Luke 9

He called the twelve together ( συνκαλεσαμενος τους δωδεκα ). Mr 6:7; Mt 10:1 have  προσκαλεωμα, to call to him. Both the indirect middle voice.

He sent them forth ( απεστειλεν αυτους ). First aorist active indicative of  αποστελλω.

To preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick ( κηρυσσειν την βασιλειαν του θεου κα ιασθα ). Present indicative for the continuous functions during this campaign. This double office of herald ( κηρυσσειν ) and healer ( ιασθα ) is stated directly in Mt 10:7-8. Note the verb  ιαομα for healing here, though  θεραπευειν in verse 1, apparently used interchangeably.

Neither staff ( μητε ραβδον ). For the apparent contradiction between these words (Mt 10:10) and Mr 6:8 see discussion there. For  πηραν (wallet) see also on Mr 6:8 (Mt 10:10) for this and other details here.

As many as receive you not ( οσο αν μη δεχωντα υμας ). Indefinite relative plural with  αν and present middle subjunctive and the negative  μη. Here Mt 10:14 has the singular (whosoever) and Mr 6:11 has "whatsoever place."

For a testimony against them ( εις μαρτυριον επ' αυτους ). Note use of  επ' αυτους where Mr 6:11 has simply the dative  αυτοις (disadvantage), really the same idea.

Went ( διηρχοντο ). Imperfect middle, continuous and repeated action made plainer also by three present participles ( εξερχομενοι, ευαγγελιζομενοι, θεραπευοντες ), describing the wide extent of the work through all the villages ( κατα τας κωμας, distributive use of  κατα ) everywhere ( πανταχου ) in Galilee.

All that was done ( τα γινομενα παντα ). Present middle participle, "all that was coming to pass."

He was much perplexed ( διηπορε ). Imperfect active of  διαπορεω, to be thoroughly at a loss, unable to find a way out ( δια, α privative,  πορος, way), common ancient verb, but only in Luke's writings in the N.T.

Because it was said ( δια το λεγεσθα ). Neat Greek idiom, the articular passive infinitive after  δια. Three reports came to the ears of Herod as Luke has it, each introduced by  οτ (that) in indirect discourse: "By some" ( υπο τινων ), "by some" ( υπο τινων δε ), "by others" ( αλλων δε, υπο not here expressed, but carried over). The verbs in the indirect discourse here (verses 7,8) are all three aorists ( ηγερθη first passive;  εφανη second passive;  ανεστη second active), not past perfects as the English has them.

He sought ( εζητε ). Imperfect active. He keep on seeking to see Jesus. The rumours disturbed Herod because he was sure that he had put him to death ("John I beheaded").

Declared ( διηγησαντο ). First aorist middle of  διηγεομα, to carry a narrative through to the end. Jesus listened to it all.

They had done ( εποιησαν ). Aorist active indicative, they did.

He took them ( παραλαβων αυτους ). Second aorist active participle of  παραλαμβανω. Very common verb.

Bethsaida ( Βηθσαιδα ). Peculiar to Luke. Bethsaida Julias is the territory of Philip, for it is on the other side of the Sea of Galilee (Joh 6:1).

Spake ( ελαλε ). Imperfect active, he continued speaking.

He healed ( ιατο ). Imperfect middle, he continued healing.

To wear away ( κλινειν ). Old verb usually transitive, to bend or bow down. Many compounds as in English decline, incline, recline, clinic ( κλινη, bed), etc. Luke alone in the N.T. uses it intransitively as here. The sun was turning down towards setting.

Lodge ( καταλυσωσιν ). First aorist active subjunctive of  καταλυω, a common verb, to dissolve, destroy, overthrow, and then of travellers to break a journey, to lodge ( καταλυμα, inn, Lu 2:7). Only here and 19:7 in the N.T. in this sense.

Get victuals ( ευρωσιν επισιτισμον ). Ingressive aorist active of  ευρισκω, very common verb.

Victuals ( επισιτισμον, from  επισιτιζομα, to provision oneself,  σιτιζω, from  σιτον, wheat) only here in the N.T., though common in ancient Greek, especially for provisions for a journey (snack). See on Mr 6:32-44; Mt 14:13-21 for discussion of details.

Except we should go and buy food ( ε μητ πορευθεντες ημεις αγορασωμεν βρωματα ). This is a condition of the third class with the aorist subjunctive ( αγορασωμεν ), where the conjunction is usually  εαν (with negative  εαν μη ), but not always or necessarily so especially in the Koine. So in 1Co 14:5  ε μη διερμηνευη and in Php 3:12  ε κα καταλαβω. "Unless" is better here than "except."

Food ( βρωματα ), means eaten pieces from  βιβρωσκω, to eat, somewhat like our "edibles" or vernacular "eats."

About ( ωσε ). Luke as Mt 14:21 adds this word to the definite statement of Mr 6:44 that there were 5,000 men, a hundred companies of fifty each.

Sit down ( κατακλινατε ). First aorist active imperative. Recline, lie down. Only in Luke in the N.T. See also verse 15.

In companies ( κλισιας ). Cognate accusative after

kataklinate . Only here in the N.T. A row of persons reclining at meals (table company).

About fifty each ( ωσε ανα πεντηκοντα ). Distributive use of  ανα and approximate number again ( ωσε ).

The five ... the two ( τους πεντε ... τους δυο ). Pointing back to verse 13, fine example of the Greek article.

And gave ( κα εδιδου ). Imperfect active of  διδωμ, kept on giving. This picturesque imperfect is preceded by the aorist  κατεκλασεν (brake), a single act. This latter verb in the N.T. only here and the parallel in Mr 6:41, though common enough in ancient Greek. We say "break off" where here the Greek has "break down" (or thoroughly), perfective use of  κατα.

Twelve baskets ( κοφινο δωδεκα ). For discussion of  κοφονο and  σφυριδες as well as of  κλασματα (broken pieces) see on Mr 6:43; Mt 14:20.

As he was praying ( εν τω εινα αυτον προσευχομενον ). Common Lukan idiom of  εν with the articular infinitive for a temporal clause, only here Luke has the periphrastic infinitive ( εινα προσευχομενον ) as also in 11:1. This item about Christ's praying alone in Luke.

Alone ( κατα μονας ). In the N.T. only here and Mr 4:10. Perhaps  χωρας (places) is to be supplied with  μονας (lonely places).

Were with him ( συνησαν αυτω ). This seems like a contradiction unless "alone" is to be taken with  συνησαν. Westcott and Hort put  συνηντησαν in the margin. This would mean that as Jesus was praying alone, the disciples fell in with him. At any rate he was praying apart from them.

That I am ( με εινα ). Accusative and infinitive in indirect assertion, a common Greek idiom. Mt 16:13 for "I" has "the Son of man" as identical in the consciousness of Christ. The various opinions of men about Jesus here run parallel to the rumours heard by Herod (verses 8,9).

But who say ye? ( Hυμεις δε τινα λεγετε; ). Note the emphatic proleptical position of  υμεις: "But ye who do ye say? This is really what mattered now with Jesus.

The Christ of God ( Τον χριστον του θεου ). The accusative though the infinitive is not expressed. The Anointed of God, the Messiah of God. See on 2:26 for "the Anointed of the Lord." See on Mt 16:17 for discussion of Peter's testimony in full. Mr 6:29 has simply "the Christ." It is clear from the previous narrative that this is not a new discovery from Simon Peter, but simply the settled conviction of the disciples after all the defections of the Galilean masses and the hostility of the Jerusalem ecclesiastics. The disciples still believed in Jesus as the Messiah of Jewish hope and prophecy. It will become plain that they do not grasp the spiritual conception of the Messiah and his kingdom that Jesus taught, but they are clear that he is the Messiah however faulty their view of the Messiah may be. There was comfort in this for Jesus. They were loyal to him.

To tell this to no man ( μηδεν λεγειν τουτο ). Indirect command with the negative infinitive after

commanded ( παρηγγειλεν ). It had been necessary for Jesus to cease using the word

Messiah ( Χριστος ) about himself because of the political meaning to the Jews. Its use by the disciples would lead to revolution as was plain after the feeding of the five thousand (Joh 6:15).

Rejected ( αποδοκιμασθηνα ). First aorist passive infinitive of  αποδοκιμαζω, to reject after trial.

The third day ( τη τριτη ημερα ). Locative case of time as in Mt 16:21. Here in the parallel passage Mr 8:31 has "after three days" ( μετα τρεις ημερας ) in precisely the same sense. That is to say, "after three days" is just a free way of saying "on the third day" and cannot mean "on the fourth day" if taken too literally. For discussion of this plain prediction of the death of Christ with various details see discussion on Mt 16:21; Mr 8:31. It was a melancholy outlook that depressed the disciples as Mark and Matthew show in the protest of Peter and his rebuke.

He said unto all ( ελεγεν δε προς παντας ). This is like Luke (cf. verse 43). Jesus wanted all (the multitude with his disciples, as Mr 8:34 has it) to understand the lesson of self-sacrifice. They could not yet understand the full meaning of Christ's words as applied to his approaching death of which he had been speaking. But certainly the shadow of the cross is already across the path of Jesus as he is here speaking. For details (soul, life, forfeit, gain, profit, lose, world) see discussion on Mt 16:24-26; Mr 8:34-37. The word for lose ( απολεσε, from  απολλυμ, a very common verb) is used in the sense of destroy, kill, lose, as here. Note the mercantile terms in this passage (gain, lose, fine or forfeit, exchange).

Daily ( καθ' ημεραν ). Peculiar to Luke in this incident. Take up the cross (his own cross) daily (aorist tense,  αρατω ), but keep on following me ( ακολουθειτω, present tense). The cross was a familiar figure in Palestine. It was rising before Jesus as his destiny. Each man has his own cross to meet and bear.

Whosoever shall be ashamed ( ος αν επαισχυνθη ). Rather,

Whosoever is ashamed as in Mr 8:38. The first aorist passive subjunctive in an indefinite relative clause with  αν. The passive verb is transitive here also. This verb is from  επ and  αισχυνη, shame (in the eyes of men). Jesus endured the shame of the cross (Heb 12:2). The man at the feast who had to take a lower seat did it with shame (Lu 14:9). Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel (Ro 1:16). Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul (2Ti 1:16).

In his own glory ( εν τη δοξη αυτου ). This item added to what is in Mr 8:38; Mt 16:27.

Till they see ( εως αν ιδωσιν ). Second aorist active subjunctive with  εως and  αν referring to the future, an idiomatic construction. So in Mr 9:1; Mt 16:28. In all three passages "shall not taste of death" ( ου μη γευσωντα θανατου, double negative with aorist middle subjunctive) occurs also. Rabbinical writings use this figure. Like a physician Christ tasted death that we may see how to die. Jesus referred to the cross as "this cup" (Mr 14:36; Mt 26:39; Lu 22:42). Mark speaks of the kingdom of God as "come" ( εληλυθυιαν, second perfect active participle). Matthew as "coming" ( ερχομενον ) referring to the Son of man, while Luke has neither form. See Matthew and Mark for discussion of the theories of interpretation of this difficult passage. The Transfiguration follows in a week and may be the first fulfilment in the mind of Jesus. It may also symbolically point to the second coming.

About eight days ( ωσε ημερα οκτω ). A nominativus pendens without connexion or construction. Mr 9:2 (Mt 17:1) has "after six days" which agrees with the general statement.

Into the mountain ( εις το ορος ). Probably Mount Hermon because we know that Jesus was near Caesarea Philippi when Peter made the confession (Mr 8:27; Mt 16:13). Hermon is still the glory of Palestine from whose heights one can view the whole of the land. It was a fit place for the Transfiguration.

To pray ( προσευξασθα ). Peculiar to Luke who so often mentions Christ's habit of prayer (cf. 3:21). See also verse 29 "as he was praying" ( εν τω προσευχεσθα, one of Luke's favourite idioms).

His countenance was altered ( εγενετο το ειδος του προσωπου αυτου ετερον ). Literally, "the appearance of his face became different." Mt 17:2 says that "his face did shine as the sun." Luke does not use the word "transfigured" ( μετεμορφωθη ) in Mr 9:2; Mt 17:2. He may have avoided this word because of the pagan associations with this word as Ovid's  Μεταμορφοσες.

And his raiment became white and dazzling ( κα ο ιματισμος αυτου λευκος εξαστραπτων ). Literally,

And his raiment white radiant . There is no and between "white" and "dazzling." The participle  εξαστραπτων is from the compound verb meaning to flash ( αστραπτω ) out or forth ( εξ ). The simple verb is common for lightning flashes and bolts, but the compound in the LXX and here alone in the N.T. See Mr 9:3 "exceeding white" and Mt 17:2 "white as the light."

There talked with him ( συνελαλουν αυτω ). Imperfect active, were talking with him.

Who appeared in glory ( ο οφθεντες εν δοξη ). First aorist passive participle of  οραω. This item peculiar to Luke. Compare verse 26.

Spake of his decease ( ελεγον την εξοδον ). Imperfect active, were talking about his  εξοδυς (departure from earth to heaven) very much like our English word "decease" (Latin decessus, a going away). The glorious light graphically revealed Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus about the very subject concerning which Peter had dared to rebuke Jesus for mentioning (Mr 8:32; Mt 16:22). This very word  εξοδυς (way out) in the sense of death occurs in 2Pe 1:15 and is followed by a brief description of the Transfiguration glory. Other words for death ( θανατος ) in the N.T. are  εκβασις, going out as departure (Heb 13:7),  αφιξις, departing (Ac 20:29),  αναλυσις, loosening anchor (2Ti 4:6) and  αναλυσα (Php 1:23).

To accomplish ( πληρουν ). To fulfil. Moses had led the Exodus from Egypt. Jesus will accomplish the exodus of God's people into the Promised Land on high. See on Mark and Matthew for discussion of significance of the appearance of Moses and Elijah as representatives of law and prophecy and with a peculiar death. The purpose of the Transfiguration was to strengthen the heart of Jesus as he was praying long about his approaching death and to give these chosen three disciples a glimpse of his glory for the hour of darkness coming. No one on earth understood the heart of Jesus and so Moses and Elijah came. The poor disciples utterly failed to grasp the significance of it all.

Were heavy with sleep ( ησαν βεβαρημενο υπνω ). Periphrastic past perfect of  βαρεω, a late form for the ancient  βαρυνω (not in N.T. save Textus Receptus in Lu 21:34). This form, rare and only in passive (present, aorist, perfect) in the N.T., is like  βαρυνω, from  βαρυς, and that from  βαρος, weight, burden (Ga 6:2).  Hυπνω is in the instrumental case. They had apparently climbed the mountain in the early part of the night and were now overcome with sleep as Jesus prolonged his prayer. Luke alone tells of their sleep. The same word is used of the eyes of these three disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:43) and of the hearts of many (Lu 21:34).

But when they were fully awake ( διαγρηγορησαντες δε ). First aorist active participle of this late (Herodian) and rare compound verb (here alone in the N.T.),  διαγρηγορεω (Luke is fond of compounds with  δια ). The simple verb  γρηγορεω (from the second perfect active  εγρηγορα ) is also late, but common in the LXX and the N.T. The effect of  δια can be either to remain awake in spite of desire to sleep (margin of Revised Version) or to become thoroughly awake (ingressive aorist tense also) as Revised Version has it. This is most likely correct. The Syriac Sinaitic has it "When they awoke." Certainly they had been through a strain.

His glory ( την δοξαν αυτου ). See also verse 26 in the words of Jesus.

As they were departing from him ( εν τω διαχωριζεσθα αυτους απ' αυτου ). Peculiar to Luke and another instance of Luke's common idiom of  εν with the articular infinitive in a temporal clause. This common verb occurs here only in the N.T. The present middle voice means to separate oneself fully (direct middle). This departing of Moses and Elijah apparently accompanied Peter's remark as given in all three Gospels. See for details on Mark and Matthew.

Master ( Επιστατα ) here,

Rabbi (Mr 9:5),

Lord ( Κυριε, Mt 17:4).

Let us make ( ποιησωμεν, first aorist active subjunctive) as in Mr 9:5, but Mt 17:4 has "I will make" ( ποιησω ). It was near the time of the feast of the tabernacles. So Peter proposes that they celebrate it up here instead of going to Jerusalem for it as they did a bit later (Joh 7).

Not knowing what he said ( μη ειδως ο λεγε ). Literally,

not understanding what he was saying ( μη, regular negative with participle and  λεγε, present indicative retained in relative clause in indirect discourse). Luke puts it more bluntly than Mark (Peter's account), "For he wist not what to answer; for they became sore afraid" (Mr 9:6). Peter acted according to his impulsive nature and spoke up even though he did not know what to say or even what he was saying when he spoke. He was only half awake as Luke explains and he was sore afraid as Mark (Peter) explains. He had bewilderment enough beyond a doubt, but it was Peter who spoke, not James and John.

Overshadowed them ( επεσκιαζεν αυτους ). Imperfect active (aorist in Mt 17:5) as present participle in Mr 9:7, inchoative, the shadow began to come upon them. On Hermon as on many high mountains a cloud will swiftly cover the cap. I have seen this very thing at Blue Ridge, North Carolina. This same verb is used of the Holy Spirit upon Mary (Lu 1:35). Nowhere else in the N.T., though an old verb ( επι, σκιαζω, from  σκια, shadow).

As they entered into the cloud ( εν τω εισελθειν αυτους εις την νεφελην ). Luke's idiom of  εν with the articular infinitive again (aorist active this time, on the entering in as to them). All six "entered into" the cloud, but only Peter, James, and John "became afraid" ( εφοβηθησαν, ingressive first aorist passive).

If  εκεινους be accepted here instead of  αυτους, the three disciples would be outside of the cloud.

Out of the cloud ( εκ της νεφελης ). This voice was the voice of the Father like that at the baptism of Jesus (Lu 3:22; Mr 1:11; Mt 3:17) and like that near the end (Joh 12:28-30) when the people thought it was a clap of thunder or an angel.

My son, my chosen ( Hο υιος μου, ο εκλελεγμενος ). So the best documents (Aleph B L Syriac Sinaitic). The others make it "My Beloved" as in Mr 9:7; Mt 17:5. These disciples are commanded to hear Jesus, God's Son, even when he predicts his death, a pointed rebuke to Simon Peter as to all.

When the voice came ( εν το γενεσθα την φωνην ). Another example of Luke's idiom, this time with the second aorist middle infinitive. Literally, "on the coming as to the voice" (accusative of general reference). It does not mean that it was "after" the voice was past that Jesus was found alone, but simultaneously with it (ingressive aorist tense).

Alone ( μονος ). Same adjective in Mr 9:8; Mt 17:8 translated "only." Should be rendered "alone" there also.

They held their peace ( εσιγησαν ). Ingressive aorist active of common verb  σιγαω, became silent. In Mr 9:9; Mt 17:9, Jesus commanded them not to tell till His Resurrection from the dead. Luke notes that they in awe obeyed that command and it turns out that they finally forgot the lesson of this night's great experience. By and by they will be able to tell them, but not "in those days."

Which they had seen ( ων εωρακαν ). Attraction of the relative  α into the case of the unexpressed antecedent  τουτων. Perfect active indicative  εωρακαν with Koine (papyri) form for the ancient  εωρακασιν changed by analogy to the first aorist ending in  -αν instead of  -ασιν.

On the next day ( τη εξης ημερα ). Alone in Luke. It shows that the Transfiguration took place on the preceding night.

They were come down ( κατελθοντων αυτων ). Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of  κατερχομα, a common enough verb, but in the N.T. only in Luke's writings save Jas 3:15.

Met him ( συνηντησεν αυτω ). First aorist active of  συνανταω, common compound verb, to meet with, only in Luke's writings in the N.T. save Heb 7:1. With associative instrumental case  αυτω.

Master ( Διδασκαλε ). Teacher as in Mr 9:17.

Lord ( κυριε, Mt 17:15).

To look upon ( επιβλεψα ). Aorist active infinitive of  επιβλεπω ( επ, upon,  βλεπω, look), common verb, but in the N.T. only here and Jas 2:3 except Lu 1:48 in quotation from LXX. This compound verb is common in medical writers for examining carefully the patient.

Mine only child ( μονογενης μο ). Only in Luke as already about an only child in 7:12; 8:42.

Suddenly ( εξεφνης ). Old adverb, but in the N.T. only in Luke's writings save Mr 13:36. Used by medical writers of sudden attacks of disease like epilepsy.

It teareth him that he foameth ( σπαρασσε αυτον μετα αφρου ). Literally, "It tears him with (accompanied with,  μετα ) foam" (old word,  αφρος, only here in the N.T.). From  σπαρασσω, to convulse, a common verb, but in the N.T. only here and Mr 1:26; 9:26 (and  συνσπαρασσω, Mr 9:20). See Mr 9:17; Mt 17:15; Lu 9:39 for variations in the symptoms in each Gospel. The use of  μετα αφρου is a medical item.

Hardly ( μολις ). Late word used in place of  μογις, the old Greek term (in some MSS. here) and alone in Luke's writings in the N.T. save 1Pe 4:18; Ro 5:7.

Bruising him sorely ( συντριβον αυτον ). Common verb for rubbing together, crushing together like chains (Mr 5:4) or as a vase (Mr 14:3). See on Matthew and Mark for discussion of details here.

How long shall I be with you and bear with you? ( εως ποτε εσομα προς υμας κα ανεξομα υμων; ). Here the two questions of Mr 9:19 (only one in Mt 17:17) are combined in one sentence.

Bear with ( ανεξομα, direct middle future) is, hold myself from you (ablative case  υμων ).

Faithless ( απιστος ) is disbelieving and perverse ( διεστραμμενη, perfect passive participle of  διαστρεφω ), is twisted, turned, or torn in two.

As he was yet a coming ( ετ προσερχομενου αυτου ). Genitive absolute. While he was yet coming (the boy, that is, not Jesus). Note quaint English "a coming" retained in the Revised Version.

Dashed him ( ερρηξεν αυτον ). First aorist active indicative of  ρηγνυμ or  ρησσω, to rend or convulse, a common verb, used sometimes of boxers giving knockout blows.

Tare grievously ( συνεσπαραξεν ). Rare word as only here and Mr 9:20 in the N.T., which see.

Gave him back to his father ( απεδωκεν αυτον τω πατρ αυτου ). Tender touch alone in Luke as in 7:15.

They were all astonished ( εξεπλησσοντο δε παντες ). Imperfect passive of the common verb  εκπλησσω or  εκπληγνυμ, to strike out, a picturesque description of the amazement of all at the easy victory of Jesus where the nine disciples had failed.

At the majesty of God ( επ τη μεγαλειοτητ του θεου ). A late word from the adjective  μεγαλειος and that from  μεγας (great). In the N.T. only here and Ac 19:27 of Artemis and in 2Pe 1:16 of the Transfiguration. It came to be used by the emperors like our word "Majesty."

Which he did ( οις εποιε ). This is one of the numerous poor verse divisions. This sentence has nothing to do with the first part of the verse. The imperfect active  εποιε covers a good deal not told by Luke (see Mr 9:30; Mt 17:22). Note the attraction of the relative

hois into the case of

pƒsin , its antecedent.

Sink into your ears ( Θεσθε υμεις εις τα ωτα υμων ). Second aorist imperative middle of  τιθημ, common verb. "Do you (note emphatic position) yourselves (whatever others do) put into your ears." No word like "sink" here. The same prediction here as in Mr 9:31; Mt 17:22 about the Son of man only without mention of death and resurrection as there, which see for discussion.

It was concealed from them ( ην παρακεκαλυμμενον απ' αυτων ). Periphrastic past perfect of  παρακαλυπτω, a common verb, but only here in the N.T., to cover up, to hide from. This item only in Luke.

That they should not perceive it ( ινα μη αισθωντα αυτο ). Second aorist middle subjunctive of the common verb  αισθανομα used with  ινα μη, negative purpose. This explanation at least relieves the disciples to some extent of full responsibility for their ignorance about the death of Jesus as Mr 9:32 observes, as does Luke here that they were afraid to ask him. Plummer says, "They were not allowed to understand the saying then, in order that they might remember it afterwards, and see that Jesus had met His sufferings with full knowledge and free will." Perhaps also, if they had fully understood, they might have lacked courage to hold on to the end. But it is a hard problem.

A reasoning ( διαλογισμος ). A dispute. The word is from  διαλογιζομα, the verb used in Mr 9:33 about this incident. In Luke this dispute follows immediately after the words of Jesus about his death. They were afraid to ask Jesus about that subject, but Mt 18:1 states that they came to Jesus to settle it.

Which of them should be greatest ( το τις αν ειη μειζων αυτων ). Note the article with the indirect question, the clause being in the accusative of general reference. The optative with  αν is here because it was so in the direct question (potential optative with  αν retained in the indirect). But Luke makes it plain that it was not an abstract problem about greatness in the kingdom of heaven as they put it to Jesus (Mt 18:1), but a personal problem in their own group. Rivalries and jealousies had already come and now sharp words. By and by James and John will be bold enough to ask for the first places for themselves in this political kingdom which they expect (Mr 10:35; Mt 20:20). It is a sad spectacle.

Took a little child ( επιλαβομενος παιδιον ). Second aorist middle participle of the common verb  επιλαμβανω. Strictly, Taking a little child to himself (indirect middle). Mr 9:36 has merely the active  λαβων of the simple verb  λαμβανω. Set him by his side ( εστησεν αυτο παρ' εαυτω ). "In his arms" Mr 9:36 has it, "in the midst of them" Mt 18:3 says. All three attitudes following one another (the disciples probably in a circle around Jesus anyhow) and now the little child (Peter's child?) was slipped down by the side of Jesus as he gave the disciples an object lesson in humility which they sorely needed.

This little child ( τουτο το παιδιον ). As Jesus spoke he probably had his hand upon the head of the child. Mt 18:5 has "one such little child." The honoured disciple, Jesus holds, is the one who welcomes little children "in my name" ( επ τω ονοματ μου ), upon the basis of my name and my authority. It was a home-thrust against the selfish ambition of the Twelve. Ministry to children is a mark of greatness. Have preachers ever yet learned how to win children to Christ? They are allowed to slip away from home, from Sunday school, from church, from Christ.

For he that is least among you all ( ο γαρ μικροτερος εν πασιν υμιν υπαρχων ). Note the use of  υπαρχω as in 8:41; 23:50. The comparative  μικροτερος is in accord with the Koine idiom where the superlative is vanishing (nearly gone in modern Greek). But

great ( μεγας ) is positive and very strong. This saying peculiar to Luke here.

And John answered ( αποκριθεις δε Ιωανης ). As if John wanted to change the subject after the embarrassment of the rebuke for their dispute concerning greatness (Lu 9:46-48).

Master ( επιστατα ). Only in Luke in the N.T. as already four times (5:5; 8:24,45; 9:33).

We forbade him ( εκωλυομεν αυτον ). Conative imperfect as in Mr 9:38, We tried to hinder him.

Because he followeth not with us ( οτ ουκ ακολουθε μεθ ημων ). Present tense preserved for vividness where Mark has imperfect

ˆkolouthei . Note also here "with us" ( μεθ' ημων ) where Mark has associative instrumental  ημιν. It is a pitiful specimen of partisan narrowness and pride even in the Beloved Disciple, one of the Sons of Thunder. The man was doing the Master's work in the Master's name and with the Master's power, but did not run with the group of the Twelve.

"Against you is for you" ( καθ' υμων υπερ υμων ). Mr 9:40 has "against us is for us" ( ημων ... ημων ). The Koine Greek  η and  υ were often pronounced alike and it was easy to interchange them. So many MSS. here read just as in Mark. The point is precisely the same as it is a proverbial saying. See a similar saying in Lu 11:23: "He that is not with me is against me." The prohibition here as in Mr 9:39 is general: "Stop hindering him" ( μη κωλυετε, μη and the present imperative, not  μη and the aorist subjunctive). The lesson of toleration in methods of work for Christ is needed today.

When the days were well-nigh come ( εν τω συμπληρουσθα τας ημερας ). Luke's common idiom  εν with the articular infinitive, "in the being fulfilled as to the days." This common compound occurs in the N.T. only here and Lu 8:23; Ac 2:1. The language here makes it plain that Jesus was fully conscious of the time of his death as near as already stated (Lu 9:22,27,31).

That he should be received up ( της αναλημψεως αυτου ). Literally, "of his taking up." It is an old word (from Hippocrates on), but here alone in the N.T. It is derived from  αναλαμβανω (the verb used of the Ascension, Ac 1:2,11,22; 1Ti 3:16) and refers here to the Ascension of Jesus after His Resurrection. Not only in John's Gospel (Joh 17:5) does Jesus reveal a yearning for a return to the Father, but it is in the mind of Christ here as evidently at the Transfiguration (9:31) and later in Lu 12:49f.

He steadfastly set his face ( αυτος το προσωπον εστηρισεν ). Note emphatic  αυτος,

he himself , with fixedness of purpose in the face of difficulty and danger. This look on Christ's face as he went to his doom is noted later in Mr 10:32. It is a Hebraistic idiom (nine times in Ezekiel), this use of face here, but the verb (effective aorist active) is an old one from  στηριζω (from  στηριγξ, a support), to set fast, to fix.

To go to Jerusalem ( του πορευεσθα εις Ιερουσαλημ ). Genitive infinitive of purpose. Luke three times mentions Christ making his way to Jerusalem (9:51; 13:22; 17:11) and John mentions three journeys to Jerusalem during the later ministry (Joh 7:10; 11:17; 12:1). It is natural to take these journeys to be the same in each of these Gospels. Luke does not make definite location of each incident and John merely supplements here and there. But in a broad general way they seem to correspond.

Sent messengers ( απεστειλεν αγγελους ). As a precaution since he was going to Jerusalem through Samaria. The Samaritans did not object when people went north from Jerusalem through their country. He was repudiating Mount Gerizim by going by it to Jerusalem. This was an unusual precaution by Jesus and we do not know who the messengers ( angels ) were.

To make ready for him ( ως ετοιμασα αυτω ).  Hως is correct here, not  ωστε. The only examples of the final use of  ως with the infinitive in the N.T. are this one and Heb 7:9 (absolute use). In Acts 20:24 Westcott and Hort read  ως τελειωσω and put  ως τελειωσα in the margin (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1091).

And they did not receive him ( κα ουκ εδεξαντο αυτον ). Adversative use of  κα = But.

Because his face was going to Jerusalem ( οτ το προσωπον αυτου ην πορευομενον εις Ιερουσαλημ ). Periphrastic imperfect middle. It was reason enough to the churlish Samaritans.

Saw this ( ιδοντες ). Second aorist active participle of  οραω. Saw the messengers returning.

We bid ( θελεις ειπωμεν ). Deliberative subjunctive  ειπωμεν after  θελεις without  ινα, probably two questions, Dost thou wish? Shall we bid? Perhaps the recent appearance of Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration reminded James and John of the incident in 2Ki 1:10-12. Some MSS. add here "as Elijah did." The language of the LXX is quoted by James and John, these fiery Sons of Thunder. Note the two aorist active infinitives ( καταβηναι, αναλωσα, the first ingressive, the second effective).

But he turned ( στραφεις δε ). Second aorist passive participle of  στρεφω, common verb, to turn round. Dramatic act. Some ancient MSS. have here:

Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of ( ουκ οιδατε ποιου πνευματος εστε ). This sounds like Christ and may be a genuine saying though not a part of Luke's Gospel. A smaller number of MSS. add also:

For the Son of Man came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them ( Hο γαρ υιος του ανθρωπου ουκ ηλθεν ψυχας ανθρωπων απολεσα αλλα σωσα ), a saying reminding us of Mt 5:17; Lu 19:10. Certain it is that here Jesus rebuked the bitterness of James and John toward Samaritans as he had already chided John for his narrowness towards a fellow-worker in the kingdom.

A certain man ( τις ). Mt 8:19 calls him "a scribe." Lu 9:57-60; Mt 8:19-22, but not in Mark and so from Q or the Logia.

Wherever you go ( οπου εαν απερχη ) is the present middle subjunctive with the indefinite relative adverb  εαν, common Greek idiom. See on Matthew for "holes," "nests," "Son of man." The idiom "where to lay his head" ( που την κεφαλην κλινη ) is the same in both, the deliberative subjunctive retained in the indirect question. "Jesus knows the measure of the scribe's enthusiasm" (Plummer). The wandering life of Jesus explains this statement.

And he said unto another ( ειπεν δε προς ετερον ). Mt 8:21 omits Christ's "Follow me" ( ακολουθε μο ) and makes this man a volunteer instead of responding to the appeal of Jesus. There is no real opposition, of course. In Matthew's account the man is apologetic as in Luke. Plummer calls him "one of the casual disciples" of whom there are always too many. The scribes knew how to give plausible reasons for not being active disciples.

First ( πρωτον ). One of the problems of life is the relation of duties to each other, which comes first. The burial of one's father was a sacred duty (Ge 25:9), but, as in the case of Tobit 4:3, this scribe's father probably was still alive. What the scribe apparently meant was that he could not leave his father while still alive to follow Jesus around over the country.

Leave the dead to bury their own dead ( αφες τους νεκρους θαψα τους εαυτων νεκρους ). This paradox occurs so in Mt 8:22. The explanation is that the spiritually dead can bury the literally dead. For such a quick change in the use of the same words see Joh 5:21-29 (spiritual resurrection from sin in Joh 5:21-27, bodily resurrection from the grave, Joh 5:28,29) and Joh 11:25f. The harshness of this proverb to the scribe probably is due to the fact that he was manifestly using his aged father as an excuse for not giving Christ active service.

But go thou and publish abroad the kingdom of God ( συ δε απελθων διαγγελλε την βασιλειαν του θεου ). The scribe's duty is put sharply ( Βυτ δο θου, συ δε ). Christ called him to preach, and he was using pious phrases about his father as a pretext. Many a preacher has had to face a similar delicate problem of duty to father, mother, brothers, sisters and the call to preach. This was a clear case. Jesus will help any man called to preach to see his duty. Certainly Jesus does not advocate renunciation of family duties on the part of preachers.

And another also said ( ειπεν δε κα ετερος ). A volunteer like the first. This third case is given by Luke alone, though the incident may also come from the same Logia as the other two.  Hετερος does not here mean one of a "different" sort as is sometimes true of this pronoun, but merely another like  αλλος (Robertson, Grammar, p. 749).

But first ( πρωτον δε ). He also had something that was to come "first."

To bid farewell to them that are at my house ( αποταξασθα τοις εις τον οικον μου ). In itself that was a good thing to do. This first aorist middle infinitive is from  αποτασσω, an old verb, to detach, to separate, to assign as a detachment of soldiers. In the N.T. it only appears in the middle voice with the meaning common in late writers to bid adieu, to separate oneself from others. It is used in Ac 18:18 of Paul taking leave of the believers in Corinth. See also Mr 6:46; 2Co 2:13. It is thus a formal function and this man meant to go home and set things in order there and then in due time to come and follow Jesus.

Having put his hand to the plough ( επιβαλων την χειρα επ' αροτρον ). Second aorist active participle of  επιβαλλω, an old and common verb, to place upon. Note repetition of preposition  επ before  αροτρον (plough). This agricultural proverb is as old as Hesiod. Pliny observes that the ploughman who does not bend attentively to his work goes crooked. It has always been the ambition of the ploughman to run a straight furrow. The Palestine fellah had good success at it.

And looking back ( κα βλεπων εις τα οπισω ). Looking to the things behind. To do that is fatal as any ploughman knows. The call to turn back is often urgent.

Fit ( ευθετος ). From  ευ and  τιθημ =well-placed, suited for, adapted to. "The first case is that of inconsiderate impulse, the second that of conflicting duties, the third that of a divided mind" (Bruce).

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