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Passion Foretold. Peter Rebuked.

-. THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY.Subdivision C.
PASSION FORETOLD. PETER REBUKED.

a MATT. 16:21-28; b MARK 8:31-38; c LUKE 9:22-27.

      a 21 From that time [i. e., from the time of Peter's confession, and about three-quarters of a year before the crucifixion] began Jesus to show unto his disciples,

  b 31 And to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things [Since the apostles, by the mouth of Peter, had just confessed Jesus as Christ, it was necessary that their crude Messianic conceptions should be corrected and that the true Christhood--the Christhood of the atonement and the resurrection--should be revealed to them. In discourse and parable Jesus had explained the principles and the nature of the apostles about himself, the priestly King], a that he must go up to Jerusalem, b and be rejected by a and suffer many things of the elders, and b the chief priests, and the scribes [The Jewish Sanhedrin was generally designated by thus naming the three constituent parts. See Section 13], and be killed, a and the third day be raised up. {b and after three days rise again.} [For comment on these variant phrases, see Section 49.]

  32 And he spake the saying openly.

  c 22 saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up. [Very early in his ministry Jesus had given obscure intimations concerning his death ( John 2:19-22 ; 3:14 ; Matthew 12:38-40 ), but these had not been understood by either friend or foe. Now that he thus spoke plainly, we may see by Peter's conduct that they comprehended and were deeply moved by the dark and more sorrowful portion of his revelation, and failed to grasp the accompanying promise of a resurrection.]

  a 22 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. [Evidently Peter regarded Jesus as overcome by a fit of despondency, and felt that such talk would utterly dishearten the disciples if it were persisted in. His love, therefore, prompted him to lead Jesus to one side and deal plainly with him. In so doing, Peter overstepped the laws of discipleship and assumed that he knew better than the Master what course to pursue. In his feelings he was the forerunner of those modern wiseacres who confess themselves constrained to reject the doctrine of a suffering Messiah.]

  b 33 But he turning about, and seeing his disciples. a turned, b rebuked Peter, and saith, {a said} unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things that be of men. [Jesus withdrew from Peter and turned back to his disciples. By the confession of the truth Simon had just won his promised foundation. But when he now turned aside to speak the language of the tempter, Peter receives the name Satan, as if he were the very devil himself. Peter presented the same temptation with which the devil once called forth a similar rebuke from Christ ( Matthew 4:10 ). He was unconsciously trying to dissuade Jesus from the death on which the salvation of the world depended, and this was working into Satan's hand. Peter did not mind or think about the Messiah's kingdom as divinely conceived and revealed in the Scriptures.]

  b 34 And he called unto him the multitude with his disciples,

  a 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

  c 23 And he said unto all [despite the efforts of Jesus to seek privacy, the people were still near enough at hand to be called and addressed], If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily [comp. Romans 8:36 ; 1 Corinthians 15:31 ] and follow me [For comment, see Section 61. The disciple must learn to say "no" to many of the strongest cravings of his earthly nature. The cross is a symbol for duty which is to be performed daily, at any cost, even that of the most painful death. The disciple must follow Jesus, both as to his teaching and example.]

  24 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; a and {c but} whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, b and the gospel's c the same shall a find it. c save it. [Jesus here plays upon the two meanings of the word life, one being of temporal and the other of eternal duration. For comment on a similar expression, see Section 61.

  b 36 For what doth it profit a man, {c is a man a shall a man be profited,} if he shall gain {b to gain} the whole world, c and lose or forfeit his own self? (a his life? or

{b 37 For} a what shall {b should} a man give in exchange for his life? [Peter and the rest of the apostles had been thinking about a worldly Messianic kingdom, with its profits and rewards. Jesus shows the worthlessness even of the whole world in comparison with the rewards of the true kingdom. It is the comparison and the life which is internal, and which endures. External losses may be repaired, but a lost life can never be regained, for with what shall a man buy it back?]

  38 For whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words [comp. Luke 12:9 ; 2 Timothy 1:8 2 Timothy 1:12 ; 2:12 ] in this adulterous and sinful generation [see Section 49], the Son of man also shall be ashamed of him c when he cometh in his own glory, and the glory of the {b his} c Father, and of {b with} the holy angels. [Peter had just been ashamed of the words in which Christ pictured himself as undergoing his humiliation. Jesus warns him and all others of the dangers of such shame.]

  a 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall render unto every man according to his deed. [The Father's glory, the angels, and the rendering of universal judgment form a threefold indication that Jesus here speaks of his final coming to judge the world.]

  b 1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you,   c 27 But I tell you of a truth, a There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. c till they see the kingdom of God. b come with power. [The mention of his final coming suggested one nearer at hand which was to be accomplished during the life of most of those present, since none but Jesus himself and Judas were to die previous to that time. The kingdom was to come and likewise the King. The former coming was literal, the latter spiritual. Those who refer this expression to the transfiguration certainly err, for no visible kingdom was established at that time. The expression refers to the kingdom which was organized and set in motion on the Pentecost which followed the resurrection of Jesus. It was set up with power, because three thousand souls were converted the first day, and many other gospel triumphs speedily followed.]