Bible Commentaries
Matthew 16

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole BibleMorgan's Exposition

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Verses 1-28

What a very wonderful fact in the life and ministry of Jesus is His power of suppressing the marvelous powers He possessed. He never used them save in divine wisdom and love. How easily He could have given a sign which would have startled and overwhelmed. It would have been wasted so far as the purpose of His life and ministry, the establishment of the Kingdom of heaven, were concerned. This accounts for the solemn word to the disciples which they were so slow to comprehend, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Here again notice the blindness of these disciples. It really looks as though the two miracles of feeding had impressed them with the importance of taking "loaves," rather than with being with Christ. Thus do men put the emphasis in the wrong place.

Now the King is rejected! Here is the first hint of a new departure. All the principles and privileges of the Kingdom are to be embodied in a new society among men, the Church. The creation of the new society is the outcome of the refusal of men to accept the King. That refusal will presently be culminated in the Cross. That Cross, then, is to be the way of the creation of the Church. So the King begins to speak of His coming passion (verse Mat 16:21 ). From this His loyal subjects shrink. They are as yet subjects of the King only. The wisdom and love of God are beyond their present comprehension, and they tremble and protest. Therefore came the searching word to them. Members of the Church, those who will follow Him henceforth during the period of His rejection, must in the necessity of the case do so by the way of the Cross. The best and only preparation is that they should deny self, and themselves go to the place of crucifixion. From this time these men were amazed, and estranged, and followed afar, until at Pentecost they were baptized into a vital union with their Lord.

Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Matthew 16". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.