Only those parts of the Third Gospel that are peculiar to it are commented on here. For all other parts the reader should
consult the Commentaries on the parallel passages in the other Gospels.
THE PUBLIC MINISTRY OF JESUS 3-21 (continued)
Second Period of the Ministry in Galilee and Across Its Lake 6, 17 -- 9,
The Mission of the Apostles. 1-5. Commission and instruction of the Apostles: parallels in
Matt. 10, 1.9-11.14 and Mark 6, 7-11. 6. Ministry of the Apostles:
parallel in Mark 6, 12 f. 7-9. Opinion of Herod and the people concerning
Jesus: parallels in Matt. 14, 1 f and Mark 6, 14-16. From Luke's account alone one might be led to
think that Herod himself did not accept the popular notion that Jesus was the Baptist come back to life. But from the
other Synoptic Gospels it is certain that Herod himself believed in this idea of the people. This is the only time that
Luke speaks of the death of the Baptist. 10a. Return of the Apostles: parallel in
Mark 6, 30. 10b-11. Across the lake: parallels in Matt. 14, 13
f; Mark 6, 31-34; John 6, 1-3.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand. Parallels in Matt. 14, 15-21; Mark 6, 35-44; John 6,
4-13. Luke has the shortest account of this miracle and records nothing that is not known from the other Gospels.
It is rather surprising that Luke has nothing at all of the following events of our
Lord's life as recorded in the other two Synoptic Gospels: the walking of Jesus and Peter upon the water, the miraculous cures
at Genesareth, the dispute about the traditions of the ancients, the cure of the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman, the
cure of the deaf-mute and the other miracles in Decapolis, the second multiplication of the loaves, the warning against the
leaven of the Pharisees, and the cure of the blind man at Bethsaida (Matt. 14, 22 -- 16, 12; Mark 6,
45 -- 8, 26). This is sometimes called "The Great Omission" of the Third Gospel. Those who hold that
Luke used the Gospel of St. Mark as one of the sources of his Gospel have various ways of explaining why this whole section
of Mark's Gospel was omitted by St. Luke.
4. Ministry Mostly
in the Regions Bordering on Galilee 9, 18-50
18-22: Peter's Confession; Passion and Resurrection Foretold. 18-21. Peter's avowal
of his faith in Christ: parallels in Matt. 16, 13-20 and Mark 8, 27-30. 18.
Luke does not mention the locality, but he alone tells us that Jesus offered up special prayers before this important occasion,
as also before the choice of the Apostles (6, 12). 20. The Christ of
God: i.e., the Anointed of God, a phrase peculiar to Luke (cf. 2, 26). Peter's full confession and Christ's
response to it are recorded in Matt. 16, 16-19. 22. The first prediction
of the Passion and Resurrection: parallels in Matt. 16, 21 and Mark 8, 31. Luke omits Peter's remonstrance
and Christ's rebuke to him (cf. Matt. 16, 22 f; Mark 8, 32 f).
23-27: The Doctrine of the Cross. Parallels in Matt. 16, 24-28 and Mark 8, 34-39.
23. The word daily is in Luke alone. This shows clearly that our Lord is speaking of
the cross in a figurative sense, for a man cannot be crucified in the literal sense every day. We must take
up the cross of self-denial anew every day, if we are to persevere in the following of Christ.
9, 28-36: Jesus Transfigured. Parallels in Matt. 17, 1-8 and Mark
9, 1-7. 28. To pray: Luke again notes the prayer of Christ
before an important event. 31. His death: literally, "His departure," i.e.,
from this life. This shows the intimate connection between the Transfiguration and Christ's death: our Lord revealed
His glory to these Apostles to prepare them for the scandal of the Cross. To fulfill: Christ's death was a
fulfillment of the will of the Father as expressed in the prophecies of the Old Testament.
32. Peculiar to Luke. Note the similarity between this scene and that of the Agony
in the Garden: in both places the same three Apostles are taken by Christ apart from the others to pray (28), and
in both places they become drowsy while He prays alone. When they were fully awake, they saw . . . : It seem
that the Apostles witnessed neither the beginning nor the end of the Transfiguration (see Commentary on Mark 9, 7).
33. As they were parting: apparently the sight of the departure of Moses and Elias induced
Peter to make the offer of erecting tents for them, as if he could thus detain them. 36b.
These there Apostles kept the Transfiguration a secret because Christ had commanded them to do so (cf. Matt. 17,
9; Mark 9, 8 f). Luke has nothing of the following discussion about the coming of Elias (cf. Matt. 17,
9-13; Mark 9, 8-12).
9, 37-44a: A Possessed
Boy. Parallels in Matt. 17, 14-20 and Mark 9, 13-28. Luke's account, which is the shortest
of the three, is much more similar to Matthew's than to Mark's. 38. He is my
only child: literally "my only-begotten one"; Luke alone strikes this note of pathos. 44a.
Majesty: the only other occurrence of this Greek word in the New Testament is in 2 Pet. 1, 16,
the "grandeur" of Christ at the Transfiguration; literally it signifies "the manifestation of greatness or of great works."
9, 44b-45: The Second Prediction of the Passion.
Parallels in Matt. 17, 21 f and Mark 9, 29-31. 44b. As given in
our text, the sense seems to be, "Remember what I am now telling you, namely, that the Son of Man is to be betrayed . . ."
But words may be used here in the sense of "things, events" as often in Greek; the sense would then be, "Remember
these marvelous things which you have witnessed." In the Greek and the Latin text the following phrase is, "For
the Son of Man . . ." Hence, not only the Transfiguration but also the miracles of Christ were to serve the Apostles
as reminders of His divinity when they would see Him humiliated in the Passion.
46-50: Against Ambition and Envy. 46-48. Against ambition: parallels in Matt. 18,
1-5 and Mark 9, 32-36. 49 f. Against envy: parallel in Mark 9,
5. Ministry on the Journey to Jerusalem 9,
51 -- 18, 34
This section, commonly called the Perean
ministry and recorded to a large extent by St. Luke alone, gives the journey of Jesus towards Jerusalem after he had left
Galilee. John also mentions some important events belonging to this same period. Very little of this part of the
Third Gospel has parallel passages in Mark, but there is a considerable amount in this section of Luke which is found
in various parts of the First Gospel. Some authors do not take all these events, which are recorded in this section
of Luke, as happening in chronological order on one long journey made continuously in the direction towards Jerusalem; for,
even though indications of time and place are very rare in this section, we find our Lord successively in Samaria (9,
52), at Bethany (10, 38), in Herod's domain (13, 31), "passing between Samaria and Galilee" (17,
11), and finally at Jericho (18, 35), where Luke's narrative again joins that of Matthew and Mark. Perhaps
it is best to consider our Lord's wanderings during this period as a general missionary tour in various directions, but outside
of Galilee, and with the intention of arriving ultimately in Jerusalem (cf. 9, 51; 9, 57; 10, 1;
13, 22; 14, 25; 18, 31).
51-56: The Unfriendly Samaritans. 51. To be taken up seems to refer to the
Ascension rather than directly to Christ's death. He steadfastly set his face expresses Christ's determined
will to do, suffer and die at Jerusalem as His Father had decreed; cf. Isa. 50, 7. 54.
See Commentary on Mark 3, 17. Some Greek manuscripts add to the Apostle's question the gloss, "As Elias did"
(cf. 4 Kgs. 1, 9-14). 55 f. On the testimony of the best manuscripts
the critical editions of the Greek text reject this saying of Christ as unauthentic. The words for the Son of Man
. . . to save them may indeed have been adapted here from Christ's words in 19, 10 (cf. also John 3,
17). If genuine, these words may be understood in the sense, "You should not seek personal revenge but should be willing
to forgive injuries" (cf. the response of David in 2 Kgs. 16, 10), or in the sense, "You are led rather
by the spirit of Satan than by the Spirit of God" (cf. Matt. 16, 23).
57-62: Sacrifice to Follow Christ. The first two incidents mentioned here (57-60) are given in Matt.
8, 19-22 as happening much earlier in the Ministry. But they seem more likely to have occurred, as Luke states,
during the journey to Jerusalem, for now rather than during the Galilean ministry could Jesus well say, that the Son of
Man has nowhere to lay his head. 61 f. Jesus demands an absolute detachment
even from family ties in those whom He calls to be His most intimate followers (cf. 14, 25 f). But this is
not demanded of all Christians, as is clear from the Epistles of the New Testament. 62.
The figure is taken from the agricultural life of the Holy Land. There the plowman must constantly keep his eyes on
the furrow, lest his plow strike against the numerous rocks which often dot the Palestinian soil. So also the disciple
of Jesus must give his undivided attention to his vocation and devote himself unreservedly to the Kingdom of God. These
three incidents were probably a part of the sifting out of the candidates preparatory to the sending forth of the seventy-two
disciples (cf. the words Now after this in the next v.).
The Mission of
the Apostles 1 Then having summoned the twelve apostles, he gave them power and authority over all the
devils, and to cure diseases. 2 And he sent them forth to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. 3 And
he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, neither staff, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money; neither have two tunics.
4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and do not leave the place. 5 And whoever does not receive you---go forth
from that town, and shake off even the dust from your feet for a witness against them." 6 And going forth, they went
about from village to village, preaching the gospel and working cures everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was being
done by him, and was much perplexed, because it was said 8 by some, "John has risen from the dead"; and by some,
"Elias has appeared"; and by others, "One of the prophets of old has risen again." 9 But Herod said, "John I beheaded;
but who is this about whom I hear such things?" And he endeavored to see him.
10 And the apostles on their return reported
to him all that they had done. And taking them with him, he withdrew apart to a desert place, which belongs to Bethsaida.
11 But the crowds on learning it followed him. And he welcomed them, and spoke to them of the kingdom of God, and those
in need of cure he healed.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand 12 Now the day began to decline; and the Twelve
came up and said to him, "Send the crowds away, so that they may go into the villages and farms roundabout and find lodging
and provisions, for we are in a desert place here." 13 But he said to them, "You yourselves give them some food."
And they said, "We have not more than five loaves and two fishes, unless we are to go and buy food for all this crowd."
14 For there were about five thousand men present.
Then he said to his disciples, "Make them recline in groups of fifties." 15 And they
did so, and made them all recline. 16 And he took the five loaves and two fishes, and looking up to heaven, blessed
them and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the crowds. 17 And all ate and were satisfied;
and what was left over to them was gathered up, twelve baskets of fragments.
Peter's Confession 18
And it came to pass as he was praying in private, that his disciples also were with him, and he asked them, saying, "Who do
the crowds say that I am?" 19 And they answered and said, "John the Baptist; and others, Elias; and others, that one
of the ancient prophets has risen again."
20 And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said,
"The Christ of God." 21* But he strictly charged them, and commanded them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, "The
Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and Scribes, and be put to death, and
on the third day rise again."
The Doctrine of the Cross 23 And he said to all, "If anyone wishes to
come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For he who would save his life will
lose it; but he who loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole
world, but ruin or lose himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed
when he comes in his glory and that of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I say to you truly, there are some
of those standing here who will not taste death, till they have seen the kingdom of God."
28 Now it came to pass about eight days after these words, that he took Peter, James and John and went up the mountain to
pray. 29 And as he prayed, the appearance of his countenance was changed, and his raiment became a radiant white.
30 And behold, two men were talking with him. And these were Moses and Elias, 31 who, appearing in glory, spoke of his
death, which he was about to fulfill in Jerusalem.
32 Now Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep. But when they were fully awake,
they saw his glory and the two men who were standing with him. 33 And it came to pass as they were parting from him,
that Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here. And let us set up three tents, one for thee, and one
for Moses, and one for Elias," not knowing what he said. 34 But as he was speaking thus, there came a cloud and overshadowed
them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, "This is my
beloved Son; hear him." 36 And they kept silence and told no one at that time any of these things that they had seen.
A Boy Possessed by
a Devil 37 Now it came to pass on the following day, when they came down from the mountain, that a large
crowd met him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, saying, "Master, I pray thee to look at my son, for he
is my only child; 39 and behold, a spirit seizes him and he suddenly cries out; and it throws him down and convulses him so
that he foams, and bruising him sorely, it scarcely leaves him. 40 And I prayed thy disciples to cast it out, but they
But Jesus answered and said, "O unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you?
Bring thy son here to me." 42 And as he was yet coming near, the devil cast him down and threw him into convulsions.
43 But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and restored him to his father. 44 And all were astounded
at the majesty of God.
Another Prediction of the Passion But while all marveled at all the things
that he was doing, he said to his disciples, "Store up these words in your minds: the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the
hands of men." 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them, that they might not perceive
it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Against Ambition and Envy 46 Now a discussion arose among
them, which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their heart, took a little child and set
him at his side, 48 and said to them, "Whoever receives this little child for my sake, receives me; and whoever receives me,
receives him who sent me. For he who is the least among you, he is the greatest."
49 But John answered and said, "Master, we
saw a man casting out devils in thy name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us." 50 And Jesus said
to him, "Do not forbid him; for he who is not against you is for you.
The Unfriendly Samaritans 51 Now it came to pass, when the
days had come for him to be taken up, that he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before him.
And they went and entered a Samaritan town to make ready for him; 53* and they did not receive him, because his face was set
for Jerusalem. 54 But when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, wilt thou that we bid fire come
down from heaven and consume them?"
55 But he turned and rebuked them, saying, "You do not know of what manner of spirit you are; 56 for the
Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." And they went to another village.
Sacrifice to Follow
Christ 57 And it came to pass as they went on their journey, that a man said to him, "I will follow thee
wherever thou goest." 58 And Jesus said to him, "The foxes have dens, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son
of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
59 And he said to another, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60 But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their dead, but do thou go and proclaim the kingdom of God." 61 And another
said, "I will follow thee, Lord; but let me first bid farewell to those at home." 62* Jesus said to him, "No one, having
put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
21: Before His Passion, Death and Resurrection,
Jesus wished no open manifestation of His dignity, to preclude all hopes of a temporal messianic kingdom.
53: The Samaritans contended that
their temple on Mount Garizim was the only legitimate place for worship and were hostile to anyone going to the temple of
Jerusalem to worship.
62: Undivided attention is required of the disciples of Jesus.