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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - LUKE 9
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    CHAPTER 9

    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).

    7. perplexed--at a loss, embarrassed.
    - said of some, that John was risen--Among many opinions, this was the one which Herod himself adopted, for the reason, no doubt, mentioned on Mr 6:14.

    9. desired to see him--but did not, till as a prisoner He was sent to him by Pilate just before His death, as we learn from Lu 23:8.

    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.

    (See on Mt 16:13-28; and Mr 8:34).

    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 (Zec 3:5; 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.
    - Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh, &c.--He will render to that man his own treatment; He will disown him before the most august of all assemblies, and put him to "shame and everlasting contempt" (Da 12:2). "Oh shame, to be put to shame before God, Christ, and angels!" [BENGEL].

    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 (Mt 17:1; Mr 9:2) "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.
    - Peter, James, and John--partners before in secular business; now sole witnesses of the resurrection of Jairus' daughter (Mr 5:37), the transfiguration, and the agony in the garden (Mr 14:33).
    - a mountain--not Tabor, according to long tradition, with which the facts ill comport, but some one near the lake.
    - to pray--for the period He had now reached was a critical and anxious one. (See on Mt 16:13). But who can adequately translate those "strong cryings and tears?" Methinks, as I steal by His side, I hear from Him these plaintive sounds, "Lord, who hath believed Our report? I am come unto Mine own and Mine own receive Me not; I am become a stranger unto My brethren, an alien to My mother's children: Consider Mine enemies, for they are many, and they hate Me with cruel hatred. Arise, O Lord, let not man prevail. Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth: Show Me a token for good: Father, glorify Thy name."

    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 (2Co 3:18, with Ex 34:29-35).
    - raiment white, &c.--Matthew says, "His face did shine as the sun" (Mt 17:2), and Mark says (Mr 9:3), "His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow, so as no fuller on earth can white them" (Mr 9:3). The light, then, it would seem, shone not upon Him from without, but out of Him from within; He was all irradiated, was in one blaze of celestial glory. What a contrast to that "visage more marred than men, and His form than the sons of men!" (Isa 52:14).

    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."
    - of his decease--"departure"; beautiful euphemism (softened term) for death, which Peter, who witnessed the scene, uses to express his own expected death, and the use of which single term seems to have recalled the whole by a sudden rush of recollection, and occasioned that delightful allusion to this scene which we find in 2Pe 1:15-18.
    - which he should accomplish--"was to fulfil."
    - at Jerusalem--Mark the historical character and local features which Christ's death assumed to these glorified men--as important as it is charming--and see on Lu 2:11. What now may be gathered from this statement? (1) That a dying Messiah is the great article of the true Jewish theology. For a long time the Church had fallen clean away from the faith of this article, and even from a preparedness to receive it. But here we have that jewel raked out of the dunghill of Jewish traditions, and by the true representatives of the Church of old made the one subject of talk with Christ Himself. (2) The adoring gratitude of glorified men for His undertaking to accomplish such a decease; their felt dependence upon it for the glory in which they appeared; their profound interest in the progress of it, their humble solaces and encouragements to go through with it; and their sense of its peerless and overwhelming glory. "Go, matchless, adored One, a Lamb to the slaughter! rejected of men, but chosen of God and precious; dishonored, abhorred, and soon to be slain by men, but worshipped by cherubim, ready to be greeted by all heaven. In virtue of that decease we are here; our all is suspended on it and wrapped up in it. Thine every step is watched by us with ineffable interest; and though it were too high an honor to us to be permitted to drop a word of cheer into that precious but now clouded spirit, yet, as the first-fruits of harvest; the very joy set before Him, we cannot choose but tell Him that what is the depth of shame to Him is covered with glory in the eyes of Heaven, that the Cross to Him is the Crown to us, that that 'decease' is all our salvation and all our desire." And who can doubt that such a scene did minister deep cheer to that spirit? It is said they "talked" not to Him, but "with Him"; and if they told Him how glorious His decease was, might He not fitly reply, "I know it, but your voice, as messengers from heaven come down to tell it Me, is music in Mine ears."

    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 (Lu 9:37).
    - saw his glory, &c.--The emphasis lies on "saw," qualifying them to become "eye-witnesses of His majesty" (2Pe 1:16).

    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 Mt 23:39), the pavilion of the manifested presence of God with His people, what Peter calls "the excellent" of "magnificent glory" (2Pe 1:17).
    - a voice--"such a voice," says Peter emphatically; "and this voice [he adds] we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount" (2Pe 1:17, 18).

    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 left--to suffer!
    - kept it close--feeling, for once at least, that such things were unmeet as yet for the general gaze.

    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).

    49, 50. John answered, &c.--The link of connection here with the foregoing context lies in the words "in My name" (Lu 9:48). "Oh, as to that," said John, young, warm

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