|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:66-71 When we admit into our minds hard thoughts of the words and works of Jesus, we enter into temptation, which, if the Lord in mercy prevent not, will end in drawing back. The corrupt and wicked heart of man often makes that an occasion for offence, which is matter of the greatest comfort. Our Lord had, in the foregoing discourse, promised eternal life to his followers; the disciples fastened on that plain saying, and resolved to cleave to him, when others fastened on hard sayings, and forsook him. Christ's doctrine is the word of eternal life, therefore we must live and die by it. If we forsake Christ, we forsake our own mercies. They believed that this Jesus was the Messiah promised to their fathers, the Son of the living God. When we are tempted to backslide or turn away, it is good to remember first principles, and to keep to them. And let us ever remember our Lord's searching question; Shall we go away and forsake our Redeemer? To whom can we go? He alone can give salvation by the forgiveness of sins. And this alone brings confidence, comfort, and joy, and bids fear and despondency flee away. It gains the only solid happiness in this world, and opens a way to the happiness of the next.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And we believe and are sure,.... Or know of a certainty: they believed upon the first call of them by Christ, and their following of him, that he was the true Messiah; and they came to an assurance of it, by the miracles he wrought, and by the doctrines which he taught; their faith, how weak soever it might be at first, rose up to a full assurance of faith, and of understanding; there was a reality and a certainty in it, as there is in all true faith, with respect to the object, though not always with respect to interest in it; which was the case here, as appears by what follows:
that thou art that Christ; or Messiah, that was promised by God of old, spoken of by the prophets, and expected by the Jews; that anointed prophet Moses had spoken of, that should arise out of Israel, like unto him that anointed priest, who, according to the oath of God, was to be priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek; and that anointed King, whom God has set over his holy hill of Zion:
the son of the living God; this they knew, and were sure of, both by John's testimony, and by the father's voice from heaven; which three of them heard, at Christ's transfiguration on the mount: God the father is called "the living God"; though the Vulgate Latin version leaves out the word "living"; not to distinguish him from his son; for he also is the living God; and is so called, Hebrews 3:12, but to distinguish him from the idols of the Gentiles, who have no life nor breath in them: and Christ is called the son of the living God, as he is a divine person, as he is truly God; and to show that he has the same life his father has; being a partaker of the same nature, and divine perfections: and this is another reason why sensible souls will go to Christ, and no other; because he is the Messiah, the Saviour, and Redeemer, and an able one; and because he is God, and there is none else.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
69. And we believe,—(See on Mt 16:16). Peter seems to have added this not merely—probably not so much—as an assurance to his Lord of his heart's belief in Him, as for the purpose of fortifying himself and his faithful brethren against that recoil from his Lord's harsh statements which he was probably struggling against with difficulty at that moment. Note.—There are seasons when one's faith is tried to the utmost, particularly by speculative difficulties; the spiritual eye then swims, and all truth seems ready to depart from us. At such seasons, a clear perception that to abandon the faith of Christ is to face black desolation, ruin and death; and on recoiling from this, to be able to fall back, not merely on first principles and immovable foundations, but on personal experience of a Living Lord in whom all truth is wrapt up and made flesh for our very benefit—this is a relief unspeakable. Under that blessed Wing taking shelter, until we are again fit to grapple with the questions that have staggered us, we at length either find our way through them, or attain to a calm satisfaction in the discovery that they lie beyond the limits of present apprehension.
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