Ver. 40,41. Mark relates the latter verse as Christ’s own words, Mar_12:9; so doth Luke, Luk_20:15,16, adding, that whenthey heard it, they said, God forbid. It is said, to solve this difficulty,
1. That they say unto him must not be understood of the Pharisees, but some of the hearers; the Pharisees said only, God forbid.
2. Others think the Pharisees and elders did at first say as is here expressed, but our Saviour then telling them they were the men and opening it further to them, they said, God forbid.
It is very possible the Pharisees and elders might first say it, and that our Saviour confirming and opening their words, showing them how they had given judgment against themselves, they said, Godforbid; so both they might say these words, and Christ also. This I take to be the most satisfactory answer. By those words also our Saviour declares, that his church should shortly be taken out of the hands of these Pharisees, and elders, and priests, and put into the hands of his apostles and a gospel ministry.