16:1 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came1, and trying him asked him to show them a sign from heaven2.
And the Pharisees and Sadducees came. It is generally thought that
the Herodians were Sadducees of Galilee. If so, we note the beginning of
their hostility recorded at Mark
And trying him asked him to show them a sign from heaven. See Mark
16:3 And in the morning, [It will be] foul
weather to-day: for the heaven is red and lowering. Ye know how to discern the
face of the heaven; but ye cannot [discern] the signs
of the times1.
But ye cannot [discern] the signs of the times. For comment on
similar language, see Luke
12:56. The signs of the times being fulfillments of prophecies, were
better evidence of the period and presence of the Messiah than heavenly
portents. It is useless to bestow new signs upon those who are blind as to
the signs already existing. Jews continue to require a sign (1 Corinthians
16:4 An evil and
adulterous generation seeketh after a sign1; and
there shall no sign be given unto it2, but
the sign of Jonah3. And he left
them, and departed4.
An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign. For comment
on similar language, see Matthew
And there shall no sign be given unto it. See Mark
But the sign of Jonah. The resurrection or Jonah sign was a sign
from heaven in the sense in which they used the words; that is, it was
wrought directly by God, and not through man. See Matthew
And he left them, and departed. See Mark
16:6 And Jesus said unto them, Take heed
and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. See Mark
16:9 Do ye not yet perceive, neither
remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets1
ye took up?
Baskets. See Mark
16:10 Neither the seven loaves of the four
thousand, and how many baskets1
ye took up?
Baskets. See Mark
understood they that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread1,
but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees2.
Then understood they that he bade them not beware of the leaven of
bread. Jesus had resorted to metaphor because the word
"leaven" better expressed his idea than did the word
But of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The formulated
dogmas of the Pharisees were not so bad, but the subtle influence of their
spirit and example corrupted without warning, like a concealed grave. There
are those today who are too skillful to be openly convicted of heterodox
statements, but whose teaching, nevertheless, in its very essence and
spirit, tends to infidelity.
16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts
of Caesarea Philippi1, he asked
his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of
THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. B. THE GREAT CONFESSION MADE BY
PETER. (Near Caesarea Philippi, Summer, A.D. 29.) Matthew
Caesarea Philippi. See Mark
Who do men say that the Son of man is? See Mark
16:14 And they said, Some [say] John the
Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
Saying, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but others, One of the
prophets. See Mark
16:15 He saith unto them, But
who say ye that I am1?
But who say ye that I am? See Mark
16:16 And Simon
Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God1.
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the
living God. Peter asserts this as an assured fact and not as a mere
opinion. This confession embraces two propositions: (1) The office of
Jesus--the Christ; (2) The divinity of Jesus--the Son of God. The Christhood
of Jesus implies his humanity, for as such he was to be the son of David. It
also identifies him as the hero or subject of prophecy, the long-expected
deliverer. In declaring Jesus to be the Son of God, Peter rose above the
popular theories as to the personality of Messiah, for the Jews generally
did not expect him to be divine. The term "living God" was used by
prophets to express the contrast between dead idols and the supreme Being
who is possessed of vitality, reason, and feeling. See Psalms
16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto
him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and
blood2 hath not revealed it unto
thee, but my Father who is in heaven3.
Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona. Jesus gives the full name to make
his saying more personally emphatic.
For flesh and blood. The common words of contrast by which humanity
was distinguished from divinity. See also Galatians
Hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.
Peter was blessed by having a revelation from God by which facts were made
known that could not be discovered by the unaided human reason. God had
revealed the truth to him in the words and works of Jesus, and this revealed
truth was to him a source of happiness both temporal and eternal. Like
confessions as to this truth had been made before (Matthew
1:49), but they had been made under the pressure of miraculous display
and strong emotion. Hence they were rather exclamatory guesses at the truth,
and differed from this now made by Peter which was the calm expression of a
settle conviction produced both by the character and by the miracles of
16:18 And I also say unto thee, that thou
art Peter1, and upon this rock2
I will build my church3; and
the gates of Hades4 shall not
prevail against it5.
Thou art Peter. In Greek, "petros", a noun masculine.
And upon this rock. In Greek, "petra", a noun feminine.
I will build my church. The tense here is future. Christ had
followers, but they were not yet organized, and hence had no such structural
form as to suggest a similitude to a building.
And the gates of Hades. Hades was the name of the abode of the
dead. Its gate symbolized its power because the military forces of an
ancient city always sallied forth from its gates.
Shall not prevail against it. Death shall neither destroy the
organic church which is in the world, nor the members thereof which go down
into the grave (1 Corinthians
15:54-56; 1 Thessalonians
4:15). No passage in the word of God has called forth more discussion
16:18,19, the first point in dispute being as to what is meant by the
rock; that is, whether Christ or Peter or Peter's confession is the
foundation of the church; the second point being as to the extent of the
power and authority bestowed on Peter by the symbol of the keys. To aid us
in reaching a correct conclusion we must note that Jesus speaks in
metaphorical language. He represents: (1) His kingdom as a city about to be
built upon a rock. (2) Himself as a builder of the city. (3) Simon Peter as
the one who holds the keys to the gates by which egress and regress is had
to the city. (4) The gates or powers of the opposing city of Hades are not
able to prevail against this kingdom city. Now, since Jesus himself occupies
the position of builder in the metaphor, and Simon Peter the position of
key-bearer, neither of them can properly be regarded as the foundation. The
foundation must therefore be the confession which Peter has just spoken,
since it is all that remains that is liable to such application. The case
could present no difficulty at all were it not for the unmistakable allusion
to Peter ("petros", a loose stone) as in some way associated with
"petra", the bedrock or foundation. But in the light of other
Scriptures this allusion presents no difficulty; for all the apostles were
such stones, and were closely allied to the foundation (Galatians
2:19-22). Compare also (1 Peter
2:3-8). The Christian religion in all its redemptive completeness rests
and can rest on no other foundation than Christ (1 Corinthians
3:11). But the church or kingdom of Christ among men rests organically
and constitutionally upon a foundation of apostolic authority, for the
apostles were the mouthpieces of the Holy Spirit; but in this apostolic
foundation the other apostles had equal rights, each one of them becoming a
living foundation stone as soon as his faith led him to make a like
confession with Simon Peter. Hence we find the apostle Paul asserting the
superior authority of the apostles to all other Christian teachers and
workers (1 Corinthians
12:28), and times without number asserting his apostolic office and
authority (1 Corinthians
9:1,2 2 Corinthians
12:12; 2 Corinthians
16:19 I will give
unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven1: and
whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever
thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Continuing
his metaphorical language, Jesus promised to Peter the keys, that is, the
authority to lay down the rules or laws (under the guidance of the Holy
Spirit, however) for admission to or exclusion from the kingdom or church.
This office was, of course, given to Peter in a secondary sense, since it
must ever belong to Christ in a primary sense (Revelation
3:7). The figure of key-bearer is taken from Isaiah
22:22. Peter used the keys on the day of Pentecost to open the church to
the Jews, and about seven years afterward, at Caesarea Palestinae, he used
them again to admit the Gentiles. In fixing the terms of admission, he also
fixed the terms of exclusion, for all who are not admitted are excluded. The
keys as used by Peter have never been changed; that is to say, the terms of
admission abide forever. Plurality of keys is merely part of the parabolic
drapery, since cities were accustomed to have several gates, thus requiring
a plurality of keys. The kingdom was not opened to Jews and Gentiles by
different keys, since both were admitted on the same terms.
Whatsoever thou shalt bind . . . whatsoever thou shalt loose. The
words "bind" and "loose" were commonly used among the
Jews in the sense of forbid and allow. Abundant instances of this usage have
been collected by Lightfoot. They relate to the binding and annulling of
laws and rules. In this sense the Greek word "luo", rendered
"loose", is used very many times in the New Testament, but it is
translated by the word "break" or "broken" in Matthew
10:35. The power here given to Peter was soon after extended to the rest
of the apostles (Matthew
18:18). The apostles were to lay down, as they afterward did, the
organic law of the new kingdom, defining what things were prohibited and
what permitted. Their actions in this behalf would of course be ratified in
heaven, because they were none other than the acts of the Holy Spirit
expressed through the apostles.
charged he the disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Christ1.
Then charged he the disciples that they should tell no man that he was
the Christ. See Mark
16:21 From that
time1 began Jesus to show unto
his disciples2, that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer
many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the
third day be raised up.
THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. C. PASSION FORETOLD. PETER REBUKED. Matthew
From that time. That is, from the time of Peter's confession, and
about three-quarters of a year before the crucifixion.
Began Jesus to show unto his disciples, etc. See Mark
16:22 And Peter took him, and began to
rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee.
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. See Mark
16:23 But he
turned, and said unto Peter1, Get thee behind me, Satan:
thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but
the things of men.
But he turned, and said unto Peter, etc. See Mark
16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man would come after me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow me1.
Let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. See Mark
whosoever would save his life shall lose it1: and
whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.
For whosoever would save his life shall lose it, etc. See Mark
16:26 For what
shall a man be profited1, if he shall gain the whole
world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?
For what shall a man be profited, etc. See Mark
16:27 For the Son
of man shall come1 in the glory of his Father with his
angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds.
The Son of man shall come, etc. See Mark
16:28 Verily I say unto you, there are
some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till
they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom1.
Till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. See Mark