|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:30-40 The time of Christ's suffering drew nigh. Had he been delivered into the hands of devils, and they had done this, it had not been so strange; but that men should thus shamefully treat the Son of man, who came to redeem and save them, is wonderful. Still observe that when Christ spake of his death, he always spake of his resurrection, which took the reproach of it from himself, and should have taken the grief of it from his disciples. Many remain ignorant because they are ashamed to inquire. Alas! that while the Saviour teaches so plainly the things which belong to his love and grace, men are so blinded that they understand not his sayings. We shall be called to account about our discourses, and to account for our disputes, especially about being greater than others. Those who are most humble and self-denying, most resemble Christ, and shall be most tenderly owned by him. This Jesus taught them by a sign; whoever shall receive one like this child, receives me. Many have been like the disciples, ready to silence men who have success in preaching to sinners repentance in Christ's name, because they follow not with them. Our Lord blamed the apostles, reminding them that he who wrought miracles in his name would not be likely to hurt his cause. If sinners are brought to repent, to believe in the Saviour, and to live sober, righteous, and godly lives, we then see that the Lord works by the preacher.
Verses 33, 34. - They have now reached Capernaum. And when he was in the house - the house, that is, which he frequented when staying in Capernaum - he asked them, What were ye reasoning in the way? The words "among yourselves," of the Authorized Version, are not found in the best authorities. St. Matthew (Matthew 18:1) does not record this question of our Lord, which brings to light the fact that they had been disputing by the way which of them should be the greatest. The Greek is (τίς μείζων) who was greater, that is, than the rest. It has been well noticed that this passage, given in substance in all the synoptic Gospels, is a striking evidence of the truthfulness and impartiality of the disciples. This dispute of theirs might easily have been suppressed as scarcely creditable to them. But in writing the Gospels the evangelists thought more of what exalted the Savior than what abased themselves. This dispute of the disciples shows how thoroughly they realized the nearness of his kingdom, and at the same time how much they had yet to learn as to the qualifications necessary for admission to it. It is not unlikely that the preference given by our Lord to Peter, James, and John may have given occasion for his contention.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he came to Capernaum,.... Where he met with the collectors of the tribute money, and paid it to them, as related by Matthew, Matthew 17:24, though Mark takes no notice of it. The Vulgate Latin and the Syriac versions, read in the plural number, "they came"; Christ and his twelve apostles; and which is the sense of the words, read in the singular number; for Christ came not alone, but with his disciples:
and being in the house; of Simon and Andrew, very likely where he used to be when at Capernaum:
he asked them, what was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? Whilst in their journey from Caesarea Philippi, to Galilee; or as they travelled through the parts of Galilee to Capernaum. This question Christ put, not as ignorant of what had passed among them, but in order to have the case laid before him; that he might reprove them for their pride and ambition, and have an opportunity of teaching them humility, and of informing them of the nature of his kingdom, and subjects; concerning which, they had entertained very wrong notions. The phrase "among yourselves", is omitted in the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions, but stands in the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Mr 9:33-50. Strife among the Twelve Who Should Be Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, with Relative Teaching—Incidental Rebuke of John for Exclusiveness. ( = Mt 18:1-9; Lu 9:46-50).
Strife among the Twelve, with Relative Teaching (Mr 9:33-37).
33. What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?—From this we gather that after the painful communication He had made to them, the Redeemer had allowed them to travel so much of the way by themselves; partly, no doubt, that He might have privacy for Himself to dwell on what lay before Him, and partly that they might be induced to weigh together and prepare themselves for the terrible events which He had announced to them. But if so, how different was their occupation!
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