Greatness Comes through Suffering and Service

Matthew 20:17-28


From Exegetical Commentary on Matthew, 2006, AMG Publishers

[17, 18] The Lord Jesus privately revealed to His disciples what would soon take place (Matt. 16:21; 17:22-23), events that would fulfill prophecies. The first word in verse 18 is translated "Behold" (ido [2400]). Here it raised anticipation that a miracle was about to take place. This would not be the death of an ordinary man but rather the atoning death of the Son of man for the sins of the human race. Jesus Christ was God's unique (monogenēs [3439]) Son who in reality was God (Thes [2316]; John 1:1), the Almighty (Pantokrtōr [3841]; Rev. 19:15; 21:22); and Lord (Krios [2962]; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 1:8; et al.). He had been prophetically revealed at the transfiguration to the inner circle of three disciples as Peter narrates in 2 Peter 1:16-21. "Behold" called the disciples to watch events unfold beyond human comprehension.

Although "we go up to Jerusalem" (a.t.) included the disciples, Jesus revealed what would happen to Him alone: "We shall all go up to Jerusalem, but the Son of man shall be betrayed." The Lord Jesus knew that what was going to happen to Him would not happen to His disciples at this time. The verb for "betrayed" is from paraddōmi ([3860], from par [3844], a preposition that indicates an extremely close proximity; andddōmi [1325], to give). The Son of man was giving Himself as a result of the divine will, but Judas was morally responsible for delivering the Lord Jesus to be crucified.

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