Luke 9

The power and authority of ministers to preach the gospel and administer its ordinances come from Jesus Christ. On him they are dependent, and to him they should look for success in their work. 1-6. Twelve apostles sent out. Mt 10:1-42. 7-9. Herod desires to see Christ. Mt 14:1,2. None are so high in authority or power as to be above the upbraidings of conscience; and none continue so long, or sink so low in wickedness, as permanently to stifle its voice. It may for a time appear to slumber, and then awake to whisper vengeance, or utter thundertones of wrath. Went aside privately; he went by ship. Mt 14:13; Mr 6:32; Joh 6:1 Bethsaida; there were two places of this name. That best known was on the western side of the sea of Galilee. The other was on the northern side of the same lake; and to that the present passage refers. The inexhaustible fulness and all-sufficience of the Saviour lay a permanent foundation for the peace and quietness of all who trust in him; and though destitute of resources in themselves, they may always find in him unfailing supplies. 18-21. Peter confesses Christ. Mt 16:13-20. 22-27. Christ foretells his death. Mt 16:21-28. To deny one's self some things for the sake of obtaining others more valuable, instead of lessening, greatly increases enjoyment. This, to be a follower of Christ, a person must do daily, and thus be daily promoting his highest good. 28-36. The transfiguration of Christ. Mt 17:1-9; Mr 9:2-10. His decease; literally, departure, meaning his death. Were heavy with sleep; the transfiguration seems to have taken place in the night season, which will explain the statement of verse Lu 9:37, that they came down from the mount on the next day. While the Saviour was engaged in prayer, they slept; but they were awaked to behold his glory. 37-43. The lunatic healed. Mt 17:14-21. When disease fastens on a child, and all human aid fails, the privilege of applying to Christ with the assurance of his ability to help, is a blessing which awakens the gratitude, and will for ever call forth the praises of every pious parent. These sayings; the words of Jesus Christ, especially with regard to his death, which would shortly take place. Understood not; they expected the Saviour would be a great worldly conqueror, and live for ever; and they did not understand how it could be that he would die. 46-50. Who should be greatest. Mt 18:1-6. Received up; into heaven.

Steadfastly set his face; resolutely determined to go. Jesus Christ, when the time had come, was no less intent upon dying at Jerusalem than the Jews were on putting him to death. Their object was to show that he was not the Messiah, and thus to prevent the people from receiving him. His object was to die for their sins and the sins of the world; to show, with absolute certainty, that he was the Messiah, and lead unnumbered millions to believe in him, experience his salvation, and eternally adore him. Hence, before the time had come, he would not commit himself to them, and after it had come, he would let nothing hinder him from doing it.
Sent messengers; in the original it is angels, which shows the manner in which this word angels is sometimes used in the Bible, meaning persons who are sent.

Make ready; provide lodging and refreshment.
His face was; they saw that his purpose was to go to Jerusalem, and as they were great enemies to the Jews, to whom he was going, they would not entertain him. When--James and John saw this; saw that the Samaritans would not entertain Christ.

Elias; Elijah. 2Ki 1:10-12.
The claims of Jesus Christ to immediate and unreserved obedience are supreme; and no earthly connections or engagements can justify any in delaying to give him the homage of their hearts and the service of their lives. Having put his hand to the plough, and looking back; the husbandman who puts his hands to the plough must keep them, and his eyes too, fixed upon it. If he looks back, as for example to converse with those behind him, his work will be poorly done. The Syrian plough, being light, required the weight of the ploughman's body on it to keep it in the furrow. If he looked off, it would start aside. So he who would be a worthy servant of Christ must give him his whole heart and his whole time.

Fit for the kingdom of God; fit for the ministry of Christ's gospel in his kingdom. Such was plainly the original application of these words. But they apply with equal force to every kind of service which Christ requires. No man who is not ready to leave all when Christ calls, is prepared to serve him on earth, or enjoy him in heaven.
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