"Looking Upon Jesus As He Walked": Luke 9

Luke 9  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Sin and Conscience
Let us look at Herod for a moment in Luke 9. Do you think you have done with sin when you have committed it? Well, one thing is certain, it has not done with you. The charm of sin is gone the moment it is perpetrated. That is your way of disposing of sin, but conscience, which makes cowards of us all, lets you know that it has not done with you.
Herod had beheaded John long before, but now it was said of some that John was risen from the dead, and Herod is perplexed. Here is the worm that never dies (Mark 9:4444Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:44)) doing its business. I am not seeking to make a determination of its eternity, but the Lord in such cases lifts the veil from hell and shows us the worm at its work. Herod could not rest. How could he—he, the murderer of the greatest witness of God in the world at that moment!
The Lord’s Feast
Then we have the apostles returning to Jesus and telling what they had done, and then the feeding of the multitude. Here we get the largeness of the heart of Christ in contrast with every human heart. Even the lovable, open-hearted, good-natured Peter stands in contrast with the heart of Christ.
They say, “Send the multitude away.” He says, No, “give ye them to eat.” And they in a sulky mood of mind ask if they are to go and buy.
The Lord does not refuse to go on with His sulky disciples. He met with vanity, ignorance, heartlessness and bad temper. He always overcame evil with good. If my bad temper puts you into a bad temper, you have been overcome of evil. God never gives place to evil. This is a beautiful instance of it. The disciples said, “Send them away.” Jesus said, “Make them sit down.” Then, being Master of the feast, He must supply the guests.
Mark the moral beauty of Jesus’ feast. He sits as the head of the table in the glory of God and as the perfect Man. As God, He puts forth His creative powers and was acting without robbery (Phil. 2:66Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (Philippians 2:6)). He not only was God, but there was no form of divine power that He would not put forth.
He took His place as perfect Man—an entire contradiction to Adam. What was Adam’s offense? He did not give thanks, but assumed to be master of all. It was a man refusing to be thankful. The Lord as perfect Man gives thanks.
I see Him taking His place at the head of the table in the wilderness, as perfect God and perfect Man. The worship that God got in the person of Jesus was richer incense to Him than if Adam had lived forever as a thankful man. Jesus came to erect out of the ruins a temple for the glory of God that the creation in integrity would never have yielded.
Now our blessed God would have us to know that at His table there is always more than enough. We know what it is to sit comfortably at a plentiful table. When I see very God making the feast and very Man giving thanks, then leaving the wagon loads of fragments, so to speak, what can I do but be thankful! We may, each one, be full and go away thankful that there is plenty for others.
Thoughts of Christ
Now in verse 18 we get a very important part of the gospel story. The Lord was in prayer, and when He arose, He asked His disciples, “Whom say the people that I am?” There is a great deal to be learned in the style [manner] in which an event is recorded in Scripture. Here the Lord’s question draws out the proof that the world was rejecting Him. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.”
You are in the vestibule—the porch—of the mountain of transfiguration. Now He has ascended into heaven as the earth-rejected Son of Man. Man would not give Him place here, so God took Him up to heaven. He asked, “Whom say the people that I am?” And they answered, “Some say, Elias; and others  . . .  one of the old prophets.” What! Is that the best thought that Israel has of Me? “But whom say ye that I am?”
The Glory of Christ
Then the Lord says to the disciples, as it were, “Do not be loving your life. Come away up to the hill with Me, and there I will show the glory.” Now, what suits the man on his way to heavenly glory? Is it money and power and such like that he should be seeking? Judge in yourselves if this is consistent in a man to load himself with clay on his way to a place where there is no clay? The Lord shows you the path and shows you the end of the path. It is only our love of present things that makes such a lesson difficult. My whole soul seals it; would that my whole heart adopted it.
The Ability of Christ
After this, the Lord comes down (vs. 37) and meets His disciples in their inability to cast out a demon. Now, on no occasion does the Lord express disappointment of heart more vividly than here. “O faithless and perverse generation,” He says. The Lord had been tasting the joys of His own land, and He comes down to find faithlessness and defilement. He does not look for glory here, but He does look for the labor and energy of faith. When He finds Himself un-helped by the disciples, He says, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you?” They were amazed at His glory, but while those rays of glory were shining still about His countenance, He says, as it were, “Let this be your understanding of Me  .  .  .  for the Son of Man shall be delivered into the hands of men.”
J. G. Bellett (adapted from Notes on the Gospel of Luke)