Matthew 20:17
And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,
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(17) And Jesus going up to Jerusalem.—The narrative is not continuous, and in the interval between Matthew 20:16-17 we may probably place our Lord’s “abode beyond Jordan” (John 10:40), the raising of Lazarus, and the short sojourn in the city called Ephraim (John 11:54). This would seem to have been followed by a return to Persea, and then the journey to Jerusalem begins. The account in St. Mark adds some significant facts. “Jesus went” (literally, was going—implying continuance) “before them.” It was as though the burden of the work on which He was entering pressed heavily on His soul. The shadow of the cross had fallen on Him. He felt something of the conflict which reached its full intensity in Gethsemane, and therefore He needed solitude that He might prepare Himself for the sacrifice by communing with His Father; and instead of journeying with the disciples and holding “sweet converse” with them, went on silently in advance. This departure from His usual custom, and, it may be, the look and manner that accompanied it, impressed the disciples, as was natural, very painfully. “They were amazed, and as they followed, were afraid.” It was apparently as explaining what had thus perplexed them that He took the Twelve apart from the others that followed (including probably the Seventy and the company of devout women of Luke 8:2) and told them of the nearness of His passion.

Matthew 20:17-19. Jesus took the twelve disciples apart in the way — See note on Mark 10:32-34. And said, The Son of man shall be betrayed, &c. — This is the sixth time that Jesus foretold his own sufferings; see John 2:19; John 2:21; Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:12; Matthew 17:22-23; Luke 17:25; and the fifth time that he foretold his resurrection. And the particular manner in which he signifies how he should suffer; that the Jews should mock him, as if he were a fool; scourge him, as if he were a knave; spit upon him, (Mark 10:34,) to express their abhorrence of him as a blasphemer; and crucify him as a criminal slave, is a “remarkable proof of the extraordinary measure of the prophetic spirit which dwelt in him. For, humanly speaking, it was much more probable that he should have been privately assassinated, or stoned, as was before attempted, by some zealous transport of popular fury, than that he should have been thus solemnly condemned, and delivered up to crucifixion; a Roman punishment, with which we do not find that he had ever been threatened. Indeed, when the Jews condemned him for blasphemy, for which the punishment appointed in the law was stoning; and Pilate, at last, gave them a general permission to take him, and judge him according to their own law, (John 18:31; and John 19:7,) it is wonderful they did not choose to stone him; but all this was done that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.” — Doddridge.

20:17-19 Christ is more particular here in foretelling his sufferings than before. And here, as before, he adds the mention of his resurrection and his glory, to that of his death and sufferings, to encourage his disciples, and comfort them. A believing view of our once crucified and now glorified Redeemer, is good to humble a proud, self-justifying disposition. When we consider the need of the humiliation and sufferings of the Son of God, in order to the salvation of perishing sinners, surely we must be aware of the freeness and richness of Divine grace in our salvation.See also Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34.

And Jesus, going up to Jerusalem - That is, doubtless, to the Passover. This journey was from the east side of Jordan. See the notes at Matthew 19:1. At this time he was on this journey to Jerusalem, probably not far from Jericho. This was his last journey to Jerusalem. He was going up to die for the sins of the world.

Took the twelve disciples apart - All the males of the Jews were required to be at this feast, Exodus 23:17. The roads, therefore, on such occasions, would probably be thronged. It is probable, also, that they would travel in companies, or that whole neighborhoods would go together. See Luke 2:44. By his taking them apart is meant his taking them aside from the company. He had something to communicate which he did not wish the others to hear. Mark adds: "And Jesus went before them, and they were amazed; and as they followed they were sore afraid." He led the way. He had told them before Matthew 17:22 that he should be betrayed into the hands of people and be put to death. They began now to be afraid that this would happen, and to be solicitous for his life and for their own safety, and they were amazed at his boldness and calmness, and at his fixed determination to go up to Jerusalem in these circumstances.

Mt 20:17-28. Third Explicit Announcement of His Approaching Sufferings, Death, and Resurrection—The Ambitious Request of James and John, and the Reply. ( = Mr 10:32-45; Lu 18:31-34).

For the exposition, see on [1331]Mr 10:32-45.

See Poole on "Matthew 20:19".

And Jesus going up to Jerusalem,.... Which was situated (f) in the highest part of the land of Israel: the land of Israel, is said to be higher than any other land whatever; and the temple at Jerusalem, higher than any part of the land of Israel; wherefore Christ's going to Jerusalem, is expressed by going up to it. Whither he came either from the coasts of Judea, from beyond Jordan, Matthew 19:1 where he had been some time healing diseases, disputing with the Pharisees, discoursing with the young ruler, and instructing his disciples; or from a country near to the wilderness, from a city called Ephraim, John 11:54 where he continued some time with his disciples, after the sanhedrim had took counsel to put him to death; for this was his last journey to Jerusalem.

Took the twelve disciples apart in the way: into some private place, which lay near the road; for it seems that there were others that followed him, besides the twelve; when he was not willing they should hear what he had to say to them, concerning the issue of this, journey; lest either they should be discouraged and desert him, or it should be made public, and methods be used to prevent it: and said unto them; the disciples, whom he thought fit once more to remind of his sufferings and death, and to prepare them for the same; and though they would not so thoroughly understand all that he should say, yet when it was come to pass, they would remember it, and which would be of service to confirm their faith in him, as the true Messiah. See Gill on Mark 10:32.

(f) T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 87. 1.

{2} And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,

(2) Christ goes to the cross necessarily, and yet willingly.

Matthew 20:17-19. According to the Synoptists, Jesus now takes occasion, as He approaches Jerusalem (ἀναβ. εἰς Ἱερος. is the continuation of the journey mentioned in Matthew 19:1), to intimate to His disciples more plainly and distinctly than before (Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22) His impending fate. Comp. Mark 10:32 ff.; Luke 18:31 ff. κατʼ ἰδίαν] διότι οὐκ ἔδει ταῦτα μαθεῖν τοὺς πολλοὺς, ἵνα μὴ σκανδαλισθῶσιν, Euthymius Zigabenus. There were others travelling along with them.

θανάτῳ] dative of direction: even to death. See Winer, p. 197 f. [E. T. 263]. This is in accordance with later Greek usage. Comp. Wis 2:20; 2 Peter 2:6; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 475; Grimm’s note on Wisd. as above. On the prediction of the resurrection, see note on Matthew 16:21.

Matthew 20:17-19. Third prediction of the passion (Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34).—The first in Matthew 16:21; the second in Matthew 17:22. In the first it was stated generally that Jesus was about πολλὰ παθεῖν. Here the πολλὰ are detailed. In the second mention was made of betrayal (παραδίδοται, Matthew 17:22) into the hands of men. Here the “men” resolve into priests, scribes, and Gentiles.

17–19. Jesus going up to Jerusalem foretells His Passion for the third time

See chs. Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22-23; and Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34. St Mark and St Luke add “shall spit upon him” (Mark); “shall be spitted on” (Luke); St Matthew alone names “crucifixion;” St Luke, who mentions only the share which the Gentiles had in the Passion, adds “they understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

The disciples, as Jews, still placed their hopes in the present world: “what shall we have?” They still thought Jesus might be using a figure of speech. Jesus was alone in the certainty of His awful secret. He had no sympathy from His followers.

Matthew 20:17. Ἀναβαίνων, as He was going up) A very memorable journey, in which great and various emotions were manifested.—παρέλαβε, κ.τ.λ., He took, etc.) He propounded the subject, not as in His daily conversation, but more solemnly.[884]

[884] Viz. in this His third announcement of His coming death, etc.—V. g. Of the preceding declarations as to His approaching Passion, the one had been made after the confession of the disciples, the other after the Transfiguration on the Mount (which was attended with an universal admiration of His works, Luke 9:43-44; Luke 9:35; Mark 9:15): a third is now added of His own accord, more solemn than the rest.—Harm., p. 432.

Verses 17-19 - Third and fuller prediction of Jesus sufferings and death. (Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34.) Verse 17. - Going up. This is the usual expression for travelling to the capital, and was particularly appropriate to a journey to Jerusalem, which was set among hills. This last journey of the Redeemer was indeed a steep ascent, the end of which was Calvary. Took (παρέλαβε, took to himself)... apart (κατ ἰδίαν). He was accompanied by many followers, but what he had now to impart was not intended to be divulged to all, but was reserved for the chosen twelve. The mass could not have heard it without offence. In the way. The Vulgate omits these words. The Revised Version, on good authority, alters the received order, reading, and in the way he said unto them. Thus Christ prepared the apostles for the coming time of trial, after they had shown fuller faith in his Godhead. Matthew 20:17
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