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The disciples charged
not to tell that he was the Christ.
A. M. 4032. thou shalt loose on earth, shall be that they should tell no man that he A.M. 108o. was Jesus the Christ.
A. D. 28.
An. Olymp. loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples
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Ch. 17. 9. Mark 8. 30. Luke 9. 21.
John 11. 27. 1 Cor. 2. 8. ch. 8. 4. & 9. 30.
and loosing, or pronouncing fit or unfit for fellowship with the members of Christ, being always according to the doctrine of the gospel of God, should be considered as proceeding immediately from heaven, and consequently as divinely ratified.
That binding and loosing were terms in frequent use among the Jews, and that they meant bidding and forbidding, grant- || ing and refusing, declaring lawful or unlawful, &c. Dr. Light- || foot, after having given numerous instances, thus concludes: "To these may be added, if need were, the frequent, (shall I say?) or infinite use of the phrases, Bound and Loosed, which we meet with thousands of times over. from these allegations the reader sees abundantly enough both the frequency, and the common use of this phrase, and the sense of it also; namely, first, that it is used in doctrine, and in judgments, concerning things allowed or not allowed in the law. Secondly, that to bind is the same with, to forbid, or to declare forbidden. To think that Christ, when he used the common phrase, was not understood by his hearers, in the common and vulgur sense, shall I call it a matter of laughter, or of madness?
mayest first open the door of faith to them; but if thou askest
ture convenient for food, was now loosed, which before had
Those words of our Saviour, John xx. 23. Whose sins ye remit, they are remitted to them, for the most part are forced to the same sense with these before us, when they carry quite Here the business is of doctrine only, not of another sense. persons; there of persons, not of doctrine. Here of things lawful or unlawful in religion, to be determined by the Apostles; there of persons obstinate or not obstinate, to be punished by them, or not to be punished.
"As to doctrine, the Apostles were doubly instructed. 1. So long sitting at the feet of their Master, they had imbibed the evangelical doctrine.
"To this, therefore, do these words amount: When the time was come wherein the Mosaic Law, as to some part of it, was to be abolished, and left off, and as to another part of it, was to be continued and to last for ever, he granted Peter here, and to the rest of the Apostles, chap. xviii. 18. a power to abolish or confirm what they thought good, and as they thought good; being taught this, and led by the Holy Spirit, as if he shall bind in the Law of Moses that whatsoever ye say, is forbid, it shall be forbidden, the divine authority confirming it; and whatsoever ye shall loose, that is, permit, or shall teach, that it is permitted and lawful, shall be lawful and per- || mitted. Hence they bound, that is forbad, circumcision to the Believers; eating of things offered to idols, of things strangled, and of blood for a time, to the Gentiles; and that which they bound on earth, was confirmed in heaven. They loosed, that is, allowed purification to Paul, and to four other brethren, for the shunning of scandal, Acts xxi. 24. and in a word, by these words of Christ it was committed to them, the Holy Spirit directing, that they should make decrees concerning religion, as to the use or rejection of Mosaic rites and judgments, and that either for a time, or for ever. "Let the words be applied by way of paraphrase to the he severely charged-comminatus est,-he threatened. These . I am matter that was transacted at present with Peter. are the readings of the Cod. Beza, both in the Greek and about to build a Gentile Church,' saith Christ, and to thee, O Latin. Peter, do I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven, that thou
"2. The Holy Spirit directing them, they were to determine concerning the legal doctrine and practice, being completely instructed and enabled in both, by the Holy Spirit descending upon them. As to the persons, they were endowed with a peculiar gift, so that the same spirit directing them if they would || retain, and punish the sins of any, a power was delivered into their hands of delivering to Satan, of punishing with diseases, plagues, yea, death itself, which Peter did to Ananias and Sapphira; Paul to Elymas, Hymeneus, and Philetus, &c."
After all these evidences and proofs of the proper use of these terms, to attempt to press the words into the service long assigned them by the Church of Rome, would, to use the words of Dr. Lightfoot, be "a matter of laughter or of madness. No church can use them in the sense thus imposed upon them, which was done merely to serve secular ends; and least of all can that very church, that thus abuses them. Verse 20. Then charged he his disciples] Ausurato, he strictly charged them. Some very good MSS. have triμnty,
The Christ.] The common text has Jesus the Christ, but the
Foretells his passion and death.
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him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: A.M. 4032. this shall not be unto thee.
A. D. 28. An. Olymp. CCI. 4.
to shew unto his disciples, how that An Olymp. he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and chief 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an of again the third day. fence unto me: for thou savourest not the things 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke that be of God, but those that be of men.
* Ch.20. 17. Mark 8. 31. & 9. 51. & 10. 33. Luke 9. 22. & 18. 31. & 21. 6, 7.
b Gr. Pity thyself.— - See 2 Sam. 19. 22. d Rom. 8. 7.
better with the scope of the place. A man like Peter, who is of an impetuous spirit, and decides without consideration, upon every subject, must of necessity be often in the wrong.
word Jesus is omitted by 54 MSS. some of which are not only of the greatest authority, but also of the greatest antiquity. It is omitted also by the Syriac, later Persic, later Arabic, Sclavonic, 6 copies of the Itala, and several of the Fathers. The most eminent critics approve of this omission, and Griesbach has Be it far from thee, Lord] 1Xtwg σo Kugit. Be merciful to thyleft it out of the text in both his editions, I believe the inser-self, Lord: see the marg. So I think the original should be rention of it here to be wholly superfluous and improper: for dered. Peter knew that Christ had power sufficient to preserve the question who is this Jesus? Peter answers, he is, & Xeros,|| himself from all the power and malice of the Jews; and wished the Messiah. The word Jesus is obviously improper. What him to exert that in his own behalf, which he had often exerted our Lord says here refers to Peter's testimony in ver. 16. Thou in the behalf of others. Some critics of great note think the art the Christ-Jesus here says, Tell no man that I am the expression elliptical, and that the word 5 God, is necesChrist, i. e. the MESSIAH; as the time for his full manifestationsarily understood, as if Peter had said, God be merciful to thee! was not yet come—and he was not willing to provoke the but I think the marginal reading is the sense of the pasJewish malice or the Roman envy, by permitting his disciples The French, Italian, and Spanish render it the same to announce him as the Saviour of a lost world. He chose way. Blind and ignorant man is ever finding fault with the rather to wait, till his resurrection and ascension had set this conduct of God. Human reason cannot comprehend the intruth in the clearest light, and beyond the power of successful carnation of the Almighty's fellow, (Zech. xiii. 7.) nor reconcontradiction. cile the belief of his divinity with his sufferings and death. How many Peters are there now in the world, who are in effect saying, this cannot be done unto thee-thou didst not give thy life for the sin of the world-it would be injustice to cause the innocent to suffer thus for the guilty-But what saith God? His soul shall be made an offering for sin―he shall taste death for every man—the iniquities of us all were laid upon himGlorious truth! may the God who published it, have eternal praises!
Verse 21. From that time forth began Jesus, &c.] Before this time our Lord had only spoken of his death in a vague and obscure manner, see chap. xii. 40. because he would not afflict his disciples with this matter sooner than necessity required: but now, as the time of his crucifixion drew nigh, he spoke of his sufferings and death in the most express and clear terms. Three sorts of persons, our Lord intimates, should be the cause of his death and passion: the elders, the chief priests, and the Scribes. Pious Quesnel takes occasion to observe from this, that Christ is generally persecuted by these three descriptions of men rich men, who have their portion in this life: ambitious and covetous ecclesiastics, who seek their portion in this life: and conceited scholars, who set up their wisdom against the wisdom of God, being more intent on criticising words, than in providing for the salvation of their souls. The spirit of Christianity always enables a man to bear the ills of life with patience, to receive death with joy; and to expect by faith, the resurrection of the body, and the life of the world to
Verse 23. Get thee behind me, Satan] YaуE CжIOW MOU σaтava. Get behind me, thou adversary. This is the proper translation of the Hebrew word jo Satan, from which the Greek word is taken. Our blessed Lord certainly never designed that men should believe he called Peter, DEVIL, because he, through erring affection, had wished him to avoid that death which he predicted to himself. This translation, which is literal, takes away that harshness which before appeared in our Lord's words. Thou art an offence unto me] Σκανδαλον μου ειThou art a stumbling-block in my way, to impede me in the accomplishment of the great design.
Verse 22. Then Peter took him]—Пçooraboμevos-took him Thou savourest not] That is, dost not relish, ou Qgovas, or, up-suddenly interrupted him, as it were calling him to order-thou dost not understand or discern the things of God—thou see Wakefield. Some versions give gooλaμvos the sense of art wholly taken up with the vain thought that my kingdom calling him aside. The word signifies also to receive in a is of this world. He who opposes the doctrine of the atonement, friendly manner―to embrace; but Mr. W.'s translation agrees ¦ is an adversary and offence to Christ, though he be as sincere
Necessity of taking up the cross.
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24 ¶Then said Jesus unto his dis- || or what shall a man give in exchange An. Olymp. ciples, If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
for his soul?
A. D. 28. An Olymp. CCL. 4.
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.
Ch. 10. 38. Mark 8. 34. Luke 9. 23. & 14 27. Acts 14. 22. 1 Thess. S. 3. 2Tim. 3. 12.- Luke 17. 53. John 12. 25. - Ps. 49. 7, 8.- 4 ch. 26.64. Mark 8. 38. Luke 9. 26.
e Dan. 7. 10. Zech. 14. 5. ch. 25. 31. Jude 14.-fJob 34. 11. Ps. 62. 12. Prov. 24. 12. Jer. 17. 10. & 32. 19. Rom. 2. 6. 1 Cor. 3. 8. 2 Cor. 5. 10. 1 Pet. 1 17. Rev. 2. 23. & 22. 12. Mark 9. 1. Luke 9. 23.
in his profession as Peter himself was. Let us beware of false friendships. Carnal relatives, when listened to, may prove the ruin of those whom, through their mistaken tenderness, they wish to save. When a man is intent on saving his own soul, his adversaries are often those of his own household.
Verse 24. Will come after me] i. e. to be my disciple. This discourse was intended to shew Peter and the rest of the dis- || ciples the nature of his kingdom; and that the honour that cometh from the world, was not to be expected by those who followed Christ.
The principles of the Christian life are, First. To have a siacere desire to belong to Christ, If any man be wILLING to be my disciple, &c. Secondly. To renounce self-dependance, and selfish pursuits.-Let him deny HIMSELF. Thirdly. To embrace the condition, which God has appointed, and bear the troubles and difficulties he may meet with in walking the Christian road.-Let him take up HIS CROSS. Fourthly. To imitate Jesus, and do and suffer all in his spirit.-Let him
ux, in the 25th verse, life, and in this verse, soul, I know not: but am certain it means life in both places. If a man should gain the whole world, its riches, honours, and pleasures, and lose his life, what would all these profit him, seeing they can only be enjoyed during life? But if the words be applied to the soul, they shew the difficulty-the necessity-and importance of salvation. The world, the Devil,. and a man's own heart are opposed to his salvation; therefore it is difficult. The soul was made for God, and can never be united to him, nor be happy till saved from sin: therefore it is necessary. He who is saved from his sin, and united to. God, possesses the utmost felicity that the human soul can enjoy either in this, or the coming world: therefore, this salvation is important. See also the note on Luke ix. 25. Verse 27. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father] This seems to refer to Dan. vii. 13, 14. “Behold one like the Son of man came-to the ancient of days-and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people and nations and languages should serve him." This was the glorious Mediatorial kingdom which Jesus Christ was now about to set up, by the destruction of the Jewish nation and polity, and the diffusion of his Gospel through the whole world. If the words be taken in this sense, the angels or messengers may signify the apostles and successors in the sacred ministry, preaching the Gospel in the power of the Holy Ghost. It is very likely that the words do not apply. to the final judgment, to which they are generally referred; but to the wonderful display of God's grace and power after the day of Pentecost.
Let him deny himself] Anagnoaolw, may well be interpreted, Let him deny, or renounce himself fully—in all respects—perseveringly. It is a compounded word, and the preposition ao abundantly encreases the meaning. A follower of Christ will need to observe it in its utmost latitude of meaning, in order to be happy here, and glorious hereafter. A man's self is to him the prime cause of most of his miseries. See the note on Mark viii. 34. Verse 25. For whosoever will save his life] That is, shall wish to save his life—at the expence of his conscience, and casting aside the cross, he shall lose it-the very evil he wished to avoid, shall overtake him; and he shall lose his soul into the bargain. See then how necessary it is to renounce one's self! But whatsoever a man loses in this world, for his steady attachment to Christ and his cause, he shall have amply made up to him in the eternal world.
Verse 26. Lose his own soul] Or, lose his life, Tn uxn KITOU. On what authority many have translated the word
Verse 28. There be some-which shall not taste of death] This verse seems to confirm the above explanation, as our Lord evidently speaks of the establishment of the Christian. Church after the day of Pentecost, and its final triumph after the destruction of the Jewish polity; as if he had said, Some of you, my disciples, shall continue to live until these things take place." The destruction of Jerusalem, and the Jewish economy, which our Lord here predicts, took place about
Observations on the whole.
The word church defined.
forty-three years after this: and some of the persons now with || Christ said that the disciple is not ABOVE the Master? If us hir, doubtless survived that period, and witnessed the ex- humbled himself, how can he look upon those who, professing tension of the Messiah's kingdom; and our Lord told them faith in his name, are conformed to the world and mind earthly these things before, that when they came to pass, they might things? These disciples affect to be above their Lord; and as be confirmed in the faith, and expect an exact fulfilment of all they neither bear his cross, nor follow him in the regeneration, the other promises and prophecies which concerned the ex- they must look for another heaven than that in which he sits tension and support of the kingdom of Christ. at the right hand of God. This is an awful subject, but how few of those, called Christians, lay it to heart!
To his kingdom, or in his kingdom. Instead of Barina, kingdom, four MSS. later Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic, Saxon, and one copy of the Itala, with several of the primitive Fathers, read on, glory: and to this is added, Toυ natpos aurou, of his Father, by three MSS. and the versions mentioned before. This makes the passage a little more conformable to the passage already quoted from Daniel: and it must appear very clearly, that the whole passage speaks not of a future judgment, but of the destruction of the Jewish polity; and the glorious spread of Christianity in the earth, by the preaching of Christ crucified by the Apostles and their immediate successors in the Christian Church.
3. The term CHURCH, in Greek, xxλnox, occurs for the first time, in ver. 18. of this chapter. The word simply means an assembly or congregation, the nature of which is to be understood from connecting circumstances; for the word ɛxxλno10, as well as the terms congregation and assembly may be applied to any concourse of people, good or bad; gathered together for lawful or unlawful purposes. Hence, it is used, Acts xix. 32. for the mob, or confused rabble, gathered together against Paul, exxλnix σvyxIxUME, which the town-clerk distinguished ver. 39, from a lawful assembly, evropy exxλnoix. The Greek word εκκλησια, seems to be derived from εκκαλέω, to cal out of, or from, i. e. an assembly gathered out of a multitude; 1. The disciples, by being constantly with their Master, and must have some other word joined to it, to determine its were not only guarded against error, but were taught the whole nature, viz. the Church of God; the congregation collected truth: we should neglect no opportunity of waiting upon God by God, and devoted to his service. The Church of Christ: —while Jesus continues to teach, our ear and heart should be the whole company of Christians wheresoever found; because open to receive his instructions. That what we have already re-by the preaching of the Gospel, they are called out of the ceived may be effectual, we must continue to hear, and pray on. Let us beware of the error of the Pharisees! they minded only external performances, and those things by which they might acquire esteem and reputation among men; thus, humility and love, the very soul of religion, were neglected by themthey had their reward--the approbation of those who were as destitute of vital religion as themselves.-Let us beware also of the error of the Sadducees, who, believing no other felicity but what depended on the good things of this world, becaine the flatterers and slaves of those who could bestow them, and so, like the Pharisees, had their portion only in this life. All false religions, and false principles conduct to the same end, however contrary they appear to each other. No two sects could be more opposed to each other than the Sadducees and Pharisees, yet their doctrines lead to the same end-they are both wedded to this world, and separated from God in the next.
spirit and maxims of the world, to live according to the precepts of the Christian religion. This is sometimes called the Catholic or universal Church, because constituted of all the professors of Christianity in the world, to whatever sects or parties they may belong; and hence the absurdity of applying the term Catholic, which signifies universal, to that very small portion of it, the Church of Rome. In primitive times, before Christians had any stated buildings, they worshipped in private houses; the people that had been converted to God, meeting together in some one dwelling-house of a fellow convert, more convenient and capacious than the rest; hence the church that was in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, Rom. xvi. 3, 5. and 1 Cor. xvi. 19. and the church that was in the house of Nymphas, Col. iv. 15. Now, as these houses were dedicated to the worship of God, each was termed xvgiou oixos kuriou oikos, the house of the Lord; which word in process of time, became contracted into xvgioix kurioik, and
bours, and cynic kirik, of our Saxon ancestors, from which, by corruption, changing the hard Saxon c into ch, we have made the word church. This term, though it be generally used to signify the people worshipping in a particular place, yet by a metonymy, the container being put for the contained, we apply, as it was originally, to the building which contains the worshipping people.
2. From the circumstance mentioned in the conclusion of this chapter, we may easily see the nature of the king-xuęıaun, and kuriake; and hence kirk of our northern neighdom and reign of Christ, it is truly spiritual and divine; having for its object the present holiness and future happiness of mankind. Worldly pomp, as well as worldly maxims, were to be excluded from it. Christianity forbids all worldly expectations, and promises blessedness to those alone who bear the cross, leading a life of mortification and self-denial. Jesus Christ has left us an example that we should follow his steps. How did he live?—What views did he entertain ?—In what light did he view worldly pomp and splendor? These are questions which the most superficial reader may, without difficulty, answer to his immediate conviction. And has not
In the proper use of this word there can be no such thing as THE church, exclusively-there may be a church, and the CHURCHES, signifying a particular congregation, or the different assemblies of religious people: and hence, the Church of
The transfiguration of Christ, 1-8. Christ's discourse with his disciples on the subject, 9-13. He heals a lunatic, 14-18. His discourse with his disciples on this subject also, 19-21. He foretells his own sufferings and death, 22, 23. He is required to pay tribute at Capernaum, 24-26; and provides the money by a miracle, 27. ND after six days, Jesus taketh || 3 And, behold, there appeared unto A Peter, James, and John his bro- them Moses and Elias talking with CCI. 4. ther, and bringeth them up into a high mountain, apart,
2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
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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 tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
Mark 9. 2. Luke 9. 28.
Rev. 1. 16. Dan. 10. 6.
Luke 9. 30. Rev. 11. 3.- d Luke 9. 33.
NOTES ON CHAP. XVII. Verse 1. After six days] Mark ix. 2. has the same number; but Luke says, ix. 28. after eight days: the reason of this difference seeins to be the following: Matthew and Mark reckon the days from that mentioned in the preceding chapter, to that mentioned in this. Luke includes both days as well as the six intermediate; hence, the one makes eight, the other sir, without any contradiction.
Peter, James, and John] He chose those, that they might|| be witnesses of his Transfiguration: two or three witnesses being required by the Scripture to substantiate any fact Eminent communications of the Divine favour prepare for and entitle to great services, and great conflicts. The same three were made witnesses of his agony in the garden, chap.
A high mountain] This was one of the mountains of Galilee, but whether mount Tabor or not, is uncertain. Some think it was Mount Hermon. St. Luke says, Christ and his distiples went up into the mountain to pray, chap. ix. 28.
Verse 2. Was transfigured] That fulness of the God-head, which dwelt bodily in Christ, now shone forth through the human nature, and manifested to his disciples not only that Divinity which Peter had before confessed, chap. xvi. 16. but also the glorious resurrection body, in which they should exist in the presence of God to eternity.
White as the light.] But the Cod. Beza, some of the ancient Versions, and several of the Fathers read ws xiwy, us ow; and this is the reading in Mark ix. 3.
same body which he had upon earth, for he was translated,
Verse 4. Peter said—let us make &c.] That is, when he saw Moses and Elijah ready to depart from the mount, Luke Verse 3. Moses and Elias] Elijah came from heaven in the ix. 33. he wished to detain them that he might always enjoy