|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:31-34 The Spirit of Christ, in the Old Testament prophets, testified beforehand his sufferings, and the glory that should follow, 1Pe 1:11. The disciples' prejudices were so strong, that they would not understand these things literally. They were so intent upon the prophecies which spake of Christ's glory, that they overlooked those which spake of his sufferings. People run into mistakes, because they read their Bibles by halves, and are only for the smooth things. We are as backward to learn the proper lessons from the sufferings, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, as the disciples were to what he told them as to those events; and for the same reason; self-love, and a desire of worldly objects, close our understandings.
Verse 34. - And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken. But they listened all dazed and confused; they could not take it in, neither the shame of the death of their loved Leader, nor the glory of the Resurrection which was to follow immediately after. They could not persuade themselves that the hopes of an earthly Messianic glory in which they were to; share must positively Be given up. "We must learn to love Divine truths Before we can understand them," said Pascal. "Toward everything which is contrary to natural desire," wrote Riggenbach (in Godet), "there is produced in the heart a Blindness, which nothing but a miracle can heal."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they understood none of these things,.... "Not one of them", as the Syriac and Persic versions render it; every article of his sufferings and death were unintelligible by them; they knew not how to understand him in any one point: or how to reconcile these things to the notions they had entertained of the temporal grandeur, and glory, of the Messiah, and his kingdom; and which shows their great ignorance of the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning these things.
And this saying, or "thing"; for it answers to the Hebrew word which signifies any affair, or matter, as well as a word, or saying: and so here, the whole of this affair
was hid from them; unless it should have a peculiar regard to that part of it, which expresses his resurrection from the dead; see Mark 9:10 or the delivery of him to the Gentiles, Luke 9:44
neither knew they the things which were spoken; the meaning of them. The Ethiopic version leaves out this, and puts the former clause, by way of question, "and he said unto them, and is this saying hid from you?"
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
34. understood none, &c.—The Evangelist seems unable to say strongly enough how entirely hidden from them at that time was the sense of these exceeding plain statements: no doubt to add weight to their subsequent testimony, which from this very circumstance was prodigious, and with all the simple-hearted irresistible.
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