Mark 8Mt 15:32. So they did eat - This miracle was intended to demonstrate, that Christ was the true bread which cometh down from heaven; for he who was almighty to create bread without means to support natural life, could not want power to create bread without means to support spiritual life. And this heavenly bread we stand so much in need of every moment, that we ought to be always praying, Lord, evermore give us this bread. Tempting him - That is, trying to ensnare him. Mt 16:1. Mt 16:4. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod, or of the Sadducees; two opposite extremes. Our Lord here affirms of all the apostles, (for the question is equivalent to an affirmation,) That their hearts were hardened; that having eyes they saw not, having ears they heard not; that they did not consider, neither understand: the very same expressions that occur in the thirteenth of Matthew. And yet it is certain they were not judicially hardened. Therefore all these strong expressions do not necessarily import any thing more than the present want of spiritual understanding. He led him out of the town - It was in just displeasure against the inhabitants of Bethsaida for their obstinate infidelity, that our Lord would work no more miracles among them, nor even suffer the person he had cured, either to go into the town, or to tell it to any therein. I see men as trees walking - He distinguished men from trees only by their motion. Mt 16:13; Lu 9:18. He enjoined them silence for the present, That he might not encourage the people to set him up for a temporal king; That he might not provoke the scribes and Pharisees to destroy him before the time and, That he might not forestall the bright evidence which was to be given of his Divine character after his resurrection. Mt 16:21; Lu 9:22. He spake that saying openly - Or in express terms. Till now he had only intimated it to them. And Peter taking hold of him - Perhaps by the arms or clothes. Looking on his disciples - That they might the more observe what he said to Peter. And when he called the people - To hear a truth of the last importance, and one that equally concerned them all. Let him deny himself - His own will, in all things small and great, however pleasing, and that continually: And take up his cross - Embrace the will of God, however painful, daily, hourly, continually. Thus only can he follow me in holiness to glory. Mt 16:25; Lu 9:24; Lu 17:33; John 12:25. Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words - That is, avowing whatever I have said (particularly of self denial and the daily cross) both by word and action. Mt 10:32; Lu 9:26; Lu 12:8.
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