REPEATING THE PROPHECY OF HIS CENTRAL MISSION STILL DOES NOT COMPUTE WITH JESUS’ SAD DISCIPLES
Charles Swindoll: Jesus and His disciples were inseparable. This became all the more obvious as Jesus entered the final six months of His public ministry. As the Cross loomed larger on the horizon, He spent less time with the multitudes and more time with those who were dedicated to following Him —the men and women who were His faithful disciples —and especially with the Twelve who had received the special calling, and even more particularly, with the three who had been privy to certain astonishing miracles.
However, what He often wanted to talk to them about was not what they wanted to hear. As conflict with critics intensified and the disciples could sense increasing unrest among the crowds, they likely envisioned an ultimate showdown between the hypocritical teachers and crooked rulers on one side and the Son of God in the flesh and His wonder-working disciples on the other. Yet Jesus kept on talking about His arrest, suffering, and death. The last thing the disciples wanted to think about was His dying and leaving them to carry on without Him. In their minds, that scenario didn’t make any sense.
Biblical Illustrator: In rapid succession the Saviour brings before His disciples the great facts in His history as the Mediator-facts which have the most direct bearing on man’s redemption and spiritual recovery. His complete knowledge of His future, and the calm magnanimity with which He talked about these stupendous events, demonstrate Him to be superhuman.
Bethany Bible Church: Our Lord stressed the same basic details that we find in this morning’s passage over and over to His disciples during the final portion of His earthly ministry—that He was going to be delivered into the hands of men, that they would kill Him, and that He would then be raised from the dead.
And I’m suggesting, dear brothers and sisters, that there is tremendous significance to the repetition. Jesus clearly shows us that this was a story that is worth repeating over and over.
- IT’S A STORY THAT IS FOUNDATIONAL TO SAVING FAITH.
- IT’S A STORY THAT REVEALS THE DEPTHS OF DIVINE LOVE.
- IT’S A STORY THAT AFFIRMS HOPE IN THE FACE OF LOSS.
- IT’S A STORY THAT MUST BE PERSONALIZED TO BE GRASPED.
The story of who Jesus is and what He has done—the very story He expressed in our passage this morning—is a story that must be personalized to us before it can be grasped by us and declared by us. It must first be known by us ‘experientially’—through a personal relationship with the resurrected Jesus Christ by faith—before it can be the story that leads to our salvation.
Coffman: From Mark, it is known that Christ at that time had returned to Galilee and was in retirement there, using every possible means to instruct and prepare the apostles for the awful events looming so near in the future. The fact that they were “exceeding sorry” shows what enormous difficulty attended this revelation for them. It was, in fact, incomprehensible; and most of the things Christ taught them on that subject were to remain unrealized by them until after the events. Looming nearer and nearer were the dark scenes of Calvary, blotting out their view of the oft-repeated promises of his resurrection. The ability of finite men to understand so gargantuan a fact as God in Christ dying for the sins of the whole world was strained to the breaking point. Never was there a better example of the weakness of the flesh (all flesh) than in the shocked and perplexed attitude of the Twelve. They had been given all the facts, but full realization would come afterwards.
(:22A) PROLOGUE – OCCASION FOR THE SECOND PASSION PROPHECY
“And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them,”
Jeffrey Crabtree: Jesus was back in Galilee when He gave this second of four notices of His upcoming death (but see 17:12). The first announcement had been in Caesarea Philippi (16:21). Others would follow (20:18-19; 26:2). Mark 9:30-31 says that Jesus and His disciples were alone because Jesus was teaching them.
Robert Gundry: The disciples are assembling in Galilee for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where they’ll celebrate the Passover festival. The pilgrimage will start soon (see 19:1). To prepare the disciples for what will happen to him in Jerusalem, Jesus predicts again his passion and resurrection there. This second such prediction fulfills the implication in 16:21: “From then on Jesus began showing his disciples . . . .”
Charles Swindoll: Having spent over a week in the region of Caesarea Philippi in the shadows of Mount Hermon, Jesus and the disciples again made their way back to Galilee. In that familiar territory and with familiar faces in the crowds —both friends and foes —they no doubt began to feel the increasing tension of scowling critics and scoffing skeptics. In this atmosphere, Jesus spoke directly concerning His coming passion.
I. (:22b) BETRAYAL –
APPLICATION: AM I LOYAL TO THE LORD JESUS?
“The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men;”
Robert Gundry: “Is going to be given over” connotes certainty. “To be given over” predicts for the first time Judas Iscariot’s giving Jesus over to the Jewish authorities (20:18; 26:15–16) and their giving him over to Pilate and the Gentiles (20:19; 27:2, 18 [compare 26:45]). “Into the hands of men” connotes an exercise of power over Jesus (compare Genesis 31:29: “It’s in the power of my hand”; see also 2 Samuel 24:14 for the connotation of violent treatment).
Charles Swindoll: The Greek word translated “delivered” is paradidōmi , which means to “hand over, turn over, give up a person.” Had the disciples put some thought into the statement at the time, immediately the question would have come up —“By whom is the Son of Man going to be handed over?” Clearly, He would be handed over to those who would torture and kill Him, but who would betray Him in such a way? Perhaps they would have recognized that Jesus was revealing for the first time an “inside job,” in which one of their own would betray Him.
But they didn’t think that deeply. In fact, it doesn’t seem that they paid attention to anything but “they will kill Him” (17:23). Their response seemed to dwell strictly on the fact of Jesus’ death, because “they were deeply grieved.” Often when strong emotions overtake us, it’s hard to hear correctly or to think clearly. The disciples didn’t ask about the treachery involved in His arrest, or the miracle involved in His being “raised on the third day.”
Gill: [quoting Jewish canon law] “It is forbidden to betray an Israelite into the hands of the Gentiles, whether in his body or in his substance; and though he may be a wicked man, and a ringleader in sin, and though he may have oppressed and afflicted him; and everyone that betrays an Israelite into the hands of the Gentiles, whether in his body, or in his substance, has no part in the world to come.”
Leon Morris: He began with the Son of man, his normal way of referring to himself in the fulfilment of his messianic vocation. The Son of man, then, will be delivered, where will be is not the simple future but the compound used in verse 12, which is often used to denote “an action that necessarily follows a divine decree is destined, must, will certainly.” The passive is often taken as “the divine passive,” signifying that it is really God who delivers him up, a truth that Paul brings out (Rom. 8:32). This delivering up will be into the hands of men, where the verb perhaps is used in the more or less technical sense of handing over to the courts. The arresting officers are not defined and the whole prediction is left very general. But it is plain enough that Jesus says that he will be given over into the power of those who are no more than men (and evil men at that!).
John Schultz: We wonder how Judas felt, hearing this. Jesus’ mention of betrayal constituted a warning to him. It is likely that, at this point, Judas did not know yet that he would betray Jesus.
Donald Hagner: A divine handing over of Jesus is reminiscent of the δεῖ, “it is necessary,” in 16:21. The verb reminds the reader that the disciples have been warned of a day when they will be “handed over” (cf. 10:17–22; 24:9–10).
Walter Wilson: The apposition of ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου and εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων creates a wordplay, one that enshrines a tragic paradox. Humanity is about to betray and kill its own “son,” essentially becoming its own enemy.
Matthew Henry: He tells them that he should be betrayed into the hands of men. Men to whom he was allied by nature, and from whom therefore he might expect pity and tenderness; these are his persecutors and murderers.
II. (:23a) EXECUTION –
APPLICATION: DO I APPRECIATE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUBSTITUTIONARY DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST FOR MY SINS?
“and they will kill Him,”
Donald Hagner: The verb ἀποκτενοῦσιν, “will kill,” is also used in the first passion prediction (16:21; only in the third prediction is σταυροῦν, “crucify,” used.
Matthew Henry: If he is a Sacrifice of atonement, he must be killed; without blood no remission.
Louis A. Barbieri Jr.: One could never say that death took Jesus by surprise. He was in control of His life and no one took it from Him (John 10:11, 15, 17-18).
III. (:23b) RESURRECTION –
APPLICATION: AM I LIVING NOW IN THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST?
“and He will be raised on the third day.”
Richard Gardner: Ultimately, it is God who both delivers Jesus to death and raises Jesus from death (cf. Rom. 4:25).
Gill: it is observable, that when Christ speaks of his rising again, he makes mention of the exact time, the third day, on which he should rise, according to the types and prophecies of the Old Testament.
William Hendriksen: They understood neither the necessity and certainty of the passion nor the announcement of the resurrection on the third day, Cf. Mark 9:32a: “But they did not understand the saying.”
(:23c) EPILOGUE – REACTION OF THE DISCIPLES
“And they were deeply grieved.”
Matthew Henry: In this appeared their love for their Master’s person, but with all their ignorance and misunderstanding concerning his undertaking.
Jeffrey Crabtree: The disciples reacted with much sadness (cf. 26:22). They were very sad (Greek lupeō sphodra). (See this same expression in 26:22.) Though they had many questions they were afraid to ask for an explanation (Mk. 9:32; Lk. 9:45).
David Turner: Another new feature is the mention of the disciples’ deep grief, which anticipates their grief at the Last Supper and Jesus’s grief at Gethsemane (26:22, 37). They are finally accepting the stark reality of the impending events in Jerusalem, and they do not seek to dissuade Jesus as Peter did in 16:22. But this deep grief implies that they have not yet grasped the full significance of Jesus’s resurrection (Hill 1972: 271).
Charles Swindoll: Luke’s Gospel fills in a little more detail about the disciples’ state of mind: “They did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement” (Luke 9:45). Jesus didn’t dwell on the subject. He had said all He wanted to say at that moment. He was planting seeds for later, allowing the words to sink in.
R. T. France: The fact that their dismay follows immediately upon the prediction of Jesus’ resurrection underlines the point we noted above (especially on 16:21), that the repeated inclusion of the resurrection as the conclusion of Jesus’ destiny in Jerusalem seems to have gone completely over the disciples’ heads; the prediction of his rejection, suffering and death so dominated their thinking that they could not see beyond the death to the vindication and glory.