Matthew 26:35
Peter said to him, Though I should die with you, yet will I not deny you. Likewise also said all the disciples.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(35) Though I should die with thee.—Though foremost in announcing the resolve, Peter was not alone in it. Thomas had spoken like words before (John 11:16), and all felt as if they were prepared to face death for their Master’s sake. To them He had been not only “righteous,” but “good” and kind, and therefore for Him “they even dared to die.” (Comp. Romans 5:7.)

26:31-35 Improper self-confidence, like that of Peter, is the first step to a fall. There is a proneness in all of us to be over-confident. But those fall soonest and foulest, who are the most confident in themselves. Those are least safe, who think themselves most secure. Satan is active to lead such astray; they are most off their guard: God leaves them to themselves, to humble them.Will I not deny thee - Will not deny my connection with thee, or that I knew thee.

"All" the disciples said the same thing, and all fled at the approach of danger, "forsaking" their Master and Friend, and practically denying that they knew him, Matthew 26:56.

Mt 26:31-35. The Desertion of Jesus by His Disciples, and the Denial of Peter Foretold. ( = Mr 14:27-31; Lu 22:31-38; Joh 13:36-38).

For the exposition, see on [1363]Lu 22:31-38.

Ver. 31-35. Mark hath the same, Mark 14:27-31, only he saith, Mark 14:30, This day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. Luke hath it not entire, but he hath something of it, Luke 22:31-34, with some addition, thus, And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. Those who read the evangelists, must remember that they did not write our Saviour’s words from his mouth, but from their memories; and therefore must be allowed to vary in their expressions, and in circumstances, giving us only an account of the substance of words and actions, as their memories served them; from whence also it is that some of them have some circumstances not in the others. Our Saviour’s design here in general, is to inform his disciples of something which would happen by and by.

All ye (saith he) shall be offended because of me this night. The word offended is of a very large signification in holy writ; here it seems to signify disturbed or troubled, though if we take it strictly for stumbling, so as to sin, it was true enough, for that happened, (as we shall see anon), which made them to forsake Christ and flee, which doubtless was their sin.

For it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock; shall be scattered abroad. The words are Zechariah 13:7. The words there are imperative, Smite the shepherd. There are different opinions, whether that text is primarily to be understood of Christ, or it be only a proverbial speech, which the prophet made use of with another reference, which yet Christ doth apply unto himself. I do more incline to think, that Christ here interprets the prophecy to relate primarily to himself, for he doth not say, As it is said, but, It is written; yet, consider it as a proverbial speech, it is true of others also. But certainly our Saviour designed to uphold the spirits of his disciples, by letting them know, that though they should see the Shepherd smitten, that is, himself, who is the good Shepherd, John 10:11; and is called by the apostle, the great Shepherd of the sheep, Hebrews 13:20, the chief Shepherd, 1 Peter 5:4; yet they should not be disturbed, for:

1. It was no more than was prophesied concerning him, Zechariah 13:7.

2. Though at present they were scattered, yet it should not be long, for he should rise again, and then he would go before them into Galilee; which was fulfilled, as we read, Mark 16:7.

Upon these words, Peter, whom by all the gospel history we shall observe to have been of the highest courage, and most forward to speak, saith, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. These doubtless were his present thoughts, this his sudden resolution. Here now seem to come in our Saviour’s words to Peter, mentioned by Luke only, Luke 22:31, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

You is in the plural number, and to be interpreted by you all, though our Saviour directeth his speech only to Peter, who first spake, whom he calleth by his own name, and doubles it, to signify his earnestness in giving him warning. To sift you.

In sifting there are two things:

1. The shaking of the corn up and down.

2. The separation of the grain from the dust, or the seeds mixed with it: Satan hath desired, or hath obtained leave of my Father, to trouble you all, shaking your faith this and that way.

But I have prayed, that although the workings of your faith be suspended, and the habit of your faith be shaken, yet it may not utterly fail, but the seeds of God may abide in you: you shall not wholly fall away, but be renewed again by repentance; and when thou art converted, when thou hast fallen, and shalt have a sight of thy error, and be humbled for it, endeavour to strengthen thy brethren’s faith.

We may observe from hence:

1. That temptations are siftings. God sifts us to purge away our dross. Satan sifts us, if it were possible, to take away our wheat.

2. That the devil is the great tempter. Others may hold and move the sieve, but he is the master of the work.

3. That he hath a continual desire to be sifting in God’s flour.

4. That he hath a chain upon him; he must ask God’s leave to trouble his people.

5. That God often giveth him leave, but through Christ’s pleadings he shall not conquer: he may sift and trouble a believer, but the believer’s faith shall not fail.

6. That in the hour of temptation we stand in Christ’s strength, by the virtue of his intercession.

7. That lapsed Christians, when the Lord hath restored them, ought to endeavour to strengthen and establish others.

Jesus saith to Peter,

Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Luke saith, thou shalt deny that thou knowest me. Mark saith, before the cock crow twice; and so interprets Matthew, for he denied Christ but once before the cock did crow once. How little do we know ourselves, that cannot tell what our hearts will be three or four hours! Peter was too confident of the contrary, and replies again upon our Saviour, telling him, that if all should deny him, he would not. So also they all said, but what happened we shall hear more by and by. Peter saith unto him,.... Mark says, "he spake the more vehemently", Mark 14:31; his spirits were raised to a greater pitch of resentment, and he expressed himself in stronger terms, and in more peremptory and self-confident language,

though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee: he seems to have understood Christ, that he should suffer death, and that he would be in great danger himself, and therefore rather than lose his life would deny his master; wherefore he most confidently affirms, that should this be the case, should he be called to suffer death for his sake, or along with him, he would most cheerfully embrace it, rather than be guilty of so dreadful a crime, which he could not look upon but with the utmost detestation and abhorrence, as to deny his dear Lord and Saviour:

likewise also said all the disciples; that they would never be offended because of him, and would die with him rather than deny him. This they said, being also self-confident and ignorant of their own weakness, and drawn into these expressions through Peter's example; and that partly to show their equal abhorrence of so horrible an iniquity, as denying Jesus; and partly to remove all suspicion from them, lest they should be thought to have less love and zeal for Christ than Peter had.

Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 26:35 : intensified protestation of fidelity—καὶ before ἐάν (κἂν) intensive, ntroducing an extreme case, death for the Master.—οὐ μή, making the predictive future emphatically negative = I certainly will not.—ὁμοίως, similarly, weaker than Mk.’s ὡσαύτως. Very improbable, thinks De Wette. But the disciples were placed in a delicate position by Peter’s protestations, and would have to say something, however faint-heartedly.35. Though I should die with thee] Accurately, Even if I shall be obliged to die with thee.Matthew 26:35. Λεγει, says) With a sufficiently determined mind.—οὐ μἡ, by no means[1144]) Peter therefore acknowledges denial to be sin.[1145]—εἶπον, they said) The Saviour’s lenity makes no further reply.

[1144] Ne quaquam. E. V. not.—(I. B.)

[1145] καὶ παντες, also all) Being freed and acquitted of risk of betraying their Lord, they do not suspect themselves capable of being offended at Him.—V. g.Verse 35. - Though I should die with thee (κα}ν δέῃ με σὺν σοὶ ἀποθανεῖν, even if I must die with thee). Christ's explanation of his meaning only drew from Peter a more energetic asseveration of his constancy even unto death. "He thought he was able," says St. Augustine, "because he felt that he wished." The other apostles made a similar assertion, and Jesus said no more, leaving time to prove the truth of his sad foreboding. Though I should die (κἂν δέῃ με ἀποθανεῖν)

The A. V. misses the force of δέῃ: "Though it should be necessary for me to die." Wyc., "If it shall behove me to die." Rev., excellently, "Even if I must die."

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