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20 [a](A)Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah.

The First Prediction of the Passion.[b] 21 (B)From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he[c] must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.(C) 22 [d]Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”

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  1. 16:20 Cf. Mk 8:30. Matthew makes explicit that the prohibition has to do with speaking of Jesus as the Messiah; see note on Mk 8:27–30.
  2. 16:21–23 This first prediction of the passion follows Mk 8:31–33 in the main and serves as a corrective to an understanding of Jesus’ messiahship as solely one of glory and triumph. By his addition of from that time on (Mt 16:21) Matthew has emphasized that Jesus’ revelation of his coming suffering and death marks a new phase of the gospel. Neither this nor the two later passion predictions (Mt 17:22–23; 20:17–19) can be taken as sayings that, as they stand, go back to Jesus himself. However, it is probable that he foresaw that his mission would entail suffering and perhaps death, but was confident that he would ultimately be vindicated by God (see Mt 26:29).
  3. 16:21 He: the Marcan parallel (Mk 8:31) has “the Son of Man.” Since Matthew has already designated Jesus by that title (Mt 15:13), its omission here is not significant. The Matthean prediction is equally about the sufferings of the Son of Man. Must: this necessity is part of the tradition of all the synoptics; cf. Mk 8:31; Lk 9:21. The elders, the chief priests, and the scribes: see note on Mk 8:31. On the third day: so also Lk 9:22, against the Marcan “after three days” (Mk 8:31). Matthew’s formulation is, in the Greek, almost identical with the pre-Pauline fragment of the kerygma in 1 Cor 15:4 and also with Hos 6:2, which many take to be the Old Testament background to the confession that Jesus was raised on the third day. Josephus uses “after three days” and “on the third day” interchangeably (Antiquities 7:280–81; 8:214, 218) and there is probably no difference in meaning between the two phrases.
  4. 16:22–23 Peter’s refusal to accept Jesus’ predicted suffering and death is seen as a satanic attempt to deflect Jesus from his God-appointed course, and the disciple is addressed in terms that recall Jesus’ dismissal of the devil in the temptation account (Mt 4:10: “Get away, Satan!”). Peter’s satanic purpose is emphasized by Matthew’s addition to the Marcan source of the words You are an obstacle to me.

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