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Luke Chapter Nine


I. Content of the Chapter


The Identity and Revelation of the Savior the Son of Man

I. He is the lord of works------He sent the twelve apostles (v.1-6).

II. He is the one whom the forerunner bore witness to------Herod doubted that He was John who had risen from the dead (v.7-9).

III. He is the provision of life------five thousand people were filled by five loaves and two fish (v.10-17).

IV. He is the center of revelations:

  A. Peter confessed that He is the Christ of God (v.18-21).

  B. He predicted that He would be killed and then be raised (v.22).

  C. The condition to enter into glory is taking up cross and following the Lord (v.23-26).

  D. He manifested His glory on the mount------we should hear Him only (v.27-36).


The Difficulties of the Disciples of the Savior the Son of Man

I. There was the trouble of the unclean spirit at the foot of the mount------the disciples could not cast out the spirit (v.37-43).

II. The Lord predicted that He would be betrayed into the hands of men------the disciples could not understand the word of the Lord (v.44-45).

III. They disputed that which of them would be greatest------the disciples did not know the principle of the kingdom of God (v.46-48).

IV. They forbad others to cast out the spirit in the name of the Lord------the disciples did not know the principle how the Lord works (v.49-50).

V. They wanted to consume the Samaritans------the disciples did not know the aim for which the Lord works (v.51-56).

VI. The teachings concerning following the Lord------the disciples did not know the conditions to follow the Lord (v.57-62).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Luke. 9:1 “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.

   YLT: “And having called together his twelve disciples, he gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to cure sicknesses,”

   Meaning of Words: “authority”: mastery, dominance.

   Literal Meaning: “Then He called His twelve disciples together” “Disciples” are those who followed the Lord and received His strict training and discipline.

  “And gave them power and authority” “Power” is related to heal diseases and “authority” is related to subdue the demons and teach men (See v.2).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) One becomes the Lord’s worker because of the Lord’s calling instead of his own volition. Only the “disciples” who have been strictly trained and instructed by the Lord are worthy to be called to be His workers.

2) If the Lord “have called them”, He will surely “give them power”. This shows that the Lord is responsible to give power to them who have been called. The Lord’s calling and commission won’t surpass His grace.

3) Power and authority are for the Lord’s work. Only those who are willing to receive the Lord’s sending are worthy to be given power and authority.

4) The spiritual power in service is of the Lord’s commission. If one has not been entrusted by the Lord, he won’t have the spiritual power and consequently there will not be any true spiritual effect.

5) The spiritual power has two uses in the assembly: one is to cope with Satan God’s enemy and its ministers; the other is to help men to grow up in the spiritual life and be perfected.

6) The Lord Jesus came into the world not to gain the so-called works of Christianity but to gain a group of people. He gives His life to them at first and then through them He is manifested among the crowd.


Luke. 9:2 “He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

   YLT: “and he sent them to proclaim the reign of God, and to heal the ailing.”

   Meaning of Words: “He sent them to preach the kingdom of God.” “Send” and “apostle” are of the same character source. The former is a verb and the latter is a noun. However, “apostle” originally means the one who has been separated and latter it indicates the one who has been sent. Therefore this sentence means that the Lord sent those who have been separated to preach His word.


Luke. 9:3 “And He said to them, Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.

   YLT: “And he said unto them, ‘Take nothing for the way, neither staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats each;”

   Meaning of Words: “bag”: the leather pouch for food; “tunic”: body coat.

   Literal Meaning: the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel (1Cor. 9:14). Therefore workers of the Lord, being sent by the Lord to work among God’s people, should not superfluously prepare for the daily necessities. However, the Lord’s workers should gain nothing from unbelievers.

Controversial Clarification: this rule of taking nothing (neither money nor basic necessities) for the journey had been cancelled before the Lord was taken (See 22:35-38). Therefore when we read this verse today, we should understand it in spirit instead of following it literally. The principle of the life of a worker of the Lord is neither to prepare, nor to plan, nor to consider for himself, but to prove in him that God is able to feed us and He takes all the responsibility for us.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) He who works for the Lord should give up both the enjoyment in this age and the reliance besides God, so the Lord says one shall neither take garment nor food nor money. However, the spiritual work requires the spiritual power and power (“staffs”).

2) Workers of the Lord should have faith towards God and should not trust on the uncertainty of riches, but in God who affords us all things richly for enjoyment (1Tim. 6:17).

3) Those who serve the Lord should not be distracted by the material enjoyment on earth. Having sustenance and covering, we will be content with these (1Tim. 6:8).

4) No matter how weak we are, we are still God’s children. We represent God in the world and therefore we should not live a random life.

5) The life of the Lord’s workers should be the life of faith. If the Lord has not done anything, we dare not prepare anything for us by ourselves.


Luke. 9:4Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.

   YLT: “and into whatever house ye may enter, there remain, and thence depart;”

   Literal Meaning: the Lord commanded His workers to preach whole-heartedly and they should not be inconstant or look for the more comfortable lodgment so that they may be distracted by the enjoyment of life.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Our relationship with men should be established upon our respective relationship with the Lord.

2) Those who fear God in heart will assuredly respect and receive those who have been sent by God.


Luke. 9:5 “And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.’”

   YLT: “and as many as may not receive you, going forth from that city, even the dust from your feet shake off, for a testimony against them.’”

   The Background: shake off the very dust from your feet”, when the Pharisees departed from a gentile place, they would do this symbolic action, indicating that they had nothing to do with the “uncleanness” of the Gentiles.

   Literal Meaning: as a testimony against them”: “as a warning to them”;

Spiritual Meaning: “shake off the very dust from your feet”, it shows that the men or place that have rejected Christ should suffer their own actions and their endings in future have nothing with the disciples (Acts. 13:50-51).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Our relationship with the world should be established upon the ground whether they receive the Lord or not. To those who do not receive the Lord, we should not maintain earthly intimate relationship with them.

2) The disguised social welfare should not replace the gospel of Christ. What the Lord cares about is whether men receive the glad tidings that we have preached, not whether we have helped them to improve their living standards.


Luke. 9:6 “So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

   YLT: “And going forth they were going through the several villages, proclaiming good news, and healing everywhere.”


Luke. 9:7 “Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead,

   YLT: “And Herod the tetrarch heard of all the things being done by him, and was perplexed, because it was said by certain, that John hath been raised out of the dead;”

   Meaning of Words: “perplexed”: doubt, puzzle.

   The Background: Herod” is one of the four sons of Herod the Great (Matt. 2:1) and he was also called Herod Antipas. He reigned over Galilee and Libya (in the southeast of the lake of Jordan) from A.D. 4 to A.D. 39.

   Literal Meaning: “John had risen from the dead” The process that John the Baptist was put into prison and killed was recorded in the verses from verse 14 to verse 29 in the sixth chapter of the Book of Matthew.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The moment Herod heard of all that was done by the Lord Jesus, his heart and soul “perplexed”, showing us that once those who commit sins and do evil are enlightened by the Lord they will feel painful and unpeaceful.

2) When the Lord comes, He first shakes men’s thoughts and feelings. If we follow the feeling and seek the Lord’s guidance further, we will fell peaceful. However, if we are unwilling to seek Him further, we just keep “perplexed”.

3) Someone misunderstood that the Lord Jesus was John the Baptist who had risen from the dead, which proves that John was really “like” Christ. He was a real witness of Christ. Christ had been magnified in John whether by life or by death, and “for him to live Christ, and to die gain” (See Phil. 1:20-21).


Luke. 9:8 “and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again.

   YLT: “and by certain, that Elijah did appear, and by others, that a prophet, one of the ancients, was risen;”

   Literal Meaning: prophets are those who have been sent by God to preach the word of God to His people; “Elijah” was the most famous prophet among the Jews.


Luke. 9:9 “Herod said, John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things? So he sought to see Him.

   YLT: “and Herod said, `John I did behead, but who is this concerning whom I hear such things?’ and he was seeking to see him.”

   Literal Meaning: “So he sought to see Him.” The reason why Herod sought to see Him is absolutely not of faith but of curiosity (See 23:8) and even the ill intention (See 13:31).


Luke. 9:10 “And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

   YLT: “And the apostles having turned back, declared to him how great things they did, and having taken them, he withdrew by himself to a desert place of a city called Bethsaida,”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done.” It would be best for the Lord’s workers to report all that they had done to the Lord directly.

2) The public report of works to everybody will always bring about jealousy and dispute.

3) Morgan said that, “the zeal for the statistical data is the way to be self-centered. It is of the flesh and not of the spirit”.

4) If we want to make progress in grace, we have to spend more time being with God by ourselves. The association with men may not make us improve in the spirit. An hour of prayer would always make us improve more than a day of contact with men.

5) We need to be with God by ourselves. Drawing near to God by ourselves and the face to face communion with God will make us serve Him energetically.


Luke. 9:11 “But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.

   YLT: “and the multitudes having known did follow him, and having received them, he was speaking to them concerning the reign of God, and those having need of service he cured.”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “He received them.” Though the quiet time of the Lord was disturbed, He did not regard it as troublesome and He always dealt with the multitudes kindly. The Lord never forgets to bless men because of busyness.

2) “And healed those who had need of healing.” The requirement of the Lord’s healing and salvation is our feeling that we have “the need”. To the one who has the need but does not have a sense of it, though the Lord has the great power, He can not heal or save him.


Luke. 9:12 “When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.’”

   YLT: “And the day began to decline, and the twelve having come near, said to him, `Let away the multitude, that having gone to the villages and the fields round about, they may lodge and may find provision, because here we are in a desert place.’”

   Literal Meaning: “we are in a deserted place here.” The “deserted place” here indicates the wasteland or the clearing that is away from the urban district of Bethsaida (See v.10).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)   The hour was that “the day began to wear away”, location was “in a deserted place”, and the need of the multitude was so urgent and huge. We may often be encountered with such predicaments. The way to solve it is to come to the Lord and tell Him, and one shall not voice one’s own opinions.

2) “Send the multitude away”, it is to ask the multitude to depart from the Lord and we may usually have this tone. “They may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions.”------it is an irresponsible attitude.

3) Concerning our own things, we always say that, “command me to come to You” (See Matt. 14:28) and concerning the things of others, we always say that, “send the multitude away”.

4) The disciples suggested that “sent the multitude away” and “they may go into the surrounding towns and country”, for they did not know the fullness of Christ, who is able to meet all the need of men. Those who do not know the Lord always ask men to rely on themselves.


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 we go and buy food for all these people.’”

   YLT: “And he said unto them, `Give ye them to eat;’ and they said, ‘We have no more than five loaves, and two fishes: except, having gone, we may buy for all this people victuals;’”

   Spiritual Meaning: “five loaves and two fish” these on one hand symbolize the poorness of believers themselves, e.g. the limited power, wisdom and physical strength, and on the other these also typify the limited property that we have received from the Lord and the experience of the risen life of Christ.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord said, “you give them something to eat.” The Lord’s words were to compel the disciples to turn to Him so that they would know and experience Him as the merciful and mighty Lord.

2) “You give them something to eat.” The Lord’s words showed that the disciples actually had something to give to them, yet they did not know that. The Lord always firstly supplies those who draw near to Him before supplying the multitudes.

3) If believers love the Lord, they will take care of and feed the lambs of the Lord (John. 21:15-17).

4) “We have no more than five loaves and two fish”. What we have in our own hands are too limited to meet the great need of the multitudes before our eyes.

5) Believers must know that they are nothing and then they will turn to trust in God who calls those things which do not exist as though they did (Rom. 4:17).


Luke. 9:14 “For there were about five thousand men. Then He said to His disciples, Make them sit down in groups of fifty.’”

   YLT: “for they were about five thousand men. And he said unto his disciples, `Cause them to recline in companies, in each fifty;’”

   Literal Meaning: “there were about five thousand men” Concerning the number “five thousand”, women and children had not been counted here (See Matt. 14:21) and only the men were counted (See Mark. 6:44).

  Spiritual Meaning: “there were about five thousand men.” “five” in the Bible symbolizes “responsibility”. Therefore this verse symbolizes that the Lord is responsible for supplying all the needs of men.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord Jesus always sets things in good order when He makes arrangement for something. In the service of the Lord, we shall also have decent and proper arrangements.

2) Let all things be done decently and with order (1Cor.14:40).

3) No matter how great our need is, the Lord can deal with all of them.

4) In other places of the Bible it is recorded that one hundred people were filled by twenty loaves (2Kings. 4:42-44) and four thousand people by seven loaves and several fish (Matt. 15: 32-39). Here, there was the least amount of loaves and the largest number of men who had been fed, for the loaves were broken into many pieces. It did not lie in the number of the loaves, but the extent how the loaves had been broken that counted------the more they had been broken, the more need of men would be met.


Luke. 9:15 “And they did so, and made them all sit down.

   YLT: “and they did so, and made all to recline;”

   Spiritual Meaning: “and made them all sit down.” It symbolizes that one has stopped his struggle and effort and rests at the feet of the Lord (See Luke. 10:39).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If we want to enjoy the Lord, we have to be quiet (“sit down”) first.

2) The individual fellowship with the Lord, which is different from the corporate fellowship, embraces a special enjoyment and it is even much fuller.


Luke. 9:16 “Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude.

   YLT: “and having taken the five loaves, and the two fishes, having looked up to the heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and was giving to the disciples to set before the multitude;”

   Literal Meaning: “He broke them, and gave them to the disciples.” “Broke” and “gave” in Greek were in the different tenses. “Break” indicates a kind of simple action, however, “give” indicates the verb with continuous actions, showing that the loaves and fish increased continually when they were spread.

   Spiritual Meaning: this verse reveals us the way how could we become the blessing of the multitudes:

  A. “He took” It indicates that one shall devote himself to the Lord.

  B. “And looking up to heaven, He blessed.” God, the fountainhead of all provisions, bestows us the necessary spiritual equipments------including gifts, enlightenments, power and etc.

  C. “And broke them” It symbolizes one’s being dealt with and being broken by the cross.

  This verse also reveals the course of passing on the blessings:

  A. “He took”, being devoted to the Lord firstly;

  B. “Gave them to the disciples” returning back to us after the Lord’s blessing;

  C. “To set before the multitudes” sharing with each other.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Before we give something of ourselves to others, we should first let the Lord “take” it------only by devotion to the Lord can we receive the spiritual value.

2) If the limited things of us are lingered in our own hands, they will be nothing. But it they are devoted to the Lord, they will become blessings of many people.

3) The key point does not rest on the amount of the loaves in our hands, but whether the Lord has “blessed” them or not. When we are unable to meet the present need, if the Lord grants His blessings to us, there will be more than sufficient provisions.  

4) Blessing, breaking and eating and being filled (See v17) are the three steps of actions in order. However, breaking is in the central place of them. If there is only the blessing and there is not the breaking, the five thousands won’t be filled. 

5) Breaking indicates that one is dealt with more deeply by the cross, i.e. tearing one’s soul and mortifying the flesh.

6) Breaking is to make something smaller and make the complete one into fragments. If men consider their own completeness, dignity and comfort, they won’t be used by the Lord.

7) If the loaf remains perfect, it will never satisfy the need of others. However the more the loaves have been broken, the more people will be satisfied by the loaves.

8) If believers love their souls and are not willing to be broken by the Lord, they are of no value. If you are unwilling to be broken by the Lord, you should have devoted yourself to the hand of the Lord.

9) The word “gave” shows that believers are merely the channels of the Lord to deliver the Lord’s provisions.

10) The disciples delivered something to others (“to set before the multitude”) because they had received from the Lord (“gave them to the disciples”). The Lord makes us experience His life first and then we can supply others with His life.

11) We shall not hide the experience that we have obtained from the Lord every time, even though it seems so limited. And we should learn to share it with others.

12) We are just the “loaves” in the hand of the Lord. Those who have eaten the bread are grateful to “the One who distributes the bread”------the Lord, not to the “loaves”------us. As for the service and provision in the assembly, all glory and gratitude should be given to the Lord instead of us.


Luke. 9:17 “So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.

   YLT: “and they did eat, and were all filled, and there was taken up what was over to them of broken pieces, twelve baskets.”

   Literal Meaning: “the leftover fragments were taken up” We should not ruin or waste food, for it is gifted by God (See John. 6:12).

“Basket”, it was a kind of vessel which the Jews usually took with and it could be hitched on their arms to carry food or other sundries.

   Spiritual Meaning: “they all ate” All can enjoy Him.

  “They were filled.” He can satisfy all men.

  “The leftover fragments” The provisions of the Lord are more than sufficient.

  “Twelve baskets were taken up by them.” “Twelve” represents the perfection and His provisions are fully complete.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Though the five loaves and two fish are limited, if one is reluctant to devote them to the Lord, they will be even insufficient for his own need. However, once they are devoted to the Lord, they will produce abundant provisions after the Lord’s blessing.

2) Taking up the leftover fragments teaches us that we should value the grace of the Lord and we should never ruin the grace. We should preserve the superfluous part for the possible future use.

3) When we have learned to give the unsearchable fullness of Christ to others, we will find what we have received (“twelve baskets were taken up by them”) is much more than what we have given (“five loaves and two fish”).


Luke. 9:18 “And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, Who do the crowds say that I am?’”

  YLT: “And it came to pass, as he is praying alone, the disciples were with him, and he questioned them, saying, ‘Who do the multitudes say me to be?’”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “As He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him.” The key to receive the heavenly revelation is to enter into the fellowship of the presence of the Holy Trinity.

2) “He asked them, saying, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’” The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the door to enter the heavenly realm. Those who do not know Jesus Christ cannot partake in the assembly and the kingdom of God.


Luke. 9:19 “So they answered and said, John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.’”

   YLT: “And they answering said, `John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and others, that a prophet, one of the ancients, was risen;’”

   Literal Meaning: “John the Baptist”, his feature is the testimony of life (See 1:6).

  “Elijah”, his feature is his being jealous for God (See 1Kings. 19:14);

  “One of the old prophets,” the feature of “prophets” is to speak for God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah and all prophets were all servants of God and they all spoke for God. Many aspects of them were like Christ. However, they were not Christ. Men are unable to know Christ completely without revelations.

2) Even the disciple who were with the Lord all the day did not seem to know Christ clearly. Those who speak Christ with their mouth may not truly know Christ.


Luke. 9:20 “He said to them, But who do you say that I am? Peter answered and said, The Christ of God.’”

   YLT: “and he said to them, ‘And ye who do ye say me to be?’ and Peter answering said, ‘The Christ of God.’”

   Literal Meaning: “The Christ of God” “Christ” is “the anointed one” (Dan. 9:26) and it is the Lord’s administration from God. God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and sent Him into the world to fulfill His mission (See 4:18-19).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The hearsay and secondhand knowledge (“some say”) do not count. Only the personal and firsthand knowledge (“do you say”) counts. What’s important is whether we have the true knowledge of the Lord.

2) Knowing the Lord is the starting point for men to forsake everything and pursue and obtain Christ (See Pill. 3:8-12).

3) Only believing in Him is not enough, one has to confess Him with his mouth (See Rom. 10:9-10). The Lord likes us to declare that He is “the Christ of God”.


Luke. 9:21 “And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one,

   YLT: “And having charged them, he commanded [them] to say this to no one,”

   Literal Meaning: because the Jews had wrong conceptions towards “Christ” (the Messiah). They thought that the coming Messiah is the savior of the race and He would lead the Jews to rebel the domination of the different race to build a kingdom of peace of the Jews. Therefore if they had publicized that “He is Christ”, it is of no help to His work of salvation and it may also cause trouble.

   Enlightenment in the Word: natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to Him (See 1Cor. 2:14) and therefore we should not tell the experience and things of the Spirit of God to others randomly (See Matt. 7:6).


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 the third day.’”

   YLT: “saying ‘It behoveth the Son of Man to suffer many things, and to be rejected by the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and to be killed, and the third day to be raised.’”

   Literal Meaning: “the Son of Man must suffer many things” “the Son of Man” originates from “the chapter of the Messiah” (Dan. 7:13-14). When He was on earth, the Lord Jesus called Himself “the Son of Man” instead of “the Messiah”. Because at that time the Messiah was the political figure in the hearts of the Jews who was sent by God to lead the Jews to resist the Roman Empire and rebuild the dynasty of David the king. Absolutely the Lord was unwilling to let the Jews misunderstand Him as that one.

  “The Son of Man” shows that He suffered first and then become the Messiah who gained the glory (See Is. 53; Dan. 7:13-14). The Lord Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem to suffer the pain and death. He did not show off the fleshly boldness, however, He did so to keep the will of God to complete the great work of salvation.

  “Be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes” It means to be rejected by the Jewish council; “the elders and chief priests and scribes” are the main members of the council. “Reject” in the original means to reject after tests and therefore it is the intentional rejection instead of the neglect.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The greatest cross of believers is not the trouble from unbelievers but from those who have position in the assembly and the knowledge of the Bible (“the elders and chief priests”) and the trouble is many-sided (“many things”).

2) After men have known Christ with His divinity (See v.20), they have to know Christ who had redeemed men through death.

3) The cross is that He was put to death, however, it did not stop in death and He rose from the dead the third day. This is a faithful saying: for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him (2Tim. 2:11; See 2Cor. 4:10-14).

4) The cross includes three parts: suffering, being killed and resurrection. Unfortunately, the ordinary Christians only know and experience the suffering and lack the experience of being killed and resurrection.


Luke. 9:23 “Then He said to them all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

   YLT: “And he said unto all, `If any one doth will to come after me, let him disown himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me;”

   Literal Meaning: “let him deny himself” “deny”: disown, abstain. It means not only denying the connection but also breaking off the connection. “Deny himself” means that one no longer considers himself as the center of his life and behaviors.

  “And take up his cross daily, and follow me.” There are two kinds of crosses: 1) Christ’s cross------it is for atonement (1Pet. 2:24); 2) the individual cross of believers (his cross) ------it is for one to be crucified with the Lord (Rom. 6:6).

  “Follow” in the original means “to continue unceasingly”. If one wants to “follow the Lord”, he has to forsake the value of self-concern in the world and himself in order to do the will of the Lord completely. This kind of men will be able to be released from the shackles of the world.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “If anyone” means that “anyone is able to”. All believers should follow the Lord without exception and nobody could avoid this.

2) Our “selves” is the greatest trouble that blocks us to follow the Lord. Only when we have denied ourselves will we obey the Lord’s guidance unconditionally and walk in the way of the Lord.

3) The cross is to save others and not to save Himself (Mark. 15:31). If we want to walk in the way of the cross, we have to save others and not to save ourselves. If one saves himself, he cannot save others.

4) The slogan of the cross is to “take away” (John. 19:15) and therefore taking up the cross is taking away oneself, that is to deny oneself------being crucified to the world and to himself (Gal. 6:14).

5) If we want to follow the Lord, we have to deny ourselves; if we want to deny ourselves, we have to take up our own crosses. The cross that the Lord has arranged for everyone is different and everyone has his own cross.

6) The principle of “denying oneself and taking up his own cross” is the destruction which is different from the idea “self-restraint” of the Chinese sages. The one who is good at self-restraining has the greatest “self”. “Self-restraint” is to build oneself and it is to rely oneself to deal with problems. One’s “self-restraint” could gain others’ praise and let others notice that his tolerance is so great that he could bear this and he does not bother the rascals. However, Christians should reject the “self-restraint” and receive the break and destruction of the cross under the light of God.


Luke. 9:24 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.

   YLT: “for whoever may will to save his life, shall lose it, and whoever may lose his life for my sake, he shall save it;”

   Meaning of Words: “loses”: die, miss, destroy.

   Literal Meaning: “life” is “soul” in original. It includes thought, feeling and will.

  This verse means that anyone who seeks comfort and ease in this time and satisfies his soul will suffer in the coming age and lose the enjoyment of soul. Anyone who suffers for the Lord’s sake will receive the enjoyment of soul in the coming age.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The one who wants to save actually loses and the one who wants to lose actually saves; the one who gains actually loses and the one who wants to lose actually gain (See v.25). The knowledge of this principle will save men from grudging eternally.

2) “Losing his life” in this verse is also “denying oneself” and “taking up his cross”; what the cross deals with finally is the self and the life of soul.

3) Taking up one’s cross and denying oneself always make the soul suffer. Anything that is unable to make the soul suffer could not be counted as the cross.


Luke. 9:25 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

   YLT: “for what is a man profited, having gained the whole world, and having lost or having forfeited himself?”

   Literal Meaning: “if he gains the whole world” “the whole world” indicates all that one may attain or gain in this life.

  “And is himself destroyed or lost.” It means the death.

If a man gains the whole world, he only let his soul have the short enjoyment. If someone loses his won soul, his soul will suffer the eternal losses. Everyone knows fairly well that which one is profitable in these two conditions.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The world is useful when men are alive. However, men couldn’t exchange the world for life because life is more precious than the world.

2) This verse shows that “the world” is opposite to “life”. If someone loves the world, he will lose his life. Therefore we should not love the world and should treasure the life.

3) Life is indeed precious, however, the problem is that men’s life will die one day. Therefore we should seize the opportunity to use our life when we are still alive (See Eph. 5:16).

4) We should not use our life for ourselves------with the purpose of pursuit that one should gain the whole world. We should use our life for the Lord------with the purpose of pursuit that one is proud of the Lord and His words (See v.26).


Luke. 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.

   YLT: “`For whoever may be ashamed of me, and of my words, of this one shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he may come in his glory, and the Father’s, and the holy messengers’;”

   Literal Meaning: “whoever is ashamed of Me and My words” “be ashamed of” shows that one may be humiliated by the world because of this. The fear of humiliation is one reason that blocks believers from committing themselves to Christ completely.

  “Of him the Son of Man will be ashamed” It shows that when He comes again in His glory, He will execute the judgment according to everyone’s attitude towards Him.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Those who wholeheartedly want to cater to and please the sinful and adulterous world and do not want to follow and please the Lord will not partake in the kingdom of God

2) “Me and My words” that the Lord had mentioned are “Christ and the cross” that had been spoken previously (See v.20, 22). Whoever is ashamed of Christ and the cross, of him will be ashamed of in the kingdom. On the contrary, whoever is proud of Christ and the cross, he will partake in the glory of future.

3) If indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him (Rom. 8:17); however, if we enjoy the pleasure of sin, we will receive the recompense that fits.

4) The order of the revelations in this chapter is: 1) Christ; 2) the cross; 3) the glory. Christ is the center of the revelations; the cross is the way to manifest Christ; the glory is the peak to manifest Christ.

5) Only knowing Christ and walking in the way of cross will make Christ be fully manifested and this is the glory.


Luke. 9:27 “But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.’”

   YLT: “and I say to you, truly, there are certain of those here standing, who shall not taste of death till they may see the reign of God.’”

   Literal Meaning: “who shall not taste death” means “before the departure”.

  “They see the kingdom of God.” According to literal meaning, this is fulfilled in the experience of the Mountain Hermon from v.28-36 in this chapter (See Matt. 17:1-8). This shows that the vision on the Mountain Hermon is the vision of the kingdom of God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Though the overcoming believers will fully and completely taste the glory of the kingdom of God in the coming age, they have a foretaste of being glorified in this time.

2) Though the way of the cross is painful, its reward is the glory. Whoever walks in the way of the cross with the Lord will gain joy and reward that exceedingly surpass the pain that he had suffered and the price that he had paid.


Luke. 9:28 “Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.

   YLT: “And it came to pass, after these words, as it were eight days, that having taken Peter, and John, and James, he went up to the mountain to pray,”

   Literal Meaning: “about eight days” There were six days (See Matt. 17:1-8) between the day when Peter confessed Jesus as Christ (See v.20) and the day when they climbed the mountain. Here the beginning and last must have been counted and therefore it is recorded “about eight days”.

  “Went up on the mountain to pray” At that time, they were in the region of Caesarea Philippi (See Matt. 16:13-16) and therefore the mountain may be “the Mount Hermon” (See Deut. 3:8-9, Ps. 133:3).

   Spiritual Meaning: “He took Peter, John, and James” they represent overcomers in the believers of the New Testament.

  “Went up on the mountain to pray” It indicates that they have communion with God in the heavenly realm.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We have to live in the resurrection (“about eight days”) and in the heavenly realm (“went up on the mountain”). Then we will see the manifestation of the Lord’s glory.

2) Only few people who love the Lord with pure hearts (Peter, James and John) and have communion with God in the heavenly realm will partake in the glory of kingdom.

3) To those who are on the mountain with the Lord, the heaven is not far from them. Many people see the heaven open when are praying and meditating. Many people feel as if a surge of billows suddenly plunge into them when they have communion with God in secret. They all foretaste the joy in heaven.

4) We should not think that only Peter, John and James are worthy to follow the Lord to the mountain. Peter was impetuous. James and John were bad-tempered. They had misunderstood their Lord and the Lord’s mission. Therefore you had no excuse for not letting the Lord bring you to the mountain. You should not give yourself up as hopeless or say that, “only the few spiritual ones could undergo these unusual experiences”.


Luke. 9:29 “As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.

   YLT: “and it came to pass, in his praying, the appearance of his face became altered, and his garment white sparkling.”

   Meaning of Words: “glisten”: shine, sparkle.

   Literal Meaning: “the appearance of His face was altered” It indicates that they were clear-headed and saw the Lord being transfigured with eyes instead of in dream (See 2Pet. 1:16, 1John. 1:1).

   Spiritual Meaning: “the appearance of His face was altered” This is a preview of the Lord’s second coming that His image of glory (See 2Cor. 3:18) will be fully manifested in the hidden and lowly flesh.

  “His robe became white and glistening” “robe” symbolizes behavior. Therefore it shows that in the kingdom of God, the deeds of the Lord are white, bright and glorious.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) One day, we will be transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2Cor. 3:18).

2) When the Lord comes, He shall come to be gloried in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (2Thess. 1:10).


Luke. 9:30 “And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah,

   YLT: “And lo, two men were speaking together with him, who were Moses and Elijah,”

   The Background: Elijah went up into heaven without the experience of death (See 2Kings. 2:11). Though Moses died in the land of Moab, nobody knew where his tomb was (See Deut. 34:5-6). Moreover, Michael the archangel disputed the body of Moses with the devil (See Jude. 9), implying that God kept his body and would make him resurrect with the original appearance. Therefore these two men are probably “the two witnesses” used by God before the coming of the kingdom of a thousand years (See Rev. 11:3-12).

   Literal Meaning: “talked with Him” They talked about that He was about to be killed in Jerusalem (See v.31).

   Spiritual Meaning: “Moses and Elijah,” “Moses” here represents the Law that is the word written by God; “Elijah” here is the type of prophets who speak for God. The Law and prophets both bear witness to Christ.

  Because “Moses” had died, he represents overcomers who died and would rise again. “Elijah” had not died and therefore he represents overcomers who are caught up when they are alive.


Luke. 9:31 “who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

   YLT: “who having appeared in glory, spake of his outgoing that he was about to fulfil in Jerusalem,”

   Meaning of Words: “decease”: departing.

   Literal Meaning: “spoke of His decease” “Decease” and “exodus” are the same word in the original, showing that they talked about not only His decease but also His resurrection and ascension (See v.57).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The decease of the Lord Jesus is such a great event that it is related to men both in the New Testament and the Old Testament.

2) The crucifixion of the Lord Jesus deals with the matter of sins, the world and death. His crucifixion also destroys Satan and brings salvation to all the human beings. Therefore it is the greatest thing in the world.


Luke. 9:32 “But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him.

   YLT: “but Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep, and having waked, they saw his glory, and the two men standing with him.”


Luke. 9:33 “Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah--not knowing what he said.

   YLT: “And it came to pass, in their parting from him, Peter said unto Jesus, ‘Master, it is good to us to be here; and we may make three booths, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah,’ not knowing what he saith:”

   Literal Meaning: “Master, it is good for us to be here” “Master” means “teacher”; and only the one who experiences this personally know how “good” it is.

  “Let us make three tabernacles.” It shows that Peter deeply expected to stay in the vision and the realm of the kingdom for long and he forgot the Lord’s words that “the Son of Man must suffer many things” (See v.22).

  “One for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” Peter said so because he thought the Lord Jesus, Moses and Elijah were equal.

  “Not knowing what he said.” The vision on the Mountain made deep impression on Peter and greatly affected the service throughout his life from that day forwards (See 1Pet. 1:16-18). Because of his naïve spiritual knowledge, he did not speak probably and this could not correctly reflect his inner feeling.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “It is good for us to be here.” Truly, the best thing for us who have been granted the grace is the glorious appearing of the Lord in the depth of the spirit. When He appears to us, all of us will feel “good”.

2) “Let us make here three tabernacles.” It shows that Peter not only wanted to keep “Christ” but also wanted to keep “the persons and things” that were related to Christ. He had held them high even to the same position with Christ. This is the mistake that Christians usually make.

3) “Let us make here three tabernacles.” It also shows that someone only wants to stay in the state of glory and blessing on the mountain and does not want to come down from the mountain to face sufferings and take up his cross. However, through many tribulations, we must enter into the kingdom of God (Acts. 14:22).

4) The Law and prophets (Moses and the prophets) existed in order to guide men to know Christ. Though they were very important, they cannot be treated equal with Christ because they were only a shadow and the substance is Christ (See Col. 2:17).

5) In the kingdom of God, any ceremony, regulation (the Law) and spiritual giant (the prophet) is unworthy to share the equal position with Christ.

6) Though Moses and Elijah were most respected by the children of Israel, they cannot be mentioned in the same breath with the Lord. Any spiritual giant or religious leader is unworthy to share the glory of Christ. Our Lord is the lord of lords, the king of kings. Only He is worthy to be solely glorified.

7) Work and labor (which Moses stands for), and faith and power (which Elijah stands for) cannot share glory with the Lord. We should let Him have the first place in all things (Col. 1:18).

8) Believers should take heed of their words and we should not speak randomly.


Luke. 9:34 “While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.

   YLT: “and as he was speaking these things, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them, and they feared in their entering into the cloud,”

   Literal Meaning: “a cloud came and overshadowed them” “Cloud” is accompanied with God’s presence, protection and guidance (See Exod. 16:10, 19:9, 24:15-18, 33:9-10).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Sometimes our life on earth is unavoidably full of black clouds. However, in the heavenly kingdom in future, every cloud is bright.

2) Only the heavenly revelations could overthrow the silly fervency and make men truly fear God (“they were fearful”).


Luke. 9:35 “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!’”

   YLT: “and a voice came out of the cloud saying, ‘This is My Son the Beloved; hear ye him;’”

   Literal Meaning: “And a voice came out of the cloud” It is the voice of God. God Himself broke the words of Peter with a voice and corrected his wrong conception.

  This is My beloved Son.” It shows the Father’s praise to Jesus (See Ps. 2:7, Gen. 22:2). When Jesus was baptized, the Father said the same word (See 1:11) and praised His “behaviors” of thirty years that satisfied the will of the Father. Here He praised His “works” of three years that also satisfied the will of the Father.

  “Hear Him!” means “unto Him you shall hearken” (See Deut. 18:15). Only “His word” is worthy to be solely respected and the word of anyone else cannot be compared with His word.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Only the Lord is the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father (John. 1:18). Only He deeply knows the will of the Father and therefore we should “hear Him”. God likes us to solely respect and hear Him and we should no longer hear anyone else.

2) Men will truly know the Lord only when they “hear” the voice of God. 

3) In the time of the New Testament, we should not hear outward regulations and traditions (the Law) or spiritual giants (the prophets). We should hear the Lord who dwells in us.

4) Believers always like to “talk about” Him and seldom “hear” Him.

5) Those who truly “hear” the Lord assuredly obey His word. Only the hearing of God’s word with obedience is the true hearing (See James. 1:22-25).


Luke. 9:36 “When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.

   YLT: “and when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone; and they were silent, and declared to no one in those days anything of what they have seen.”

   Literal Meaning: “But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.” After the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead, the disciples told men their experience on the mountain in order to bear witness to the identity of the Lord Jesus. However, it is harmful to tell men the things before the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Those who truly have spiritual sights see that “Jesus was found alone”.

2) Spiritual progress depends on our eyes which may be gradually turned away from persons and things that are besides the Lord and be fixed steadfastly on Him.

3) We should not tell the vision on the mountain to others randomly at the foot of the mountain (i.e. this time) because: a) the time has not come; b) only those who have received the Lord’s living life are able to understand, talk about and enter into the reality of the vision (See 1Cor. 2:10-15).

4) We should not tell to the public randomly what we have seen in secret until the right time.

5) Believers should learn from the example of the Lord Jesus to speak and walk------if the time has not come, we should say and do nothing (See John. 7:6).


Luke. 9:37 “Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him.

   YLT: “And it came to pass on the next day, they having come down from the mount, there met him a great multitude,”


Luke. 9:38 “Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child.

   YLT: “and lo, a man from the multitude cried out, saying, `Teacher, I beseech thee, look upon my son, because he is my only begotten;”


Luke. 9:39 “And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him.

   YLT: “and lo, a spirit doth take him, and suddenly he doth cry out, and it teareth him, with foaming, and it hardly departeth from him, bruising him,”

   Literal Meaning: “it convulses him” “Convulse” indicates that one’s body twitches and jerks involuntarily.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord led the disciples come down from the mountain and they met the one who was possessed by the devil. This shows us that:

  A. Truly, it is sweet to see the glorious Christ on the mountain, however, we should not forget men who are pressed by the devil at the foot of the mountain. They are waiting for us to release and save them.

  B. We must go up to the mountain and see the glorious Christ first and then we could come down from the mountain to cast out the unclean spirit.

2) The work of the devil is to make a fool of men and make them be unable to decide for themselves.


Luke. 9:40 “So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.’”

   YLT: “and I besought thy disciples that they might cast it out, and they were not able.’”

   Literal Meaning: “but they could not” Please note that the Lord had given them power and authority over all demons (See v.1).

   Spiritual Meaning: “I implored Your disciples” “disciples” represent believers.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The reason why the disciples could not cast out the devil is not the ineffectiveness of power given by the Lord but that they were unable to use the power under the state at that time. If the spiritual state of believers falls behind, the spiritual power will be restrained to take effect.

2) Many times, when men are confronted with difficulties, they do not ask the Lord for help but spiritual men (“disciples”) and consequently the difficulties still exist.

3) “But they could not”. Originally believers have heavenly power to cast out demons. However, we always fail in real life.


Luke. 9:41 “Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.’”

   YLT: “And Jesus answering said, `O generation, unstedfast and perverse, till when shall I be with you, and suffer you? bring near hither thy son;’”

   Meaning of Words: “faithless”: unbelief; “perverse”: distort, turn away.

   Literal Meaning: “faithless and perverse generation,” “Faithless” is towards the Lord’s power; “perverse” is towards the Lord’s will.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) What mostly hurts the Lord (“how long shall I bear with you?”) is the evil heart of unbelief (See Heb. 3:12).

2) The Lord’s signing words show that the reason why the disciples could not cure him is that the Lord was not with them in the flesh. They forgot to draw the Lord’s presence in spirit (See 1Cor. 5:3) and tried to cast out the demon, relying on themselves and consequently it resulted in failure.

3) The generation was wicked and adulterous and therefore it could not enjoy the goodness of the Lord’s presence. However, if one is willing to come to the Lord and implore Him, he will finally be cured.

4) Believers cannot be jointed to the Lord and draw His power and authority because of their unbelief.


Luke. 9:42 “And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.

   YLT: “and as he is yet coming near, the demon rent him, and tore [him] sore, and Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the youth, and gave him back to his father.”

   Meaning of Words: “rebuke”: scold, forbid.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When the Lord Jesus and the disciples were on the mount, everything is white and glistening (See v.29). However, when they were in the real environments at the foot of the mount, they were confronted with the problem of the power of darkness (the demon).

2) We should never be polite when dealing with the demon. We should use the heavenly power and “rebuke” it and it would flee.

3) The sickness of that child was caused by the demon and when the demon was cast out, he was cured. When we pray for the healing of disease, we should have spiritual sight to discern whether the reason of the disease is due to nature or super nature.


Luke. 9:43 “And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples,

   YLT: “And they were all amazed at the greatness of God, and while all are wondering at all things that Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,”

   Meaning of Words: “amazed”: astound, astonish; “majesty”: stately, magnificent.


Luke. 9:44Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.’”

   YLT: “`Lay ye to your ears these words, for the Son of Man is about to be delivered up to the hands of men.’”

   Literal Meaning: “the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” It indicates that He would be sold out and be delivered to the local government (See Mark. 9:31).

   Enlightenment in the word:

1) The one who was manifested as the incomparably glorious king in vision even “is about to be betrayed into the hands of men”, showing that one has to suffer before gaining in the glory (See 1Pet. 5:1).

2) If indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be gloried together (Rom. 8:17).

3) Before the complete fulfillment of the glorious vision, one has to go through the way of cross. Only those who have experienced the cross will partake in the reality of the glorious vision.


Luke. 9:45 “But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.

   YLT: “And they were not knowing this saying, and it was veiled from them, that they might not perceive it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.”

   Literal Meaning: the Lord predicted that He would be killed and raised again and again, however, the disciples still cannot understand His words.


Luke. 9:46 “Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest.

   YLT: “And there entered a reasoning among them, this, Who may be greater of them?”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Not merely the world likes to dispute that who is the greatest, but also this difficulty exists in the assembly.

2) The inclination to dispute that who is the greatest is of the natural life of the old man. Only those who live in the spiritual life of the new man are able to solve this problem.


Luke. 9:47 “And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him,

   YLT: “and Jesus having seen the reasoning of their heart, having taken hold of a child, set him beside himself,”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) A child holds that he has nothing to boast and therefore his humbleness is sincere. Whoever holds that he is nothing, owns nothing and only leads a life relying on God’s mercy and grace is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

2) The Lord humbled Himself and therefore He was highly exalted by God (Pill. 2:8-9). The principle in the spiritual realm is that for every one who humbles himself shall be exalted (See Luke. 18:14).

3) The humbler one is, the more he is able to be reigned by God and the greater he is in the kingdom of heaven.

4) Children are able to have rest in the present position and do not feel that they entail strenuous effort or suffer losses.


Luke. 9:48 “and said to them, Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.’”

   YLT: “and said to them, ‘Whoever may receive this child in my name, doth receive me, and whoever may receive me, doth receive Him who sent me, for he who is least among you all he shall be great.’”

   Literal Meaning: “whoever receives this little child in My name” “In My name” has three meanings: 1) in order to glorify the name of the Lord; 2) for the Lord Himself; 3) according to the fact that the child is of the Lord. “Receive”: welcome, be concerned about, accept willingly.

  “Whoever receives this little child receives Me.” “Little child” indicates believers who are spiritually naïve and weak. Grown-ups always dislike the childishness, ignorance and bother of children. Only those who become little children are able to willingly receive those who are children in minds (See 1Cor. 13:11, 14:20). This kind of reception shall be remembered by the Lord (See Matt. 10:42, 25:40).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We should love both Christ and all the Saints.

2) In the sight of the Lord, our attitudes towards men are equivalent to our attitudes towards Himself (See Matt. 10:40).

3) “For he who is least among you all will be great.” In the assembly, only those who are willing to humble themselves and serve others are the true spiritual leaders.

4) Truly, “being greatest” is to take care of those who are weak, ordinary, and helpless and those who are despised by others.


Luke. 9:49 “Now John answered and said, Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.’”

   YLT: “And John answering said, ‘Master, we saw a certain one in thy name casting forth the demons, and we forbade him, because he doth not follow with us;’”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In service, we should not haggle over that whether others “follow with us”------whether they do according to our methods, tunes, customs and etc.

2) We will forbid him if one does not follow with us. The narrow conception and execution are often seen in the past two thousand years in the history of church. In many groups of the church, as long as someone does not agree with the opinion of the leader, he will be forbidden by them and therefore it results in the division.

3) It is “the spirit of sect” to condemn and forbid whoever does not “follow with us” concerning views, methods and actions. The one with the spirit of sect has not been dealt with by the cross.

4) Many ministers become indignant and want to revenge others by spiritual ways (for example: they assault others in the message of alter or spiritual books and periodicals; they belittle others in the arrangement of service) because they have not received others’ approval. These are not in accord with the spirit of Christ.

5) What many men pay attention to is the accordance of the outward form. However, what the Lord pays attention to is whether they have the inner spiritual reality.


Luke. 9:50 “But Jesus said to him, Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.’”

   YLT: “and Jesus said unto him, ‘Forbid not, for he who is not against us, is for us.’”

   Literal Meaning: “Do not forbid him” Obviously, the mind of the Lord Jesus is not as narrow as that of the disciples. What the Lord cares is that men glorify Him virtually instead of following Him exteriorly.

  “For he who is not against us is on our side.” It means that whoever shares a bitter hatred of the enemy profits us.

  Controversial Clarification: the words in this verse seem to be contradictory to the sentence “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters” in Luke. 11:23. Actually, it is not so. In chapter 11 the Lord meant that believers should agree with each other in “faith” and “those who are against the Lord”. However, the Lord here meant that believers could have distinctions in “methods” and “fellow-workers” and we should tolerate each other.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Believers should not form small groups and we should not reject the dissidents.

2) We should be severe towards enemies and lenient towards believers.

3) Men’s attitude towards Christ is only approval or disapproval and there isn’t the intermediate attitude. However, concerning the views and methods in service, we should not require others to follow with us.


Luke. 9:51 “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,

   YLT: “And it came to pass, in the completing of the days of his being taken up, that he fixed his face to go on to Jerusalem,”

   Spiritual Meaning: “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” It means that “He steadfastly set His face to take up His cross to fulfill the will of God”.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “That He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” The Lord has a fixed direction in His way and He walked with a fixed purpose. When we follow the Lord, we must have the fixed direction and purpose.

2) Paul said that “I do one thing, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Pill. 3:13-14). It is the aim that he pursues. Friends, is this that you pursue?

3) The cross was taken up by Him before He was received up into the heaven. Since believers know that the coming of the Lord draws nigh, we should determine to do the will that God has set for us------taking up the cross to follow the Lord.


Luke. 9:52 “and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.

   YLT: “and he sent messengers before his face, and having gone on, they went into a village of Samaritans, to make ready for him,”

   The Background: Samaria was on the north side of the land of Judaea. The north kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrian in 700 BC, most of the Jews were carried to Assyria as captives and the king of Assyria brought people from nations and made them dwell in this place (See 2Kings. 17). From then on, the lineage of the residents in this place was mixed. In the time of Jesus, the Jews regarded the Samaritans as “bastards” and they disdained to contact with them (See John. 4:9).


Luke. 9:53 “But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.

   YLT: “and they did not receive him, because his face was going on to Jerusalem.”

   The Background: In the time of Jesus, the Samaritans were especially hostile towards the Jews who passed by Samaria to go to Jerusalem to keep feast and they rejected to provide the accommodation for them. Therefore the Jew who lived in Galilee usually avoided passing by Samaria and they walked along the way on the east of the lake of Jordan and went down to Jerusalem.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The way of cross is not welcome to men. Whenever you make up your mind to walk in the way of cross, men will not receive you.

2) The carnal Christians (the Samaritans) could not understand the will of God at all and therefore they show unfriendly attitude towards those who desire to do the will of God whole-heartedly.


Luke. 9:54 “And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?’”

   YLT: “And his disciples James and John having seen, said, `Sir, wilt thou [that] we may command fire to come down from the heaven, and to consume them, as also Elijah did?’”

  Literal Meaning: James and John were irritable and therefore they were called “sons of thunder” (Mark. 3:17). Here they spoke the words of impatience.

  “Just as Elijah did” Elijah the prophet once asked the fire come down from heaven and consume the people who were sent by Ahab the king (See 2Kings. 1:10-12).


Luke. 9:55 “But He turned and rebuked them, and said, You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.

   YLT: “and having turned, he rebuked them, and said, `Ye have not known of what spirit ye are;”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Natural men can only see others’ shortcomings instead of their own weak points.

2) The wrath of men does not produce the righteousness of God (James. 1:20). Those who want to help the Lord by their own natural feeling and zeal destroy the building of the Lord contrarily.


Luke. 9:56 “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them. And they went to another village.

   YLT: “for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save;’ and they went on to another village.”

   Literal Meaning: not to destroy men's lives but to save them” means that “not to revenge but to provide”.


Luke. 9:57 “Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.’”

   YLT: “And it came to pass, as they are going on in the way, a certain one said unto him, `I will follow thee wherever thou mayest go, sir;’”

Literal Meaning: “someone said to Him” This one was a scribe (See Matt. 8:17) who was the Bible scholar of the Old Testament. He was not called by the Lord and he took the initiative to “come” to the Lord.

“I will follow You wherever You go.” He may want to gain the mysterious power to do wonders in order to be outstanding in the circle of religion because he had seen the Lord casting out demons and healing diseases.


Luke. 9:58 “And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’”

   YLT: “and Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes, and the fowls of the heaven places of rest, but the Son of Man hath not where he may recline the head.’”

   Literal Meaning: the words of the Lord show that: even animals have places to inhabit on earth. However, the Lord sacrificed the warm and rest of family life in order to do the will of God. The Lord said so not to gain others’ sympathy. Through this He showed us that following the Lord is not pleasant and contrarily one may suffer many pains.

  “But the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” The word shows that the Lord does not have a place of rest on earth; and suffering is the sign of His life (See 2:12).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord had sojourned on earth for us and what shall we do for Him?

2) The Lord was rejected on earth and He had no place to lay His head. Today what He asks for us is to dwell in our hearts through faith (See Eph. 3:17).

3) If someone takes the initiative to follow the Lord, He will ask him to consider the prices because natural zealousness will be step back by prices eventually.

4) When we have a will to follow the Lord (v.57), we should make great determination and for the sake of the Lord, we could even sacrifice the warm and enjoyment in family life.


Luke. 9:59 “Then He said to another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’”

   YLT: “And he said unto another, ‘Be following me;’ and he said, ‘Sir, permit me, having gone away, first to bury my father;’”

   The Background: the Jews attached great importance to bury their family members. They held that this was the sacred responsibility of sons and daughters and it was more important than any religious duty. Even the religious regulations could be delayed for this.

Literal Meaning: “let me first go and bury my father.” It is a proverb at that time and it means to serve parents while they are alive and give proper burial after their death. That disciple meant that he wanted to do his duty as a son to his family first and then he would follow the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “Lord, let me first…” His word is self-contradictory. Should the Lord be first or should I be first? Since we call the Lord lord, we should value the Lord’s will more than ours.

2) It is the most common phenomenon for Christians today that we put our things first and delay ourselves to follow and serve the Lord.

3) It is absolutely reasonable and right for us to show love and respect to the dying or dead father. However, any reasonable and right person or thing should not be the excuse for us to reject the calling of the Lord.


Luke. 9:60 “Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.’”

   YLT: “and Jesus said to him, ‘Suffer the dead to bury their own dead, and thou, having gone away, publish the reign of God.’”

Literal Meaning: the first “dead” indicates sinners who are dead in the spirit (Eph. 2:1, 5). The second “dead” indicates men who are dead in the flesh. The Lord here did not ask us not to care about the needs of our family. (The Lord, at the point of death on the cross, asked His disciple to look after His mother. See John. 19:26-27). The Lord meant that we should not wait and follow the Lord until all the earthly things are done well.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) To the scribe who took the initiative to follow the Lord, He asked him to sit down and count the price (See v.57-58). To the disciple who had been called and would draw back, the Lord encouraged him to go forth. It shows that what’s important in following the Lord is whether we have the calling of the Lord rather than our own willingness.

2) Anyone knows the true significance of life would give priority to doing the command of the Lord and would not let the less important things disturb his service to the Lord.


Luke. 9:61 “And another also said, Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.’”

   YLT: “And another also said, ‘I will follow thee, sir, but first permit me to take leave of those in my house;’”

   Literal Meaning: “let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” It is the ordinary politeness in life for one to “bid them farewell who are at my house”. Even if it is the most elementary formality, it is wrong to give the priority over “obeying the Lord immediately and completely”.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When following the Lord, we are always confronted with a choice: who is more important, “the Lord” or our “family members”?

2) If we love our father or mother above the Lord, we are not worthy of Him. If we love our son or daughter above the Lord, we are not worthy of Him (Matt. 10:37).

3) When the Lord calls us, if we have not made the determination to devote ourselves to Him and follow Him, probably we won’t have any chance to follow Him forever.


Luke. 9:62 “But Jesus said to him, No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’”

   YLT: “and Jesus said unto him, ‘No one having put his hand on a plough, and looking back, is fit for the reign of God.’”

   The Background: the Lord Jesus was once a carpenter (Mark. 6:3). It is said that He was good at making the handles of plow, yokes and other tools for plowing. Therefore He was very familiar with the plow and yoke (See Matt. 11:29-30).

  “Having put his hand to the plow, and looking back” In ancient times, men plowed the land with the plow. The farmer put his hands to the plow when the livestock was dragging in front. The farmer should fix his eyes on the front of the plow and should not look back. Because once he looked back, the plow would incline so that the ridge would be crooked; at the same time, the plowshare might fall so deep that the livestock cannot continue to drag forth.

   Spiritual Meaning: “Having put his hand to the plow, and looking back.” “The plow” indicates our service. Once believers put their hands to the plow and have been instructed by the Lord, we should not look back or have any concern besides the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If one, having put his hand to the plow, looks back, the land he plows must not be straight. Those who do the work of the Lord should do it whole-heartedly and should not let themselves be involved by the worldly things. 

2) Once we have received the calling of the Lord, we should advance bravely and be duty-bound and should never turn back. Those who are overcautious and indecisive cannot do the work of the Lord well.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Lord’s Workers

I. They have been chosen, called and sent by the Lord------Jesus called, gave, and sent them (v.1-2).

II. They have been equipped by the Lord------He gave them power and authority (v.1b).

III. The Lord will arrange and provide them all the needs of their life (v.3-4).

IV. They do not have any earthly involvement with the world (v.5).

V. Their main mission------preaching the gospel and healing everywhere (v.6).


The Way of the Lord’s Workers

I. As long as the workers obey the Lord’s sending, the Lord will assuredly take all the responsibility for their life (v.1-6).

II. Though they have been persecuted by the earthly regime, they bear good witness to the Lord (v.7-9).

III. They should devote themselves to the Lord and rely on Him as the channels to supply the spiritual food (v.10-17).

IV. They should know Christ more (v.18-22).

V. They should deny themselves and take up their own crosses to follow the Lord (v.23).

VI. They should lose the enjoyment of the life of soul for the Lord (v.24-25).

VII. They should not be ashamed of the Lord and His words (v.26).


Five Loaves and Two Fish (v.16-17)

I. Be devoted to the Lord------“Jesus took”.

II. Through the Lord’s blessing------“looking up to the heaven, He blessed”.

III. Be broken by the Lord’s cross------“He broke them”.

IV. Be the channels of the Lord------“He gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude”.

V. The sufficient provision------“they all ate and were filled”.

VI. One shall not waste the Lord’s grace------“the leftover fragments were taken up”.

VII. The full and abundant grace------“twelve baskets were taken up by them”.


The Knowledge that We should Have towards the Lord Jesus

I. We should know that He is our provision of life (v.10-17).

II. We should know that He is the Christ of God (v.18-21).

III. We should know that He is our redeemer (v.22-25).

IV. We should know that He will come again in His glory (v.26-27).

V. We should know that He is the Beloved Son of God (v.28-36).

VI. We should know that He has the power that overcomes the devil (v.37-43).


The Revelation of the Kingdom of A Thousand Years (v.28-36)

I. Christ gains glory and reigns (See Rev. 11:15).

II. Peter, James and John symbolize the house of Israel (See Rom. 11:26).

III. Moses symbolizes believers who have been dead and rise (See 1Cor. 15:52; 1Thess. 4:16).

IV. Elijah symbolizes believers who are raptured when they are alive (See 1Thess. 4:17).

V. Men who were at the foot of the mountain symbolize the nations (See Is. 11:10-12).


The Microcosm of the Kingdom of God

I. The overcomers of the New Testament will appear in the glory with the Lord (v.28).

II. Everything of the Lord is white and glistening (v.29).

III. The overcomers of the Old Testament also partake in the kingdom (v.30).


In the Kingdom of God, Only the Lord Jesus is Solely Respected

I. The wrongness of the tree tabernacles------the law and the prophets cannot be regarded as equal with the Lord (v.33).

II. The declaration of God the Father------we should hear the Beloved Son of God only (v.34-35).

III. Jesus was found alone (v.36a).


The Difficulties of Those who Follow the Lord

I. They could not conquer the unclean spirit (v.37-43).

II. They could not understand the word of the Lord (v.44-45).

III. A dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest (v.46-48).

IV. They forbade others to cast out demons (v.49-50).

V. They wanted to revenge those who were unwilling to receive them (v.51-56).

VI. They could not overcome the enjoyment and involvement of the flesh (v.57-62).


The Witness, Application and Way of the Vision of the Kingdom of God

I. The witness of the vision------they did not tell others the vision randomly (v.36b).

II. The application in life of the vision:

  A. In the real life at the foot of the mountain, there was the harassment of the power of darkness (v.37-39).

  B. The disciples failed because they relied on themselves (v.40).

  C. If one comes to the Lord with faith, he will assuredly see the manifestation of God’s great power (v.41-43).

III. The way of the vision:

  A. One has to undergo the cross before the complete fulfillment of the glorious vision (v.44).

  B. The carnal ones do not understand the cross (v.45).


The Way for the Workers of the Lord to Deal with Men

I. Do not dispute that which of them should be greatest and contrarily receive little ones for the name of the Lord willingly (v.46-48).

II. Tolerate the dissidents and deal with them kindly because they are of Christ (v.49-50).

III. Realize the Lord’s heart to save men and do not revenge because they do not receive us (v.51-56).


The Ambition that Those Who Follow the Lord should Have

I. Do not seek the earthly ease------have nowhere to lay one’s head (v.57-58).

II. Do not care about things of death------let the dead bury their own dead (v.59-60).

III. Cut off the fleshly connection------do not look back, having put one’s hand to the plow (v.61-62).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren