Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 4 Study # 4
November 1, 2009
20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;
22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
1901 ASV Translation:
20 And he said unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
21 But he charged them, and commanded them to tell this to no man;
22 saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
23 And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self?
26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in his own glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.
27 But I tell you of a truth, There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
- I. Jesus' Refusal to Permit the Disciples to Make Him Known.
- A. Peter's "for the disciples" answer to Jesus' question.
- 1. Peter's answer was that Jesus was "the Christ of the God".
- 2. Peter answered for them all, but there is no indication that any of them shared his perspective, or that his perspective was very well seated within his own heart.
- a. The "problem" is that "faith" in any given concept, precept, promise, warning, etc. is shot through with all kinds of qualifications, hesitations, misunderstandings, etc. We know that Iscariot ended up as one whom Peter described as one who "by transgression fell" as a fulfillment of Psalm 109:8 which indicates that "another" should take his "office". We also know that the very "Peter" who made this confession and faulted Iscariot was, himself, one who denied Jesus with curses on the very night He was betrayed (Mark 14:70-71). What this does is raise the reality that professions of "faith" are simply that: professions of faith. The words do not carry the weight of their implications. James insisted that all real faith is of such a nature that it generates an "in-harmony-with-itself" after-action ("faith without works is dead": James 2:20). Thus, even demons "tremble" as the automatic "after-action" of believing that God is One (James 2:19). Thus, Peter's own answer, though profoundly correct, was no indication that he "believed" it to any significant degree.
- b. This "problematic" nature of "faith" is the reason for Jesus' next words to His disciples.
- B. Jesus' insistent demand that "they tell no man that thing".
- 1. Luke put two interesting words together in his record of Jesus' insistence that the disciples not make His identity as "the Christ of the God" known to any; one is a participle and the other the main verb.
- a. The participle indicates an action taken in conjunction with the action indicated by the main verb. This participle is from a word that is used by Luke in twelve settings in his record of Jesus. Of the twenty-nine times that it is used by all of the writers of the New Testament, the translators opted for "rebuke" in twenty-four of those cases. Their "straitly charged" in our current verse is a "one-in-twenty-nine" option. In 4:35 Luke recorded that Jesus "rebuked" a demon and demanded that he come out of his host body. In 4:39 he recorded that Jesus "rebuked" the fever that had taken hold of Peter's mother-in-law and it left her. In 4:41 Jesus "rebuked" the demons for loudly announcing that He was the Christ. In 8:24 Jesus "rebuked" the wind and the raging waters and they ceased. In a close context to our verse (9:42) Luke says Jesus "rebuked" a demon so that He healed the father's child. In another (9:55) Jesus "rebuked" James and John for wanting to call fire down from heaven to consume some folks who treated Jesus badly. In 17:3 Jesus insisted that the way to treat a brother who trespasses against you was to "rebuke" him. In 18:15 the disciples "rebuked" those who were "bothering" Jesus with their "infants". In 18:39 a host of folks tried to get a blind man to quit yelling after Jesus by "rebuking" him. In 19:39 some of the Pharisees told Jesus to "rebuke" those of the disciples who were identifying Him as the "King that comes in the name of the Lord". And, finally, in 23:40 one of the thieves on the crosses "rebuked" the other for his caustic words toward Jesus. The point? Simply this: the translators, for some reason, did not want to have Jesus "rebuking" the disciples for what Peter had said, though they had no problem at all with Him "rebuking" demons for the same thing and refusing to "rebuke" those who called Him the "King Who had come in the name of the Lord". The fact is that the verb indicates an action that is designed to get a certain type of attitude or action stopped. The way it is used by Luke, it indicates a pretty determined attempt, the success of which depended upon how much power was put behind the attempt. "Straitly charged" is a perfectly fine "translation" except for one fact: it does not allow the reader to make any associations in the text to any of the other uses of the word. This is a problem of a faulty hermeneutic in the minds of the translators. Bottom line: Luke wanted Theophilus to understand that Jesus was adamant about the disciples not telling anyone He was "the Christ of the God".
- b. The main verb is only used four times in Luke (though Luke uses it eleven times in Acts) and in every case Jesus was making it very clear what He wanted done. Our current text is the last of those uses. When wedded to the previous participle, we have a very good notion of the fact that Jesus did not want His disciples telling anyone that He was the Christ.
- 2. The problem with this, in the larger context, is significant. John said that without the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, no one can enter into eternal life (John 20:31). So why did Jesus tell His disciples not to tell anyone this Truth when it has so much to do with what kind of experience men will have in the duration of their existence?