Mark 8:34
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
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(34-38) And when he had called the people.—See Notes on Matthew 16:24-28. The “calling the people,” or better, the multitude, to hear what involved the apparent failure of His mission announced in the preceding verses is an addition to St. Matthew’s narrative. It is confirmed by St. Luke’s “He said unto all” (Luke 9:23).

Mark 8:34-38. When he had called the people unto him — To hear a truth of the last importance, and one that equally concerned them all; whosoever will come after me — And be a disciple of mine, entitled to all the privileges and blessings which belong to my disciples in this world and the next; let him deny himself — His own will, in all things, great and small, however pleasing, and that continually; and take up his cross — Embrace the will of God, however painful, daily, hourly, continually. Thus only can he follow me in holiness to glory. See on Matthew 16:24-26. Whosoever shall be ashamed of me — Poor, despised, and a man of sorrows though I am; and of my words — That is, of avowing by word and action whatever I have said, particularly this my precept of self-denial, and taking up the daily cross: and whosoever is not heartily willing to sustain the scoffs of a wicked world, to which the profession and practice of my religion may expose him; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, &c. — He shall be ashamed to acknowledge one for his disciple who has acted in a manner so unlike his Master, and so unworthy of his religion. See on Matthew 10:32-33.

8:34-38 Frequent notice is taken of the great flocking there was to Christ for help in various cases. All are concerned to know this, if they expect him to heal their souls. They must not indulge the ease of the body. As the happiness of heaven with Christ, is enough to make up for the loss of life itself for him, so the gain of all the world in sin, will not make up for the ruin of the soul by sin. And there is a day coming, when the cause of Christ will appear as glorious, as some now think it mean and contemptible. May we think of that season, and view every earthly object as we shall do at that great day.He spake that saying openly - With boldness or confidence, or without parables or figures, so that there could be no possibility of misunderstanding him.Mr 8:27-38. Peter's Noble Confession of Christ—Our Lord's First Explicit Announcement of His Approaching Sufferings, Death, and Resurrection—His Rebuke of Peter, and Warning to All the Twelve. ( = Mt 16:13-27; Lu 9:18-26).

For the exposition, see on [1461]Mt 16:13-28.

Our Saviour hearing Peter so stumble at the news, he told him, and the rest, of the cross which himself was to endure; and taking notice of his exceeding fondness to gratify himself, to the prejudice of a far greater good, he now tells them the law of his discipleship, that as he was not to please himself, nor to decline afflictions for the gospel, so neither must any who would be his followers; they must all deny themselves, take up the cross, and follow him. And because this was a hard saying to flesh and blood, and what was to be their certain lot, he presseth it upon them by several arguments to the end of this chapter.

See Poole on "Matthew 10:38". See Poole on "Matthew 16:24".

And when he had called the people unto him,.... Who, it seems, followed him out of Galilee, from Bethsaida, and these parts; for it was in the way from thence to Caesarea Philippi, that Christ had this conversation with his disciples; who walked together alone, the multitude following at some distance; and the private conversation being ended, Christ called, or beckoned to the people, to come nearer to him:

with his disciples also; for what he was about to say, concerned them both:

whosoever will come after me; in a spiritual sense, as this multitude did in a natural one, and which is the same as to be a disciple of his:

let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me; signifying, that his followers must deny themselves of worldly advantages, and suffer many things, as well as he, which he had been but just before acquainting his disciples with; See Gill on Matthew 16:24.

{10} And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

(10) The disciples of Christ must bear bravely whatever burden the Lord lays upon them, and subdue the desires of the flesh.

Mark 8:34-38. First lesson on the cross.

34. he had called] Even in these lonely regions considerable numbers would seem to have followed Him, apparently at some little distance. These He now called to Him, and addressed to them, as well as to His Apostles, some of His deepest teaching, making them sharers in this part of His instruction.

will] i. e. whosoever is resolved. “Will” here is not the will simply of the future tense, but the will of real desire and resolution. Comp. John 7:17, if any man will do His will (i. e. is resolved at all costs to do it), he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.

take up his cross] The first intimation of His own suffering upon the cross.

Mark 8:34. Τὸν ὄχλον σὺν τοῖς μαθηταῖς, the multitude with His disciples) The doctrine here taught was true catholic doctrine [which is even inculcated upon the crowd, who were not yet quite distinctly instructed as to Jesus being the Messiah.—V. g.].—ἀκολουθεῖτω, let him follow) in the death of the cross.

Verse 34. - He called unto him the multitude with his disciples. This shows that there was an interval between what had just taken place and what is now recorded. Our Lord now, without any further special reference to St. Peter, delivers a lesson of universal application; although, no doubt, he had Peter in his mind. If any man would (εἴ τις θέλει) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. This self-denial ought to extend to everything, even to life itself, which we ought to be willing to resign, if need be, for the sake of Christ. Take up his cross. It is as though he said, "Let him take up his cross, as I have borne my cross, that I might be the standard-bearer and Leader of all cross-bearers - I, who carried the cross on which I was to be crucified to the mount of Calvary." St. Luke (Luke 9:23) adds the words (καθ ἡμέραν), "daily:" "let him take up his cross daily;" thus showing that "every day," and often "at every hour," something occurs which it becomes us to bear patiently and bravely, and so on continually through our whole life. He takes up his cross who is crucified to the world. But he to whom the world is crucified follows his crucified Lord. This cross assumes various forms; such as persecution and martyrdom, affliction and sorrow of whatever kind, appointed by God; temptations of Satan, permitted by God for our trial, to increase our humility and virtue, and to make brighter our crown. Mark 8:34Jesus now pauses; for what he has to say now is to be said to all who follow him. Hence he calls the multitude with his disciples. Peculiar to Mark.

Will (θέλει)

Rev., would. See on Matthew 1:19. It is more than is wishful.

His cross

The pronoun αὐτοῦ, his, is in an emphatic position.

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