staff or
a purse. No money, no bread, not even two coats were they to take
along. They were to go into the cities and go to whoever would
receive them. They were to abide for a short time and then
depart. And if the people would not receive them, they were to
leave the place and shake off the dust from their feet as a witness
Believerís Study Bible, I found these notes about shaking the dust
off of your feet as a testimony against them.
Strict Jews, in order to avoid contaminating Godís holy land with
the dust of profane places, performed the same symbolic actions of
shaking the dust from their feet when they reentered their homeland
after traveling abroad. The disciples are thus to disassociate
themselves completely from those who reject them, thereby branding
these as no better than heathens.
9:6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the
gospel, and healing every where.
Note how the 12
disciples did not stand around and argue about the rules, but they
immediately departed and went out and did as Jesus commanded. God
is so much more pleased with us when we will but follow his
commands. Obeying is much more preferred over sin offerings.
John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we
love God, and keep his commandments.
John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his
commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no
10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is
written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings
and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure
therein; which are offered by the law;
10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away
the first, that he may establish the second.
10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of
the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering
oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for
ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his
10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are
9:7 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;
9:8 And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one
of the old prophets was risen again.
9:9 And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom
I hear such things? And he desired to see him.
As the disciples
go out in the Lordís name, the name of Jesus was magnified and word
come to Herod about all the things Jesus was doing. He was
perplexed because some said the John the Baptist had risen from the
dead. If you remember in our earlier study, that John had stood
against the sin in Herodís life when he accused him of taking his
brotherís wife which was not lawful. But by a dance being done for
the King by Herodiasí daughter, he promises her to give her whatever
she asked. The girl asks her mother what she should ask for, and
she says to ask for Johnís head on a charger. So the King for his
oathís sake had him beheaded. Now he fears that he has risen back
up and may bring harm to Herod. We should never forget the terror
that a sinner lives in day by day. Always looking for and
expecting judgment, because inside we know it is coming. But when
Jesus saves your soul, he brings peace and sweet rest. Only by
Christ can we have the peace that the world so desires.
16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he
asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man
16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some,
Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the
Son of the living God.
answered the Lord, he said that some said that he was John the
Baptist, some said Elias, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. But he
knew that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. All who
knew Jesus knew one thing for certainÖ this was no ordinary man.
Even with the fear Herod felt, he still desired to see Christ.
However, even though he says he does desire to see Jesus, there is
no record of him ever sending an invitation for Jesus to come. It
wasnít until Jesus was about to be crucified did Herod meet him.
This happened when Pilate sent Christ to Herod.
23:3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews?
And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I
find no fault in this man.
23:5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the
people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to
23:6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a
23:7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's
jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at
Jerusalem at that time.
23:8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was
desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many
things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
23:9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him
23:10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently
23:11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked
him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to
23:12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together:
for before they were at enmity between themselves.
Apostles Return and 5,000 are Fed by Christ
9:10 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.
9:11 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.
apostles return, they are excited about all that they had
accomplished, and tell the Lord about it. In many places, they
were evidently well received and treated wonderfully. After the
work and mission they had been on, Jesus pulls them aside and takes
them to a desert place called Bethsaida for a time of rest. If
anyone ever questions whether we need vacation time, we need look no
further than the instances in the New Testament when Jesus was
always going out to a desert place. It is important that we donít
vacation all the time, because we need to be about the Fatherís
work. But after work, we are to rest. As they went to this desert
place, many of the people heard about it and they go out to see the
Lord. He did not reject the people, but it says in verse 11 that
he spake unto them of the kingdom of God. And as Christ always
did, he healed their sicknesses.
9:12 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.
9:13 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.
We are not told
how many women and children there were there on that day, but we are
told that there were about 5,000 men. Wouldnít it be wonderful if
we could have 5,000 people gather today to hear about our Lord Jesus
Christ. The twelve disciples ask the Lord to send them away to the
villages since they had no food or lodging for them. It appears
the people were so stirred by Christís teachings, that they were not
concerned about their need for food. Many had come a long way from
home and were hungry. In a spiritual nature, that is the state of
the vast multitudes of our day. They are far from the heavenly home
that God has for those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior. They
are dying a spiritual death for want of true spiritual food. But if
we will but come, Jesus will feed us with manna from heaven that He
provides. No it isnít the food like the children of Israel ate in
the wilderness, but it is food for our souls. The Word of God
provides us the spiritual meat that makes us strong.
The night was
coming on, and Jesus asked them what they had. They said we have
nothing but five loaves and two fishes. There was no way this would
go about feeding a great multitude. But you know whatÖ a little
with God can go a long long way. You and I may not have much to
offer in our service to the Lord, but when Jesus takes the little,
he can do a lot with it.
9:14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his
disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
9:15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.
9:16 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.
9:17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up
of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
Jesus tells them
to sit down in groups of fifty people in each company. And he
blessed the food and brake it, and he gave to the disciples which
took to the people. And what was amazing and miraculous was that
they were all fed. All were filled and when they finished, they
have 12 baskets full left. Did they have 12 baskets of fish and
bread to begin with? NoÖ
does more for us than we need, and there always seems to be a
J. Vernon McGee
pointed this out in his commentary on the feeding of the 5,000.
Matthew, Mark, and John
also record the feeding of five thousand. Notice that our Lord
assigns His disciples an impossible task. They must learn, as we
must learn, that He always commands the impossible. The reason is
obviousóHe intends to do the work. The Creator, who made the fish in
the beginning and causes the grain to multiply in the fields, now by
His fiat word creates food for the crowd. This may have been the
first time many in this crowd ever were filled. The ďfragmentsĒ
which were left do not refer to what we might put in the garbage
can. Rather, they were pieces of food which had not been served. God
always provides a surplus.
Confession of Christ
9:18 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
9:19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias;
and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.
9:20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering
said, The Christ of God.
We read the
Matthew account of this earlier. When Jesus asks his disciples
whom men say that He was, they answered and said some think he was
John the Baptist, some Elias, some one of the old prophets. But
Peterís direct answer was the right oneÖ The Christ of God.
9:21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no
man that thing;
9:22 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.
He charges them
to tell no man that he was the Christ. We might ask why did he not
want them to tell others at this time. There were several
1. It was too
2. His ministry
had been rejected of the Jews.
3. The heart of
the majority of the people were set upon their own way.
4. They were
not prepared to receive His testimony.
them about how we will suffer many things and be rejected of the
elders, chief priests, and scribes. But after his death, he would
be raised the third day.
IV. The Test of
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.
9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever
will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and
lose himself, or be cast away?
9:26 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.
To be a true
disciple, we must learn how to die to self. The physical man wars
daily with the Spiritual man, and we must learn to let the spiritual
side win. Learning to die to self does not come easy.
We have a good
example of denial over in Chapter 22 when Peter denied knowing
Christ. We need to use this example to show how we should so deny
ourselves that we almost disassociate with our physical man.
22:54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the
high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.
22:55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall,
and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
22:56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and
earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.
22:57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.
22:58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art
also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.
22:59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently
affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he
is a Galilaean.
22:60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And
immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
Jesus says we
should take up our cross and follow after him daily. The cross
always speaks of death, and that means bringing the human side of us
down to the point of being in subjection to the spiritual man. Die
to self and the world. If we want to truly save our life, we should
lose it for the cause of Christ. One soul is worth more than all
the riches in this world. There is nothing worth the value of one
soul. The rich man in hell would have given everything he ever
owned to be in the bosom of Abraham like Lazarus was. If we want
to be with God one day, while we are still living, we must come to
Jesus Christ for salvation. Jesus, and Jesus alone can save us.
Jesus warns us to not be ashamed of the Word of God, but to stand up
and let our position be known. If we are ashamed of Jesus and the
Bible, it says he will be ashamed of us when He returns.
said this about denying self and dying to sin.
III. Concerning their
sufferings for him. So far must they be from thinking how to
prevent his sufferings that they must rather prepare for their
1. We must accustom
ourselves to all instances of self-denial and patience,
v. 23. This is the best preparative for martyrdom. We must live a
life of self-denial, mortification, and contempt of the world; we
must not indulge our ease and appetite, for then it will be hard to
bear toil, and weariness, and want, for Christ. We are daily
subject to affliction, and we must accommodate ourselves to
it, and acquiesce in the will of God in it, and must learn to
endure hardship. We frequently 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, carry them after
Christ, and make the best of them.
2. We must prefer
the salvation and happiness of our souls before any secular
concern whatsoever. Reckon upon it, (1.) That he who to preserve
his liberty or estate, his power or preferment, nay, or to save his
life, denies Christ and his truths, wilfully wrongs his conscience,
and sins against God, will be, not only not a saver, but an
unspeakable loser, in the issue, when profit and
loss come to be balanced: He that will save his life upon
these terms will lose it, will lose that which is of infinitely
more value, his precious soul. (2.) We must firmly believe also
that, if we lose our life for cleaving to Christ and our religion,
we shall save it to our unspeakable advantage; for we shall
be abundantly recompensed in the resurrection of the just, when we
shall have it again a new and an eternal life. (3.) That the gain of
all the world, if we should forsake Christ, and fall in with the
interests of the world, would be so far from countervailing the
eternal loss and ruin of the soul that it would bear no manner of
proportion to it, v. 25. If we could be supposed to gain all the
wealth, honour, and pleasure, in the world, by denying Christ, yet
when, by so doing, we lose ourselves to all eternity,
and are cast away at last, what good will our worldly gain do
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: email@example.com
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will
Believerís study Bible [computer file], electronic ed. ,
Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997,
c1991 by the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies.
McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file],
electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas
Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.
Matthew, Matthew Henryís Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.