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Sending out the Twelve Disciples



9:1-2 After Jesus called the twelve together, he gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases.

And he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.


Jesus called His twelve disciples to Him and gave to them miraculous power and authority over all demons to cast them out of those who were

possessed. He sent them out to preach gospel message of the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick of every kind of disease.


9:3 He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey — no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, and do not take an extra tunic.


He gave them specific instructions to travel with the least amount of luggage and provision that they could. In fact they were to go only with the

clothes they were dressed in. They were to take no walking stick, no travellers bag, food, money or a change of clothes.


9:4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave the area.


hatever house they lodged in they were to stay there until they were ready to leave the city.  


9:5 Wherever they do not receive you, as you leave that town, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.


Whoever refuses to take them into their home or rejects the message that they bring (see Matt. 10:14) when they leave that city they are to shake the dust off their feet as a witness against those who had despised and rejected the gospel message and leave them to their fate (Acts 13:51).


9:6 Then they departed and went throughout the villages, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.


So they departed from Jesus and went into all the towns preaching the gospel and healing the sick.


Herod's Perplexity


9:7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was happening, and he was thoroughly perplexed, because some people were saying that John had been raised from the dead.


King Herod the tetrarch of Galilee (that is one of four rulers that governed different parts of Israel) when he heard about all the miracles that Jesus was doing was greatly perplexed, confused because it was rumoured that John the Baptist had come back to life.


9:8 While others were saying that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had risen.


Others said that Jesus was Elijah or some other Old Testament prophet who had come back.


9:9 Herod said, "I had John beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?" So Herod wanted to learn about Jesus. 


Herod's perplexity was that he knew that he had John beheaded and that he saw his head brought to him on a plate. So who was this man that he had heard so much about and was doing these miraculous things? He wanted to see Jesus for himself to satisfy his curiosity.


Feeding the Five Thousand


9:10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida.


When the twelve disciples returned from the evangelistic tour they reported to Jesus how successful they had been. The healings, the demons they had cast out and the response to the gospel message. After this he took them away for a rest to a quiet place just outside Bethsaida.


9:11 But when the crowds found out, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and cured those who needed healing.


But when the multitudes became aware of it they followed Him.   He did not turn them away but welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those who were sick.


9:12 Now the day began to draw to a close, so the twelve came and said to Jesus, "Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and food, because we are in an isolated place."


Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to ask Him to send the crowds away to get food from the nearby farms and villages and to find lodgings for the night. The place where they were was isolated  and there nothing to hand to give them.


9.13 But he said to them, "You give them something to eat." They replied, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish — unless we go and buy food for all these people."


Jesus astounding his disciples by telling them to feed the multitude.   All they had was five loaves of bread and two fish that had been given to them.  So they asked Him if He wanted them to go and buy enough food to feed the whole crowd.


9:14-15 (Now about five thousand men were there.) Then he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." So they did as Jesus directed, and the people all sat down.


There were about five thousand men besides the women and children.   He told the disciples to organise them into groups of fifty and to have them sit down.   So the people all sat down.


9:16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke them. He gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.


Taking the five loaves and two fish from His disciples Jesus lifted His eyes up to heaven in prayer and blessed them. He then broke them into pieces and gave  it to His disciples  to give to the multitude.


9:17 They all ate and were satisfied, and what was left over was picked up — twelve baskets of broken pieces.


They all ate as much as they wanted to and when they gathered up what remained they filled twelve baskets.


Peter Declares his Belief in Jesus


9:18 Once when Jesus was praying by himself, and his disciples were nearby, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"


One day when Jesus was privately praying His disciples joined Him and He asked them who the people were saying He was.


9:19 They answered, "John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others that one of the prophets of long ago has risen."


They replied that some say that He is John the Baptist and some that He is Elijah, while others say that He is one of the old prophets that is risen from the dead.


9:20-21 Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ of God." But he forcefully commanded them not to tell this to anyone.


Then He asked them "but who do you say that I am". Peter said "You are the Christ of God" the Messiah, the Anointed One (John 6:67-69). He ordered them to tell anyone who He was.


9:22 Saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."


Then He went on to tell them plainly that He, the Son of Man, must suffer many things and would be rejected by the elders, chief priest and scribes and handed over to be killed, crucified by the Romans but that on the third day He would be raised from the dead.  


The Cost of Following Jesus


9:23 Then he said to them all, "If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.


Then He said to all the crowd that were before Him that if anyone wants to become His disciple, follow Him, he must not do the things that he wants to please himself but must deny himself and every day take up his cross, submit to God's will and be prepared to sacrifice following in the footsteps of Jesus.


9:24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.


Whoever wants to save his own life, live for self only, will find that he will lose his life.   But whoever is prepared to give his life for the sake of Jesus Christ will save it (1 Cor. 15:30-31).


9:25 For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself?


What will a person benefit if he should have all this world's goods and its approval but lose his own soul and is destroyed.


9:26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.


If anyone is ashamed of owning Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and His message then when He comes again in His glory which He shares with His Father and the glory of the holy angels, He will be ashamed of them.


9:27 But I tell you most certainly, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God.


He finishes His discourse by stating as a truth that there were those who were present who will live to see the many enetered into the Kingdom of God through the preaching of Salvation through Him.


Jesus Transfigured


9:28 Now about eight days after these sayings, Jesus took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up the mountain to pray.


Just over a week later after He had spoken to His disciples Jesus took three of them, Peter, James and John with Him up a mountain to pray.


9:29-30 As he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became very bright, a brilliant white. Then two men, Moses and Elijah, began talking with him.


While Jesus was praying the appearance of His face change and His clothes became a dazzling white.  Suddenly two men, Moses and Elijah were talking to Him.


9:31 They appeared in glorious splendor and spoke about his departure that he was about to carry out at Jerusalem.


They appeared in splendour and majesty, the glory of God, and spoke to Jesus of His approaching death which He was about to accomplished in Jerusalem which He had already told His disciples of in verse in verse 22.


9:32 Now Peter and those with him were quite sleepy, but as they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men Standing with him.


Peter and the other two disciples had fallen fast asleep, most probably while Jesus was praying as they did later in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 14:37). On awakening they saw the glory of the Lord and Moses and Elijah standing with Him.


9:33 Then as the men were starting to leave, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three shelters, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah" — not knowing what he was saying.


As  Moses and Elijah were leaving, Peter realising how privileged and the significance  of what they had seen wanted to make three tabernacles, one for Jesus and the others for the two prophets.  Peter said this to Jesus not knowing what he was saying. He was placing  Moses and Elijah  on the same footing although he had already acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ the Son of God (verse  20).


9:34-35 As he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. Then a voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him!"


As he was speaking a cloud came and covered them all and they were afraid.   The voice of God spoke to them from out of the cloud saying "this is My Son, the Chosen One; listen to Him" (HCSB).


9:36 After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. So they kept silent and told no one at that time anything of what they had seen.


After God had spoken, Jesus was there alone with His disciples but at that time they told no one about what they had seen and heard.


Deliverance of a Demon Possessed Boy


9:37-38 Now on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. Then a man from the crowd cried out, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son — he is my only child!


The following day as they had came down form the mountain a large multitude met Jesus and a man from out of the crowd shouting out pleading with Him to look with pity upon his son, his only child.


9:39 A spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions and causes him to foam at the mouth. It hardly ever leaves him alone, torturing him severely.


The boy was possessed by an evil spirit which keeps taking control of him and throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth. Afterwards these attacks he is left bruised and wounded. This happened very often.


9:40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.


The father had brought the boy to Jesus' disciples begging them to cast the spirit out but they couldn't do it.


9:41 Jesus answered, "You unbelieving and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you and endure you? Bring your son here."


Jesus turning to the crowd called them and unbelieving and rebellious generation and how long will He be with them and put up with them, then He told the father to bring his son to Him.   It is clear from the account in Mark's gospel that Jesus was not speaking to His disciples or the father (Mark 9:24-28).


9:42 As the boy was approaching, the demon threw him to the ground and shook him with convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.


As the boy approached Jesus the demon knocked him down and sent him into a severe convulsions. Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of the boy and He handed Him back to his father cured.


9:43 Then they were all astonished at the mighty power of God...


All the people were astonished at the manifestation of the greatness of God.


Jesus Foretells His Betrayal


9:43-44 ...But while the entire crowd was amazed at everything Jesus was doing, he said to his disciples, "Take these words to heart, for the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men."


While the crowd were taken up with amazing at the things that He was doing Jesus turned to His disciples and warned them to listen very carefully to what He was about to say and not forget His words. The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands and those who were seeking to kill Him.


9:45 But they did not understand this statement; its meaning had been concealed from them, so that they could not grasp it. Yet they were afraid to ask him about this statement.


The disciples could not understand what He was saying to them because it did not correspond with their own ideas as to how the Messiah would come as a mighty King to deliver Israel. The truth of what He said was hidden from them and they were afraid to ask Him what He meant.


The Greatest in the Kingdom


9:46 Now an argument started among the disciples as to which of them might be the greatest.


As they were going along an argument broke out amongst the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest in the Kingdom of God.


9:47 But when Jesus discerned their innermost thoughts, he took a child, had him stand by his side.


Jesus knowing the thoughts of their hearts took a little child and had him to stand by His side.


9:48 And said to them, "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me, for the one who is least among you all is the one who is great."


He told His disciples that whoever is prepared to accept and receive a little child like this one He had set before them, in His Name, because he belongs to Him, receives and accepts Him and whoever receives and accepts Jesus also receives and accepts the Father who had sent Him. It is whoever thinks himself to be the least, the lowest amongst them will be great.


Using the Name of Jesus


9:49 John answered, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he is not a disciple along with us."


John then tells Jesus about someone whom they had seen casting out demons by using the power and authority of His Name and they had stopped him doing so because he did not belong to the group of disciples.


9:50 But Jesus said to him, "Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you."


But Jesus told him not to stop such people for whoever is not against them is on their side. It is obvious that as the man used the Name of Jesus the demons were cast out and as it is only in the Name of Jesus can this be done the man was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Jesus Rejected


9:51 Now when the days drew near for him to be taken up, Jesus set out resolutely to go to Jerusalem.


The time was now coming closer when Jesus would be taken up to be crucified so He resolutely, with decision and unwavering firmness, set His face to go to Jerusalem.


9:52 He sent messengers on ahead of him. As they went along, they entered a Samaritan village to make things ready in advance for him.


He sent messengers ahead of Him to a Samaritan village to prepare for His arrival.


9:53 But the villagers refused to welcome him, because he was determined to go to Jerusalem.


It would appear that the disciples were welcome and had made the preparations but that when Jesus came they would not receive Him. This was because they understood that He only intended staying overnight and then journey on to Jerusalem.It had been of a long time a controversy between the Jews and Samaritans, which was the right place of worship; whether at the temple at Jerusalem, or whether at their temple on Mount Gerizzim? (Gill).  This controversy was most probable the reason that they rejected Jesus.


9:54 Now when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do you want us to call fire to come down from heaven and consume them ?"


When James and John saw this they wanted permission off the Lord to command fire down from heaven to burn them up as Elijah had done (2 Kings 1:12).


9:55-56 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went on to another village.


But Jesus severely rebuked them because they did not have a right spirit for He, the Son of Man had not come to destroy lives but to save them. So they went to another village.


Discipleship means Full Commitment


9:57 As they were walking along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

As they journeyed  on the road to Jerusalem a man came to the Lord Jesus Christ made the bold statement that he would follow Him wherever He went.


9:58 Jesus said to him, "Foxes have dens and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."


Jesus told the man what he could expect if he did indeed follow Him. Foxes have dens, birds have nests but he had not home to lay His head down.


9:59 Jesus said to another, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."


Then Jesus called another one to follow Him but this man was not prepare to follow Him immediately but wanted to attend to burying his father first. It other words he put it off and was not prepared to commit himself fully to following the Lord.


9:60 But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."


"In saying to the man "let the dead bury the dead"  Jesus was not speaking against or being disrespectful of burying the dead" (Gill). He had called the man to follow Him then and there to "take up his cross" which means full commitment, putting Jesus first (Matt. 10:36-39).


9:61 Yet another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to my family."


Another came to Him and said that he would follow Him after he had gone home and said goodbye to those at home.


9:62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."


Jesus told him that if anyone has put his hand to the work and then leaves off and turns back is not fit for the kingdom of God. In giving His replies to these men, who apparently wanted to follow Him on their own conditions. Jesus  knew that they were not in earnest.   Following Jesus cannot be done halfheartedly there has to be a full commitment or nothing at all.


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