And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests…
I. PLAIN TRUTHS SELDOM WELCOME. He now spoke of suffering, rejection, even murder, at the hands of a conspiracy. The veil was drawn aside; at last it was seen what the Messiahship of Jesus meant. The same thing had before been expressed parabolically (John 2:19; John 3:14; John 6:51).
II. THE FLATTERY OF FRIENDSHIP. The honest-hearted Peter is endeared to us. He is so human; his feelings always on the right side, his intelligence often confused. How true his heart here! how wrong his thought! Suffering and death seem an evil to him, as to most of us. Not so to Christ. The mere suggestion that the real is to be preferred to the ideal, mere life to duty, self-interest to the kingdom of God, he spurns from him as the suggestion of a dark spirit.
III. SELF-RENUNCIATION. "Let him renounce himself!" says Christ to the recruit for his army, the would-be citizen of his kingdom. Deep words: the meaning behind them it requires a life to learn.
1. The resolve of egotism must end in failure. To determine to save one's life is to cast it away; to cast away one's life for the sake of the ideal is to save it. Christianity is the kingdom of the ideal.
2. In the spiritual sphere there is no real loss. Life is one, and is not "in the abundance of the things possessed." It cannot be "priced," nor bartered away. It is the man's very self.
3. To disavow our ideal is to incur eternal shame. There are the ideals of comfort, of luxury; the ideals of society; the ideals of God, of the spirit. We must take our choice. We may make a choice of the lower which shall exclude the higher, or of the higher which shall include all of worth an the lower. There is no other rule than "Seek first the kingdom of God!" If we i are ashamed to be true to our ideal, the time will come when we shall be put to shame in the presence of it. To disavow greatness when it comes to us under the guise of obsCurity, this is to ensure our being disavowed of greatness when it appears in its true and heavenly glory. - J.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.