1. Sign desired.
2,3-. Discernment. (Positive.)
-3. Discernment. (Negative.)
4. Sign refused.
Matthew 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired Him that He would shew them a sign from heaven.
(Or sky, same as in v.2,3.
The Pharisees and the Sadducees are two different groups of the Jews. The Pharisees believed their was a God, where as the Sadducees did not. These two groups had witnessed the feeding of the five thousand and the four thousand, they had seen the healing of many, as well as many other miracles.
They want one from the heaven. Something quite out of the ordinary. It is important that we understand something of the doctrines of these two cults.
The Pharisees believed that there is life after death, and they were good students of God's Word, only they were a cult because of their particular belief. A "cult" is someone that has a certain belief, and sticks with it, in an honorable way. The Pharisees simply liked to add to that Word, and form religious ceremonies that were not in the Scripture. They formed traditions to go by.
To the Pharisee the supernatural ideas of it's beliefs were from the Old Testament, and the beliefs and rituals of that teaching they wanted to spread abroad, and for everyone to observe the rituals. The rituals were more important them seeing the Messiah in the flesh, and the gospel that Jesus Christ taught. These Pharisees preferred to attach rituals to their foundation of teachings, making them of the traditions of men. This was definitely now an occult, for an occult is when their is a focus on the supernatural, and it is in the form of a secret. The members reach stages of understanding, and the secret controls their lives. It is more important then family, friends, and all physical things. The physical world simply becomes tools for the advancement of their supernatural rites, and system.
The Sadducees, on the other hand, did not believe in the supernatural in any form, or life after death. They believed that you live through this life one time, and then you go into the ground and stay there. They were more like the evolutionists or an atheist of today, and both Christ, and His apostles use this knowledge, when there was a presence of both religions in the same crowd. The wise person, such as the Apostle Paul had them fighting against each other when he was under fire.
In fact, the wise teacher today can have the denominations fighting against themselves, when they know the doctrines that each were established on, rather then Christ.
These two groups have asked for a sign from Jesus Christ.)
2 He answered and said unto them, "When it is evening, ye say, 'It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.'
(Jesus answers them with the an old seaman's expression, "red in the morning, sailors take warning; red at night is a sailors delight.")
3 And in the morning, 'It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering.' O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
(They have watched for many months all of Jesus Christ's miracles, yet they still don't believe. Jesus sure did know how He was getting under their skin, and driving them nuts. Remember in the twelfth verse in the last chapter when the disciples came to Him in fear, "Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying." Jesus knew very well how much He was getting to them.
If God's Word offends someone then they need offending.)
4 A wicked and adulterous generation
(Spiritually. See 12:39. Jer. 3:9. Ezek. 23:37. Hos. 1:2, &c.)
seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas." And He left them, and departed.
(Jesus was referring to the three days that Jonah was in the belly of the great fish. Jesus is referring to Jonah 1:17; "Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Johah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."
God told Jonah to go and preach to the Ninevites, and repent, or He was going to destroy the city. Remember there was a prophecy given years before, and Jonah knew that Assyria was to be God's sword of judgment against Israel. Jonah figured that if Nineveh perished God would spare Israel, and Jonah was pleased to sacrifice his life for brother Israel.
However God's plans were deeper then Jonah's, and He made a fish to bring Jonah to shore. Jonah was not a coward, but he was compassionate for the ten tribes to the north, the House of Israel. The twist that most preachers overlook, is that the Ninevites religion was the worship of Dagon, the fish; and when the big fish brought Jonah to the shore, and the people say Jonah stumbling down the beach, the word got out, and the city was ready to do whatever Jonah said.
Jonah said repent, and the king decreed that everyone repented, and that is exactly what happened. Though Jonah didn't know it, what he did played right into God's plan, and the whole city thought Jonah came from Dagon, after all, to them Dagon was God, and he sent them Jonah, and left him on the beach.
That three days that Jonah was in the great fishes belly, is the the only sign that Jesus will give them, and they will have to wait until after these Kenites [not of brother Judah] kill Him. Christ was three days in the tomb.)
5. Bread. Forgetfulness.
6. Leaven. Warning.
7-10. Bread. Remembrance.
11,12. Leaven. Instruction.
5 And when His disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6 Then Jesus said unto them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven
(Leaven put by implication for the "doctrine" [v.12], because of its evil effects.)
of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."
(I.e. beware [and keep] away from, or keep clear of it.
The Pharisees and the Sadducees just happened to be the religious community at the time of Christ, and this warning "take heed and beware of the leaven" was directed at the leaven, or what they were teaching. You add leaven to the bread to make it get bigger; and the bread is the Word of God, what Jesus was teaching. Christ is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is telling His disciples, and even the elect of this day, beware of the false teachings and those that that present themselves as being of God, when in fact, what they are giving out are the traditions of men and their own opinions. They do not follow the Word of God.
Leaven is yeast, and when mother works that yeast into the dough in a short time that flat piece of dough starts to rise and pour over the pan. Then she kneads it again, and it rises until it puffs up and makes beautiful bread. The leaven penetrates the whole loaf.
If you listen to false teachers, that take man's traditions, and the twisting of the Word of God by any denomination or church system, backed by the words of so-called authorities to penetrate your mind, then this warning by Jesus Christ is to you. Don't let any teaching be acceptable to you, without checking it out in the Word of God. The Bible is our authority, and if you are a Bible teacher, then teach the Word of God, Chapter by Chapter, and verse by verse.
Jesus is saying, Don't listen to men, but listen to Me. Jesus performed two great miracles to point out one little fact, and that fact is so important that it will be ruining the entire Christ world if it is not followed. We are approaching the day where the entire loaf is leavening with false teaching, and false teachers coming in Christ's name, and they do not teach in Christ's Word, but the words of men. They lie to Christian souls starving for the truth, when they make their statements to be of God, but having twisted truth, making it a lie.
When these preachers stand and say, "God spoke to me today", and then give out their own twisted message, and take your money. If that Word form God cannot be backed by the Word of God, they are false preachers, and they are filling your ears with lies.
God does speak to us today, and He speaks to us from His Word. He reveals His truths form that Word, and makes them come alive in our minds. We put on our gospel armor of Ephesians 6:10-20 to fight against the spiritual war that is taking place in these latter days with Satan, and his demons, that armor comes wholly out of God's Word, and as we study the Word, it is the Holy Spirit of God that opens up the understand within our minds, or hearts.)
7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread."
8 Which when Jesus perceived, He said unto them, "O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
(The lesson is not over the fact that they have left the bread from the miracles behind, but Christ is trying to get them to focus in on what is His bread. His bread is what He is trying to teach them, It is His words.)
9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
Any time you have a multitude, you are going to pick up some filth, some false teachings, and wrong opinions.)
11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?"
(The leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees are the lies that come from the multitude, when you meet and have a "religious experience", shall we call it. Any time you have a meeting, and the sharing of religious experiences, that is not of God's Word, it is the leaven of the Pharisees. It is not the leaven of Christ that will lift up, but the lard of Satan that will weight you down, it is unclean, and unfit for consideration.)
12 Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
(This was the word which the Lord had been implying in v.6. The woman of Canaan saw what was implied in the word "dog"; and her faith was called "great"; the disciples did not understand what the Lord implied by the word "leaven", and their faith was "little".)
13-16. RESULT. OPPOSITION COMPLETED.
13. Question. Who say men.
14. Answer of Disciples.
15. Question. Who say you.
16. Answer of Peter.
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?"
14 And they said, "Some say that Thou art John the Baptist:
(Risen from the dead)
some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets."
(The religious world then was just as confused as most of the Christian world today.)
15 He saith unto them, "But whom say ye that I am?"
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17-20. JESUS. THE MESSIAH DECLARED. WITNESS AND EVIDENCES. ENDED.
17. Divine revelation.
18-. The Foundation itself. Peter's Confession.
-18,19. The Foundation. To be built on.
20. Divine Injunction.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Blessed
art thou, Simon Barjona:
(The Lord uses his human name and parentage in contrast with the divine origin of the revelation made to him.)
for flesh and blood
(Put for a mortal human being in contrast with God the Father in heaven. See 1 Cor. 15:50. Heb. 2:14)
hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father Which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter,
(Gr. petros. A stone [loose and movable], as in John 1:42.)
and upon this Rock
(Rock here is Gr. petra = a rock immovable very emphatic, as though pointing to Himself: the Messiah, as being "the Son of the living God", Who is the foretold "foundation-stone" [Isa. 28:16]; and the rejected stone [Ps. 118:22. 1 of 3 important passages where "this" stands for the speaker. Therefore could not refer to Peter. Most Protestants as well as the ancient "Fathers" agree that Peter's confession is the foundation to which Christ refereed, and not Peter himself. He was neither the foundation nor the builder - [a poor builder, v.23]- but Christ alone, Whom he had confessed [1 Cor. 3:11]. Thus ends the great subject of this 2nd portion of the Lord's ministry.)
I will build
(Therefore then future, as in Hos. 1:10; 2:23)
(Defined as "Israel", and the "Remnant" [Rom. 9:25-27]. Not ecclesia of the mystery [or secret] revealed in Ephesians; but the referred to in Ps. 22:22,25,&c.)
and the gates of hell
(Gates put for power = the gates of Hates = THE grave, denoting the power of the grave to retain, as in Isa. 38:10. Job 28:17. Ps. 9:13; 107:18.)
shall not prevail against it.
(= have full strength: i.e. THE grave shall not have power to retain its captives, because Christ holds the keys of those gates, and they shall be strong enough to triumph [Rev. 1:18. Cp. Ps. 69:20] Resurrection is the great truth asserted here. Cp. Ez. 37:11-14. Acts 2:29-31.)
As explained in the notes, the two Greek words petros and petra are quite distinct, the former being masculine gender, and the latter feminine. The latter denotes a rock or cliff, in situ, firm and immovable. The former denotes a fragment of it, which one traveler may move with his foot in one direction and another may throw in another. This former word petros is the Greek translation kephas, a stone, which was Peter's name in Aramaic, as was his appellative "Barjona" (John 1:42).
It is remarkable that there is only one other instance (Luke 22:34) in which our Lord addressed him as "Peter"; but, in all other cases, by his fore-name "Simon", reminding him of what he was before his call, and of the characteristics of his human nature. In that other instance it is used in connection with the coming exhibition of his weakness, in the prediction of his denial of the Lord.
There is thus a special significance in the use of the word "Peter" in Matt. 16:18. It was the name connected with his commission and apostleship; another commission being about to be committed to him.
It was not Peter, the man, who would be the foundation, for, as we have said, petra is feminine, and must refer to a feminine noun expressed or implied. that noun could hardly be any other than homologia, which means a confession; and it was Peter's confession that was the one subject of the Father's revelation and the Son's confirmation.
Moreover, in 1 Cor. 3:11 it has once for all been declared by the Holy Spirit that "OTHER foundation can no man lay than that IS LAID, which is JESUS CHRIST".
The earliest known reference to Matt. 16:18 is found in ORIGEN'S Commentary (A.D. 186-253), which is older than any extant Greek manuscript. He says:
"If we also say the same as Peter, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God', not by the instruction of flesh and blood, but by the illumination of the heavenly Father in our hearts, we ourselves become the same thing as Peter.
"If you should think that the whole church was built by God only on that one, Peter, what will you say of John ... or each of the apostles?"
This is conclusive as to the interpretation. But there are other and later references to these words by AUGUSTINE (A.D. 378), and JEROME (A.D. 305), alike older than any Greek MSS. now extant.
JEROME wrote thus in his exposition (Benedictine ed.):
"And I tell thee, that thou has said to Me, 'Thou art the Christ', &c., and I tell thee that thou art Peter, and on this rock, &c."
AUGUSTINE wrote in his Retractationes (Benedictine ed., vol. i, p. 33):
"I have somewhere said, concerning the apostle Peter, that the Church was founded on him, as a petra, or rock; but I know that I have since very often explained what our Lord said to signify on Him Whom Peter confessed; but between these two opinions, let the reader choose that which is the more probable."
In AUGUSTINE'S Sermon In die Pentecostis (Benedictine ed., tom. v. p. 1097; also Pusey's Translation, Sermons on the New Testament, vol. i. p. 215), he explains the reason for this retractation in a paraphrastic citation of the whole context:--
"When our Lord had asked His disciples who men said that He was, and when, in reporting the opinions of others, they had said that some said He was John, some Elijah, others Jeremiah or one of the prophets, He said to them : 'But ye, Who do ye say that I am?' Peter (one alone for the rest, one for all) answered, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' This, most excellently, most truly spoken, was deservedly rewarded with this reply : 'Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah, because flesh and blood revealed not this to thee, but My Father Who is in heaven; and I tell thee that thou hast said' : (hast said, observe, hast made confession unto Me : receive therefore the benediction) : 'and I tell thee that thou art Peter; and on this rock I will build My church.'"
Some have conjectured from these words "tu dixisti" (thou hast said it) that AUGUSTINE and JEROME must have had in the MSS. from which they translated six letters, which they divided into two words "SU EIPS" (*5), taking EIPS as an abbreviation of EIPAS (= thou hast said).
There must have been another division of the same six letters into three words, which was current even then, for both these Fathers add "SU EI PETROS" = thou art Peter; taking the same "PS" as an abbreviation of PETROS.
It is evident, however, that these Fathers give only a paraphrase; and do not profess to be giving an exact quotation.
One thing, however, is certain, and that is our only point in this Appendix, viz. that the earliest references made to this passage disclaim all idea of its having any reference to the apostle Peter, but only to HIM Who was the subject of Peter's confession.
(Taken from Appendix 147 of the Companion Bible)
Gr. hades, from a (privative) and idein; used by the Greeks for the unseen world.
The meaning which the Greeks put upon it does not concern us; nor have we anything to do with the imaginations of the heathen, or the traditions of Jews or Romanists, or the teachings of demons or evil spirits, or of any who still cling to them.
The Holy Spirit has used it as one of the "words pertaining to the earth", and in so doing has "purified" it, "as silver tried in a furnace" (see notes on Ps. 12:6). From this we learn that His own words "are pure", but words belonging to this earth have to be "purified".
The Old Testament is the fountain head of the Hebrew language. It has no literature behind it. But the case is entirely different with the Greek language. The Hebrew Sheol is a word Divine in its origin and usage. The Greek Hades is human in its origin and comes down to us laden with centuries of development, in which it has acquired new senses, meanings, and usages.
Seeing that the Holy Spirit has used it in Acts 2:27, 31 as His own equivalent of Sheol in Psalm 16:10, He has settled, once for all, the sense in which we are to understand it. The meaning He has given to Sheol in Ps. 16:10 is the one meaning we are to give it wherever it occurs in the N.T., whether we transliterate it or translate it. We have no liberty to do otherwise, and must discard everything outside the Word of God.
The word occurs eleven times (Matt. 11:23; 16:18. Luke 10:15; 16:23. Acts 2:27, 31. 1Cor. 15:55. Rev. 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14); and is rendered "hell" in every passage except one, where it is rendered "grave" (1Cor. 15:55, marg. "hell").
In the R.V. the word is always transliterated "Hades", except in 1Cor. 15:55 (where "death" is substituted because of the reading, in all the texts, of thanate for hade), and in the American R.V. also.
As Hades is the Divine Scriptural equivalent of Sheol, further light may be gained from Ap. 35, and a reference to the 65 passages there given. It may be well to note that while "Hades" is rendered "hell" in the N.T. (except once, where the rendering "the grave" could not be avoided), Sheol, its Hebrew equivalent, occurs 65 times, and is rendered "the grave" 31 times (or 54%); "hell" 31 times (4 times with margin "the grave", reducing it to 41.5%); and "pit" only 3 times (or 4.5 %).
"The grave", therefore, is obviously the best rendering, meaning the state of death (Germ. sterbend, for which we have no English equivalent); not the act of dying, as an examination of all the occurrences of both words will show.
1. The rendering "pit" so evidently means "the grave" that it may at once be substituted for it (Num. 16:30, 33. Job 17:16).
2. The rendering "the grave" (not "a grave", which is Hebrew keber or bor) exactly expresses the meaning of both Sheol and Hades. For, as to direction, it is always down: as to place, it is in the earth: as to relation, it is always in contrast with the state of the living (Deut. 32:22-25 and 1Sam. 2:6-8); as to association, it is connected with mourning (Gen. 37:34, 35), sorrow (Gen. 42:38. 2Sam. 22:6. Ps. 18:5; 116:3), fright and terror (Num. 16:27, 34) mourning (Isa. 38:3, 10, 17, 18), silence (Ps. 6:5; 31:17. Ecc. 9:10), no knowledge (Ecc. 9:5, 6, 10), punishment (Num. 16:29, 34. 1Kings 2:6, 9. Job 24:19. Ps. 9:17 (R.V. = re-turned), corruption (Ps. 16:10. Acts 2:27, 31); as to duration resurrection is the only exit from it (Ps. 16:11. Acts 2:27, 31; 13:33-37. 1Cor. 15:55. Rev. 1:18; 20:5, 13, 14).
(Taken from Appendix 131 of the Companion Bible.)
1. The Greek word ekklesia means assembly, or a gathering of called-out ones. It is used seventy times in the Septuagint for the Hebrew kahal (from which latter we have our word call), rendered in Sept. by sunagoge and ekklesia. (*1) This latter word occ. in N.T. 115 times (36 in plural), and is always transl. "church" except in Acts 19:32, 39, 41 (assembly).
2. kahal is used (1) of Israel as a People called out from the rest of the nations (Gen. 28:3); (2) of the tribal council of Simeon and Levi, those called out from each tribe (Gen. 49:6); (3) of an assembly of Israelites called out for worship or any other purpose (Deut. 18:16; 31:30. Josh. 8:35. Judg. 21:8); (4) any assembly of worshippers as a congregation (Ps. 22:22, 25. Ekklesia in Matt. 16:18; 18:17. 1Cor. 14:19, 35, &c.); (5) the equivalent ekklesia of separate assemblies in different localities (Acts 5:11; 8:3. 1Cor. 4:17, &c.); (6) of the guild or "union" of Ephesian craftsmen (Acts 19:32, 41), and v. 39 (the lawful assembly). Finally, the special Pauline usage of ekklesia differs from all these. Other assemblies consisted of called-out ones from Jews, or from Gentiles (Acts 18:22), but this new body is of called-out ones from both.
3. Our word "church" (*2) has an equally varied usage. It is used (1) of any congregation; (2) of a particular church (England, or Rome, &c); (3) of the ministry of a church; (4) of the building in which the congregation assembles; (5) of Church as distinct from Chapel; (6) of the church as distinct from the world, and lastly, it is used in the Pauline sense, of the body of Christ.
4. It is of profound importance to distinguish the usage of the word in each case, else we may be reading "the church which was in the wilderness" into the Prison Epistles, although we are expressly told that there is neither Jew nor Gentile in the "church which is His body". And when our Lord said "On this rock I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18), those who heard His words could not connect them with the "mystery" which was "hid in God" and had not then been made known to the sons of men. Confusion follows our reading what refers to Israel in the past or the future into the present dispensation. Readers are referred to the various notes in the connexions.
5. The word where qualified by other terms occurs thus: --
Church of God; Acts 20:28. 1 Cor. 1:2; 10:32; 11:16 (pl.), 22; 15:9. 2 Cor. 1:1. Gal. 1:13. 1Thess. 2:14 (pl.). 2 Thess. 1:4 (pl). 1 Tim. 3:5, 15 (c. of the living God).
Churches of Christ; Rom. 16:16.
Church in .. house; Rom. 16:5. 1 Cor. 16:19. Col. 4:15. Philem. 2.
Churches of the Gentiles; Rom. 16:4.
Churches of Galatia; 1 Cor. 16:1. Gal. 1:2. Of Asia; 1 Cor. 16:19. Of Macedonia; 2Cor. 8:1. Of Judaea; Gal. 1:22. Of the Laodiceans; Col. 4:16. Of the Thessalonians; 1Thess. 1:1; 2Thess .1:1.
Church of the firstborn (pl); Heb. 12:23.
Church in Ephesus, Smyrna, &c. Rev. 2 and 3; and
Churches; Rev. 22:16.
(*1) kahal occurs in the Old Testament 123 times; congregation eighty-six, assembly seventeen, company seventeen, and multitude three times. The Sept. uses sunagoge and ekklesia as practically synonymous terms. But the sunagoge concerns the bringing together of the members of an existing society or body excluding all others, whereas the ekklesia calls and invites all men, including outsiders everywhere, to join it. Sunagoge being permanently associated with Jewish worship, was dropped by the early Christians in favor of ekklesia as of wider import.
(*2) Is derived from the Gr. kuriakos, of or belonging to the Lord, house (Gr. oikos) being understood. It comes to us through A.S. circe (Scottish kirk).
(Taken from Appendix 186 of the Companion Bible.)
19 And I will give unto thee the keys
(Fig. put for the power to open. Christ has the keys of Hades; Peter has the keys of heaven. See next note.)
of the kingdom of heaven:
(This power Peter exercised in Acts 2 in Israel, and Acts 10 among the Gentiles. Not the "Church" of the mystery [Eph. 8])
and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
(This power was given to the others [18:18. John 20:23], and exercised in Acts 5:1-11, given to communicate with other, or to them in perpetuity. Binding and loosening is a Hebrew idiom foe exercising authority.)
20 Then charged He His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ.
(Jesus has just revealed to His disciples that He is the Christ, the Messiah or coming Savior. Then He turned right around and told them not to reveal this to anyone else. Why? Because Jesus told the religious people of the day, that the only sign that they would be given was the sign of Jonah, being in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jesus hadn't been in the heart of the earth yet, nor had He been crucified yet. It wasn't time for Jesus to go to the cross yet, and what would take place will be as it was written, and prophesied by the Prophets from God.
When Jesus went into the grave, and rose three days and three nights later, then it could be told who Jesus was.)
THE 3RD PERIOD OF THE MINISTRY. THE REJECTION.
21-28. THE SUFFERINGS AND GLORY. FORETOLD.
-21. Glory. Resurrection.
22. Peter's rebuke of the Lord.
23. Peter rebuked by the Lord.
27,28. Glory. Kingdom.
21 From that time forth
(This commences the 3rd period of the Lord's ministry, the subject of which is the rejection of Messiah.)
began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
(1st occurrence of this expression [canonically])
In the first mention of His sufferings (Matt. 16:21) the Lord mentions the fact that He would be "raised again the third day". In John 2:19 He had already mentioned "three days" as the time after which He would raise up "the Temple of His body".
The expression occurs eleven times with reference to His resurrection (Matt. 16:21; 17:23; 20:19. Mark 9:31; 10:34. Luke 9:22; 18:33; 24:7, 46. Acts 10:40. 1Cor. 15:4.).
We have the expression "after three days" in Mark 8:31, used of the same event.
This shows that the expression "three days and three nights" of Matt. 12:40 must include "three days" and the three preceding "nights". While it is true that a "third day" may be a part of three days, including two nights; yet "after three days", and "three nights and three days" cannot possibly be so reckoned.
This full period admits of the Lord's resurrection on the third of the three days, each being preceded by a night, as shown in Ap. 144 and 156.
But, why this particular period? Why not two, or four, or any other number of days? Why "three" and no more nor less?
1. We notice that the man who contracted defilement through contact with a dead body was to purify himself on the third day (Num. 19:11, 12).
2. The flesh of the peace offering was not to be kept beyond the third day, but was then to be burnt (Lev. 7:17, 18) as unfit for food.
3. John Lightfoot (1602-75) quotes a Talmudic tradition that the mourning for the dead culminated on "the third day", because the spirit was not supposed to have finally departed till then (Works, Pitman's ed., vol. xii. pp. 351-353).
4. Herodotus testifies that embalmment did not take place until after three days (Herod. ii. 86-89).
5. The Jews did not accept evidence as to the identification of a dead body after three days.
This period seems, therefore, to have been chosen by the Lord (i.e. Jehovah, in the type of Jonah) to associate the fact of resurrection with the certainty of death, so as to preclude all doubt that death had actually taken place, and shut out all suggestion that it might have been a trance, or a mere case of resuscitation. The fact that Lazarus had been dead "four days already" was urged by Martha as a proof that Lazarus was dead, for "by this time he stinks" (John 11:17, 39).
We have to remember that corruption takes place very quickly in the East, so that "the third day" was the proverbial evidence as to the certainty that death had taken place, leaving no hope.
22 Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee."
(Once again, Peter shows the fact that he just wasn't listening, and didn't understand what Jesus had just told him. That He had to go to the cross and die, and be in the tomb three days. This was Satan's spirit speaking through Peter, for this is exactly what Satan did not want to happen. Christ's death, and resurrection, was Satan's death sentence.)
23 But He turned, and said unto Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan:
(The Lord saw in this a direct assault of Satan himself through Peter. See 4:10)
thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."
(It was Peter's love for Christ that caused Peter to blaspheme God. Satan had used Peter's emotions and love to turn him against Christ and to stumble. Love caused him to do it. Had Peter been disciplined in the teachings, he would not have argued against them.
It was the religious community that killed Christ, and it is the religious community today that persecutes the true children of God.)
24 Then said Jesus unto His disciples, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
(The "cross" was always borne by one condemned. The cross is used as a fig. of speech put for the suffering associated with the burden.
Jesus is now saying that a man must deny his own emotions that would cause you to break your discipline to God's word, simply to please the flesh nature within you. Your cross is your study of the Word, and the discipline that you show in following what it teaches. A cross is something you die on, and when you take up your cross, you place all your self notions, and pleasures beneath that which is part of the Christian's discipline as set forth in His Word. Don't play church, and let your emotions rule you, but do as Christ says. You must make the teaching, and the church, and your emotions a reality that if it was called upon you to die for Christ, you would be willing to sacrifice your own life, for the Word of God. Any thing short of that is play acting, and the cross becomes nothing but a trinket worn around your neck. If you were one of the two witness of the final days, you would gladly die for Christ.)
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.
(The soul is eternal, and only God can destroy the soul at judgment. The flesh body will decay at death, however very shortly this flesh age will come to a close, and on the "day of the Lord", that day when the Jesus Christ will return as King of kings, and Lord of Lords, all flesh both good and bad will be gone, and we will be changed in the wink of an eye.
Death and hell fire of the soul does not come on this day, nor is there going to be a fly away, or rapture of the flesh body. Why? Because Christ is coming to earth to set up His kingdom on earth, that is what the Millennium age is all about. When the flesh body dies, it is gone, but the soul lives on.)
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
("The whole world" is this cosmos, this earth age of the flesh. The Bible tells us that this earth age, or flesh age shall end with this current generation. The exact time left is unknown, but we have the events spelled out in prophecy that are our guideposts to inform us of the seasons, and the sequential order of what shall come to pass. Though you gain all the power, and physical wealth of the world age now, once Christ returns, it will cease to exist, and for that short pleasure of wealth, you have given up your very soul.
Never trade your soul for something in this world. Can you be bought? Well there has been a price so great already paid for your soul, and that price was the death of Christ on the cross. He made it possible for you to live eternally. Would you barter for anything that could cause you to lose your eternal life? It just isn't worth the wealth of the world, and a short pleasure, to lose what God has offered to you.
You must follow Christ, and stay disciplined to His Word, for those that stay true, though they be poor, are rich in the world to come. Jesus addressed this in His promises to the church of Smyrna, in Revelation 2:10; "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
That "crown of Life" is eternal life and there is nothing that Satan can offer you that can match the value of your crown of Life. That crown allows you to live eternally as a son of God, and be joint heirs with Jesus Christ in His eternal kingdom. It is your crown, and the mind of the flesh simply cannot understand what it's full meaning is. The pay scale for serving Christ on earth is tremendous, and is beyond the value of man's money system. The retirement benefits include a body that never grows old, a home that never ages, the fresh rivers of water that flows right from the throne of God, and those waters will never give you thirst. Friend, you just can not compare anything to your crown of Life, in this earth age.
And you will have the love of God poured upon you, for serving in His service, and being faithful in the things that He has you do.)
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory
(The sufferings never mentioned apart from the glory.)
of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.
(First notice that there is no gender to every man. It applies to men and women in their soul, incorruptible bodies. When Jesus Christ returns as the King of kings, and Lord of lords, He will come with His angels, and in the glory and power of the Almighty Father.
At that time Jesus will be handing out the rewards that you have earned while you were in the flesh, in this flesh earth age. The Millennium age is on earth, but it will not be part of this flesh age, for all flesh will be changed in the wink of an eye. Then it will be payday. Payday for your faith or belief? No my friend, PAYDAY FOR YOUR WORKS, those works for Christ in planting seeds, and showing kindness in the name of the Lord. For studying His Word, and being a doer of the Word that God has instructed us in. Rewards for the discipline in tending to the gifts that the Heavenly Father has placed in our hands to complete His work while in this earth age.
This has nothing to do with the legality of saved by works or faith; it has everything to do with whether you were faithful in the things where God has placed you. Those things may consist of praying for the ones that the Holy Spirit of God has placed on your heart, or the development of your voice to where you can be used in the choir, and your tending to that some other gift. It may be the serving food at the mission weekly or monthly, with a warm smile, or even giving a glass of water in love and with a smile to the neighbor, as unto the Lord. Those are your works, my friend, it is not what you gave, but how you gave them. Was it in love, unto the Lord. That is what the rewards of your works are based on.)
28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom."
(The promise of this coming was definitely repeated later, in Acts 3:19-26, and was conditional on the repentance of the nation. Hence the particle "an", which [although untranslatable] expresses the condition or hypothesis implied. Their continuing to live until Acts 28:25,26 was certain; but the fulfillment of the condition was uncertain. No "an" after "until" in 17:9.
A lot of people have difficulty with this verse, however with the rest of God's Word it is simple. Jesus spoke of His crucifixion, and that He would rise on the third day, and when He rose He had His kingdom with Him. And all but Judas would see Him in His glorified body, the King of the kingdom. When Christ came out of the tomb, He became the King of His kingdom, and all those that claim the name of Christ are of the kingdom of God.
The reason that Jesus did not say that all of them that stood there would "not taste of death" till they saw Jesus, the Son of man in His kingdom, is that When Judas betrayed Christ, the money was throne back at the Kenites then Judas went out and repented. We know from The Acts 1:18 that the Kenites killed Judas after his repentance, for they not only hung him, but slit him wide open. "Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out."
The Kenite religious leaders had the money, and it was the religious leaders that bought the potters field with the thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave, and after they bought the field, they did their job on Judas. Many today believe the Kenite lie and traditional doctrine that Judas hung himself and slit himself wide open. This is why Jesus told the disciple that "some standing here", all but Judas saw Jesus Christ in that upper room, after His resurrection.)