Luke 9:18 MEANING

Luke 9:18
(18) And it came to pass . . .--St. Luke, it will be noted, omits the narrative of our Lord's walking on the water, of the feeding of the Four Thousand, of the Syro-Ph?nician woman, and of the teaching as to the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. We cannot get beyond a conjectural explanation of these phenomena, but it is possible that, as a matter of fact, he simply did not learn these facts in the course of his inquiries, and therefore did not insert them. As far as it goes, the fact suggests the inference that he had not seen the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark in the form in which we now have them. On the narrative that follows (Luke 9:18-27), see Notes on Matthew 16:13-28; Mark 8:27; Mark 9:1.

As he was alone praying.--There is, as before (see Introduction, and Notes on Luke 3:21; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12), something characteristic in the stress which St. Luke lays on the fact. It is as though he saw in what follows the result of the previous prayer.

Verses 18-27. - Jesus question to his own: Who did they think he was? He tells them of a suffering Messiah, and describes the lot of his own true followers. Verse 18. - And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? With these abrupt words, St. Luke changes for his readers the time and scene. Since the miracle of feeding the five thousand at Bethsaida Julias, Jesus had preached at Capernaum the famous sermon on the "Bread of life" (reported in John 6.); he had wandered to the north-east as far as the maritime cities of Tyro and Sidon; had returned again to the Decapolis region for a brief sojourn; and then once more had turned his footsteps north; and it was in the extreme confines of the Holy Land, in the neighbourhood of Caesarea Philippi, and close to the great fountain, the source of the sacred Jordan, at the foot of the southern ridge of Hermon, where he put the momentous question here chronicled, to his listening disciples. Much had happened since the five thousand were fed. The defection which the Master had foreseen when he commenced his parable-teaching with the sad story of the "sower," had begun. After the great Capernaum sermon (John 6.), many had fallen away from him; the enthusiasm for his words was rapidly waning; the end was already in sight. "Well," he asks his own, "what are men saying about me? Whom do they think that I am?"

9:18-27 It is an unspeakable comfort that our Lord Jesus is God's Anointed; this signifies that he was both appointed to be the Messiah, and qualified for it. Jesus discourses concerning his own sufferings and death. And so far must his disciples be from thinking how to prevent his sufferings, that they must prepare for their own. We often meet with crosses in the way of duty; and though we must not pull them upon our own heads, yet, when they are laid for us, we must take them up, and carry them after Christ. It is well or ill with us, according as it is well or ill with our souls. The body cannot be happy, if the soul be miserable in the other world; but the soul may be happy, though the body is greatly afflicted and oppressed in this world. We must never be ashamed of Christ and his gospel.And it came to pass, as he was alone praying,.... To his God and Father, for himself as man, and mediator; for the success of his Gospel, and the increase of his interest; and for his disciples, that they might have a clearer revelation of him; and which they had, as appears in their after confession of him by Peter, as the mouth of them all. The place where he now retired for private devotion, was somewhere in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi; for he was now gone from the desert of Bethsaida, as appears from Matthew 16:13 and when he is said to be alone, the meaning is, that he was retired from the multitude, but not from his disciples; for it follows,

his disciples were with him, in this solitary place:

and he asked them, being with them alone;

saying, Whom say the people that I am? what are the sentiments of the common people, or of the people in general concerning me? The Alexandrian copy, and the Arabic version read, "men", as in Matthew 16:13. See Gill on Matthew 16:13.

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