Luke 18:34
And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
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(34) They understood none of these things.—The whole verse is peculiar to St. Luke, and reproduces what had been said before in Luke 9:45, where see Note. It is as though his professional habit of analysis led him to dwell on these psychological phenomena as explaining the subsequent bewilderment of the disciples, and their slowness to believe that their Lord had risen from the dead (Luke 24:11; Luke 24:21; Luke 24:25; Luke 24:38). They heard the words, but, as we say, did not “take in” their meaning. For a like analysis, see Note on Luke 22:45.

This saying was hid from them.—The verb so rendered occurs here only in the New Testament. Its precise meaning is “covered” or “veiled,” rather than hidden. Some such thought of dimmed perception was in St. Paul’s mind when he said of the unbelieving Jews that, as they heard the Law and the Prophets, “the veil was upon their hearts” (2Corinthians 3:15).

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.Understood none of these things - Though they were "plainly" revealed, yet such were their prejudices and their unwillingness to believe them that they did not understand them. They expected that he would be a temporal prince and a conqueror, and they were not "willing" to believe that he would be delivered into the hands of his enemies. They did not see how that could be consistent with the prophecies. To us now these things appear plain, and we may, hence, learn that those things which to us appear most mysterious may yet appear perfectly plain; and we should learn to trust in God, and "believe" just what he has spoken. See Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:23. 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. See Poole on "Luke 18:30" 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?"

And they understood {h} none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

(h) By this we see how ignorant the disciples were.

Luke 18:34. This is peculiar to Lk. A similar statement in Luke 9:45 with the same curious repetition. “An emphatic prolixity” is Meyer’s comment. J. Weiss (Meyer) from the facts that this verse repeats Luke 9:45 and that Lk. avoids repetition infers that the words must have been in his source. I rather think that we have here an effort on Lk.’s part to compensate by a general statement about the ignorance of the Twelve for the instructive narrative about the two sons of Zebedee which comes in at this point in Mt. and Mk., and which Lk. omits, doubtless by way of sparing the disciples an exposure. The iteration (same thing said three times) is in Lk.’s manner (Acts 14:8), but it is significant here. The aim is by repetition of a general statement to convey the impression made by the concrete story—an utter impossibility. No wonder Lk. labours in expression, in view of that humiliating proof of ignorance and moral weakness! But the attempt to express the inexpressible is interesting as showing that Lk. must have had the sons of Zebedee incident in his mind though he does not choose to record it. The omission of this incident carries along with it the omission of the second and most important saying of our Lord concerning the significance of His death. Lk.’s gospel contains hardly any basis for a doctrine on that subject (cf. Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45).34. they understood none of these things] as had been the case before, Luke 9:43-45; and St Mark tells us (Mark 9:32) that ‘they were afraid to ask Him.’ It was only at a later period that the full significance of all these words dawned on them (John 12:16). We must learn, as Pascal says, to love divine truths before we can understand them. The Apostles refused to admit the plain meaning of these clear statements (Matthew 16:22).Luke 18:34. Καὶ, καὶ, καὶ, and, and, and) An ascending climax.—τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο, this saying) put forth by the Lord.—οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον) they did not perceive the meaning of (recognise and acknowledge); they shrunk back in horror from it, as something strange and unheard of: so in Romans 7:15, “For that which I do, οὐ γινώσκω, I do not recognise,” as good (“I allow not,” Engl. Vers.) They felt conscious that something disagreeable was being spoken, Matthew 16:22; but they did not in that consciousness go forward to the point, to which they ought to have gone.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." Saying (ῥῆμα)

See on Luke 1:37.

Were said (λεγόμενα)

Or, more correctly, which were being said to them at the moment.

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