Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 9:23-31

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Luke 9:23

deny himself. Self-denial is central to Christian discipleship (Phil. 2:3-11). Believers seek to make Christ their King above everything else, even their own desires and comfort. cross daily. The cross was a shameful instrument of death. Jesus died on a cross for his people to bring them to God (v. 22; Phil. 2:8; 1 Pet. 3:18). Symbolically, Jesus's disciples die on a cross. They do not die for salvation. They die to sin, selfishness, and safety (14:27; Acts 14:22; Gal. 2:20). This is an ongoing, even daily, mindset and activity (see Rom. 8:5-14; 12:1-2).

Luke 9:24-25

These verses help explain Jesus's previous statement (v. 23). It is foolish to trade even the whole world in this life for an eternity in hell. Yet, if a person loses his life in this world because of Jesus, he still gains eternity with God. Losing one's life means denying ourselves and following Jesus by faith. This could lead to the loss of one's life in martyrdom (see Matt. 10:28; 24:9; Acts 21:13).

Luke 9:26

ashamed. Publicly deny any connection to Jesus or his teaching. Though Jesus will be publicly rejected as the Christ (v. 22), his disciples should not reject him. Those who deny Christ in this life will be denied by him at the future judgment (12:8-9; 2 Tim. 2:11-12). Son of Man . . . glory. A reference to Jesus from Dan. 7:13-14 (see note on 5:22-24). kingdom of God. God's saving reign (see note on 4:43). before they see. The kingdom had already come into the world with Jesus (10:9; 11:20; 16:16; 17:21). However, it had not yet fully arrived. Jesus's resurrection was an important part of the kingdom's arrival (24:44-49).

Luke 9:28

Peter and John and James. See note on 8:51. pray. See notes on 3:21; 6:12.

Luke 9:29

Jesus's glory in heaven as the divine Son of God was veiled when he took on human flesh during his earthly ministry (John 1:1-4, 14-18; 17:5). For a brief time, the disciples were able to see a glimpse of his true glory (2 Pet. 1:16-18). Previously, Moses' face shone brightly because it reflected God's glory (Exod. 34:29-35). By contrast, Jesus's glory came from within himself and shined outward (see Col. 1:19; 2:9; Heb. 1:3).

Luke 9:30-31

Moses. Jewish boy raised in Pharaoh's court during ancient Israel's enslavement (Exod. 2:1-10). As a man, he was called by God to lead Israel to freedom through the exodus from Egypt to Canaan (Exod. 3:1-10). Moses received God's law on Mt. Sinai and delivered it to Israel (Exod. 19:1–20:21). He remained their leader until they entered the Promised Land (Deut. 34:1-8). Elijah. An important prophet in ancient Israel. He confronted kings and Israelites about their lack of faithfulness to God (1 Kgs. 17:1–22:40). Together, Moses and Elijah represent the law and the prophets, which bear witness to Christ. He fulfills the message and promises of the law and prophets (24:25-27, 44-48; Matt. 5:17).

Luke 9:31

departure. The Greek word for exodus. In the New Testament, it can refer to a person's death (2 Pet. 1:15) or ancient Israel's exodus from Egypt (Heb. 11:22). Jesus's death on the cross includes both meanings. He truly died to save his people as the perfect Passover sacrifice (Exod. 12:1-13; 1 Cor. 5:7). At the same time, he gave greater significance to Israel's history, which pointed to him (24:25-27, 44-48). Jesus's death in Jerusalem made possible a greater, spiritual exodus. Through him, God's people were delivered from slavery to sin (Rom. 6:7, 18, 22).

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