As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside and said,
Deuteronomy 16:1-7). Jesus separated his disciples from the crowd, probably by retiring into some sylvan shade to rest, that he might discourse to them privately of his approaching Passion. His discourse evinces -
I. A DIVINE FOREKNOWLEDGE.
1. It anticipated his betrayal.
(2) As yet he had not named Judas; but, had Judas already meditated his infamous act, what must have been his feelings when Jesus now said in his hearing, "And the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and scribes"? No disciple of Christ can apostatize from him unwarned.
2. It anticipated the malignity of the rulers.
(1) Delivery "unto the chief priests and scribes" is a periphrasis for the Sanhedrin, which sat at "Jerusalem" (see Luke 13:33).
(2) The corporate conscience is proverbially elastic; yet who but God could have foreseen that the Sanhedrin would agree to condemn Jesus to death?
(3) The Sanhedrin might "condemn" to death under the Mosaic Law, but the Romans had deprived it of the power to carry out the sentence (see John 17:31). In this note a symptom of the departure of the sceptre or magistracy from Judah, which was to be preceded by the coming of Shiloh (see Genesis 49:10).
3. It anticipated the violence of the Romans.
(1) This is now the third time that Jesus clearly predicted his sufferings (cf. Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:22, 23). But here, for the first time, the part the Gentiles were to take in that tragedy is indicated. It was meet that the Saviour of a sinful world should suffer from the combined malice of Jew and Gentile (see Ephesians 2:16).
(2) "And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock." This was done by Herod and his Roman soldiers (see Luke 23:11).
(3) "And to scourge." This was done by Pilate (see John 19:1). And his soldiers followed up the scourging with many dreadful insults.
(4) "And to crucify." The punishment of the cross was Roman, not Jewish. It was, originally considered, more probable that Jesus should be privately slain or stoned to death in a tumult, as was Stephen. And when he was delivered back to the Jews by Pilate, with permission to judge him according to their Law, it is wonderful that he was not stoned. The foreknowledge that saw it otherwise was manifestly Divine. How little did those cruel actors know that they were offering up the great Sacrifice for the world's salvation! How does God make the wrath of man to praise him!
4. It anticipated his resurrection from the dead.
(1) No fact, originally considered, could be more unlikely than this; yet it is circumstantially predicted, and fulfilled to the letter.
(2) This element in the prediction was assuring to himself. The joy of its anticipation sustained him in his preparatory sufferings. In it he was "straightway glorified" (cf. John 13:31, 32; Hebrews 12:2).
(3) It was also assuring to the disciples. When they heard of his approaching sufferings they were "amazed" and "afraid" (Mark 10:32), and the more so as they "understood none of these things" (Luke 18:34). Yet afterwards they remembered them as most memorable things.
II. A DIVINE PREDESTINATION.
1. Jesus could have avoided his sufferings.
(1) He was not surprised into them. He foresaw them all. Every thorn of his crown was fully in his vision.
(2) He could have avoided Jerusalem. His boldness in going up there amazed his affrighted disciples (Mark 10:32).
(3) At Jerusalem, were he so minded, he might have had "twelve legions of angels," any of which could have frustrated the purposes of the Jews and the resources of the Romans.
2. But he resolutely faced them.
(1) Because he would fulfil all righteousness. He must therefore keep the Passover; and he must go to Jerusalem to keep it (see Deuteronomy 12:5). The moral here is that consequences must never be considered in competition with the will of God,
(2) Because he would fulfil all benevolence. He went up to that Passover that he might himself become the world's salvation.
(3) This the multitude could not see. Note: The action of Jesus was allegorical, when he separated his disciples from the crowd on their way to the legal Passover, that he might unfold to them the mysteries of his Passion. The spirit of the Law is a special revelation.
(5) The Scriptures must be fulfilled (cf. Luke 18:31). The Divine power of Jesus in fulfilling the predictions uttered by him is as conspicuous and real as the Divine prescience which prompted their utterance.
1. It is good to converse with Jesus in the way.
2. It is good to anticipate so as to become familiar with our dying.
3. It is good to connect with our meditation upon death the matter of our resurrection. - J.A.M.
And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way.
1. Some go up without any special interest.
2. Others are moved by curiosity.
3. There are those who hate Him and His servants.
4. Some who believe in Christ but fear the world.
5. Some are in dark despair thinking that the cause of religion is about to perish because of organized opposition.
6. Others, a faithful few, like the small group around the cross.
(M. Dix, D. D.)
(M. Dix, D. D.)Psalm 24:3 and Revelation 22:14). Those whose conduct shows that they are going up to Jerusalem. This may be said to imply —
I. A growth and an advancement in those things which are good. Those who "go up" to the heavenly Jerusalem gradually increase in holiness by a diligent use of the appointed means.
II. Another evidence that we are " going up to Jerusalem" is love to God.
III. If our faces are indeed turned to Jerusalem, like travellers who have a long journey to accomplish, we shall be most anxious to lay aside any unnecessary weight, and to overcome the corrupting influence of our besetting sins. We cannot be going up to Jerusalem if our affections are rooted in the earth; we must be conscious that our course is turned thitherward. Why this loitering by the way. Let us refresh our souls with spiritual food. Let the world offer what attractions it may, our purpose is firmly fixed "to go up to Jerusalem."
(J. H. Norton.)I. The language of the text is the testimony of our great Prophet concerning His OWN SUFFERINGS. You see it is a prophecy; the event had not yet taken place.
1. His suffering was substitutional.
II. THE HANDS EMPLOYED.
1. The ruthless traitor.
2. The infidel priesthood.
3. The far-famed literary men.
III. THE END ACCOMPLISHED. "They shall condemn Him to death."
(J. Irons.)How the faithfulness of Christ toward His disciples appears in the announcement of His impending sufferings.
I. It is seen in the gradual manner in which He makes the fact known. From the first He had intimated that His path was one of suffering; but, while putting an end to their spurious hopes, He had never said anything to cast them down.
II. He now set it before them in all its terrors. He dealt candidly with them. Return was still possible for them, though, from their former decision, He no longer asked them whether they would forsake Him.
III. He placed before their view the promise awaiting them at the end, thus establishing and encouraging them by this blessed prospect.
(J. P. Lange, D. D.)1. It was predetermined from the beginning, and He saw it everywhere throughout His course.
2. From the first He prepared for it, and experienced its bitterness in many preliminary trials.
3. It was the harbinger of His exaltation, and ever and anon He anticipated His coming glory.
(J. P. Lange, D. D.)I. THE PARTY — Jesus and His disciples. The great Head of the Church and His members.
1. Their interests were mutual.
2. They are a united company.
3. They were distinct from the world.
4. Are you of the party?
II. THEIR UNION AND COMMUNION — Jesus took the twelve disciples apart.
1. We sometimes try to take Christ apart, it is better that Christ should take us.
2. This communion has love for its origin.
3. He would not have them associated with the world, He was about to touch on matters He wished His disciples to know.
4. He not only invites His Church apart as an act of love, but every grace of His Holy Spirit's implanting is then called into exercise.
5. He took them apart to talk about the atonement.
III. Mark now THE TRAVELLING ITSELF — "going up to Jerusalem." Ours is not a stand-still religion. We have no continuing city. We are in company with Jesus.
1. Decision is implied.
2. Progress is implied.
3. There was expectation as they journeyed.
4. Jesus was going up to Jerusalem for the accomplishment of redemption; and we must go to the Jerusalem above in order to fully enjoy them.
(1) (2) (3) (J. P. Lange, D. D.) (Cawdray.) (1) (2) (3) (4) (J. P. Lange, D. D.) (Beecher.) (R. South.)
(2) (3) (J. P. Lange, D. D.) (Cawdray.) (1) (2) (3) (4) (J. P. Lange, D. D.) (Beecher.) (R. South.)
(3) (J. P. Lange, D. D.) (Cawdray.) (1) (2) (3) (4) (J. P. Lange, D. D.) (Beecher.) (R. South.)
(J. P. Lange, D. D.)
(J. P. Lange, D. D.) (Beecher.) (R. South.)
(J. P. Lange, D. D.)