|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:21-23 Christ reveals his mind to his people gradually. From that time, when the apostles had made the full confession of Christ, that he was the Son of God, he began to show them of his sufferings. He spake this to set right the mistakes of his disciples about the outward pomp and power of his kingdom. Those that follow Christ, must not expect great or high things in this world. Peter would have Christ to dread suffering as much as he did; but we mistake, if we measure Christ's love and patience by our own. We do not read of any thing said or done by any of his disciples, at any time, that Christ resented so much as this. Whoever takes us from that which is good, and would make us fear to do too much for God, speaks Satan's language. Whatever appears to be a temptation to sin, must be resisted with abhorrence, and not be parleyed with. Those that decline suffering for Christ, savour more of the things of man than of the things of God.
Verse 22. - Peter took him (προσλαβόμενος). Either taking him aside, or taking him by the hand or dress - a reverent familiarity permitted by the Lord to his loving apostle. And now this same Peter, who had just before made his noble confession, and had been rewarded with unique commendation, unable to shake off the prejudices of his age and his education, began to rebuke (ἐπιτιμᾶν) his Master. He presumed to chide Jesus for speaking of suffering and death. He, the Son of God most High, what had he to do with such things? How could he name them in connection with himself? Peter, while accepting the idea of Messiah as Divine and triumphant, could not receive the notion of his death and Passion. That the same person should be so humiliated and yet so glorious, was beyond his conception. He was as much in the dark as his fellow apostles; of that which was not specially revealed to him he knew nothing. It was the carnal mind that here influenced him, not the spiritually enlightened soul. By writing "began," the historian intimates that he had not time to say much before the Lord mercifully interposed and cut him short. Be it far from thee; ἵλεώς σοι: Vulgate, absit a te. The Greek phrase is elliptical, εἴη ὁ Θεός being understood; "God be merciful to thee," equivalent to "God forbid." The complete expression occurs in the Septuagint of 1 Chronicles 11:19. It is used in deprecation of a disastrous event. This shall not be unto thee; οὐ μὴ ἔσται σοι τοῦτο. This is a very strong assertion, not a prayer or wish, as some would make it; the use of language is quite against that, as the phrase is predictive, never prohibitory, in his mistaken zeal and his ignorant affection, Peter would be wiser than his Lord. The cross and Passion shall never be thy lot; Messiah cannot suffer, the Son of God cannot die. Such merely human asseveration, even prompted by undoubted love, had to be checked and rebuked.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Peter took him,.... The Arabic version reads it, "called to him": the Ethiopic, "answered him"; and the Syriac, "led him"; he took him aside, by himself; and as the Persic version, "privately said to him", or he took him by the hand in a familiar way, to expostulate with him, and dissuade him from thinking and talking of any such things;
and began to rebuke him: reprove and chide him, forgetting himself and his distance; though he did it not out of passion and ill will, but out of tenderness and respect; looking upon what Christ had said, unworthy of him, and as what was scarce probable or possible should ever befall him, who was the Son of the living God, and overlooking his resurrection from the dead, and being ignorant at present of the end of Christ's coming into the world, and redemption and salvation by his sufferings and death:
saying, far be it from thee, Lord, or "Lord, be propitious to thyself", or "spare thyself": the phrase answers to , often used by the Targumists (u) and stands in the Syriac version here. The Septuagint use it in a like sense, in Genesis 43:23. Some think the word "God" is to be understood, and the words to be considered, either as a wish, "God be propitious to thee": or "spare thee", that no such thing may ever befall thee; or as an affirmation, "God is propitious to thee", he is not angry and displeased with thee, as ever to suffer any such thing to be done to thee: but it may very well be rendered, by "God forbid"; or as we do, "far be it from thee", as a note of aversion, and abhorrence of the thing spoken of:
this shall not be done unto thee: expressing his full assurance of it, and his resolution to do all that in him lay to hinder it: he could not see how such an innocent person could be so used by the chief men of the nation; and that the Messiah, from whom so much happiness was expected, could be treated in such a manner, and especially that the Son of the living God should be killed.
(u) Targum Hieros. in Genesis 49.22. & Targum Onkelos in 1 Samuel 20.9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. Then Peter took him—aside, apart from the rest; presuming on the distinction just conferred on him; showing how unexpected and distasteful to them all was the announcement.
and began to rebuke him—affectionately, yet with a certain generous indignation, to chide Him.
saying, Be it far from thee: this shall not be unto thee—that is, "If I can help it": the same spirit that prompted him in the garden to draw the sword in His behalf (Joh 18:10).
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