Luke 9* The apostles sent forth. (1-9) The multitude miraculously fed.(10-17) Peter's testimony to Christ, Self-denial enjoined.(18-27) The transfiguration. (28-36) An evil spirit cast out.(37-42) Christ checks the ambition of his disciples. (43-50) Hereproves their mistaken zeal. (51-56) Every thing to be given upfor Christ. (57-62)1-9 Christ sent his twelve disciples abroad, who by this timewere able to teach others what they had received from the Lord.They must not be anxious to commend themselves to people'sesteem by outward appearance. They must go as they were. TheLord Jesus is the fountain of power and authority, to whom allcreatures must, in one way or another, be subject; and if hegoes with the word of his ministers in power, to deliver sinnersfrom Satan's bondage, they may be sure that he will care fortheir wants. When truth and love thus go together, and yet themessage of God is rejected and despised, it leaves men withoutexcuse, and turns to a testimony against them. Herod's guiltyconscience was ready to conclude that John was risen from thedead. He desired to see Jesus; and why did he not go and seehim? Probably, because he thought it below him, or because hewished not to have any more reprovers of sin. Delaying it now,his heart was hardened, and when he did see Jesus, he was asmuch prejudiced against him as others, #Lu 23:11|. 10-17 The people followed Jesus, and though they cameunseasonably, yet he gave them what they came for. He spake untothem of the kingdom of God. He healed those who had need ofhealing. And with five loaves of bread and two fishes, Christfed five thousand men. He will not see those that fear him, andserve him faithfully, want any good thing. When we receivecreature-comforts, we must acknowledge that we receive them fromGod, and that we are unworthy to receive them; that we owe themall, and all the comfort we have in them, to the mediation ofChrist, by whom the curse is taken away. The blessing of Christwill make a little go a great way. He fills every hungry soul,abundantly satisfies it with the goodness of his house. Herewere fragments taken up: in our Father's house there is breadenough, and to spare. We are not straitened, nor stinted inChrist. 18-27 It is an unspeakable comfort that our Lord Jesus is God'sAnointed; this signifies that he was both appointed to be theMessiah, and qualified for it. Jesus discourses concerning hisown sufferings and death. And so far must his disciples be fromthinking how to prevent his sufferings, that they must preparefor their own. We often meet with crosses in the way of duty;and though we must not pull them upon our own heads, yet, whenthey are laid for us, we must take them up, and carry them afterChrist. It is well or ill with us, according as it is well orill with our souls. The body cannot be happy, if the soul bemiserable in the other world; but the soul may be happy, thoughthe body is greatly afflicted and oppressed in this world. Wemust never be ashamed of Christ and his gospel. 28-36 Christ's transfiguration was a specimen of that glory inwhich he will come to judge the world; and was an encouragementto his disciples to suffer for him. Prayer is a transfiguring,transforming duty, which makes the face to shine. Our LordJesus, even in his transfiguration, was willing to speakconcerning his death and sufferings. In our greatest glories onearth, let us remember that in this world we have no continuingcity. What need we have to pray to God for quickening grace, tomake us lively! Yet that the disciples might be witnesses ofthis sign from heaven, after awhile they became awake, so thatthey were able to give a full account of what passed. But thoseknow not what they say, that talk of making tabernacles on earthfor glorified saints in heaven. 37-42 How deplorable the case of this child! He was under thepower of an evil spirit. Disease of that nature are morefrightful than such as arise merely from natural causes. Whatmischief Satan does where he gets possession! But happy thosethat have access to Christ! He can do that for us which hisdisciples cannot. A word from Christ healed the child; and whenour children recover from sickness, it is comfortable to receivethem as healed by the hand of Christ. 43-50 This prediction of Christ's sufferings was plain enough,but the disciples would not understand it, because it agreed notwith their notions. A little child is the emblem by which Christteaches us simplicity and humility. What greater honour can anyman attain to in this world, than to be received by men as amessenger of God and Christ; and to have God and Christ ownthemselves received and welcomed in him! If ever any society ofChristians in this world, had reason to silence those not oftheir own communion, the twelve disciples at this time had; yetChrist warned them not to do the like again. Those may be foundfaithful followers of Christ, and may be accepted of him, who donot follow with us. 51-56 The disciples did not consider that the conduct of theSamaritans was rather the effect of national prejudices andbigotry, than of enmity to the word and worship of God; andthrough they refused to receive Christ and his disciples, theydid not ill use or injure them, so that the case was widelydifferent from that of Ahaziah and Elijah. Nor were they awarethat the gospel dispensation was to be marked by miracles ofmercy. But above all, they were ignorant of the prevailingmotives of their own hearts, which were pride and carnalambition. Of this our Lord warned them. It is easy for us tosay, Come, see our zeal for the Lord! and to think we are veryfaithful in his cause, when we are seeking our own objects, andeven doing harm instead of good to others. 57-62 Here is one that is forward to follow Christ, but seemsto have been hasty and rash, and not to have counted the cost.If we mean to follow Christ, we must lay aside the thoughts ofgreat things in the world. Let us not try to join the professionof Christianity, with seeking after worldly advantages. Here isanother that seems resolved to follow Christ, but he begs ashort delay. To this man Christ first gave the call; he said tohim, Follow me. Religion teaches us to be kind and good, to showpiety at home, and to requite our parents; but we must not makethese an excuse for neglecting our duty to God. Here is anotherthat is willing to follow Christ, but he must have a little timeto talk with his friends about it, and to set in order hishousehold affairs, and give directions concerning them. Heseemed to have worldly concerns more upon his heart than heought to have, and he was willing to enter into a temptationleading him from his purpose of following Christ. No one can doany business in a proper manner, if he is attending to otherthings. Those who begin with the work of God, must resolve to goon, or they will make nothing of it. Looking back, leads todrawing back, and drawing back is to perdition. He only thatendures to the end shall be saved.
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