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Luke Chapter 9:27-62

Memory verses for this week:  1 John 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us. 

Introduction: We continue our study of the book of Luke this week as we continue in chapter 9.  Last week, we studied about Jesus sending out the 12 disciples to preach the gospel and to heal diseases and cast out demons.   We discussed how these special apostolic powers were only available in the early days of the church while the word was being confirmed and Jesus proven to be the Messiah.   We now have the perfect and total word of God and only God can heal people or remove demons.   We can pray, but it is not in a Christian today to be able to perform great miracles.  We read about the 5,000 men being fed with the small amount of fishes and bread, and closed with a study on how discipleship requires effort and sacrifice on our part.  I want us to re-read verse 26 to get back in the flow of the chapter as we begin with the transfiguration.


I.   The Transfiguration 

Luke 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.

Luke 9:27  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. 

Jesus declared that some of His disciples would not taste death until they saw the kingdom of God.  Does this seem to be a false statement?   We know Jesus has not yet come and setup his earthly kingdom, and the apostles died around 2,000 years ago.   No, this is not an error in scripture.  The bible is perfect and without error.   The thing that these were to see was Christ in the appearance he will be in when he comes in Glory to take the kingdom of this world and reign forever. 

W.A. Criswell in the Believer’s Study Bible said this about verse 27. 

9:27 “Some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God” is thought by some to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem, and by others to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (cf. Acts 2). Many find a reference to the transfiguration, which follows shortly when Jesus appears to the disciples as a glorious King. [i] 

I am confident that it speaks of the transfiguration as these verses immediately follow the promise. 

Luke 9:28  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.

Luke 9:29  And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

Luke 9:30  And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:

Luke 9:31  Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. 

Peter, James, and John were the men who were given this unique privilege of seeing the Lord on the mount when He was changed before their eyes.  As Jesus prayed, it says his countenance was altered and his raiment was white and glistering.   How could this be?   With men, we can not do things such as this.  But with God, nothing is impossible. 

Mark 10:27  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. 

Moses and Elias, two who had died (or in Elisa’s situation translated) many years before Christ’s life, were present with Jesus in this transfiguration.   Moses speaks of the saints that have died and Elias speaks of the saints who are alive at the coming of the Lord.   Moses died before entering the promised land.   Elijah was translated and did not see death.  That is why he represents the living saints at the coming of the Lord.   Verse 31 says that Elias and Moses come and speak of how Jesus must die in Jerusalem.  Notice the terminology…  ‘spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.’   No man took his life.  Jesus willingly laid down his life.  It was a great accomplishment for Him to live and die to pay our penalty for sin. 

John 10:15  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

John 10:16  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

John 10:17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

John 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. 

I thought J. Vernon McGee’s comments were good on these verses too about how the law and the prophets could also be represented by Moses and Elias. 

Two men appeared on the mount: Moses, the representative of the Law, and Elijah, the representative of the prophets, and they were bearing witness to Him. What did they talk about? They spoke about the approaching death of Christ. Paul says that the gospel he preached was one to which both the Law and prophets bore testimony. The gospel is not contrary to the Old Testament at all. Paul put it like this: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets” (Rom. 3:21). The Law and the prophets reveal that the only way God could save us is through the righteousness that we obtain by faith. In the Old Testament this was done by bringing a sacrifice that pointed to Jesus Christ. The sacrificial system was the very heart of the Mosaic system. That little lamb that was offered on the altar is symbolic of Christ who died for our sins. And the prophets spoke of the Lamb of God that would take away the sin of the world. [ii] 

Luke 9:32  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.

Luke 9:33  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. 

The disciples seemed to be many times tired and fell asleep at some critical times.  Here the transfiguration is taking place, and they were heavy with sleep while Jesus was praying and being transformed.   When they awoke, Peter was quick to speak and as many times is the case, spoke the wrong thing hurriedly.  He meant well, and says that perhaps they should build 3 tabernacles at this place, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elias.   Note the end of the scripture … “Not knowing what he said.”    God help us to temper our tongue and speak with truth and knowledge.   Only with wisdom endued on high can we accurately speak. 

Luke 9:34  While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

Luke 9:35  And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

Luke 9:36  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. 

In verse 34, God speaks from the cloud and says for them to hear Jesus and He alone.   When the voice was past, they found Jesus alone.  Moses was one of the greatest of the Old Testament, the one known as the lawgiver.   Elias was perhaps the greatest prophet of the Old Testament.   But in comparison to Jesus, they were just men.   Jesus was, and still is, the only Begotten Son of God.   He was God manifested in the flesh, and all men are of little consequence in comparison to the Eternal One from heaven. 

Why should we hear Jesus? 

1.  Because He is God.

2.  Because He has a message of truth.

3.  Because He knows what we have need of.


II.  The Powerless Disciples 

Luke 9:37  And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him.

Where ever Jesus went, many people came out to him.   It says here that much people met Him.   Did they come to seek salvation, or perhaps to have a miracle of healing performed?   Some perhaps come hoping to receive a free meal.  I hope many came to have the Word of God expounded.  It was needful in their day, and it is still needed today.    Oh that people would get as excited about the work of the Lord as they do games.   You can turn on your TV set and thousands of people flood the football games and get really excited for their team.   I know my wife and I attended Tori’s first soccer game yesterday.  She is our four year old granddaughter, and we were all jumping and hollering and so excited as they played the game.  It was a fun time, and I’m not against having fun times.   But what I’m trying to convey is that we ought to be MUCH more excited about our worship to the Lord than any game anywhere.    If we are not careful, we can become carnal and look forward more to the things of this life and the physical man and let the spiritual man famish for food.   We all need spiritual bread each day, and that comes from the study of God’s Word. 

Luke 9:38  And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.

Luke 9:39  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.

Luke 9:40  And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not. 

We see that one man brought his child who was possessed with a demon.   The man knew the problem, and he was coming to the one who could do something about it.   He says he came to the disciples to cast the demon out, but they could not do it.  Is it not a great privilege, when all men have failed us, to be able to go to Jesus with our problem.   One thing we know about Jesus.  He is always in, he knows all about our problem, and He can remedy the problem if it be God’s Will for our lives. 

Luke 9:41  And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

Luke 9:42  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.

Luke 9:43  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, 

Jesus tells the man to bring the son to him.   As he draws near, it says the devil inside threw him down, and tare him.  Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the child, and returned him to his father.   It says the people were amazed at the power of God.     Jesus was upset I believe with the disciples for not having the power to remove this devil.   It takes a lot of faith and the power of Jesus’ name for them to do it.   In last weeks lesson, Jesus told the disciples that this comes with much prayer and fasting.    

Mark 9:26  And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

Mark 9:27  But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

Mark 9:28  And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

Mark 9:29  And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. 

After healing the young boy, Jesus begins teaching about how he would soon be put to death.


III.  Jesus Foretells His Death 

Luke 9:44  Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.

Luke 9:45  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. 

It says that they did not understand, and they feared to ask Christ.  Perhaps it was due to his earlier comment about the faithless and unbelieving generation. 

Matthew Henry had some good points about the importance of letting things sink down into your ears. 

The solemn preface with which it is introduced: "Let these sayings sink down into your ears; take special notice of what I say, and mix faith with it; let not the notions you have of the temporal kingdom of the Messiah stop your ears against it, nor make you unwilling to believe it. Admit what I say, and submit to it.’’ Let it sink down into your hearts; so the Syriac and Arabic read it. The word of Christ does us no good, unless we let it sink down into our heads and hearts. 3. The unaccountable stupidity of the disciples, with reference to this prediction of Christ’s sufferings. It was said in Mark, They understood not that saying. It was plain enough, but they would not understand it in the literal sense, because it agreed not with their notions; and they could not understand it in any other, and were afraid to ask him lest they should be undeceived and awaked out of their pleasing dream. But it is here added that it was hidden from them, that they perceived it not, through the weakness of faith and the power of prejudice. We cannot think that it was in mercy hidden from them, lest they should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow at the prospect of it; but that it was a paradox, because they made it so to themselves.  [iii]


IV.  The Sermon on the Child 

Luke 9:46  Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

Luke 9:47  And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,

Luke 9:48  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. 

The disciples start arguing among themselves as to who would be the greatest.  This is not pleasing in God’s sight, and we should strive as scriptures teach to put the benefit of others before our own.  Jesus takes the small child and sets it among them.   He teaches that the person who receives a child in the name of Christ receives him.  (Jesus)   He said that the least among you all will be the greatest.  If we want to be great in God’s sight, follow Jesus’ example.   He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister to others.  Jesus wanted the spirit of the little child to be manifested in his disciples. 

Phil 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Phil 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.


V.  Who is For Us or Against Us 

Luke 9:49  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.

Luke 9:50  And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us. 

There are many today who teach that if you don’t follow 100% the way they do things or the pattern they set, that you are not following the Lord.   The disciples come upon a man (very apparently a saved man), who was casting out devils in the name of the Lord, but he was not numbered with Christ or with the current group of disciples.   John told him to not do that, because he wasn’t in ‘their group’.   Jesus rebukes John and tells him that if they are not against us, they are for us.   So if that is true, who are true disciples and who are false?  One way we can tell is if they teach according to harmony of the scriptures.   Jesus gave us a simple test to tell who is true and who is false. 

1 John 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

1 John 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

1 John 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

1 John 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

1 John 4:5  They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

1 John 4:6  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.


Luke 9:51  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,

Luke 9:52  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

Luke 9:53  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

Luke 9:54  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?

Luke 9:55  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

Luke 9:56  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. 

It says they went unto the Samaritans and preached, and they would not receive their testimony.   James and John ask Christ if they should call down fire from heaven like Elias did to consume these sinners.    Christ was upset with them, and tells them that ‘Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.’   Jesus did not come to destroy life, but to save men’s souls.   If people won’t hear us, we should not want them to be destroyed, but we should be kind and understanding and pray for their souls.  It takes planting, watering, and then reaping.  Wherever we are in the process, we should let God guide us.   But never bring reproach upon Jesus and the church by not showing respect to all men.   As the old saying goes, we should love the sinner and hate the sin. 


VII.  True Meaning of Being a Disciple 

Luke 9:57  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.

Luke 9:58  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.

Luke 9:59  And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

Luke 9:60  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

Luke 9:61  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

Luke 9:62  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.


It appears that this man was sincere and wanted to follow Jesus.  It is important that we count the cost before we volunteer to go with Christ.  He warns the man that even the foxes have holes and the birds have nests, but the son of man has no where to lay his head.    In verse 59, the one man says he will follow Christ after he goes and buries his father.   This seemed like a reasonable request, but Jesus says “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”  If we are called, we truly should forsake all things and follow Christ wholly.   Jesus says “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”   Are we guilty of looking back.  We should not be.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]W.A. Criswell, Believer’s study Bible [computer file], electronic ed. , Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991 by the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[iii]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.