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Matt. xvi. 1.
MARK viii. ver. 5. part of ver. 6. and ver. 7, 8, 9.
On a mount the sea
5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they of Galilee.
6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples
7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and com. manded to set them also before them.
8 So they did eat, and were filled and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.
9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.
The Pharisees require other Signs-Christ charges them
MATT. xvi. 1-12. MARK Viii. 11-part of 22.
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees, came tempting, Magdala. Markviii.11. began to question with him,
Matt. xvi.1, and desired that he would shew them a sign from heaven,
Mat. xvi. 2.
He answered, and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
And in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation,
Matt. xvi. 4. a wicked and adulterous generation
Markviii.12. seek after a sign? Verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given to this generation.
Matt.xvi. 4. but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Markviii.13. and entering into the ship again, departed to the other side.
Mat. xvi. 5.
And when his disciples were come to the other side,
Markviii.14. neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
Markviii.15. charged them,
Matt. xvi.6, and said unto them, Take heed, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees,
Markviii.15. and of the leaven of Herod.
Matt. xvi. 7.
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
Markviii.17. perceive, ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your
heart yet hardened?
Markviii. 18. Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, ye hear not? Magdala. and do ye not remember?
When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
Mat.xvi.ll. that I spake it not to you concerning the leaven of bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees?
Then understood they how that he had bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees.
And he cometh to Bethsaida;
MATT. xvi. part of ver. 4. and ver. 9, 10.
4 -seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given
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?
MARK viii. part of ver. 11. 13, 14, 15. and ver. 16, 17.
11 And the Pharisees came forth, and-seeking of him a sign from heaven
13 And he left them-
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread
15 And he saying, Take heed, beware of the
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread?
Christ heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida.
MARK Viii. 22—26.
And they bring a blind man unto him, and besought Bethsaida. him to touch him.
And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him
And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
Peter confesses Christ to be the Messiah".
MATT. XVI. 13-20. MARK viii. 27-30. LUKE ix. 18-21.
17 The various works which were done by our Lord, as related in the preceding sections of this chapter, convinced St. Peter that Jesus was the Messiah. It certainly appears to us very extra, ordinary that this open confession of the Messiahship of Jesus had not been repeatedly made before. The reasons seem to have been, that the various inconsistent traditions concerning the Messiah which were then prevalent, and the opposite expectations of the people, had so biassed the minds of his disciples, that it prevented them from forming a correct judgment as to the dignity of their Lord and Master. They saw, indeed, and acknowledged, that Jesus was more than human, and they daily anticipated the establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah; but before that event they expected the coming of Elias, various resurrections of the ancient prophets, the reappearance of Moses and Elias, with other different signs and wonders, which have already been enumerated. Dr. Pye Smith observes, "that their notions of the Messiah were sublime, imperfectly understood, and inconsistent; they attributed to him a supe rior nature, a pre-existent state, and, to say the least, many of the characteristic properties of Deity (a)."
When Christ was upon earth, the opinions of the Jews concerning the nature and person of their ardently expected Messiah, were by no means uniform: some affirmed that he would be a mere man, endowed with peculiar powers and assistance from God-others that he would be a man, with whom a special power emanating from God, would be intimately conjoinedothers maintained, that he would be superior to their fathers, to all mankind, and to the angels; that he existed before the creation of the world, and was employed by God as an instrument in the formation of the world, and peculiarly in the protection and religious institutions of the Israelitish nation.
Schoetgen, in his second volume, has most amply and most learnedly discussed the subject of the Messiah. His Hora Hebraicæ are an invaluable treasure to the theological student who desires to understand the New Testament. It is to be regretted that the work is so scarce, and that there is neither an abridgment, nor a translation of it, in our own language.
The Jews seem to have entertained the same indefinite notions with regard to the Messiah, as the Christians of the present age entertain when they converse on the Millenium, or the second advent of our Lord; on the restoration of the Jews, whether it will be temporal or spiritual; or on the other sublime and elevating subjects of the prophecies of our own Scriptures, on which the primitive Church has come to no conclusion. The language of Scripture is so general, that it may be interpreted both literally and metaphorically; and every Christian, who at all reflects on these subjects, anticipates some magnificent events, which he believes will certainly take place; while no two will be found exactly to agree in their opinions and speculations. Lightfoot remarks on this subject:
From Messiah the Jews expected pomp and stateliness, a royal and victorious kingdom-they see Christ appear in a low condition, and contemptible poverty.
Luke ix. 18.
And it came to pass,
From the Messiah they expected an advancing and heighten-
By the Messias they expected that the Gentiles should be subdued, trod under their feet, and destroyed. He taught that they should be called, converted, and become the Church (b).
Archdeacon Blomfield, in his admirable dissertation (c), has given us, at still greater length, an abstract of the notions entertained by the Jews of the Messiah's kingdom.
1. They expected him to be of a nature far surpassing that of men and angels. One of the Rabbis says, "The Messiah is higher than the ministering angels." To this notion the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews evidently alludes. i. 4.
2. They considered him to be "the Word of God," an emanation from the Supreme Being; the author of all created things.
3. They believed that all the transactions, in which the Deity was related to have had a communication with mankind, were carried on through the medium of his Word, the Messiah; that He delivered the Israelites from Egypt, led them through the wilderness, supported and protected them.
4. They believed that the Spirit of the Lord was to be upon him, and intimately united with him; and that it would manifest itself in exertion of miraculous power. To this our Saviour alludes, Matt. xii. 28. "But if I, in the Spirit of God cast out devils, then is the kingdom of God come upon you."
5. They supposed that the Messiah would appear, not in a real human body, but in the semblance of one; v dokýσel. This notion found its way into the Christian Church, and was the distinguishing dogma of the Docetæ. It is combated by St. John in several parts of his writings; viz. "The word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us," (John i. 14.) not only seemed to wear a human form, but actually did so. Again, Every Spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God," (1 John iv. 3.) And it is not an improbable supposition of Professor Bertholdt, that the Evangelist had the same heresy in view, when he made particular mention of the blood and water which flowed from the side of Jesus, (John xix. 34.)
6. They expected that the Messiah would not be subject to death, (John xii. 34.) The multitude answered him, "We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever."
7. Yet they thought that he was to offer in his own person an expiatory sacrifice for their sins, John i. 29.
8. He was to restore the Jews to freedom. Compare Luke i.
68. xxiv. 21. 4 Esdr. xii. 34.
9. And to establish a pure and perfect form of worship, Luke
10. And to give remission of sins, Luke i. 76. Matt. i. 21.
12. He was to descend into the receptacle of departed spirits,
13. The devil and his angels were to be cast into hell for a thousand years.
Markvli1.27. by the way,
Luke ix. 18, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and Philippi. Mat. xvi.13. he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I
the Son of man, am?
14. And they
Mat. xvi. 14. and said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist :
Mat. xvi. 14. and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Lake ix. 19. and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.
16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the
And Jesus answered, and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
14. Then was to begin the kingdom of heaven, or of God, or of the Christ, which was to last a thousand years.
15. At the end of that period of time, the devil was to be released from confinement, and to excite great troubles and commotions; but he was to be conquered, and again imprisoned for
16. After that was to be the second and general resurrection of the dead, followed by the judgment.
17. The world was to be renewed; new heavens, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem were to appear.
18. At last the Messiah, having fulfilled his office, was to deliver up the kingdom to God, at whose right hand he was to sit for evermore.
(a) Scripture Testimony to the Messiah, vol. i. p. 464, and 466. Dr. Pye Smith has compressed into a very short compass the conclusions of Kuinoel (Comment in libros N. T. Hist. p. 84-91.) on the same subject. (b) Lightfoot's sermons, Works, fol. vol. ii. p. 1112. (c) On the traditional knowledge of a promised Redeemer, Camb. 1810, p. 106. fin. &c.
18 Our Lord had now, by his miracles and teaching, and conduct so impressed on the minds of his Apostles, the certainty that he was the Messiah, whom they had expected, that St. Peter makes the fullest confession of his faith, in the most energetic language. Our Lord immediately addresses him in that remarkable language, which has been said, by the Church of Rome, to be the immoveable foundation of her undoubted supremacy and her exclusive privileges, as the depositary of truth, and of her consequent infallibility, as the director and instructor of the world. The question therefore is, whether the confession made by St. Peter was the rock on which the Church of Christ was to be founded, or whether the Apostle himself was that rock. The most eminent of the ancient Fathers have espoused the former opinion. Chrysostom (a) interprets the passage ry wέrpg -T8TÉOTI Tỹ tiotε tñs dμoλoyías, upon the rock, that is, upon the faith of his profession.
The most probable meaning of the passage appears to be that which shall comprise both of the controverted senses. St. Peter was always the most zealous of the Apostles, and to him was reserved the honour of first preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. The probable reason why our Lord addressed himself particu larly to Peter was, that he happened to be the first who had acknowledged Him as the Christ the Son of the living God. St.