This section represents a significant turning point in the Gospel. Peter's confession of Jesus not only answers the question of Jesus' identity but also brings a shift in Jesus' teaching. From this point Jesus begins to prepare the disciples for his death and for the discipleship of bearing one's cross daily. In fact, six times Jesus notes his approaching suffering (9:22, 44; 12:50; 13:31-33; 17:25; 18:31). Three of these notes have parallels in Mark 8:31-32, 9:30-32 and 10:32-34, but three of them are unique to Luke.
While the crowds wrestle with the prophetic nature of Jesus' ministry, the disciples realize that Jesus is the promised one, the anointed ruler promised by the Old Testament. But despite Jesus' prominent and authoritative position, God's program is not a matter of the raw exercise of power. The disciples think that kingdom means immediate victory. Jesus must show them that before the glory comes the cross and a life of sacrificial service. This is what Jesus portrays as the "new way" (9:23-27). Other passages in this section show that the disciples have much to learn, so the voice from heaven at the transfiguration tells them to listen to Jesus. He offers instruction on the new and true way to God.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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