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16. Tested by Pharisees

1And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and trying him asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2But he answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the heaven is red. 3And in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day: for the heaven is red and lowering. Ye know how to discern the face of the heaven; but ye cannot discern the signs of the times. 4An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of Jonah. And he left them, and departed.

5And the disciples came to the other side and forgot to take bread. 6And Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 7And they reasoned among themselves, saying, We took no bread. 8And Jesus perceiving it said, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have no bread? 9Do ye not yet perceive, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11How is it that ye do not perceive that I spake not to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 12Then understood they that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

13Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is? 14And they said, Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20Then charged he the disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Christ.

21From that time began Jesus to show unto his disciples, that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up. 22And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. 23But he turned, and 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 of men. 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life? 27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds. 28Verily I say unto you, 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.

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Announcement of His Approaching Death and Rebuke of Peter (Mt 16:21-28).

The occasion here is evidently the same.

21. From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples—that is, with an explicitness and frequency He had never observed before.

how that he must go unto Jerusalem and suffer many things—"and be rejected," (Mr 8:31; Lu 9:22).

of the elders and chief priests and scribes—not as before, merely by not receiving Him, but by formal deeds.

and be killed, and be raised again the third day—Mark (Mr 8:32) adds, that "He spake that saying openly"—"explicitly," or "without disguise."

22. Then Peter took him—aside, apart from the rest; presuming on the distinction just conferred on him; showing how unexpected and distasteful to them all was the announcement.

and began to rebuke him—affectionately, yet with a certain generous indignation, to chide Him.

saying, Be it far from thee: this shall not be unto thee—that is, "If I can help it": the same spirit that prompted him in the garden to draw the sword in His behalf (Joh 18:10).

23. But he turned, and said—in the hearing of the rest; for Mark (Mr 8:33) expressly says, "When He had turned about and looked on His disciples, He rebuked Peter"; perceiving that he had but boldly uttered what others felt, and that the check was needed by them also.

Get thee behind me, Satan—the same words as He had addressed to the Tempter (Lu 4:8); for He felt in it a satanic lure, a whisper from hell, to move Him from His purpose to suffer. So He shook off the Serpent, then coiling around Him, and "felt no harm" (Ac 28:5). How quickly has the "rock" turned to a devil! The fruit of divine teaching the Lord delighted to honor in Peter; but the mouthpiece of hell, which he had in a moment of forgetfulness become, the Lord shook off with horror.

thou art an offence—a stumbling-block.

unto me—"Thou playest the Tempter, casting a stumbling-block in My way to the Cross. Could it succeed, where wert thou? and how should the Serpent's head be bruised?"

for thou savourest not—thou thinkest not.

the things that be of God, but those that be of men—"Thou art carried away by human views of the way of setting up Messiah's kingdom, quite contrary to those of God." This was kindly said, not to take off the sharp edge of the rebuke, but to explain and justify it, as it was evident Peter knew not what was in the bosom of his rash speech.

24. Then said Jesus unto his disciples—Mark (Mr 8:34) says, "When He had called the people unto Him, with His disciples also, He said unto them"—turning the rebuke of one into a warning to all.

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25. For whosoever will save—is minded to save, or bent on saving.

his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it—(See on Mt 10:38,39). "A suffering and dying Messiah liketh you ill; but what if His servants shall meet the same fate? They may not; but who follows Me must be prepared for the worst."

26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul—or forfeit his own soul?

or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?—Instead of these weighty words, which we find in Mr 8:36 also, it is thus expressed in Lu 9:25: "If he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away," or better, "If he gain the whole world, and destroy or forfeit himself." How awful is the stake as here set forth! If a man makes the present world—in its various forms of riches, honors, pleasures, and such like—the object of supreme pursuit, be it that he gains the world; yet along with it he forfeits his own soul. Not that any ever did, or ever will gain the whole world—a very small portion of it, indeed, falls to the lot of the most successful of the world's votaries—but to make the extravagant concession, that by giving himself entirely up to it, a man gains the whole world; yet, setting over against this gain the forfeiture of his soul—necessarily following the surrender of his whole heart to the world—what is he profited? But, if not the whole world, yet possibly something else may be conceived as an equivalent for the soul. Well, what is it?—"Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Thus, in language the weightiest, because the simplest, does our Lord shut up His hearers, and all who shall read these words to the end of the world, to the priceless value to every man of his own soul. In Mark and Luke (Mr 8:38; Lu 9:26) the following words are added: "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words [shall be ashamed of belonging to Me, and ashamed of My Gospel] in this adulterous and sinful generation" (see on Mt 12:39), "of him shall the Son of man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father, with the holy angels." He will render back to that man his own treatment, disowning him before the most august of all assemblies, and putting him to "shame and everlasting contempt" (Da 12:2). "O shame," exclaims Bengel, "to be put to shame before God, Christ, and angels!" The sense of shame is founded on our love of reputation, which causes instinctive aversion to what is fitted to lower it, and was given us as a preservative from all that is properly shameful. To be lost to shame is to be nearly past hope. (Zep 3:5; Jer 6:15; 3:3). But when Christ and "His words" are unpopular, the same instinctive desire to stand well with others begets that temptation to be ashamed of Him which only the expulsive power of a higher affection can effectually counteract.

27. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels—in the splendor of His Father's authority and with all His angelic ministers, ready to execute His pleasure.

and then he shall reward, &c.

28. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here—"some of those standing here."

which shall not taste of death, fill they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom—or, as in Mark (Mr 9:1), "till they see the kingdom of God come with power"; or, as in Luke (Lu 9:27), more simply still, "till they see the kingdom of God." The reference, beyond doubt, is to the firm establishment and victorious progress, in the lifetime of some then present, of that new kingdom of Christ, which was destined to work the greatest of all changes on this earth, and be the grand pledge of His final coming in glory.




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