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Lu 9:1-6. MISSION OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES.
(See on Mt 10:1-15).
1. power and authority--He both qualified and authorized them.
Lu 9:7-9. HEROD TROUBLED AT WHAT HE HEARS OF CHRIST DESIRES TO SEE HIM.
(See on Mr 6:14-30).
Lu 9:10-17. ON THE RETURN OF THE TWELVE JESUS RETIRES WITH THEM TO BETHSAIDA, AND THERE MIRACULOUSLY FEEDS FIVE THOUSAND.
(See on Mr 6:31-44).
Lu 9:18-27. PETER'S CONFESSION OF CHRIST--OUR LORD'S FIRST EXPLICIT ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS APPROACHING DEATH, AND WARNINGS ARISING OUT OF IT.
24. will save--"Is minded to save," bent on saving. The pith of this maxim depends--as often in such weighty sayings (for example, "Let the dead bury the dead," Mt 8:22) --on the double sense attached to the word "life," a lower and a higher, the natural and the spiritual, temporal and eternal. An entire sacrifice of the lower, or a willingness to make it, is indispensable to the preservation of the higher life; and he who cannot bring himself to surrender the one for the sake of the other shall eventually lose both.
26. ashamed of me, and of my words--The sense of shame is one of
the strongest in our nature, one of the social affections founded on our
love of reputation, which causes instinctive aversion to what is
fitted to lower it, and was given us as a preservative from all that is
properly shameful. When one is, in this sense of it, lost to shame,
he is nearly past hope
Jer 6:15; 3:3).
But when Christ and "His words"--Christianity, especially in its more
spiritual and uncompromising features--are unpopular, the same
instinctive desire to stand well with others begets the
temptation to be ashamed of Him, which only the 'expulsive power' of a
higher affection can effectually counteract.
27. not taste of death fill they see the kingdom of God--"see it come with power" (Mr 9:1); or see "the Son of man coming in His kingdom" (Mt 16:28). The reference, beyond doubt, is to the firm establishment and victorious progress, in the lifetime of some then present, of that new Kingdom of Christ, which was destined to work the greatest of all changes on this earth, and be the grand pledge of His final coming in glory.
Lu 9:28-36. JESUS TRANSFIGURED.
28. an eight days after these sayings--including the day on which this
was spoken and that of the Transfiguration. Matthew and Mark say
"after six days," excluding these two days. As the "sayings" so
definitely connected with the transfiguration scene are those
announcing His death--at which Peter and all the Twelve were so
startled and scandalized--so this scene was designed to show to the
eyes as well as the heart how glorious that death was in the
view of Heaven.
29. as he prayed, the fashion, &c.--Before He cried He was answered,
and while He was yet speaking He was heard. Blessed interruption to
prayer this! Thanks to God, transfiguring manifestations are not quite
strangers here. Ofttimes in the deepest depths, out of groanings which
cannot be uttered, God's dear children are suddenly transported to a
kind of heaven upon earth, and their soul is made as the chariots of
Amminadab. Their prayers fetch down such light, strength, holy
gladness, as make their face to shine, putting a kind of celestial
radiance upon it
with Ex 34:29-35).
30, 31. there talked with him two men . . . Moses and Elias . . . appeared in glory--"Who would have believed these were not angels had not their human names been subjoined?" [BENGEL]. (Compare Ac 1:10; Mr 16:5). Moses represented "the law," Elijah "the prophets," and both together the whole testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, and the Old Testament saints, to Christ; now not borne in a book, but by living men, not to a coming, but a come Messiah, visibly, for they "appeared," and audibly, for they "spake."
31. spake--"were speaking."
32. and when they were awake--so, certainly, the most
commentators: but if we translate literally, it should be "but
having kept awake" [MEYER, ALFORD]. Perhaps "having roused themselves up"
[OLSHAUSEN] may come near enough to the literal
sense; but from the word used we can gather no more than that they
shook off their drowsiness. It was night, and the Lord seems to
have spent the whole night on the mountain
33. they departed--Ah! bright manifestations in this vale of tears are always "departing" manifestations.
34, 35. a cloud--not one of our watery clouds, but the
Shekinah-cloud (see on
the pavilion of the manifested presence of God with His people, what
Peter calls "the excellent" of "magnificent glory"
35. my beloved Son . . . hear him--reverentially, implicitly, alone.
36. Jesus was found alone--Moses and Elias are gone. Their work is
done, and they have disappeared from the scene, feeling no doubt with
their fellow servant the Baptist, "He must increase, but I must
decrease." The cloud too is gone, and the naked majestic Christ, braced
in spirit, and enshrined in the reverent affection of His disciples, is
Lu 9:37-45. DEMONIAC AND LUNATIC BOY HEALED--CHRIST'S SECOND EXPLICIT ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION.
(See on Mr 9:14-32.)
43-45. the mighty power of God--"the majesty" or "mightiness" of God in this last miracle, the transfiguration, &c.: the divine grandeur of Christ rising upon them daily. By comparing Mt 17:22, and Mr 9:30, we gather that this had been the subject of conversation between the Twelve and their Master as they journeyed along.
44. these sayings--not what was passing between them about His grandeur [MEYER, &c.], but what He was now to repeat for the second time about His sufferings [DE WETTE, STIER, ALFORD, &c.]; that is, "Be not carried off your feet by all this grandeur of Mine, but bear in mind what I have already told you, and now distinctly repeat, that that Sun in whose beams ye now rejoice is soon to set in midnight gloom." "The Son of man," says Christ, "into the hands of men"--a remarkable antithesis (also in Mt 17:22, and Mr 9:31).
45. and they feared--"insomuch that they feared." Their most cherished ideas were so completely dashed by such announcements, that they were afraid of laying themselves open to rebuke by asking Him any questions.
Lu 9:46-48. STRIFE AMONG THE TWELVE WHO SHOULD BE GREATEST--JOHN REBUKED FOR EXCLUSIVENESS.
46-48. (See on Mt 18:1-5).