The Meaning of Luke 9:23 Explained

Luke 9:23

KJV: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

YLT: And he said unto all, 'If any one doth will to come after me, let him disown himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me;

Darby: And he said to them all, If any one will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me;

ASV: And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Discover Luke 9:23

What does Luke 9:23 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The "all" must be the disciples in view of the context ( Luke 9:18). Coming after Jesus means becoming a disciple of His. Denying self is more fundamental than denying things. It involves forsaking one"s personal ambitions and desires to fulfill the will of God. It means living for His sake rather than our own. Criminals going to crucifixion normally carried the crosspiece (Gr. patibulum) of their own cross. [1] Carrying one"s own cross therefore implied bearing the reproach and burden associated with one"s chosen way of life. To do this daily meant enduring these things as a disciple of Jesus day after day having no prospect of release in this life. Jesus meant that His disciples had to bear a particular burden that non-disciples did not have to bear. It is particularly the consequences associated with choosing to follow Jesus wholeheartedly that are in view. Jesus" disciples must keep following Him daily and bear the consequences of their choice that will involve loss ( Luke 9:24-25) and shame ( Luke 9:26) for them. The implication is that we need to do this with the real possibility of laying down our lives clearly in view (cf. Genesis 22:6).

Context Summary

Luke 9:18-27 - The True Use Of Life
Here and also in Luke 9:28 reference is made to the Master's prayers. He was praying alone, before He broke to His friends the death which awaited Him and in which we may have some share; He was praying, too, when the cloud of glory overshadowed Him. Would it not be well to begin this new day with the resolve to pray more! If the Lord needed it, surely we do, whether for the Cross or the Transfiguration Mount.
Into such prayer, petition and intercession must needs enter. But, ah, what prayer that is, which is neither of these, but the opening of our nature to the inflowing of the divine nature, which is Love, when the soul recognizes its oneness with God and the whole universe!
Our Lord asked these questions that He might lead the Apostles to crystallize their own conceptions in Peter's magnificent affirmation. But they who will follow His footsteps must expect His lot! First, the Cross is set up in our heart, and day by day our old self-nature is crucified there; then we have to endure for others the Cross of rejection, shame and death. But it is thus that we gain ourselves and come into possession of our own souls. If we dare take this path, neither here nor hereafter will Christ be ashamed of us. [source]

Chapter Summary: Luke 9

1  Jesus sends his apostles to work miracles, and to preach
7  Herod desires to see Jesus
10  The apostles return
12  Jesus feeds five thousand;
18  inquires what opinion the world had of him; foretells his passion;
23  proposes to all the pattern of his patience
28  The transfiguration
37  He heals the lunatic;
43  again forewarns his disciples of his passion;
46  commends humility;
51  bids them to show mildness toward all, without desire of revenge
57  Many would follow him, but upon conditions

Greek Commentary for Luke 9:23

He said unto all [ελεγεν δε προς παντας]
This is like Luke (cf. Luke 9:43). Jesus wanted all (the multitude with his disciples, as Mark 8:34 has it) to understand the lesson of self-sacrifice. They could not yet understand the full meaning of Christ‘s words as applied to his approaching death of which he had been speaking. But certainly the shadow of the cross is already across the path of Jesus as he is here speaking. For details (soul, life, forfeit, gain, profit, lose, world) see notes on Matthew 16:24-26 and note on Mark 8:34-37. The word for lose (απολεσει — apolesei from απολλυμι — apollumi a very common verb) is used in the sense of destroy, kill, lose, as here. Note the mercantile terms in this passage (gain, lose, fine or forfeit, exchange). [source]
Daily [κατ ημεραν]
Peculiar to Luke in this incident. Take up the cross (his own cross) daily (aorist tense, αρατω — āratō), but keep on following me The cross was a familiar figure in Palestine. It was rising before Jesus as his destiny. Each man has his own cross to meet and bear. [source]
Will come after [θέλει]
Not the future tense of the verb come, but the present of the verb to will: wills to come. See on Matthew 1:19; and Mark 8:34. Rev., properly, would come. [source]
Daily []
Peculiar to Luke. [source]

What do the individual words in Luke 9:23 mean?

He was saying then to all If anyone desires after Me to come let him deny himself and let him take up the cross of him every day let him follow Me
Ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς πάντας Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἔρχεσθαι ἀρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καθ’ ἡμέραν ἀκολουθείτω μοι

Ἔλεγεν  He  was  saying 
Parse: Verb, Imperfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
τις  anyone 
Parse: Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: τὶς  
Sense: a certain, a certain one.
θέλει  desires 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: θέλω  
Sense: to will, have in mind, intend.
ὀπίσω  after 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ὀπίσω 
Sense: back, behind, after, afterwards.
μου  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
ἔρχεσθαι  to  come 
Parse: Verb, Present Infinitive Middle or Passive
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.
ἀρνησάσθω  let  him  deny 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀρνέομαι  
Sense: to deny.
ἑαυτὸν  himself 
Parse: Reflexive Pronoun, Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἑαυτοῦ  
Sense: himself, herself, itself, themselves.
ἀράτω  let  him  take  up 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: αἴρω  
Sense: to raise up, elevate, lift up.
σταυρὸν  cross 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: σταυρός  
Sense: an upright stake, esp.
αὐτοῦ  of  him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
καθ’  every 
Parse: Preposition
Root: κατά 
Sense: down from, through out.
ἡμέραν  day 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ἡμέρα  
Sense: the day, used of the natural day, or the interval between sunrise and sunset, as distinguished from and contrasted with the night.
ἀκολουθείτω  let  him  follow 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀκολουθέω  
Sense: to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him.
μοι  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.

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