6: Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees - That is, of their false
doctrine: this is elegantly so called; for it spreads in the
soul, or the Church, as leaven does in meal.(Lu 12:1).
7: They reasoned among themselves - What must we do then for
bread, since we have taken no bread with us?
8: Why reason ye - Why are you troubled about this? Am I not
able, if need so require, to supply you by a word?
11: How do ye not understand - Beside, do you not understand,
that I did not mean bread, by the leaven of the Pharisees
13: And Jesus coming - There was a large interval of time between
what has been related, and what follows. The passages that
follow were but a short time before our Lord suffered.(Mk 8:27,Lu 9:18).
14: Jeremiah, or one of the prophets - There was at that time a
current tradition among the Jews, that either Jeremiah, or some
other of the ancient prophets would rise again before the Messiah
16: Peter - Who was generally the most forward to speak.
17: Flesh and blood - That is, thy own reason, or any natural
18: On this rock - Alluding to his name, which signifies a rock,
namely, the faith which thou hast now professed; I will build my
Church - But perhaps when our Lord uttered these words, he pointed
to himself, in like manner as when he said, Destroy this temple,(Joh 2:19); meaning the temple of his body. And it is certain,
that as he is spoken of in Scripture, as the only foundation of
the Church, so this is that which the apostles and evangelists
laid in their preaching. It is in respect of laying this, that
the names of the twelve apostles (not of St. Peter only) were
equally inscribed on the twelve foundations of the city of God,(Re 21:14).
The gates of hell - As gates and walls were the strength of cities,
and as courts of judicature were held in their gates, this phrase
properly signifies the power and policy of Satan and his instruments.
Shall not prevail against it - Not against the Church universal,
so as to destroy it. And they never did. There hath been a small
remnant in all ages.
19: I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven - Indeed
not to him alone, (for they were equally given to all the
apostles at the same time, (Joh 20:21,22,23);) but to him
were first given the keys both of doctrine and discipline. He
first, after our Lord's resurrection, exercised the apostleship,(Ac 1:15). And he first by preaching opened the kingdom of
heaven, both to the Jews, (Ac 2:14 )&c., and to the Gentiles,(Ac 10:34 )&c.
Under the term of binding and loosing are contained all those
acts of discipline which Peter and his brethren performed as
apostles: and undoubtedly what they thus performed on earth,
God confirmed in heaven. (Mt 18:18).
20: Then charged he his disciples to tell no one that he was
the Christ - Jesus himself had not said it expressly even to his
apostles, but left them tb infer it from his doctrine and
miracles. Neither was it proper the apostles should say this
openly, before that grand proof of it, his resurrection. If
they had, they who believed them would the more earnestly have
sought to take and make him a king: and they who did not believe
them would the snore vehemently have rejected and opposed such a
21: From that time Jesus began to tell his disciples, that he
must suffer many things - Perhaps this expression, began, always
implied his entering on a set and solemn discourse. Hitherto he
had mainly taught them only one point, That he was the Christ.
From this time he taught them another, That Christ must through
sufferings and death enter into his glory. From the elders - The
most honourable and experienced men; the chief priests - Accounted
the most religious; and the scribes - The most learned body of
men in the nation. Would not one have expected, that these
should have been the very first to receive him? But not many
wise, not many noble were called. Favour thyself - The advice of
the world, the flesh, and the devil, to every one of our Lord's
followers. (Mk 8:31,Lu 9:22).
23: Get thee behind me - Out of my sight. It is not improbable,
Peter might step before him, to stop him. Satan - Our Lord is not
recorded to have given so sharp a reproof to any other of his
apostles on any occasion. He saw it was needful for the pride of
Peter's heart, puffed up with the commendation lately given him.
Perhaps the term Satan may not barely mean, Thou art my enemy,
while thou fanciest thyself most my friend; but also, Thou art
acting the very part of Satan, both by endeavouring to hinder the
redemption of mankind, and by giving me the most deadly advice
that can ever spring from the pit of hell. Thou savourest not
- Dost not relish or desire. We may learn from hence,
That whosoever says to us in such a case, Favour thyself, is
acting the part of the devil:
That the proper answer to such an adviser is, Get thee behind me:
That otherwise he will be an offence to us, an occasion of our
stumbling, if not falling:
That this advice always proceeds from the not relishing the
things of God, but the things of men.
Yea, so far is this advice, favour thyself, from being fit for a
Christian either to give or take, that if any man will come after
Christ, his very first step is to deny, or renounce himself: in
the room of his own will, to substitute the will of God, as his one
principle of action.
24: If any man be willing to come after me - None is forced; but
if any will be a Christian, it must be on these terms, Let him
deny himself, and take up his cross - A rule that can never be too
much observed: let him in all things deny his own will, however
pleasing, and do the will of God, however painful.
Should we not consider all crosses, all things grievous to flesh
and blood, as what they really are, as opportunities of embracing
God's will at the expense of our own? And consequently as so
many steps by which we may advance toward perfection? We should
make a swift progress in the spiritual life, if we were faithful
in this practice. Crosses are so frequent, that whoever makes
advantage of them, will soon be a great gainer. Great crosses
are occasions of great improvement: and the little ones, which
come daily, and even hourly, make up in number what they want in
weight. We may in these daily and hourly crosses make effectual
oblations of our will to God; which oblations, so frequently
repeated, will soon amount to a great sum. Let us remember then
(what can never be sufficiently inculcated) that God is the
author of all events: that none is so small or inconsiderable,
as to escape his notice and direction. Every event therefore
declares to us the will of God, to which thus declared we should
heartily submit. We should renounce our own to embrace it; we
should approve and choose what his choice warrants as best for us.
Herein should we exercise ourselves continually; this should be
our practice all the day long. We should in humility accept the
little crosses that are dispensed to us, as those that best suit
our weakness. Let us bear these little things, at least for
God's sake, and prefer his will to our own in matters of so small
importance. And his goodness will accept these mean oblations;
for he despiseth not the day of small things.(Mt 10:38).
25: Whosoever will save his life - At the expense of his conscience:
whosoever, in the very highest instance, that of life itself,
will not renounce himself, shall be lost eternally. But can any
man hope he should be able thus to renounce himself, if he cannot
do it in the smallest instances? And whosoever will lose his
life shall find it - What he loses on earth he shall find in heaven.(Mt 10:39,Mk 8:35,Lu 9:24,17:33,Joh 12:25).
27: For the Son of man shall come - For there is no way to escape
the righteous judgment of God.
28: And as an emblem of this, there are some here who shall
live to see tho Messiah coming to set up his mediatorial kingdom,
with great power and glory, by the increase of his Church, and
the destruction of the temple, city, and polity of the Jews.