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20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
be obeyed, not of choice merely, but ne- beyond forgiveness, but by their unbelief cessity, since our salvation depends upon and blasphemies, and not by apostolic exit; but whatever they have not bound is communication; and thus they bound or Loose to us, we are free from it, and no loosed, remitted sins or retained them. It lower authority can make it binding upon is also to be remarked, as on the prethe conscience, or connect with our dis. ceding verses, that whatever this power regard of it the penalty of the divine dis- was, it was not given exclusively to Peter. pleasure. But that this promise looked Still he stands before the Lord as the reto that future time when they should be presentative of the rest of the apostles, fully qualified for this great office, is evi. and receives nothing but what they all redent from what took place after Christ's ceived ; and hence, in chap. xviii. 18, our resurrection, when the same power, un- Lord says to them collectively, and in the der a somewhat different form, but of plural form of address, “Whatsoever ye precisely the same import, was ratified. shall bind on earth shall be bound in After breathing upon them, he said, “ Re- heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on ceive ye the Holy Ghost: whosesoever earth shall be loosed in heaven.” God sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; will act upon your inspired decisions. and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are Verse 20. That they should tell no man, retained.” To qualify them for this au- that he was Jesus the Christ.—Many thoritative declaration of what was obliga- Greek mss. and several versions omit in tory upon men or otherwise, and of the this clause the name Jesus, which indeed terms upon which sins are remitted, and appears superfluous, and under this imthe circumstances under which they are pression might be omitted by some tranretained, they previously received the scribers ; it may, nevertheless, be emHoly Ghost; a sufficient proof that this phatic. The apostles were here strictly power was connected with the plenary in- prohibited from telling, or openly prospiration of the apostles, and beyond them claiming, their faith in his high character, it cannot extend. The manner, also, in not merely as the Christ; but, as St. which the apostles exercised this power Luke has it, “the Christ of God;" which elucidates the subject, which has been appears to be but an elliptical mode of greatly abused in the Romish and some stating the whole confession they had other churches. We have no instance of just made, that he was “the Christ, the their forgiving the sins of any individual Son of the living God." The sense apby virtue of any authority deposited with pears to be, not that they were inhibited them, much less did they affect to trans from generally expressing their faith in mit this power to their successors. They him as the Messiah, though that they merely proclaimed and laid down the were not to do officiously, and rather by terms of pardon under the authority of their conduct as following him under that Christ. And we have no instance of their character as his disciples ; but that they "retaining the sins” of any one, except by were not openly to declare their belief declaring the offender condemned by the that he was “the Christ of God,” Christ, laws of the gospel, of which they were under those high conceptions of his nathe teachers. They authoritatively ex- ture which they had received from the plain in their writings the terms of for teaching of the Father. The reason ap. giveness; and, as to duty, they state pears to be, not fear of the Romans, as what is obligatory, or not obligatory, upon stated by some, lest they should connect Christians; they pronounce sinners of the confession of his Messiahship with various kinds to be under God's wrath, the intention of making him king ; but and they declare certain apostates to be put more probably, either because they were
21 g Froin that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord : this shall not be unto thee.
not as yet qualified to defend those deep drim or great council. The elders were doctrines which were involved in these the senators, and are to be distinguished views of his character; or, more especially from the elders of cities, who were heads because he, as yet, reserved it wholly to of the inferior courts of justice. From himself, in the difficult circumstances in the term elders, which included the idea which he was placed, to explain who he of both rank and age, the council was was at the most fitting times and seasons, sometimes called Mpeo Buteploy. The chief and to contirm every claim, as he should priests, the heads of the courses of the advance it, both by his arguments of su. priests, appear to have been members of perhuman wisdom, and his miraculous the council by virtue of their office, and works. This reason for the prohibition the scribes were assessors as learned asis free from the difficulty which the usual sistants. interpretation suggests. For why, it may Verse 22. Then Peter took him.–Of the be asked, should the apostles at that pe- various senses given to a poolaBouevos, in riod of Christ's ministry, have been re- this passage, some of a rude and others strained from telling any man simply, of a tender and respectful import, the that they believed him to be the Messiah, most probable is that of taking by the when they openly followed him as such, hand or arm : an action natural to one and when he himself, in no mysterious who would remonstrate with another to manner, had so often intimated the same whom he was fervently attached. thing, and grounded his whole ministry And began to rebuke him.—The term upon it? But around the character of the rebuke, in our translation appears too Messiah himself, a great obscurity hung strong. The earnest remonstrance of one in the minds of the Jews, and with great who, neither on his own account, nor mystery our Lord had generally chosen that of his master, could bear to hear to invest his own. The apostles who had the subject of his sufferings and death, been now so long “with him," had appears all that is indicated ; and our glanced within this veil, and been fa. Lord's stern reproof is not directed voured with special manifestations of his against the manner of Peter's address; concealed glory; but even they were yet but against those gross and carnal views “weak in faith,” and of obscure under of the Messiah's kingdom and glory standing in what “the prophets had which still clung to him, and influenced spoken." The faith they had was not his judgment and feelings. as yet, therefore, to be openly pro- Be it far from thee.-IEWS 001, literally, claimed: it was their office yet to abide Be merciful to thyself, but a phrase used by with their master to learn, and his ex- the Septuagint for a Hebrew word, which clusively to teach. See the note on Mark signifies God forbid, or far be it ; and is iii. 12.
here to be taken not as an entreaty of Verse 21. Began Jesus to show unto his Peter to Christ, to deliver himself from disciples.-That is, more particularly and impending danger by an exertion of his explicitly than before; not in dark say. power, but as a passionate exclamation ings or occasional instructions.
of forbidding or aversion : hence he adds, Elders, chief priests, and scribes. — This shall not be unto thee ; it cannot be; These three orders composed the Sanhe. it is a thought not to be conceived.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan : thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
h Matt. x. 38 ; Mark viii. 34.
Verse 23. But he turned.—St. Mark not to expose himself to danger and says, “When he had turned about and death. This is further confirmed by looked on his disciples, he rebuked what follows, Thou art an offence to me, Peter;" from which it appears, that Peter, Oravdanov, a stumbling block, a hinderance; in taking hold of Christ, had drawn him for by appealing to the natural horror of a little aside from the rest of the disci- suffering and death to which our Lord's ples; but, as our Lord designed to re- human nature was subject, and to resist buke Peter in the presence of them all, which by an invincible resignation was he turned to them to be the more dis- one of his most illustrious virtues, Satan, tinctly heard.
through Peter, did what in him lay to Get thee behind me. Satan. - It was shake his resolution, and to hinder the nearly in these words that our Lord re- accomplishment of the purposes of his buked Satan himself at the close of his infinite love. great temptation, and the force of this Thou savourest not the things that be of rebuke as to Peter, was greatly heightened God, &c.—The word ogovew in Romans by applying to him the name of Satan viii. 5, is rendered “to mind,” or to rehimself. This was not done in the sense gard, and has here the same sense. Peter of adversary, the import of the word; for acknowledged the glory of Christ's nature, this scarcely suggests a meaning as ap- but with the expectation of spiritual plied to Peter ; but as intimating to him blessings from him as Messiah, mingled and the rest, that in this, though uncon that of an external national reign, and all sciously, he was the agent of Satan, who, those external benefits most pleasing to making use of Peter's remaining worldly worldly men. The death of Christ at the views as to the Messiah, and his consequent hands of the great council of the nation repugnance to the doctrine of his Lord's was fatal to anticipations of the latter death, did in fact, by his instrumentality, kind; and this consideration, united with attempt to assail our Lord's constancy, his affection for Christ, had excited in and to excite in him a reluctance to suffer. him so great an impatience at the annunThis appears the most satisfactory way of ciation of Christ that he must suffer and accounting for the apparent severity of die. Or the meaning may be, that he Christ's calling Peter by the name Satan; regarded in the case, only what was for he was in fact thereby told, that he agreeable to human nature, as.all exemphad rendered himself, by his want of spi. tion from suffering must be; and not ritual views, the agent of him whose those counsels, and that supreme will of grand design was to obstruct the work of God, to which every thing ought to be human redemption. And we can con- sacrificed ceive of no occasion more fitly chosen Verse 24. If any man will come after than this by the wily tempter, to produce me, &c.—Our Lord not only rebuked an impression upon the natural feelings Peter for endeavouring to turn him from of our Lord, when one of his disciples, his own purpose of surrendering himself who no doubt fully expressed the senti. to suffering and death; but takes occaments of the rest, remonstrated with him, sion from it to prepare his disciples not from the very fulnesss of his affection, for the honours of an earthly kingdom,
2.6. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it : and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
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27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels ; 'and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
28 Verily I say unto you, ' There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. i Psalm lxii. 12 ; Rom. ii. 6.
j Mark ix. 1; Luke ix. 27.
the true sense, otherwise than by trans- God that he should suffer and die, on the lating tuxn in this verse soul. This could other he elevates their hopes to the not be done in the preceding verse be higher final glories of his second advent. cause of the paronomasia ; the rhetorical That these words relate, not to the setting figure employed by our Lord in this and up of his mediatorial kingdom, as premany other of his discourses.
dicted by Daniel, nor, figuratively, to his In exchange for his soul.—The word coming to judge the nation of the Jews, atallayua signifies a thing given in ex. is most evident from what follows : And change, a ransom; which also applies then he will reward every man according to directly to the soul, as is manifest from his works. This is an act, not of gracious the next verse, where the proceedings of mediation, but of strict judgment; so that the day of final judgment are immediately the coming of Christ in the fulness of his introduced. A man might in many cases glory, as mediator, could not be intended; offer such a ransom for his life as would nor is a national judgment a rewarding of be accepted; and nothing was more com- every or each man according to his work ; mon anciently than to redeem life by for sinners of widely different degrees of gifts : but when“ the Son of Man shall delinquency are involved in the same come in his glory, to reward every man public calamities, and the comparatively according to his works,” and the soul of innocent share the penalty equally with the wretched man who has renounced the most guilty. Besides, those who apply Christ from the fear or love of the world, this to the desolation of Judea by the has been doomed to the loss of eternal Romans, which was no doubt a judicial life, and to positive punishment, what act of Christ in his exalted state, ought shall he offer as a ransom? a question to show how the pious and faithful, as which has the force of the strongest nega. well as the wicked, were then rewarded : tion. There is no ransom then; the only which is undoubtedly in rendering to acceptable ransom of souls from the con- “ every man according to his works." demnation of death, the sacrifice of Christ, The passage has clearly no meaning but having been neglected or cast away in as it refers to the end of the world, and that period of probation during which it the general judgment ; for then only can can be pleaded.
those be fully rewarded who have laid Verse 27. For the Son of man shall come down their lives for the sake of Christ. in the glory, 80.- In the full manifested one of the subjects on which he had been glory of the Godhead; accompanied by discoursing, and which stand intimately the whole tost of holy angels ; in strange connected with these words. contrast to his then humble condition, Verse 28. Till they see the Son of man surrounded by a few poor disciples, coming in his kingdom.-That this coming despised and rejected of men! Thus if of the Son of Man relates to the setting our Lord, on the one hand, represses the up of the mediatorial kingdom of Christ lingering expectation of the apostles, that in its fulness and perfection, is as certain he would assume an earthly glory, by as that the coming of the Son of Man in declaring that it was in the counsel of the preceding verse relates to his second