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Chapter 9

9:1 He called the twelve together [sunkalesamenos tous dōdeka]. Mr 6:7; Mt 10:1 have [proskaleōmai], to call to him. Both the indirect middle voice.

9:2 He sent them forth [apesteilen autous]. First aorist active indicative of [apostellō]. To preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick [kērussein tēn basileian tou theou kai iāsthai]. Present indicative for the continuous functions during this campaign. This double office of herald [kērussein] and healer [iāsthai] is stated directly in Mt 10:7-8. Note the verb [iaomai] for healing here, though [therapeuein] in verse 1, apparently used interchangeably.

9:3 Neither staff [mēte rabdon]. For the apparent contradiction between these words (Mt 10:10) and Mr 6:8 see discussion there. For [pēran] (wallet) see also on Mr 6:8 (Mt 10:10) for this and other details here.

9:5 As many as receive you not [hosoi an mē dechōntai humas]. Indefinite relative plural with [an] and present middle subjunctive and the negative []. Here Mt 10:14 has the singular (whosoever) and Mr 6:11 has “whatsoever place.” For a testimony against them [eis marturion ep’ autous]. Note use of [ep’ autous] where Mr 6:11 has simply the dative [autois] (disadvantage), really the same idea.

9:6 Went [diērchonto]. Imperfect middle, continuous and repeated action made plainer also by three present participles [exerchomenoi, euaggelizomenoi, therapeuontes], describing the wide extent of the work through all the villages [kata tas kōmas], distributive use of [kata] everywhere [pantachou] in Galilee.

9:7 All that was done [ta ginomena panta]. Present middle participle, “all that was coming to pass.” He was much perplexed [diēporei]. Imperfect active of [diaporeō], to be thoroughly at a loss, unable to find a way out [dia, a] privative, [poros], way), common ancient verb, but only in Luke’s writings in the N.T. Because it was said [dia to legesthai]. Neat Greek idiom, the articular passive infinitive after [dia]. Three reports came to the ears of Herod as Luke has it, each introduced by [hoti] (that) in indirect discourse: “By some” [hupo tinōn], “by some” [hupo tinōn de], “by others” [allōn de, hupo] not here expressed, but carried over). The verbs in the indirect discourse here (verses 7, 8) are all three aorists [ēgerthē] first passive; [ephanē] second passive; [anestē] second active), not past perfects as the English has them.

9:9 He sought [ezētei]. 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”).

9:10 Declared [diēgēsanto]. First aorist middle of [diēgeomai], to carry a narrative through to the end. Jesus listened to it all. They had done [epoiēsan]. Aorist active indicative, they did. He took them [paralabōn autous]. Second aorist active participle of [paralambanō]. Very common verb. Bethsaida [Bēthsaida]. 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).

9:11 Spake [elalei]. Imperfect active, he continued speaking. He healed [iāto]. Imperfect middle, he continued healing.

9:12 To wear away [klinein]. Old verb usually transitive, to bend or bow down. Many compounds as in English decline, incline, recline, clinic [klinē], bed), etc. Luke alone in the N.T. uses it intransitively as here. The sun was turning down towards setting. Lodge [katalusōsin]. First aorist active subjunctive of [kataluō], a common verb, to dissolve, destroy, overthrow, and then of travellers to break a journey, to lodge [kataluma], inn, Lu 2:7). Only here and 19:7 in the N.T. in this sense. Get victuals [heurōsin episitismon]. Ingressive aorist active of [heuriskō], very common verb. Victuals [episitismon], from [episitizomai], to provision oneself, [sitizō], from [siton], 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.

9:13 Except we should go and buy food [ei mēti poreuthentes hēmeis agorasōmen brōmata]. This is a condition of the third class with the aorist subjunctive [agorasōmen], where the conjunction is usually [ean] (with negative [ean mē], but not always or necessarily so especially in the Koinē.So in 1Co 14:5 [ei mē diermēneuēi] and in Php 3:12 [ei kai katalabō]. ”Unless” is better here than “except.” Food [brōmata], means eaten pieces from [bibrōskō], to eat, somewhat like our “edibles” or vernacular “eats.”

9:14 About [hōsei]. 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 [kataklinate]. First aorist active imperative. Recline, lie down. Only in Luke in the N.T. See also verse 15. In companies [klisias]. Cognate accusative after kataklinate. Only here in the N.T. A row of persons reclining at meals (table company). About fifty each [hōsei ana pentēkonta]. Distributive use of [ana] and approximate number again [hōsei].

9:16 The five . . . the two [tous pente ... tous duo]. Pointing back to verse 13, fine example of the Greek article. And gave [kai edidou]. Imperfect active of [didōmi], kept on giving. This picturesque imperfect is preceded by the aorist [kateklasen] (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 [kata].

9:17 Twelve baskets [kophinoi dōdeka]. For discussion of [kophonoi] and [sphurides] as well as of [klasmata] (broken pieces) see on Mr 6:43; Mt 14:20).

9:18 As he was praying [en tōi einai auton proseuchomenon]. Common Lukan idiom of [en] with the articular infinitive for a temporal clause, only here Luke has the periphrastic infinitive [einai proseuchomenon] as also in 11:1. This item about Christ’s praying alone in Luke. Alone [kata monas]. In the N.T. only here and Mr 4:10). Perhaps [chōras] (places) is to be supplied with [monas] (lonely places). Were with him (sunēsan autōi]. This seems like a contradiction unless “alone” is to be taken with [sunēsan]. Westcott and Hort put [sunēntēsan] 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.

9:19 That I am [me einai]. 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).

9:20 But who say ye? [Humeis de tina legete;]. Note the emphatic proleptical position of [humeis\: “But ye who do ye say? This is really what mattered now with Jesus. The Christ of God [Ton christon tou theou]. 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.

9:21 To tell this to no man [mēdeni legein touto]. Indirect command with the negative infinitive after commanded [parēggeilen]. It had been necessary for Jesus to cease using the word Messiah [Christos] 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).

9:22 Rejected [apodokimasthēnai]. First aorist passive infinitive of [apodokimazō], to reject after trial. The third day [tēi tritēi hēmerāi]. Locative case of time as in Mt 16:21. Here in the parallel passage Mr 8:31 has “after three days” [meta treis hēmeras] 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.

9:23 He said unto all [elegen de pros pantas]. 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 [apolesei], from [apollumi], 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 [kath’ hēmeran]. Peculiar to Luke in this incident. Take up the cross (his own cross) daily (aorist tense, [āratō], but keep on following me [akoloutheitō], 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.

9:26 Whosoever shall be ashamed [hos an epaischunthēi]. Rather, Whosoever is ashamed as in Mr 8:38. The first aorist passive subjunctive in an indefinite relative clause with [an]. The passive verb is transitive here also. This verb is from [epi] and [aischunē], 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 [en tēi doxēi autou]. This item added to what is in Mr 8:38; Mt 16:27.

9:27 Till they see [heōs an idōsin]. Second aorist active subjunctive with [heōs] and [an] referring to the future, an idiomatic construction. So in Mr 9:1; Mt 16:28. In all three passages “shall not taste of death” [ou mē geusōntai thanatou], 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” [elēluthuian], second perfect active participle). Matthew as “coming” [erchomenon] 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.

9:28 About eight days [hōsei hēmerai oktō]. 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 [eis to oros]. 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 [proseuxasthai]. Peculiar to Luke who so often mentions Christ’s habit of prayer (cf. 3:21). See also verse 29 “as he was praying” [en tōi proseuchesthai], one of Luke’s favourite idioms). His countenance was altered [egeneto to eidos tou prosōpou autou heteron]. 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” [metemorphōthē] in Mr 9:2; Mt 17:2. He may have avoided this word because of the pagan associations with this word as Ovid’s [Metamorphoses]. And his raiment became white and dazzling [kai ho himatismos autou leukos exastraptōn]. Literally, And his raiment white radiant. There is no and between “white” and “dazzling.” The participle [exastraptōn] is from the compound verb meaning to flash [astraptō] out or forth [ex]. 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.”

9:31 There talked with him [sunelaloun autōi]. Imperfect active, were talking with him. Who appeared in glory [hoi ophthentes en doxēi]. First aorist passive participle of [horaō]. This item peculiar to Luke. Compare verse 26. Spake of his decease [elegon tēn exodon]. Imperfect active, were talking about his [exodus] (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 [exodus] (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 [thanatos] in the N.T. are [ekbasis], going out as departure (Heb 13:7), [aphixis], departing (Ac 20:29), [analusis], loosening anchor (2Ti 4:6) and [analusai] (Php 1:23). To accomplish [plēroun]. 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.

9:32 Were heavy with sleep [ēsan bebarēmenoi hupnōi]. Periphrastic past perfect of [bareō], a late form for the ancient [barunō] (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 [barunō], from [barus], and that from [baros], weight, burden (Ga 6:2). [Hupnōi] 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 [diagrēgorēsantes de]. First aorist active participle of this late (Herodian) and rare compound verb (here alone in the N.T.), [diagrēgoreō] (Luke is fond of compounds with [dia]. The simple verb [grēgoreō] (from the second perfect active [egrēgora] is also late, but common in the LXX and the N.T. The effect of [dia] 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 [tēn doxan autou]. See also verse 26 in the words of Jesus.

9:33 As they were departing from him [en tōi diachōrizesthai autous ap’ autou]. Peculiar to Luke and another instance of Luke’s common idiom of [en] 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 [Epistata] here, Rabbi (Mr 9:5), Lord [Kurie], Mt 17:4). Let us make [poiēsōmen], first aorist active subjunctive) as in Mr 9:5, but Mt 17:4 has “I will make” [poiēsō]. 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 [mē eidōs ho legei]. Literally, not understanding what he was saying [], regular negative with participle and [legei], 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.

9:34 Overshadowed them [epeskiazen autous]. 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 [epi, skiazō], from [skia], shadow). As they entered into the cloud [en tōi eiselthein autous eis tēn nephelēn]. Luke’s idiom of [en] 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” [ephobēthēsan], ingressive first aorist passive).

9:35 If [ekeinous] be accepted here instead of [autous], the three disciples would be outside of the cloud. Out of the cloud [ek tēs nephelēs]. 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 [Ho huios mou, ho eklelegmenos]. 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.

9:36 When the voice came [en toi genesthai tēn phōnēn]. 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 [monos]. Same adjective in Mr 9:8; Mt 17:8 translated “only.” Should be rendered “alone” there also. They held their peace [esigēsan]. Ingressive aorist active of common verb [sigaō], 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 [hōn heōrakan]. Attraction of the relative [ha] into the case of the unexpressed antecedent [toutōn]. Perfect active indicative [heōrakan] with Koinē (papyri) form for the ancient [heōrakāsin] changed by analogy to the first aorist ending in [-an] instead of [-asin].

9:37 On the next day [tēi hexēs hēmerāi]. Alone in Luke. It shows that the Transfiguration took place on the preceding night. They were come down [katelthontōn autōn]. Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of [katerchomai], a common enough verb, but in the N.T. only in Luke’s writings save Jas 3:15. Met him [sunēntēsen autōi]. First aorist active of [sunantaō], common compound verb, to meet with, only in Luke’s writings in the N.T. save Heb 7:1. With associative instrumental case [autōi].

9:38 Master [Didaskale]. Teacher as in Mr 9:17. Lord [kurie], Mt 17:15). To look upon [epiblepsai]. Aorist active infinitive of [epiblepō] [epi], upon, [blepō], 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 [monogenēs moi]. Only in Luke as already about an only child in 7:12; 8:42.

9:39 Suddenly [exephnēs]. 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 [sparassei auton meta aphrou]. Literally, “It tears him with (accompanied with, [meta] foam” (old word, [aphros], only here in the N.T.). From [sparassō], to convulse, a common verb, but in the N.T. only here and Mr 1:26; 9:26 (and [sunsparassō], Mr 9:20). See Mr 9:17; Mt 17:15; Lu 9:39 for variations in the symptoms in each Gospel. The use of [meta aphrou] is a medical item. Hardly [molis]. Late word used in place of [mogis], 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 [suntribon auton]. 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.

9:41 How long shall I be with you and bear with you? [heōs pote esomai pros humās kai anexomai humōn;]. Here the two questions of Mr 9:19 (only one in Mt 17:17) are combined in one sentence. Bear with [anexomai], direct middle future) is, hold myself from you (ablative case [humōn]. Faithless [apistos] is disbelieving and perverse [diestrammenē], perfect passive participle of [diastrephō], is twisted, turned, or torn in two.

9:42 As he was yet a coming [eti proserchomenou autou]. 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 [errēxen auton]. First aorist active indicative of [rēgnumi] or [rēssō], to rend or convulse, a common verb, used sometimes of boxers giving knockout blows. Tare grievously [sunesparaxen]. Rare word as only here and Mr 9:20 in the N.T., which see. Gave him back to his father [apedōken auton tōi patri autou]. Tender touch alone in Luke as in 7:15. They were all astonished [exeplēssonto de pantes]. Imperfect passive of the common verb [ekplēssō] or [ekplēgnumi], 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 [epi tēi megaleiotēti tou theou]. A late word from the adjective [megaleios] and that from [megas] (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 [hois epoiei]. 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 [epoiei] 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 pāsin, its antecedent.

9:44 Sink into your ears [Thesthe humeis eis ta ōta humōn]. Second aorist imperative middle of [tithēmi], 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.

9:45 It was concealed from them [ēn parakekalummenon ap’ autōn]. Periphrastic past perfect of [parakaluptō], 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 [hina mē aisthōntai auto]. Second aorist middle subjunctive of the common verb [aisthanomai] used with [hina mē], 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.

9:46 A reasoning [dialogismos]. A dispute. The word is from [dialogizomai], 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 [to tis an eiē meizōn autōn]. Note the article with the indirect question, the clause being in the accusative of general reference. The optative with [an] is here because it was so in the direct question (potential optative with [an] 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.

9:47 Took a little child [epilabomenos paidion]. Second aorist middle participle of the common verb [epilambanō]. Strictly, Taking a little child to himself (indirect middle). Mr 9:36 has merely the active [labōn] of the simple verb [lambanō]. Set him by his side [estēsen auto par’ heautōi]. “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.

9:48 This little child [touto to paidion]. 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” [epi tōi onomati mou], 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 [ho gar mikroteros en pasin humin huparchōn]. Note the use of [huparchō] as in 8:41; 23:50). The comparative [mikroteros] is in accord with the Koinē idiom where the superlative is vanishing (nearly gone in modern Greek). But great [megas] is positive and very strong. This saying peculiar to Luke here.

9:49 And John answered [apokritheis de Iōanēs]. As if John wanted to change the subject after the embarrassment of the rebuke for their dispute concerning greatness (Lu 9:46-48). Master [epistata]. Only in Luke in the N.T. as already four times (5:5; 8:24, 45; 9:33). We forbade him [ekōluomen auton]. Conative imperfect as in Mr 9:38, We tried to hinder him. Because he followeth not with us [hoti ouk akolouthei meth hēmōn]. Present tense preserved for vividness where Mark has imperfect ēkolouthei. Note also here “with us” [meth’ hēmōn] where Mark has associative instrumental [hēmin]. 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.

9:50 “Against you is for you” [kath’ h–mōn huper h–mōn]. Mr 9:40 has “against us is for us” [hēmōn ... hēmōn]. The Koinē Greek [ē] and [] 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” [mē kōluete, mē] and the present imperative, not [] and the aorist subjunctive). The lesson of toleration in methods of work for Christ is needed today.

9:51 When the days were well-nigh come [en tōi sumplērousthai tas hēmeras]. Luke’s common idiom [en] 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 [tēs analēmpseōs autou]. Literally, “of his taking up.” It is an old word (from Hippocrates on), but here alone in the N.T. It is derived from [analambanō] (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 [autos to prosōpon estērisen]. Note emphatic [autos], 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 [stērizō] (from [stērigx], a support), to set fast, to fix. To go to Jerusalem [tou poreuesthai eis Ierousalēm]. 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.

9:52 Sent messengers [apesteilen aggelous]. 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 [hōs hetoimasai autōi]. [Hōs] is correct here, not [hōste]. The only examples of the final use of [hōs] with the infinitive in the N.T. are this one and Heb 7:9 (absolute use). In Acts 20:24 Westcott and Hort read [hōs teleiōsō] and put [hōs teleiōsai] in the margin (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1091).

9:53 And they did not receive him [kai ouk edexanto auton]. Adversative use of [kai] = But. Because his face was going to Jerusalem [hoti to prosōpon autou ēn poreuomenon eis Ierousalēm]. Periphrastic imperfect middle. It was reason enough to the churlish Samaritans.

9:54 Saw this [idontes]. Second aorist active participle of [horaō]. Saw the messengers returning. We bid [theleis eipōmen]. Deliberative subjunctive [eipōmen] after [theleis] without [hina], 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 [katabēnai, analōsai], the first ingressive, the second effective).

9:55 But he turned [strapheis de]. Second aorist passive participle of [strephō], common verb, to turn round. Dramatic act. Some ancient MSS. have here: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of [ouk oidate poiou pneumatos este]. 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 [Ho gar huios tou anthrōpou ouk ēlthen psuchas anthrōpōn apolesai alla sōsai], 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.

9:57 A certain man [tis]. 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 [hopou ean aperchēi] is the present middle subjunctive with the indefinite relative adverb [ean], common Greek idiom. See on Matthew for “holes,” “nests,” “Son of man.” The idiom “where to lay his head” [pou tēn kephalēn klinēi] 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.

9:59 And he said unto another [eipen de pros heteron]. Mt 8:21 omits Christ’s “Follow me” [akolouthei moi] 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 [prōton]. 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.

9:60 Leave the dead to bury their own dead [aphes tous nekrous thapsai tous heautōn nekrous]. 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 [su de apelthōn diaggelle tēn basileian tou theou]. The scribe’s duty is put sharply [But do thou, su de]. 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.

9:61 And another also said [eipen de kai heteros]. 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. [Heteros] does not here mean one of a “different” sort as is sometimes true of this pronoun, but merely another like [allos] (Robertson, Grammar, p. 749). But first [prōton de]. He also had something that was to come “first.” To bid farewell to them that are at my house [apotaxasthai tois eis ton oikon mou]. In itself that was a good thing to do. This first aorist middle infinitive is from [apotassō], 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.

9:62 Having put his hand to the plough [epibalōn tēn cheira ep’ arotron]. Second aorist active participle of [epiballō], an old and common verb, to place upon. Note repetition of preposition [epi] before [arotron] (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 [kai blepōn eis ta opisō]. Looking to the things behind. To do that is fatal as any ploughman knows. The call to turn back is often urgent. Fit [euthetos]. From [eu] and [tithēmi] = 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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