As in Mark, Matthew's repeated passion predictions (16:21; 17:22-23) keep the reader focused on where the story of Jesus is heading. Disciples may sacrifice much and be rewarded (19:21-20:16), but the ultimate sacrifice is martyrdom, the price paid by Jesus and many who would follow him all the way (20:17-19).
The placement of this prediction exposes the disciples' selfish conception of the kingdom in verses 20-22, 24: for them the kingdom is about reigning, but Jesus recognizes that reigning first requires suffering (vv. 22-28). Significantly, this passion prediction adds the notion of mocking by Gentiles, a horrifying image in a culture emphasizing shame (as in Epict. Disc. 1.4.10) and diametrically opposed to the picture of a militant Messiah triumphing over the nations.
The disciples had managed to ignore Jesus' warnings that did not make sense on their cultural and theological presuppositions; undoubtedly they felt that other sayings confirmed their predispositions (19:28). In this respect they were not unlike most Christians today.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
You've successfully created your account! For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!