Monday, September 19, 2011

Matthew 20:17–19

Matthew 20:17–19 (ESV): Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time


This is a very short passage, which can be read quicker than giving a synopsis.


I don’t have much to say about this passage, except to note how blunt Jesus is being about his death and resurrection. It’s like the end is coming very soon, so he really wants them to get it. “Look, I’m going to be delivered to the scribes and Pharisees, they’re going to condemn me to death, the Gentiles are going to mock, flog, and crucify me, and on the third day I’m going to rise.” He can’t be more explicit than that.

And interestingly, no reaction is recorded from the disciples. I really wonder how they reacted to this. They were probably hesitant to disagree with him, after Jesus rebuked Peter in 16:21–23, but does that mean they believed Jesus? What did they make of this “rising on the third day” business; did they understand it, or did they think it was metaphorical? It seems so blunt, here, and yet their reaction when he really was delivered over to be crucified indicates that they either didn’t understand after all, or they just plain forgot in the heat of the moment. I’m sort of thinking it was a combination of both; since they didn’t fully understand, they set Jesus’ words aside, but then after the resurrection, when they did start to understand, they started to remember Jesus’ earlier words, which now made more sense. (See, for example, Luke 24:1–12 (ESV).)

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We won’t be getting to Jesus’ death and resurrection for a while…

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