Matthew 26:68
Saying, Prophesy to us, you Christ, Who is he that smote you?
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(68) Prophesy unto us, thou Christ.—The words derived their point from the fact recorded by St. Mark (Mark 14:65), that the officers had blindfolded their prisoner. Was He able, through His supernatural power, to identify those who smote Him?

26:57-68 Jesus was hurried into Jerusalem. It looks ill, and bodes worse, when those who are willing to be Christ's disciples, are not willing to be known to be so. Here began Peter's denying him: for to follow Christ afar off, is to begin to go back from him. It is more our concern to prepare for the end, whatever it may be, than curiously to ask what the end will be. The event is God's, but the duty is ours. Now the Scriptures were fulfilled, which said, False witnesses are risen up against me. Christ was accused, that we might not be condemned; and if at any time we suffer thus, let us remember we cannot expect to fare better than our Master. When Christ was made sin for us, he was silent, and left it to his blood to speak. Hitherto Jesus had seldom professed expressly to be the Christ, the Son of God; the tenor of his doctrine spoke it, and his miracles proved it; but now he would not omit to make an open confession of it. It would have looked like declining his sufferings. He thus confessed, as an example and encouragement to his followers, to confess him before men, whatever hazard they ran. Disdain, cruel mocking, and abhorrence, are the sure portion of the disciple as they were of the Master, from such as would buffet and deride the Lord of glory. These things were exactly foretold in the fiftieth chapter of Isaiah. Let us confess Christ's name, and bear the reproach, and he will confess us before his Father's throne.Saying, Prophesy unto us ... - Mark informs us that before they said this they had blindfolded him. Having prevented his seeing, they ridiculed his pretensions of being the Messiah. If he Was the Christ, they supposed he could tell who smote him As he bore it patiently and did not answer, they doubtless supposed that they had discovered another reason to think he was an impostor. The word "prophesy" does not mean only to foretell future events, although that is the proper meaning of the word, but also to declare anything that is unknown, or anything which cannot be known by natural knowledge or without revelation. Luke adds, "And many other things blasphemously spoke they against him." There is something very remarkable in this expression. They had charged Him with "blasphemy" in claiming to be the Son of God. This charge they were not able to prove; but the evangelist fixes the charge of "blasphemy" on them, because he really was the Son of God, and they denied it. Mt 26:57-75. Jesus Arraigned before the Sanhedrim Condemned to Die, and Shamefully Entreated—The Denial of Peter. ( = Mr 14:53-72; Lu 22:54-71; Joh 18:13-18, 24-27).

For the exposition, see on [1366]Mr 14:53-72.

Ver. 67,68. Mark hath much the same, Mark 14:65: And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands. Though there be nothing more barbarous and inhuman than to add to the affliction of the afflicted, yet this is no more than we ordinarily see done by a rabble of brutish people; spitting in the face was but an ordinary token of contempt, Numbers 12:14 Deu 25:9. And perhaps in all these indignities Isaiah was a type of Christ, Isaiah 1:6, if that text be not to be understood of Christ immediately. In the mean time, it lets us see that there is no degree or mark of contempt, or shame, or suffering which we ought to decline and grudge at for the name of Christ; who, through much more excellent than us, yet for our sake endured the cross, and despised the shame. Saying, prophesy unto us, thou Christ,.... Not that they owned him to be the Messiah; but because he asserted himself to be the Messiah, and his followers believed in him as such, they call him so; and in an ironical and sarcastic way, call upon him to divine, and tell them who the persons were, that used him in this manner; suggesting, that if he was the Christ, or Messiah, he would know all things, and what were done to him:

who is he that smote thee? for they had covered his face, or blindfolded him, as the other Evangelists say, Mark 14:65, and then bid him tell them who smote him last. Christ did not think fit to give them an answer to this question, but he will let them know hereafter, who the particular person, or persons were, that smote him; and when it will appear to all the churches, and to all the world, that he is the Lord God omniscient. Some learned men have observed (a), that there was a play formerly used, called by the ancients, at which, one person having his face covered, the rest smote him; or one put his hands over his eyes, and another smote, and asked him who it was that smote? and such an exercise is yet in being among us, which is commonly called Blindman's Buff; and such pastime as this the Jews had with Christ; in this ludicrous way did they use him, and made him their sport and diversion, as the Philistines did Samson; but it will cost them dear another day,

(a) Braunii Select. Sacr. l. 5. Exerc. 2. sect. 38. p. 622, 623. & Capelt. in loc. e Polluce, l. 9. c. 7.

Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
Matthew 26:68. Προφήτευσον ἡμῖν] Differently in Mark 14:65. But so far as the προφήτ., τίς ἐστιν, κ.τ.λ. is concerned, Luke 22:64 agrees with Matthew, although the favourite mode of accounting for this would seem to be that of tracing it to the obscuring influence of a later tradition; in no case, however, is this theory to be applied to the exposition of Matthew, for it would involve a point of essential consequence. According to Matthew, the sport lay in the demand that Jesus as Messiah, and consequently as a prophet (Matthew 21:11), should tell who it was that had struck Him, though He had no natural means of knowing. This conduct, of course, proceeds on the assumption that the Messiah possessed that higher knowledge which is derived from divine revelation; hence also the scoffing way in which they address Him by the title of Χριστός. Fritzsche thinks that the prominent idea here is that of foretelling, as being calculated, when thus conjoined with the preterite παίσας, to form an acerba irrisio. But that would be more likely to result in an absurda irrisio, unmarked by the slightest touch of humour.68. Prophesy unto us] Observe the coarse popular idea of prophecy breaking out, according to which prophecy is a meaningless exhibition of miraculous power. A similar vein of thought shews itself in the second temptation (ch. Matthew 4:6).Matthew 26:68. Λέγοντες, saying) most insolently.—τίς, κ.τ.λ., who, etc.?) You will hereafter each of you see Whom you have smitten.Verse 68. - Prophesy; divine, guess. They had previously blindfolded him (Mark 14:65; Luke 22:64), and now in derision of his supernatural powers they mockingly bid him to name the person who struck him. Thou Christ. They use the term sarcastically. "You call yourself Christ, the Prophet of God; well, then, divine miraculously, without seeing, who is he that smote thee."
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