Luke 9:31

ESV who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
NIV They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
NASB who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure, which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
CSB They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
NLT They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.
KJV Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

What does Luke 9:31 mean?

Jesus dialogues with two Old Testament characters—Moses and Elijah—about His coming crucifixion and resurrection. He has already told the disciples once (Luke 9:22). Peter responded by rebuking Jesus and telling Him He was wrong (Matthew 16:22). Jesus will tell them again, but they won't understand what He's talking about (Luke 9:44–45).

It's not clear why Jesus is talking to Moses and Elijah about this, but it's possibly for support. Jesus' closest friends can't even accept that He's going to die. Perhaps He wants to talk to people who, even though they haven't experienced crucifixion, will understand what is coming.

"Departure" in Greek is exodos. It can mean to leave or to die. In the Septuagint and literature from Hellenistic Jews, the same term was associated with the Israelites' rescue from Egyptian slavery. Likely, Luke uses the word to refer to Jesus' arrest, trials, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension, but he sprinkles references to Moses throughout this passage, so he probably wants his reader to think back to the exodus, as well.

Jesus' exodus provides a much greater exodus for us. Because He died, we are freed from the slavery of sin. Because He rose again, we know that God accepted His sacrifice. Because He returned in a new body, we know we will be freed from our broken-down bodies and receive glorified bodies of our own (1 Corinthians 15:42–57). Because He ascended into heaven, we know that He is preparing a place for us to be with Him for eternity (John 14:2–3).

Luke reveals two things that Matthew and Mark do not. First, Moses and Elijah shine in glory, as well. Second, what the conversation is about. Luke is careful to include that Jesus' "departure" will happen in Jerusalem; His trials, crucifixion, and resurrection were in Jerusalem, of course, but even after He met the disciples in Galilee, He returned to Jerusalem for His ascension. In a few short verses, Jesus will begin that journey to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).
What is the Gospel?
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