The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 9:26-36 ~ To be a Follower of Jesus, We Need to Take Up Our Cross, Pt. 2 ~ The Transfiguration, A Glimpse into the Kingdom of God

Vol. 18, No. 45 – December 1, 2019

12 1 19 - Luke 9 vs 26-36 - To be a follower of Jesus, We need to Take up our Cross, Pt. 2 - The Transfiguration, A Glimpse into the Kingdom of GodThe Gospel of Luke
Chapter 9

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:

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. Matthew and Luke also use this analogy in the context of loving Jesus more than your family members, Mat 10:38-39; Luke 14:26-27.

Jesus teaches the disciples that “following Him” as their Savior has:
1. A Requirement,
2. A Reason,
3. A Reward.

1. The Requirement: vs. 23, has 3 Mandates:

1) Deny Self-will, (OSN).
2) Take up Your Cross, (God’s Plan for your life).
3) Follow Jesus, (Intake and application of God’s Word).

2. The Reason: vs. 24-25. If we live for this life and this world, we lose our life with Christ. If we live this life for Christ, we gain eternal life, (i.e., entrance into heaven, and great reward).

3. The Reward: vs. 26.

Luke 9:26, “For 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.” This is also noted in Mat 10:33; Luke 12:9.

Jesus continues to warn and reinforce the element of loyalty from vs. 23. Here, He uses another third class “if,” for maybe you are and maybe you are not, once again with HOS EAN in the Protasis with the Aorist, Passive, Conjunction of EPAISCHUNOMAI, ἐπαισχύνομαι that means, “be ashamed (of), or feel shame for.” It has the idea “to experience or feel shame or disgrace because of some particular event or activity.” Interestingly, this shame also points back to vs. 23, and the Cross of Jesus Christ, the most shameful death imaginable in Jesus’ day, as we noted above.

This means we are embarrassed to be identified with our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of others, which is tantamount to denying Him. Here, we have two objects of being ashamed of, yet they are one and the same, “Me and My Words,” EGO KAI HO EMOS LOGOS. Here, Jesus equates His Word to be on the same level as Himself. Therefore, it is one thing to be embarrassed to admit to others that you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and another to be embarrassed to admit you study the Bible. But, they both go even further, in that to be ashamed of Jesus and His Word means you have no relationship with either. As we noted above in vs. 23, Peter is an example of being “ashamed” of Jesus, when he denied Him three times. In addition, to refuse to partake in Christ’s suffering and selflessness is also to reject / be ashamed of Him as Master, (i.e., not taking up your cross).

Jesus and the Bible, (His Words), are one and the same. Therefore, to be followers of Jesus, we need to learn and apply His Word. To be ashamed of Jesus, we do not learn and we do not apply His Word to our lives. If we are ashamed of Jesus and His Word it has eternal consequences.

In speaking to believers, Paul states in Rom 6:21, that the believer should be ashamed of their old way of living in sin and Satan’s cosmic system and not go back to his old ways of being led by the OSN, “Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.”

Mark adds after, “ashamed of Me and My words,” in Mark 8:38, “in this adulterous and sinful generation.” This puts a greater stamp on those who are ashamed of Jesus. They are “adulterous” meaning they follow other gods, mostly the god of this world, Satan and His cosmic system and the “god of self,” their own OSN as noted by saying “sinful.” Mark also alludes to the present “generation” of Jesus’ day, but this does not limit this warning to only that era. It indicates that the generation of Jesus’ day is an example of what not to be like, as they rejected Him as their Savior / Messiah / King.

The Apodosis, (“then” statement), tells us of the consequence. “The Son of Man,” HIUOS ANTHROPOS, “will be ashamed of,” the Future, Passive, Indicative of EPAISCHUNOMAI, “of him,” HOUTOS. If we have been embarrassed to admit our relationship with Jesus and His Word, (denied our relationship with Him), and/or have no relationship with either, Jesus will deny that person.

Jesus then gives a time frame when His embarrassment of the unbeliever and reversionistic believer will take place, “when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” This is the Crown after His Cross. Although Jesus was traveling down a road of suffering and death, He proclaims here that one day He will return with “authority, glory, and sovereign power,” Dan 7:14, given to Him by the Ancient of Days: God!

This is His Second Coming that begins with the Rapture of the Church and culminates at the end of the Millennial Reign. At this time, Jesus will reward the positive believer and deny reward from the reversionistic believer, as well as deny the unbeliever eternal life and entrance into Heaven.

Matthew adds at the end, Mat 16:27, “… and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.” This is taken from the principle of Psa 62:12; Prov 24:12 and is also noted in Rom 2:6; 14:12; 1 Cor 3:13; 2 Cor 5:10; Eph 6:8; Rev 2:23; 20:12; 22:12. Therefore, when the Lord returns in power, vindicated in the end, He will reject those who have rejected Him.

Psa 62:12, “And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, for You recompense a man according to his work.”

Prov 24:12, “If you say, ‘See, we did not know this,’ does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?”

This shame will come to the reversionistic believer at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10, Rev 2:23, when the believer’s works or deeds are judged for reward or lose of reward, cf. 1 John 2:28.

1 John 2:28-29, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 29If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”

This shame will come to the unbeliever at the Great White Throne judgment by our Lord Jesus Christ in Rev 20:12, when their works or deeds are judged to show that they were not sufficient for entrance into eternal life and heaven, and that they denied the only way, which is the person and work of Jesus Christ, as stated in His Word. Because their names were blotted out of the Book of Life, due to their unbelief in Jesus, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire, after the evaluation of their deeds shows them wanting. Those who have denied Jesus will at that time hear Him utter the devastating word, “Depart from me.”

The apocryphal book 2 Baruch 51:15f. states, “For what then have men lost their life, and for what have those who were on the earth exchanged their soul? For then they chose not for themselves this time, which, beyond the reach of anguish, could not pass away; but they chose for themselves that time, whose issues are full of lamentations and evils, and they denied the world which ages not those who come to it, and they rejected the time of glory.”

Therefore, like Paul, the unbeliever should believe in Jesus as their Savior / Messiah / King, and the believer should not be ashamed of Jesus in this life with the result of blessings and rewards in the eternal state.

Rom 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

2 Tim 1:8, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.”

2 Tim 1:12, “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”

Rev 22:12, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”

Topics of Chapter 9:

5. The Transfiguration, vs. 27-36. This is parallel in Mat 16:28-17:9; Mark 9:1-9. Since Herod and people were confused about who Jesus was, God settles the matter in this scene.

Vs. 27

Luke 9:27, ““But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God”.”

This is a prophecy by our Lord of an event that would occur eight days later at the Transfiguration, vs. 28-36. Many see the Transfiguration as the fulfillment of this prophecy, but there are two other interpretations that some hold: 1) Jesus was pointing to His resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost with the subsequent growth of the Church (cf. the book of Acts); 2) Jesus was speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in A.D. 70. Neither of these interpretations fit the full context of the following passages, especially looking at it from the Greek language.

Jesus made this statement in front of all the disciples, and potentially the larger crowd, yet He tells them that only “some of those standing here,” will have this blessing.

Who will not taste death,” uses a double negative in the Greek OUK and ME for intensification meaning, “absolutely not.” We might say, “There is no shadow of a doubt,” that this will happen.

The event is first, “tasting death,” which uses the Aorist, Middle Deponent, Subjunctive of the Verb GEUO, “taste, eat, enjoy, or experience,” with THANATOS, “death.” “Taste,” is the poetic way of saying this, “experience,” is technically what it means. Jesus, tasted death for all of mankind so that they all could see the glory and kingdom of God, Heb 2:9.

Heb 2:9, “But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”

And here, these men would not taste death, “until they see the kingdom of God,” HEOS EIDON HO BASILEIA HO THEOS.

Matthew states in Mat 16:28, “…until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Mark states in Mark 9:1, “… until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”

Both of those accounts make it seem more like Jesus was referring to end times prophecies. Yet, it is the scene that follows next, which is the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Vs. 28

Luke 9:28, “Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.”

Here we see the “inner circle” of disciples once again, Peter, John, and James, that Jesus brought with Him, cf. Luke 8:51. These are the “some of those,” from the prophecy in vs. 27. Peter would later write about this event in 2 Peter 1:16-18.

Jesus brought these three with Him as He retreated once more for rest, recharging, and intimate relationship with the Father, as He entered into prayer to God the Father. We have noted those principles previously, but again we should seclude ourselves from time to time when we enter into prayer. This gives us a time of privacy and intimacy with the Lord.

This happened 8 days after Jesus made the prophecy. The reason this number is given is to tie it back to vs. 27, and Jesus’ prophecy. In addition, the number eight in the Bible is the number of resurrection, regeneration, and renewal; the beginning of a new order or era. This typifies what Jesus was about to show these men. He is going to show them the bodies of resurrected beings in the Kingdom of God. Remember also that Jesus was resurrected on the eighth day.

Tradition says this occurred on Mount Tabor, but more likely it occurred on Mount Meron which is northwest of the Sea of Galilee.

Vs. 29

Luke 9:29, “And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming.”

Luke describes the “appearance,” the Noun EIDON, “appearance, form, sight, kind,” of Jesus’ “face,” PROSOPON that changed / “became different,” “HETEROS, “another,”  “while He was praying.”

In addition, “His clothing became white and gleaming,” “White,” is the Adjective, LEUKOS, “white, brilliant, shinning.” “Gleaming,” is the Verb EXASTRAPTO, ἐξαστράπτω in the Present, Active, Participle, Nominative that means, “flash, gleam like lightning, radiate, or glisten.” It is only used here in the NT, a hapaxlegomena.

Matthews states in Mat 17:2, “And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white (LEUKOS) as light (PHOS).”

Mark states in Mark 9:2b-3, … And He was transfigured before them; 3and His garments became radiant (STILBO, “to shine, be radiant, glisten,” which is only used here in the NT) and exceedingly white (LIAN LEUKOS), as no launderer on earth can whiten them.”

This is an image of the resurrection body Jesus will have in the eternal state as well as all believers.

Vs. 30

Luke 9:30, “And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah.”

All three Gospel accounts say that He spoke with these two prophets of old. These two are considered the greatest profits in all of the OT. In addition, traditionally they represent “the Law and the Prophets.” In this sense, together they point toward the culmination of all that the OT prophecies regarding humankind’s restoration to fellowship with God through Jesus, Rev 19:10. As such, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. In addition, these are the two witnesses that are found in Rev 11:3-12. They are Jews who are going to be a part of the Second Advent Picture.

We also see, that at Sinai, Moses’ face shone, Ex 34:30; “glory of his face,” in 2 Cor 3:7. Moses is not only representative of the Law, but he was considered a prophet too, Deut 18:15, 18, a type of Christ.

Elijah, HELIAS, is not only representative of the Prophets, but Mal 4:5 tells us Elijah is the forerunner of the Messiah. Further, Elijah did not die, but was taken directly to heaven, i.e., he was raptured, 2 Kings 2:9-11. So, he represents the Rapture of the Church when they will receive their resurrection bodies. Liefeld states, “Moses is a typological figure who reminds us of the past (the Exodus), Moses being a predecessor for the Messiah, while Elijah is an eschatological figure pointing to the future as a precursor of the Messiah.” (Expositors Bible Commentary).

Finally, both men had unique departures from this world. Moses was buried by God, though no one knows where, Deut 34:6; cf. Jude 9, and as mentioned above, Elijah, was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind, 2 Kings 2:11.

Vs. 31

Luke 9:31, “Who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”

Both Moses and Elijah were also in an interim resurrection body as they “appeared in glory,” that uses DOXA, that can mean, “Glory, splendor, radiance, etc.” Only Luke mentions what they were speaking about; Jesus’ death upon the Cross, cf. vs. 22. Interestingly, “departure,” is the Greek Noun EXODOS that reminds us of Moses’ career as a prophet and leader. In the Greek, EXODOS can mean, “an exit, departure, or death.” The use of the word for death is unusual, and it provides the passage with Exodus typology. The Exodus had delivered Israel from bondage. Jesus by His “exodus” would deliver His people from bondage to sin. So, the play on words of exodus and death are in view.

As such, in Elijah, we see the Rapture exit, and in Moses we see the exodus that culminated in his death just after seeing the Promised Land, yet before the people entered into it, Duet 34:1-8. The Promised Land is a type of the Kingdom of God.

Vs. 32

Luke 9:32, “Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him.”

This most likely occurred at night, as only Luke mentions that the three disciples were, “overcome with sleep,” BAREO, “weighed down, oppressed,” and HUPNOS, “sleep or slumber,” and they did not come down from the mountain until “the next day,” vs. 37. This prefigures the circumstances of the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem the night before Jesus would suffer death upon the Cross, cf. Mat 26:43; Mark 14:40; Luke 22:45.

“Were fully awake,” is the Verb DIAGREGOREO διαγρηγορέω that means, “fully awake, or stay awake,” and is only used here in the NT. Therefore, it was while they were “totally awake” that they saw Christ’s glory. The testimony of their experience is emphasized by the use of this strong verb for “completely awake.” In other words, this was not a dream or some vision. They literally saw “His glory,” AUTOS DOXA, as prophesied in vs. 27, along with the glorious bodies of Moses and Elijah.

Vs. 33

Luke 9:33, “And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying.”

“As these were leaving Him,” uses the Present, Middle, Infinitive of the Verb DIACHŌRIZO, διαχωρίζω that is also only used here in the NT. Typically meaning to “separate.”

Peter desires the “Parousia” (Second Coming) to continue, so he asks Jesus a question, calling Him “Master,” EPISTATES, a term only Luke uses in His gospel several times, as Luke liked to use this term regarding the address of Jesus. Peter did “not understand”, OUK OIDA, the departure of Moses and Elijah and what his suggestion to Jesus was about.

Only Luke records Peter’s suggestion that they “make,” POIEO, “three,” TREIS, “tabernacles,” SKENE , “tent, booth, or dwelling,” so their fellowship might continue there on the mountain.

It is interesting that Peter recognized Moses and Elijah even though they were not told who they were, as we assume because nothing is recorded that Jesus told them. Maybe in over hearing their conversation, they heard them using each other’s names.

Peter did not understand that this was the fulfillment of the prophecy of vs. 27. Instead, he wanted to build three tents for them to stay in, which reminds us of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, Ex 40:1-38, a tent like structure that housed the Shekinah Glory, pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night; the theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ex 40:34, “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”

So, Peter had a good thought based on Scripture, but the wrong application. Again, He was thinking in earthly terms, when our Lord showed him heavenly application. The three, Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, were already “clothed” in their heavenly tents of glory. They did not need earthly ones to dwell in.

Vs. 34

Luke 9:34, “While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.”

Even though it was not a theophany of Jesus, “a cloud, NEPHELE, formed and overshadowed, EPISKIAZO, them.” We previously noted EPISKIAZO in Luke 1:35, for the “overshadowing,” of the Holy Spirit and power of the Most High over Mary to conceive the child, Jesus. Matthew and Mark both use this word only here.

Clouds are also associated with the coming of the “Son of Man,” Mark 14:62, the Rapture of the Church, 1 Thes 4:16-18, Jesus’ ascension into heaven, Acts 1:9, and the transportation of the two prophets in Rev 11:12.

As a result of this great cloud coming over them, the disciples became “afraid” or frightened, PHOBEO.

Vs. 35

Luke 9:35, “Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!””

This is the second occurrence of God the Father praising His Son, as prophesied in Isa 42:1. The first occurrence was at His baptism by John, as we noted in Luke 3:22.

Peter would later write about this in 2 Peter 1:17, “For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased.”

At the Transfiguration, Matthew records in Mat 17:5, “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!””

Mark records in Mark 9:7, “Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!””

All three accounts have the Father telling the disciples to “listen to Him,” AKOUO AUTOS, which most likely is a fulfillment of Deut 18:15, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.”

Jesus is greater than the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah); He is the fulfillment of both! Cf. Luke 4:21; 24:25-27, 44-49; Acts 13:27. He is the one and only that we should be listening to. We are to listen to Jesus for the final word on salvation, not Elijah and Moses or any other prophet from old. The NT never looks favorably on Christians turning back to the law or to Judaism. Those things belong to the former time. In these last days God has spoken to us by his Son, Heb 1:1-3. We are to listen to Jesus alone because He is greater than Moses and all the other prophets, Heb 3:3-6.

In addition, only Luke notes that the Father calls Jesus, “My Chosen One,” EKLEGOMAI, ἐκλέγομαι “choose, select, elect.” This is God’s Plan for salvation. He has planned it and designed who would fulfill it. Jesus Christ was chosen by God the Father to fulfill His Plan of salvation. This reminds us that because of Jesus’ completed work upon the Cross and our faith in Him, we too are “chosen ones,” of God, Eph 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love.”

Vs. 36

Luke 9:36, “And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.”

When the voice of God the Father had ended, the disciples only saw Jesus, as Moses and Elijah had departed. In Luke’s account the disciples did not tell anyone what they had seen and heard. The other gospels indicate that once again Jesus instructed them to keep silent about these things until after His death.

Mat 17:9, “As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead”.”

Mark 9:9, “As they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose from the dead.”

Until they saw Jesus resurrected, Jesus did not want them telling others what they saw regarding His resurrection body and that of Moses and Elijah. Most likely, because people would not understand prior to that event, just as the disciples did not and began to “dispute” what it meant to be resurrected, Mark 9:10, “They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant.”

As we have noted, the disciples did not even understand the idea of the suffering of Jesus, the Cross of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus, much less the transfiguration of Jesus, until He appeared to them after the resurrection and opened their eyes, cf. Luke 24:31-35, 44-49.

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#19-126 & 19-127

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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!

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