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The IVP New Testament Commentary Series – The Call to Faith and Christology (8:4-9:17)
The Call to Faith and Christology (8:4-9:17)

This fifth section of Luke's portrayal of Jesus' Galilean ministry continues to focus on the issue of Christ's authority, but now the attention turns to the responses to that authority. Luke 8:4-21 shows how the Word of God reveals the way to God. The Word for Luke is the preached word of Jesus. That word can be compared to light, and those who are of Jesus' "family" will obey it. Luke 8:22-56 reveals the extent of Jesus' authority through a series of miracles, starting with Jesus' control of nature and moving to demon exorcism, healing and then a resuscitation. Jesus has authority over everything.

Luke 9:1-17 shows Jesus extending his authority through the commissioned ministry of his disciples. They are to preach the kingdom to surrounding towns and villages. As evidence of their authority they have the ability to heal. They are to "feed" those who have need, as the later miracle of the multiplication of loaves indicates. Meanwhile, there is public reaction. Is Jesus a prophet or the prophet to come? Is he John the Baptist reborn? The section ends with a demonstration of authority in the feeding of the multitudes through Jesus' provision and the disciples' distribution. The next passage, Luke 9:18-20, contains Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ. All the events in this section show how Jesus deserves this confession.

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