Vol. 18, No. 44 – November 24, 2019
Outline for Chapter 9:
III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14-9:50.
D. Activities of His Ministry, Luke 7:1-9:50.
11. Ministry to physical needs; Main topic: The miraculous feeding of the 5,000, Luke 9:10b-17.
This scene is paralleled in Mat 14:15-21; Mark 6:31-44, and John 6:1-14. Matthew and Mark say this occurred right after Jesus learned that His cousin, John the Baptist, had been killed by Herod.
Luke 9:10b, “Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida.”
“Withdrew,” HUPOCHOREŌ, ὑποχωρέω that means, “withdraw or retreat,” which is only used here and Luke 5:16, in the NT. This is another instance of Jesus getting away from the crowds to rest and recharge, Mark 6:31, which demonstrates His humanity that did get tired, hungry, etc. This time, He took the disciples with Him and went to the “city, POLIS, of “Bethsaida,” Βηθσαϊδά.” Bethsaida is mentioned in Mat 11:21; Mark 6:45; 8:22; Luke 9:10; 10:13; John 1:44; 12:21.
It is a city east of the Jordan, in a “desert place,” that is, uncultivated ground used for grazing. This is doubtless to be identified with the village of Bethsaida in Lower Gaulonitis which the Tetrarch Philip raised to the rank of a city, and called Julias, in honor of Julia, the daughter of Caesar Augustus. It lay near the place where the Jordan enters the Sea of Gennesaret.
Three of the Apostles were from Bethsaida including, Philip, Andrew and Peter, John 1:44; 12:21.
John 1:44, “Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.”
Luke 9:11, “But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.”
This is the “no rest for the weary” passage. Despite Jesus’ desire for privacy and rest, He displayed no irritation, and in grace “welcomed” the people, APODECHOMAI ἀποδέχομαι, “welcome, receive favorably, accept, or to receive with pleasure,” just as the people did for Jesus in Luke 8:40. Only Luke uses this word in his gospel and Acts. Cf. Mark 6:34, Jesus received them with compassion like sheep without a shepherd.
At this time, Jesus evangelized by “speaking to them about the Kingdom of God,” and “curing, IOAMAI, those who had need, CHREIAN, of healing, THERAPEUO,” reminding us of Luke 5:31, “And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.” And Luke 4:43, “But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
We too need to use our opportunities to witness the gospel and help others! In addition, Jesus was also continuing to train the disciples for their future missionary journeys.
Luke 9:12, “Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, ‘Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place’.”
The apostles were exhorting Jesus to send the crowds away to the surrounding areas to find a place to sleep and eat. Here, we have a very interesting word for “lodging.” It is the Verb KATALUO that literally means, “to destroy or break down.” But, here it is used like a slang word for obtaining a place to sleep, (i.e., “let’s break down for the night”). Yet, typically it is used for “destroy,” as this is the word used when Jesus said He would “destroy” the temple and rebuild it in three days, in Matthew and Mark; Luke 21:6. So, with the double meaning, we could say that the disciples where trying to “destroy,” this gathering, even though that was not their intention. It might have been the unintended effect. They were breaking up the body of Christ.
With this is, “get something to eat,” which in the Greek, is HEURISKO, “find,” with EPISITISMOS, ἐπισιτισμός for, “food or provisions.” EPISITISMOS is only used here in the NT, yet, the Septuagint (LXX) uses it specifically of the provisions for a journey, Gen 42:25; 45:21, (reminding us of the principles of vs. 1-10), and for the manna from heaven, “food,” that God provided for the people of Israel wandering in the wilderness, Psa 78:25.
Therefore, we see the tie in with Jesus’ instructions to the apostles in the previous section to trust in God for their provisions, i.e., their logistical grace blessings, vs. 1-10, as he also commanded Israel to do so. Yet, the disciples were not doing so at this time. So, we have an opportunity for learning.
The apostles’ request was based on human rationale for they were “in a desolate place,” EN EREMOS TOPOS. Because the apostles had not learned the lesson as yet, they were looking at the physical environment and situation from a humanistic view point, forgetting who Jesus was and the power of God. They had not learned completely the lesson of trusting in God, faith-resting in Him, to provide 100% of their logistical grace blessings. So, Jesus was about to teach them the principle once again.
Luke 9:13, “But He said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people”.”
This scene reminds us of 2 Kings 4:42-44, and Elisha’ miracle by the power of God to feed many with only a few provisions, and God’s provisions for the people of Israel wandering in the wilderness, Ex 16; Num 11.
I love Jesus’ response here. It is a command that has a two-fold meaning. First, it means, why are you bothering Me with this detail. I am the Teacher. Do I also have to take care of the logistics? You should be taking care of this issue. This reminds us of the apostles in the early church that had too much responsibility with the teaching and evangelizing aspect of the ministry that they could not tend to the other details, so they established the office of and elected Deacons, Acts 6:1-6.
Acts 6:2-4, “So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word”.”
Secondly, Jesus had previously given them “power,” DUNAMIS, and “authority,” EXOUSIA, vs. 1, so now He was challenging their faith to see if they would respond positively and feed the people with the power and authority God had given them. If they could heal the sick and exorcise demons with that power and authority, they certainly would be able to feed these people with it too. But, because this was a different situation, their faith did not transfer to this new situation, as it should have.
Notice Jesus’ discussion with Philip in John 6:5-6, “Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” 6This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.”
If God can do the lesser, being infinite and all powerful, He can do the greater too!! If God can work in one situation in your life, or the life of someone else, He can work in your new situation too! Do not limit God to the familiar or previously accomplished. God is new and fresh each morning and in each situation. Trust in Him in every and all situations of your life.
So, Jesus used this situation to test their faith to see if it was transferable to various situations, or if their faith was dependent solely on what they have previously seen and done, which in reality is not true faith but empiricism or rationalism.
This is the apostles response to Jesus’ command, “you give them something to eat.” “And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people”.”
Here, we see the humanistic view point of the visible, rational, or empirical that is not faith! They were looking at their own resources, “five loaves (PENTE ARTOS) and two fish (DUO ICHTHUS),” and how much money they had to buy the “food,” BROMA, for “all these people,” PAS LAOS. At the same time, they were thinking about the task it would be to purchase that much food and bring it to the people; or could they even buy that much in one place?
John 6:7, “Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little”.”
John 6:8-9, “One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?’”
They were looking at “all these people,” compared to the “5 loaves, 2 fish, and money in the money box” and rationalizing, “there is no way we have enough or can do this.” AND, they were forgetting about the Power and Authority that they had been given by Jesus/God. They also were forgetting what Jesus could have miraculously
done in that situation. They should have approached Him with that viewpoint in faith, rather than in doubt saying to Him, “send these people away, we don’t have enough.” So, there is “faith failure” on several levels, but that is okay, because they were still learning. And Jesus would teach them a great lesson.
Luke 9:14, “(For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, “Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each”.”
Jesus is about to demonstrate true faith, power, and authority. He knew how many people were there. It says, “about 5,000 men,” HOSEI PENTAKISCHILIOI ANER. PENTA-KISCHILIOI, πεντακισχίλιοι is used only regarding this narrative in Mat 14:21; 16:9; Mark 6:44; 8:19; Luke 9:14; John 6:10.
Mat 14:21 says, “There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.” Therefore, in reality, there were at least fifteen thousand people there; men, women and children.
Jesus then commanded the disciples to have the crowd “sit down,” KATAKLINO, “recline at a table, sit down, etc.,” which only Luke uses in Luke 7:36; 9:14-15; 14:8; 24:30. The last reference being the Passover Supper before our Lord was crucified, which this event occurred near a previous Passover, John 6:4.
Jesus had them sit in “groups,” KLISIA, κλισία that means, “group or company,” that is also only used here in the NT, “of about fifty,” HOSEI PENTEKONTA.
Fifty in the Bible is the number of Jubilee or deliverance. It points to deliverance and rest following on as the result of the perfect consummation of time. The year of Jubilee was the time of a double Sabbath year rest for the nation of Israel, where they would particularly have to rely upon God’s provisions from the previous years, because they could not plant or reap for two years, i.e., the 7th year Sabbath and the following 50th year Jubilee Sabbath. In addition, it also meant that all debts were forgiven, that was a picture of the forgiveness of sin. This is what Jesus wanted the people to be thinking about as He fed them with this Passover meal.
Five is the number of Grace. Ten is the number of Perfect Divine Order. So, 5 x 10 = 50 is the number of God’s Perfect Grace Order / Provision that is emphasized in the Year of Jubilee. And 5,000 is 5 x 10 x 10 x 10, which is a triple emphasis of this fact. And, there were about 100 groups to feed, 10 x 10, a doubling of Divine Perfect Order and Provision was about to be displayed by Jesus.
Luke 9:15, “They did so, and had them all sit down.”
Here, we see obedience to the Word of God by the disciples and crowd. So, we see some faith, as they were probably anticipating Jesus to do something.
Luke 9:16, “Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people.”
Luke, typically uses “looking up” ANABLEPO, in regard to the blind receiving their sight, Luke 7:22; 18:41-43, which is a picture of having faith. So, Jesus is demonstrating His faith in the provisions of God the Father, as He looked up to “heaven,” OURANOS.
Then Jesus “blessed them,” EULEGEO that here means to give thanks for something, in this case the food God had provided for the people through these 5 loaves and 2 fish. He said a blessing for the food in faith! We call this “saying grace,” for your food, where we give thanks to God for His provisions.
1 Tim 4:3-5, “… foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” Cf. Rom 14:6; 1 Cor 10:30f; 1 Thes 5:18.
This is the principle of “saying grace” or “saying a blessing” before you consume food. Jesus demonstrated His faith in God the Father and gave Him thanks for the provisions He provided.
“Broke them,” uses KATAKLAO, κατακλάω that means, “break in pieces, break short or snap off.” It is only used in Mark 6:41 and here for this narrative. This term is an intensified compound of the simple verb KLAO, “break” that Matthew uses for this scene and the term used in the Upper Room Passover Supper, Luke 22:19, which Paul recounts in the Communion Supper ordinances in 1 Cor 11:24. See also Luke 24:30. Therefore, this whole scene was a foreshadowing of the Upper Room Communion Supper on a much grander scale.
Finally, “to set before the people,” uses PARATITHEMI that means, “place beside, place before, set before, put before, give over, entrust, or commend.” It is the word Luke also chose when writing about Jesus’ death upon the Cross when He “committed,” or “set before” the Father His spirit, Luke 23:46.
Luke 23:46, “And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.”
Faithfully entrusting His spirit to God the Father upon His death, was shown by faithfully placing the “bread” before the 15,000+. Jesus, as the “Bread of Life,” was demonstrating to the people that He faithfully was giving His body to them upon the Cross to receive their sins and pay for them there.
Here, Jesus demonstrated His faith in God the Father to provide for His peoples’ physical sustenance. Upon the Cross, Jesus demonstrated His faith in God the Father to provide for His peoples’ spiritual sustenance.
Luke 9:17, “And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full.”
This is the great part, “and they all ate and were satisfied.” In analogy they all believe in God’s provisions, physically and spiritually, and were satisfied, CHORTAZO, χορτάζω that means, “satisfied, satiated hunger, filled,” which also speaks to the beatitude of Luke 6:21, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.” Although this miracle served as a tremendous example to the disciples of faith and dependence upon God, the final emphasis is upon the abundance of provision to the people.
And, having “left overs,” is the Verb PERISSEUO, περισσεύω that means, “to be more than enough, to have an abundance of, to be superior, and to excel in.” Therefore, there was more than enough; there was an abundance of God’s provision that satisfied the people, just as the Cross of Jesus Christ is all sufficient for the payment of the penalty of the sins of the entire world for our personal salvation.
Notice the collection of the left overs. There were “12 baskets,” DODEKA KOPHINOS, Mat 14:20; Mark 6:43; 8:19; John 6:12-13. So, we see the number 12 once again that speaks to God’s perfect governance that means perfect provision and Divine administration for the people.
Outline for Chapter 9:
III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14-9:50.
D. Activities of His Ministry, Luke 7:1-9:50.
12. Ministry of prediction, Luke 9:18-50.
Topics of Chapter 9:
3. The questioning of “who they thought Jesus was,” vs. 18-22.
Luke 9:18-22, “And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” 19They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” 20And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” 21But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day”.”
This questioning by our Lord was after the disciples had returned from their first missionary journey and correlates back to vs 7-9, regarding Herod’s perplexity about who Jesus was. This is paralleled in Mat 16:13-16, 20-21; Mark 8:27-31.
Both Matthew and Mark say that this scene occurred in the north in Caesarea Philippi, which was situated near the base of Mount Hermon.
At this time Jesus was “praying alone,” PROSEUCHOMAI, προσεύχομαι with KATA MONOS meaning, “in private or apart by one’s self.” Once again, we see the importance of private time for prayer to God.
Then, when He was finished with His prayers, He approached the disciples and asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” Interestingly, this also sets up our Lord’s proclamations of His seven “I am” statements that John records in his gospel.
Each writer of the Gospels had the same intention that John did in writing his, which he declares towards the completion, John 20:30-31, “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
1) “I AM the Bread of Life,” John 6:35, 48. Noted after feeding the 5,000, (15,000+). Jesus made His heavenly origins known, (the bread from heaven from My Father, vs. 32-33) and the fact that He alone supplies the spiritual needs of His hearers.
2) “I AM the Light of the World,” John 8:12; 9:5. Jesus overcame sin (darkness) for the entire world. His Cross is all sufficient for salvation for those who believe in Him.
3) “I AM the Door,” John 10:7-9. Jesus is the entrance for the sheep to enter the pen, i.e., the believer to enter into heaven.
4) “I AM the Good Shepherd,” John 10:11, 14. Jesus is the one who protects, leads, guides, and nourishes the sheep/believers, cf. Psa 23. He also “laid down His life” for the sheep, vs. 15, 17-18.
5) “I AM the Resurrection and the Life,” John 11:25. Jesus provides the eternal resurrection life to those who believe in Him. Jesus is not simply stating that He imparts resurrection and life, but that He Himself is resurrection and life.
6) “I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life,” John 14:6. Jesus is declaring three distinct things about Himself:
a.) “I AM the Way,” Jesus is the way/means of salvation that leads to the Father and His House. It is through His death that God and sinners are reconciled.
b.) “I AM the Truth,” As “The Word,” Jesus is utter veracity and reliability, John 1:1, 14. He is the supreme revelation of God; God’s gracious self-disclosure, His “Word,” made flesh.
c.) “I AM the Life,” He is the life and the source of life to others, John 3:16.
These three represent an exclusive position for Jesus. He is the one way to God, He is thoroughly reliable, and He stands in a relation to truth such as no one else does.
7) “I AM the True Vine,” John 15:1, 5. Jesus is the obedient Son of God through whose sacrifice and mission God’s plan of salvation would be fulfilled, and through whom all who believe will grow and produce Divine Good, “the Fruit of the Spirit.” Jesus, by His exaltation in death and resurrection, will be removed tangibly from the world. We, the disciples, are sent into the world, as was Jesus, to carry on the task in His “absence.”
Finally, all of the “I AM” sayings prove the Deity of Jesus the Christ. And when Jesus uttered these solemn words, He sought to convey the astounding fact of His Divine nature, as did the Apostle John when he recorded these life-giving words.
Here, we have a short list of who people thought and said Jesus was, “John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the prophets of old has risen again.” Mat 16:14, adds “Jeremiah.” Note that all of these men were dead at this time and so the people thought that Jesus was a resurrected being, “had risen again,” ANISTEMI.
Other than Samuel, we have no record of a prophet being resurrected in the OT, and even Samuel was not a resurrection but a supernatural manifestation, 1 Sam 28.
In addition, John 6:14-15, tells us that many people knew who Jesus was, “Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.”
This is another reason why Jesus tells them in vs. 21, to tell no one who He is.
Then Jesus asks them, “Who do you say I am?” Peter, as usual, is the first to answer and states, “The Christ of God,” HO CHRISTOS HO THEOS. Mark simply states, “You are the Christ,” and Matthew in Mat 16:16 adds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Remember, CHRISTOS, Χριστός means, “Anointed One,” who is also the Messiah. “Of God,” means God sent Him and is part of Him. As Mark states also that Jesus is God’s Son.
That was the correct answer. And as a result, Jesus then in Mat 16:17, “blessed Peter,” and made the great statement of “building His Church on the Rock.”
Mat 16:17-20, “And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.”
This is that controversial passage regarding Apostolic succession, which the Roman Catholic Church proclaims. But, as we have noted before, there are two terms for “rock” here that differentiate Peter from Jesus. PETROS, “a stone, or piece of rock from a larger rock,” was used for Peter, and PETRA, “a large rock, mass of rock, rock ledge or rock cliff,” for Jesus. Jesus was speaking of Himself and would build His church upon Himself, not Peter. Nevertheless, Peter had a significant role in establishing the Church, but Jesus is “Cornerstone,” The PETRA upon which It would be built, cf. Mat 7:24; Luke 6:48.
Maybe to make this point, we have in Matthew’s and Mark’s account, right after Jesus’ question to the disciples and Peter’s response, our Lord rebukes Peter where Jesus says to Him, “Get behind Me, Satan,” Mat 16:23; Mark 8:33.
Mark 8:33, “But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s”.”
Then our Lord “warns,” EPITIMAO, “warn or strictly admonished,” the disciples to not tell anyone that He is the Christ at this time. This was a “command or instruction,” by our Lord, PARANGELLO, παραγγέλλω that means, “transmit, give orders, command, or instruct.” The reason for this is given in the next verse, which we have previously noted as the reason why Jesus told many not to tell others about Him. In addition, we also have John 16:14-15, where some would revolt against Rome and try to establish Jesus as King of Israel.
Our Lord prophesied about His suffering, death, and resurrection. This is the first time in Luke’s Gospel that Jesus gave explicit details about His death and suffering.
Luke 9:22, “Saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day”.”
Here, Jesus calls Himself the “Son of Man” As also noted in Mark 8:31, which is Luke’s familiar term that also identified Him as the Messiah, cf. Mat 16:21.
Mat 16:21, “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.”
Mark 8:31, “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
“Suffer,” is the Verb PASCHO πάσχω that means, “experience suffering, endure, or undergo punishment.” As you know, Jesus did not receive any punishment that He deserved, but took on the punishment we all deserve. This is undeserved suffering and punishment. As such, He suffered our punishment for our benefit, as He took on the sins of the entire world and paid the penalty for our sins. That was the final “suffering” Jesus would endure, but leading up to that point, He would endure many other sorrows and difficulties; some of which He mentions here.
“Rejected” is the Verb APODOKIMAZO, ἀποδοκιμάζω “reject, declare useless, or to disapprove.” Other than Heb 12:17, each time this word is used in the NT it refers to Jesus being rejected, many times as the “Corner Stone.” Cf. Mat 21:42; Mark 8:31; 12:10; Luke 17:25; 20:17; 1 Peters 2:4, 7.
Here, Jesus’ rejection is by three groups:
1. “Elders,” PRESBUTEROS, “leaders of the synagogues, community leaders.”
2. “Chief priests,” ARCHIEREUS, “Sadducean aristocracy, i.e., high priests that were part of the Pharisees and Sanhedrin. This may be a reference to both Caiaphas and Annas his father-in-Law who were both high priests at separate times who were part of Jesus’ trials. The plural used here also denotes members of the Sanhedrin who belonged to high priestly families. Besides the ruling high priest, the group included ex-high priests whose number varied with the frequent changes of appointments made by the Roman authorities.
3. “Scribes,” GRAMMATEUS, “the lawyers of the Jewish church, teachers of the Law that also were interchanged with the Sadducees, as we have noted.”
These were the three groups of the Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish legal authority during the Roman period. As such, the three leading groups of the Jewish religious movement are noted as the rejecters and hands by which He would suffer. Cf. Mat 26:57-59; Mark 10:33; John 18:13, 24.
Mark 10:33, “Saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles”.”
John 18:13, “And led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.”
Mat 26:57, “Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.”
Jesus’ suffering would end with His death upon the Cross, “and be killed,” APOKTEINO, ἀποκτείνω, “kill and deprive of spiritual life.” Jesus received the latter first.
The suffering ended with the Cross and led to His triumph, as He would, “be raised up on the third day,” EGEIRO TRITOS HEMERA. This is the prophecy of His resurrection.
Therefore, Jesus knew He had to suffer and be rejected, He knew He would die, but He also knew He would be raised to life on the third day!
Matthew and Mark, Mat 16:22, Mark 8:32, 33, mention Peter’s rebuke of Jesus, but Luke concentrates only on what Jesus would soon be facing. Thus, Luke associates the suffering Jesus must face, vs. 22, with the suffering involved in being His follower, vs. 23-26, which will be our next topic.
Topics of Chapter 9:
4. The exhortation to follow Jesus by “carrying your own cross,” vs. 23-26. This is paralleled in Mat 16:24-27; Mark 8:34-38.
Luke 9:23-26, “And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels”.”
Matthew also uses the analogy of “taking up your own cross,” in Mat 10:38-39, in the context of loving Jesus more than your family members, vs. 32-39, as does Luke in Luke 14:26-27.
Mat 10:38-39, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”
In these passages, Jesus teaches the disciples that following Him as their Savior has a requirement, a reason, and a reward.
1. The Requirement:
When Luke states “He said to them all,” it may be just the apostles, as Mat 16:24 notes, or it could have been to a larger crowd, as noted in Mark 8:34. Matthew’s first use in Mat 10:38-39, and Luke’s second use in Luke 14:26-27 is to a larger crowd. Nevertheless, it is a principle for all believers.
“If anyone wishes,” uses the Verb THELO that means, “To wish to have, desire, to purpose to do, or to be willing,” in the Customary Present, Active, Indicative for ongoing action performed by the believer. This is coupled with the Present, Middle, Infinitive of purpose that speaks to the ongoing action to follow Jesus and looks ahead to the anticipated result of doing so.
This is also a first class “if,” statement, using the Conjunction EI that means, “if and it is true.” In other words, “if and we do desire to follow Jesus.” The desire is the protasis. What follows is the apodosis or “then” statement, for example, “then we have to do something.” In this case the apodosis is threefold, “he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
First, we must “deny ourselves,” that uses the Aorist, Deponent Middle, Imperative of the Verb APARNEOMAI, ἀπαρνέομαι that means, “deny, disown, repudiate, or utterly reject.” With the Imperative Mood, this is the first mandate by our Lord to be a follower of Him. This word is used 13 times in the NT, and only in the Gospels for three subjects: this one, the denial of Jesus, and the discussion between Peter and Jesus about Peter’s denial of Jesus, which Peter refuted, that became the object lesson of the second context, Mat 26:34-35, 75; Mark 14:30-31, 72; Luke 22:34, 61; John 13:38.
The number thirteen in the Bible means rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, revolution, or some similar idea. You see, this is what we are in the flesh, in relationship to God and Jesus Christ. Therefore, to be a follower of Jesus we have to “deny, disown, repudiate, or utterly reject” these instincts emanating from our Old Sin Nature, (OSN). The OSN / flesh is the reason we do not follow Jesus; therefore, to follow Him, we must not allow our OSN to rule our soul in self-willed desires to do as we please.
Instead, we must act in a wholly selfless manner and give up our self to Christ, that is, deny our desires and wills, and accept and obey the desires and the will of God and Jesus as noted next. Therefore, it means saying no to what we want and saying yes to what He wants.
The second mandate is “let him take up,” the Aorist, Active, Imperative of the Verb AIRO, αἴρω that means, “raise, lift up, take up, pick up, bear away, carry off.” The thing we are to “take up” is “his cross,” AUTOS STAUROS, which is “our own personal cross.” This intensifies this principle of denial.
Crucifixion is one of the most awful and embarrassing ways to die. The Romans designed the whole process of crucifixion, (from beginning to end), to heighten pain and to maximize shame. Victims were cruelly ridiculed during scourging, stripped naked, made to carry their own cross, suspended high enough for a passerby to see, hung beneath a sign declaring their crimes, being taunted, and then left to rot after death.
So, this analogy of “taking up your own cross,” is the analogy of a condemned criminal being forced to carry one bar of his cross on “a one-way journey” to the place of execution. He could not turn back and he would not return. This is the ultimate expression of self-denial. Just as Jesus willingly carried His own cross of self-denial, so too are we who desire to be His disciples are to carry our own cross. We must willingly take up our cross.
This means that just as Jesus had a plan for His life given to Him by God the Father, so does the believer in Christ. Therefore, we need to learn and apply God’s plan to our life, whatever that may be, given the spiritual gift, ministry, and effect God has for us, 1 Cor 12:4-6. We must willingly live inside of God’s power system to live the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.
For the follower of Jesus, this is not a one-time event. In this mandate, we are to do this, “daily,” KATA HEMERA. The Preposition KATA with HEMERA, “daily,” expresses the goal we are to have. It is our daily goal to take up our cross, (i.e., to walk in God’s Plan and will for our lives daily). Therefore, every morning we wake up to die to self and the world so we can live for Jesus.
Paul reflected this attitude in 1 Cor 15:31, “I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”
Gal 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Gal 5:24, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Gal 6:14, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Given that the figure of the “cross” is used, the Roman execution apparatus, this self-denial must include a willingness to die for Christ too.
The third mandate is to “follow Me,” the Present, Active, Imperative of the Verb AKOLUTHEO with the Pronoun MOI. AKOLOUTHEO, ἀκολουθέω means, “follow, accompany, or to cleave steadfastly to one.”
The person who denies self and takes up their cross is following Jesus because they are going down the same path as Jesus. To do so, we must be consistent in our intake and application of Bible Doctrine while filled with God the Holy Spirit, the two factors of the equation to live the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.
Do not let Facebook or Twitter define your “following of Jesus.” To follow Him you must deny self and get to know Jesus personally through your study and application of His Word that could lead to suffering and potentially death.
Therefore, we are to, 1) deny our self-willed OSN, 2) live inside of God’s Plan for our lives, 3) by learning and applying God’s Word, (i.e., the mind of Jesus Christ), through the power of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Examples of how to abide in these mandates are emphasized in the next three verses.
2. The Reason:
Luke 9:24, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” This is also noted in Mat 10:39; Luke 17:33; John 12:25.
In this passage we have two more “if” statements.
The first, is linked with, “wishes” that is in the Present, Active, Subjunctive of THELO, where the Subjunctive is linked with the conditional particle EAN in the Greek for a Third Class “if” statement. It is used for an event described that can and will occur, but whose occurrence cannot yet be assumed with certainty. So we say, maybe they will, and maybe they will not follow Him. In the Greek, it is HOS EAN that means “whoever,” as the “if” statement. The Protasis of this “if” statement is “wishes to save his life,” THELO SOZO PSUECHE, the Apodosis, (then statement) is, “will lose it,” APOLLUMI that also means, “kill or destroy,” in the Future, Active, Subjunctive.
In other words, if we want to hold on to our fleshly / earthly life led by our OSN, then we will lose the new spiritual life, the new resurrection life, God has planned for us. In essence, we would be destroying that new life in Christ.
The second “if” statement is led by the Contrasting Conjunction DE, “but,” to show that this is a different way of thinking than just mentioned. The “if,” is once again a third class if, using HOS EAN in the Protasis with “loses his life for My sake,” APOLLUMI AUTOS HO PSUECH EGO HENEKA. APOLLUMI here is in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive for the condition. “For My sake” is our motivation to live the new spiritual life God has for us because we love Jesus.
The Apodosis, “then statement,” is “he is the one who will save it,” HOUTOS SOZO AUTOS, where SOZO is in the Future, Active, Indicative.
In other words, if we deny self / our OSN and live inside of God’s plan for our lives daily by taking in and applying God’s Word, we have lost this earthly / fleshly life and are now living our new life in Christ.
Therefore, you will lose your life if you try to save it, but you can have eternal life by “losing” your life to Christ. The person who tries to selfishly secure for himself pleasure, wealth, and happiness in this life is actually doomed to failure. He commits spiritual suicide, as the next verse tells us. Yet, as William Barclay (Daily Study Bible, Luke, p. 121) puts it, “The Christian must realize that he is given life, not to keep for himself but to spend for others; not to husband its flame but to burn it out for Christ and for men.” When he does, he will gain true life in Christ.
Luke 9:25, “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?”
This is the reasoning behind these statements. “Profit,” is the Present, Passive, Indicative of the Verb OPHELEO that means, “to be of help, aid, or benefit.” Or, we could say of what value or gain is it.
“Gains the whole world,” is the Aorist, Active, Participle of the Verb KERDAINO, κερδαίνω that means, “to gain, acquire, make a profit, win, or gain over,” with HOLOS KOSMOS. It means to have all the power, riches, wealth, prestige, etc. of this world.
Then we have, “loses or forfeits himself?” APOLLUMI E ZEMIOO HEAUTOU. ZEMIOO, ζημιόω is a verb that means, “injure, to damage, or to suffer loss.” It is only used six times, (the number of man), in the NT; for this narrative in the synoptic gospels, Mat 16:26; Mark 8:36, and here, plus in 1 Cor 3:15; 2 Cor 7:9; Phil 3:8.
1 Cor 3:15, “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
2 Cor 7:9, “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.”
Phil 3:8, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”
In Mat 16:26, instead of saying, “loses or forfeits himself,” Matthew says, “forfeits his soul?” and adds, “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”, as does Mark in Mark 8:37.
In other words, you could have all the riches, wealth, power, and prestige of this world but what good is that going to do for you when you are living for all of eternity in Hell. You cannot buy your way out of hell, or use your currency or clout in hell. There is only loss and suffering. That is why we need to accept Jesus as our Savior and follow Him in this life, so that in the next life we are blessed.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#19-123 & 19-124 & 19-125
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!