And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed…
I. REPEATED PREDICTIONS ON THESE SUBJECTS. The disciples required line upon line on this subject; they were so slow to grasp it and so loth to entertain it. It appeared to them inconceivable and incredible. When it was first directly and definitely announced, Peter deprecated it in the strongest terms, and so far forgot himself that he presumed to rebuke his Master, which drew down on him in turn that severe and sharp reproof, "Get thee behind me, Satan," as though Satan had employed Peter as his emissary, and to do his work on that occasion by tempting our Lord to shrink from the sufferings he foretold. Instead of affording our Lord that support and sympathy, that strength and encouragement which, in view of the approaching ordeal, his human nature craved, his servants whom he loved and who loved him so well, though not always wisely, fell in with Satan's own suggestion at the temptation to the Savior, to seek the crown without the cross. Why not prove his Messiahship and assume his Kingship over the nations with out such suffering and sorrow, without the sharpness of death and shade of the sepulcher?
II. PREVIOUS PREPARATION. The previous training which the disciples had received from the Lord would, one might think, be sufficient to have disabused their minds of the prejudices of their race and nation to which they were so prone. Even after they had been convinced of his Messiahship, and after Peter's notable and noble confession of it, they needed to be repeatedly reminded of the necessity of his suffering and death to the completion of his work, and to be instructed once and again about the needfulness of his resurrection to demonstrate the divinity of his mission, and that he had power to lay down his life and power to take it again, as also that, delivered for our offenses, he was to be raised for our justification. The notion of a temporal kingdom was so firmly fixed in their minds, and intertwined with all their Messianic hopes and expectations, that it was next to impossible to eradicate it. And yet, at an early period of his ministry, and almost immediately after his proclaiming the near approach of the kingdom of heaven, he expounded the principles, laws, and spiritual nature of that kingdom. Thus, in the sermon on the mount, he explained the object and elucidated the rules of that kingdom in the fifth chapter of St. Matthew; he then interpreted, according to the rules of the kingdom, those religious exercises in which the subjects of the kingdom engage, in the sixth chapter of the same Gospel; while in the seventh he lays down the mutual duties of the members, with other duties of a more general but practical kind. In his seaside parables, again, as recorded in the thirteenth chapter of the same Gospel, he traces the gradual progress, steady development in spite of all obstacles, and ultimate success of that kingdom. When thus prepared for it, he proclaimed to them once and again, and now the third time, in distinct, definite, and decided terms, his passion, death, and resurrection.
III. AN ADDITIONAL FEATURE IN THIS PREDICTION. In this third direct prediction a new element is introduced, the Gentiles are mentioned for the first time in connection with our Lord's death. "The Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles. And yet, strange, yea, passing strange, they understood," as St. Luke tells us, "none of these things." It is probable that they understood his Language as figurative, and expressive of the great difficulties to be overcome, and the formidable obstacles he would have to encounter in making his way to his Messianic throne. Hence it was that they were amazed at his alacrity, as he went before them and led the way as they were going up to the capital. This much, at the least, they must have known, that he was soon to face his bitterest foes; they must have had some foreboding of the risk he was about to run, and the perils to which he was going to expose himself. Consequently they were amazed at the more than wonted energy with which he pressed forward to the place of danger and the scene of suffering; and though, like a dauntless leader, and fearless but faithful general, he marched at their head, preceding them and leading them forward, they fell timorously behind, afraid to follow him in the perilous path he was pursuing. We may here recall to mind that the first direct prediction of his death was in the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi, soon after Peter's confession; the second shortly after, as they were returning to Capernaum; and now, on their way up to Jerusalem, he states the particulars more fully and clearly than ever before. The "spitting" is here mentioned by both St. Mark and St. Luke, the condemnation of the Jewish Sanhedrim is referred to by St. Matthew and St. Mark; the execution by the Gentiles is recorded by all three synoptists; while the mode of death by crucifixion is mentioned by St. Matthew alone. - J.J.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,
WEB: They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him.