There is an interesting chiastic structure in the center of Luk 9:
1a) Luk 9:7-9, Who do men say that Jesus is:
–1) Luk 9:7-8, The crowds said He was John risen from the dead, or Elijah, or one of the old prophets risen again;
–2) Luk 9:9, Herod asked, Who is this who does such things?;
1b) Luk 9:10, He took the apostles aside privately to a deserted place;
central axis) Luk 9:11-17, Feeding the five thousand;
2b) Luk 9:18a, As He was alone praying His disciples joined Him;
2a) Luk 9:18b-20, Who do men say that I am?:
–1) Luk 9:18b-19, Who do the crowds say that I am? John the Baptist, or Elijah, or one of the old prophets risen again;
–2) Luk 9:20, But who do you say I am? Peter answered, The Christ of God.
Now the central axis is interesting. The multitudes followed Him to the deserted place. There, He received them. Boy I don’t want to gloss that over. Received means, according to Webster’s, to permit to enter. To admit, welcome, or greet. What were the multitudes entering? They were being admitted into the presence of Almighty God, and He was welcoming them and not casting them out or away from Him!
He taught them about the kingdom of God. He healed those who had need of healing. Then He fed five thousand men, with women and children, from five loaves and two fish. In other words, He met every need of heart (He received them), mind (He taught them concerning the kingdom of God), and body (He healed them and gave them something to eat).
I just want to mention that this chapter also concerns teaching His disciples what it means to follow Him and do the things that He is doing. They were the ones who gave the five thousand something to eat. He gave them authority to heal diseases and cast out demons.
It is my belief that Luk 9:1-6 is supposed to be on the front side of the above chiastic structure, and Luke 9:21-62 pairs with it and is supposed to be on the back side of the above chiastic structure. Why? Because I have some of it mapped already. But I am not wise enough to finish it in the time of one day. The matching elements themselves contain smaller chiastic structures within them which overlap. So it is complex and is going to take time for the Holy Spirit to reveal it. An entire year can be spent on just a single book of the Bible, and here we are going through at the rate of one chapter per day! Stick with me and who knows what next year will reveal!
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