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elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be 22 raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began
to rebuke him, saying : Be it far from thee, Lord ; this shall 23 not be unto thee. But he turned and said unto Peter : Get
thee behind me, Satan ; thou art an offence unto me ; for thou savorest nọt the things that be of God, but those that be of
lieve, that, as the ambition of the of splendor and power. Peter is a disciples had been raised to the representative of the world, that highest pitch by the declaration that shudders at sufferings and trials, Jesus was the Messiah, it was his and sees not in them the accomintention to suppress all the expec- plishment of a more than heroic destations of reward and glory which tiny. - Be it far from thee. Literthey would indulge, as followers of ally, God be merciful to thee, which the great Leader. He, therefore, is equivalent to God forbid, 1 Chron. from that time, more clearly de- xi. 19, where the Septuagint has clared, what he had already hinted, the same words as here. Matt. xii. 40, that he was to be put 23. He turned. Mark has it, to death at Jerusalem; he would 6. turned about and looked on his thus
prepare their minds beforehand disciples.” Every page of the Evanfor the coming event. Hence his gelists has some inimitable touches discourse, as the solemn tragedy of nature. Jesus turned suddenly draws near, is more and more occu- round, as if started out of his usual pied with allusions to it.
equanimity by this untimely famil“O, suffering friend of human kind! iarity of his disciple, and ready to
How, as the fatal hour drew near, show how aware he was of the Came thronging on thy holy mind The images of grief and fear!
temptation, and how firm and re
solved he was to overcome it. Sa"Gethsemane's sad midnight scene, The faithless friends, the exulting foes,
tan. Here is an instance of the The thorny crown, the insult keen, freedom with which this word was The scourge, the cross, before thee rose."
used among the Jews. It means an – Must go. Must is often used to adversary, or evil adviser. Such signify, not necessity, but that à Peter had become to Jesus, by dething will come to pass. The pre- claring that the lot that he had prediction here made was fulfilled to dicted would not fall upon him. the letter, as we shall see in the con- The thoughts which tempted Jesus clusion of this history. The el- after his baptism in the wilderness ders, chief priests, and Scribes, or were said to come from Satan, i. e. Jewish Sanhedrim, were chiefly in- were evil. — An offence unto me. A strumental in effecting this awful cause of offence, a snare, a stumcatastrophe.
bling-block, namely,“ by nurturing 22. Then Peter took him. Took that natural horror of his painful and him aside, or took him by the hand, ignominious death, which occasionas some think; but, as others sup- ally harassed our Saviour.” “How pose, took him up, or interrupted soon is Peter, the rock, turned to an him, without allowing him to com- adversary! Thou savorest not plete his declaration. Nothing can the things, &c., or approvest or rebe more true to nature than this gardest not the things which please burst of a sanguine temper, after the God, but those which please men. mind had been teeming with visions The views of Peter savored of
men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples : If any man will 24 come after me, let him deny himself, and take up
his follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it ; and 25 whosoever will lose his life, for my sake, shall find it. For 26 what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ? or what shall a man give in exchange for
worldliness and ambition, and were the paradox.' He who desires to inconsistent with the purposes of save his earthly life, at the expense Heaven ; though he was misled by of conscience and fidelity to me, his affection for his Master, as well shall lose his spiritual, heavenly as by the earthliness of his mind, for life; and he who loses his earthly he was shocked at the thought of life, and dies rather than swerve one whom he so loved being put to from his rectitude, shall find his true death. But Jesus would rend away life. the veil, and show them the certainly 26. Soul. This is the same word coming reality. He would teach which in the previous verse is transthem, that “the infant doctrinelated life, and such should be its renwhich was to go through the world, dering here. The sense is : What consoling the sorrows of the mourn- would a man be profited, if he should ers, and pouring balm into wounded gain the whole world, its riches, bosoms, was itself first to be nur- honors, and pleasures, and lose his tured with tears, and baptized in life, the essential condition on which blood."
he would possess and enjoy them 24. Will come after me, i. e. will all? Or as Luke has it, ix. 25, be my disciple. - Let him deny him. " lose himself.” Or what equivaself. Let him forget himself. Let lent could one find for his life? But him be ready to incur the most the original word, in a secondary dreadful sufferings. My disciples sense, means soul, and refers to the must be of such hardihood as to look future and spiritual existence. That danger and death, the most dreadful the word is susceptible of both death, in the face. See note on meanings is, according to Campbell, Matt. x. 38. Take his cross. beyond a question. The value of Crucifixion was a Roman mode of an immortal soul is indicated indeed punishment, introduced among the by the world itself, which, with all Jews, and was inconceivably ago- its wonders, and riches, and glories, nizing and disgraceful. To add seems to exist chiefly for the subi new horrors to it, those who were, lime purpose of educating human thus 'executed were compelled to spirits, and preparing them for imbear the instrument of their own mortality. How senseless and mad death to the place of punishment. must he be, who confounds the inHence the imagery of the text, so strument with the end, and barters crushing to the hopes of his follow- away himself for the world, or for
How perfectly is the truthful- an insignificant portion of its fleeting ness of Jesus manifested in his possessions or indulgences ! Know, dealing thus frankly with his disci- O man, that thou art of so great a ples!
price, that the world is too poor to 25. See note on Matt. x. 39. The buy thee, though its crowns and word life is here used with a two- treasures and mines of gold were fold meaning, which fact explains put into the balance. Thine im
27 his soul ? For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his
Father, with his angels ; and then he shall reward every man 28 according to his works. 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.
The Transfiguration of Jesus. –Miracles. AND after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his
brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, mortal spirit outweighs the material who were then present would be universe in the scales of God. eyewitnesses of it. — Shall not taste
27. Mark and Luke add here, of death. A Hebraism for shall not “Whosoever shall be ashamed of die. We know that John at least, me and of my words, in this adul- and probably many others of the terous and sinful generation, of him bystanders, was alive about forty also shall the Son of Man be years after, when Jerusalem was ashamed when he cometh,” &c.- destroyed, and Judaism was superCome in the glory of his Father, seded by Christianity, as the visible fc. Most commentators refer this church and acknowledged religion to the final judgment; but others, of God on earth. John xxi. 22, 23. with more likelihood, consider it a Similar predictions were also made description of the establishment of by our Lord, in Matt. xxiv. and xxv. Christ's religion with great power and glory in the world. With his
CHAP. XVII. angels. Is a Jewish figure to de- 1-9. Parallel to Mark ix. 2-9, note the providence of God; as and Luke ix. 28 - 36. where it is said, “Their angels do 1. After six days. Luke writes, always behold the face of my Fa- “ About an eight days after,” which ther which is in heaven," i. e. they may not be at variance with Mark are under the special care of God. and Matthew, but include the two
Reward every man according to days of the previous conversation his works. Render to every man, and the subsequent transfiguration. &c. When Christianity is estab- The language also purposely conlished, every man shall be judged veys the idea of some indefiniteness by that standard, according to his of time; about an eight days after. works, and be condemned or acquit- -- Peter, James, and John his brothted, as he shall obey or disobey its The first had been called the divine laws.
Rock of the church. The last two 28. As the spirits of the disciples were termed Boanerges, or sons of might well droop by his exhibition, thunder. The three were the most w. 24–26, of the sufferings to be prominent men among the Twelve, undergone in behalf of his kingdom, - the most devoted and powerful he would encourage them with the disciples, Gal. ii. 9. They were at brilliant vision of his spiritual pow- other times favored with peculiar er, which was so soon to be firmly privileges by their Master. They enthroned amongst men, that some were admitted to witness the re
and was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as 2 the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, 3 there appeared unto them Moses and Elias, talking with him.
suscitation of the ruler's daughter, the other, the great Reformer and Mark v. 37, and accompanied Jesus Prophet. To see their Master conin his temptation in the garden of versing with these most venerable Gethsemane, Matt. xxvi. 37. They men of Jewish history would exalt were a sufficient number, according him, in the eyes of his companions, to the law, to bear witness to any to a height he had not before occufact. Perhaps the tender sensibili- pied in their minds. This scene was ty of Jesus shrank from having a peculiarly fitted, as undoubtedly it greater number accompany him to was intended, to show the harmonihis retirement and devotions, for his ous connexion between the old and tears upon more than one occasion new dispensations, since their great betokened a susceptible heart. Leaders were seen holding a friendAn high mountain apart. Early ly interview. It afforded new evitradition designated_Mount Tabor dence of Jesus' Messiahship; servas the scene of the Transfiguration, ed therefore to encourage the discithough many have supposed that it ples, whose hearts had failed them was Mount Hermon, or Mount Pa- at the prospect of their Master's
No data now exist to decide death, and their own exposure to the question. Luke states that his persecution, which he had predicted. object in going up was to pray, and From a lowly individual, he now the mind of Jesus appears not to rose before their conceptions into have been independent of those ele- the highest glory conceivable by a vating influences which came from Jewish mind. But more than this. the loneliness and sublimity of such The transfiguration may have taken a place. The mountain was his fa- place for the sake of Jesus as well vorite oratory, and the sea his fre- as his disciples. This is indicated quent resort.
by the subject of the conversation, 2. Was transfigured. Or changed as given by Luke, who says, they in the external appearance, not in “ spake of his decease, which he shape or size. In Luke, it is said, should accomplish at Jerusalem." “ the fashion of his countenance was They appeared to encourage and altered.” His face shone with a pe- strengthen him by their sympathy, culiar lustre, and his garments be- for a fate which was so dreadful to came white and glistering. These contemplate, that in the garden he phenomena, though outward, must prayed, that if it were possible the have conveyed to the disciples a cup might pass from him. powerful spiritual impression ;, for angel then appeared to succour him, such an appearance was indicative why is it not likely that this scene, of the Divine presence and favor. with its glory, and heavenly visitIt was an ancient opinion, that he ants, and voice from the cloud, was designed here to give his disciples a designed to sustain the Master, as glimpse of that glory promised in well as impress his followers? We Matt. xvi. 27, to fortify their minds are not informed in what way the against the scandal of the cross. disciples identified Moses and Eli
3. Moses and Elias. Elijah. The jah, but not unlikely they ascertainone, the great Lawgiver of Israel, ed the fact from Jesus himself.
4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus : Lord, it is good
for us to be here ; if thou wilt, let us make here three taber
nacles ; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed
them; and, behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said : This
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and 7 were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and 8 said : Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up 9 their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they
4. Answered Peter. Rather, pro- Overshadowed. Better, surrounded ceeded to say, for it does not ap- them, as a cloud of light could not pear that his remark was any reply from its nature overshadow any thing. to what had been said before. We A voice out of the cloud, &c. are elsewhere told that the disciples The same audible Divine sanction were heavy with sleep, but awoke of Jesus had been before given at and beheld the glorious appearance, his baptism, and was afterwards at and that, as the two men were de- Jerusalem, in the presence of the parting, Peter, with his characteris- multitude. Matt. iii. 17, and John tic forwardness, although participat- xii. 28. Some suppose that refering in the fear common to all three, ence is particularly made to Deut. and hardly knowing what he utter- xviii. 15. Peter long after, 2 Pet. i. ed, said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good 16 – 18, referred to this scene and for us to be here," &c. Three to the Voice, as a proof of his Mastabernacles. Or, booths, such as ter's authority and truth. Some could be formed of the boughs of suppose that John, i. 14, also refers trees common in that place. This to it, but not upon any strong speech, whilst it revealed the wild grounds. Though no articulate rapture of Peter, disclosed also his voice now speaks from the sky to earthly savor of mind. He seems bid us hear him, who is the beloved to have supposed that this scene Son of God, yet his bloody cross, could, from its nature, be long per- his empty sepulchre, and his benign petuated; or that these distinguish- Gospel, with all its sweet and thriled individuals would remain as as- ling tones, are ever sounding the sistants to Christ in founding a tem- solemn command in our ears, and in poral kingdom ; or, as has been sug- the depths of our spiritual nature. gested, he wished to dwell apart See note on Matt. iii. 17. from the cares of life, in this sweet 6. Sore. An old English word solitude and celestial society, nor for very, exceedingly. Full of conagain return to encounter those ter- sternation, they fall prostrate upon rible evils that had lately formed the earth. Acts ix. 4. From a nothe unwelcome subject of his Mas- tion prevalent among the Jews, that ter's conversation.
one who saw God should die, they 5. A bright cloud. A luminous were perhaps afraid to look up. one, which was a symbol of the Di- Ex. iii. 6 ; Dan. viii. 17. In Luke, vine presence, or the Shechinah. they are said to have “ feared, as Ex. xvi. 10, 2 Chron. v. 14. - they entered into the cloud."