|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:31-36 The discourses of Jesus convinced many that he was the Messiah; but they had not courage to own it. It is comfort to those who are in the world, but not of it, and therefore are hated by it and weary of it, that they shall not be in it always, that they shall not be in it long. Our days being evil, it is well they are few. The days of life and of grace do not last long; and sinners, when in misery, will be glad of the help they now despise. Men dispute about such sayings, but the event will explain them.
Verse 32. - The Pharisees heard the multitude (generally) murmuring these things concerning him; repeating the language of those who believed, comparing their expectations with the reality. They seem to have occasioned a hasty and informal session of the Sanhedrin, and we read that the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers - servants "clothed with legal authority," and therefore intimating a decision already come to in the supreme council (cf. John 11:53; John 18:3, 12; John 19:6; Acts 5:22, 26) - to seize him (cf. this description of the Sanhedrin in Matthew 21:45; Matthew 27:62). The "chief priests" - a phrase often occurring in the writings of Luke, and here for the first time in this Gospel - cannot be confined to the official "high priest," but may include the ex-high priests, perhaps the heads of the twenty-four courses of priests and the chiefs of the priestly party, though there is no proof of it. The Pharisees and priests were often at enmity, but there were several occasions during our Lord's ministry when they combined against a common foe. The Pharisees had been his most steady opponents in Galilee. The eighth and ninth chapters of Matthew, with parallel passages, reveal the growing animosity of their demeanour, and their disposition to misunderstand, to oppose, and to crush every great self-revelation made by him. Their chiefs were in Jerusalem, and doubtless formed a powerful element in the great council. The formality of this session of the council may be reasonably questioned. There had been orders then for the arrest, which they had only to put at any time, if they dared, into immediate operation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Pharisees heard that the people murmured,.... Or whispered, privately talked among themselves:
such things concerning him; as that surely he must be the Messiah, since such wonderful things were done by him, and might also express some uneasiness and surprise, that the rulers did not receive him as such:
and the Pharisees, and the chief priests, sent officers to take him: and bring him before the sanhedrim, by them to be condemned, and so a stop be put to the people's receiving him, and believing in him as the Messiah; fearing, that should things go on at this rate, their principles and practices would be rejected, and their persons and authority be brought into contempt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. heard that the people murmured—that mutterings to this effect were going about, and thought it high time to stop Him if He was not to be allowed to carry away the people.
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