A New Lifestyle
Explore the Bible Series
Background Passage: Luke 9:1-50
Lesson Passage: Luke 9:18-27
Introduction: Luke devoted approximately four
chapters to recording the Great Galilean ministry of Jesus ().
William Hendriksen reasoned that Jesus initiated this important period
of his public life in late December, 27 A.D and continued in this district for
some time. Luke marks a
significant turning point in Jesus’ atoning ministry,“…he
steadfastly set his face to go to
The events recorded in chapter nine bring the Great Galilean Ministry to a crescendo.
The sending out of the Twelve (9:1-6): Jesus
gave his disciples power (denotes ability, might) and authority (indicates
station or status) to cast out demons, heal the sick, and preach the
· Herod’s perplexity concerning the identity of Jesus (9:7-9): Luke did not mindlessly and needlessly insert this story in the gospel narrative. Much of this chapter focuses on describing the people’s confused and misguided assessment of Jesus’ identity (like that of Herod Antipas); then, Luke clearly established the correct understanding of the person and work of Christ.
· The feeding of the five thousand (-17): With the noteworthy exception of Christ’s resurrection, this is the only miracle recorded in all four gospels. The ancient Jews believed that the Messiah would celebrate a great banquet with his people, and Jesus’ miraculous provision for the crowds clearly revealed the Master’s identity as the Chosen One.
· Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ and Jesus’ prediction of his death and resurrection (-20): See below.
· The transfiguration of Jesus (-36): The chapter reaches its apex in this story of Jesus’ glorious transfiguration. This account teaches at least three great truths concerning the Savior.
1. The veil of humanity somewhat concealed Christ’s glorious identity as the Son of God. The transfiguration drew back, for a moment, the veil to reveal the glorious character of the Lord as the God/Man.
2. The appearance of Elijah and Moses indicated that Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.
3. The Father expressed his full approval and approbation of the character of the Son. As the dear Savior approached his great redemptive task, the Father affirmed the Lord’s suitability for this unique work.
· A boy cleansed of a demon and healed of disease (-42): The day after Jesus’ transfiguration, the Lord exorcised a demon from a poor, tormented boy. The disciples had failed to help the desperate lad, but the Lord dealt with the situation with a simple, powerful rebuke of the demon. The Lord’s transfiguration did not change the nature of his earthly ministry. He came to expose, engage, and defeat the powers of evil.
The Lord rebuked unnecessary disputes among his
followers (-50): The disciple’s awareness of the Lord’s glory
did not prevent them from engaging in petty disagreements. First, the disciples disputed among
themselves who would be the greatest in the
I. The Disciple’s Confession (Luke -20)
A. The occasion of Peter’s confession (): The demands on Jesus’ time and energy did not persuade the Lord to neglect his prayer life. Characteristically, Luke emphasized the private devotional practice of the Master.
B. Jesus’ inquiry (Luke
9:18b-19): “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
Of course, Jesus did not ask this question to gain information; rather,
he used this query as a diagnostic tool to reveal the perceptiveness and
resilience of the disciples. The Twelve
summarized the diverse ideas that circulated in
1. Unregenerate men believe they pay homage to Jesus by comparing him to great and insightful leaders. Unfortunately, they do not understand the incomparable nature of the Savior. This, of course, is nothing new. No doubt, the men of Jesus’ day believed they had paid a meaningful tribute to Jesus by identifying him as John, Elijah, or one of the other prophets.
2. The central issue in our apologetics (defense) for the Christian faith is the person and work of Christ. Christianity is not about one’s views on biological evolution, politics, abortion, stem-cell research, or same-sex marriage. Christians should, indeed must, address these important issues, but the central apologetic for the Christian faith centers on Christ alone.
C. Peter’s statement of
faith (): Having defined the
opinions of the crowds, Jesus brought his inquiry to bear on the Twelve. “Who do you say that I am?” Peter assumed the
role of spokesman for the Twelve, and he gave a good account of his
understanding of the Lord’s person. J.C Ryle called Peter “…one in ten
thousand…” The poor, impetuous, erring
man was filled with passion for the glory of Christ. Of course, such impulsive men often do much
damage in the
II. The Disciple’s Cross (Luke (-27):
A. The non-negotiable demand of the cross (9:23): The demand for self-denial and cross bearing is not reserved for a few “super saints” who aspire to a deeper walk with Christ; rather, this command comes to all who will follow Christ.
B. The persistent demand of the cross (): The words “follow me” translate a verb tense that denotes a continuous action. Jesus called his disciples to a life of self-denial and loving obedience.
C. The difficult demand of the cross (): The term “cross” may conjure, for modern Christians, images of golden jewelry and church ornamentation; however, the image of the cross provoked no such thoughts for the disciples. The cross was the implement of painful death. Self-denial, Jesus taught, is not an easy thing.
Walter Chantry wrote,” Put to death self-importance, self-satisfaction, self-absorption, self-advancement, self-dependence. And ‘whosoever will lose his life for my sake.’ That’s it. Death to self-interest because you serve Christ’s honor! Even capitulation of those things which men call legitimate interests, for God’s glory (sic)!” (The Shadow of the Cross, p.25)
D. The promise of the cross (): The Christian life consists of great ironies. Jesus pointed out that the way to gain one’s life is to lose it. The life that Jesus gives is abundant, free, and eternal.
E. The consequence of refusing the cross (Luke -26): Those who refuse to take up the cross of self-denial will meet with a shameful end. They will not see the splendor of the Godhead and the glory of the angels in heaven. Furthermore, this text reveals the inestimable value of a soul. All of the world’s treasures cannot measure the worth of a soul.
Note: Verse 27 proves very difficult to
interpret. Some commentators believe
this refers to the Transfiguration of Jesus (Ryle and several of the Church
Fathers). This view seems unlikely to
me. The text implies that the passage of
some time will occur before “some” see the