16.These things his disciples did not understand at first. As the seed does not spring up as soon as it is thrown into the earth, so the result of the works of God is not immediately seen. The Apostles are the servants of God to fulfill the prophecy, but they do not understand what they are doing. They hear the shout of the multitude, which was no confused noise, but a distinct salutation of Christ as King; but they do not perceive what is the object of it, or what it means. To them, therefore, it is an unmeaning exhibition, until the Lord, after his glorious resurrection, opens their eyes.
When it is said, that they at length remembered that these things had been written concerning him, the Evangelist points out the cause of such gross ignorance, by which their knowledge was preceded. It was because they had not the Scripture at that time as their guide and instructor, to direct their minds to just and accurate views; for we are blind, unless the word of God go before,, our steps, and it is not even enough that the word of God shine on us, if the Spirit do not also enlighten our eyes, which otherwise would be blind amidst the clearest light. This grace Christ bestowed on his disciples after his resurrection, because the full time, when the Spirit should bestow his riches in great abundance, was not come, until he was received into the heavenly glory, as we have seen under Joh_7:39(17)
Taught by this example, let us learn to form our judgment of every thing that relates to Christ, not by our own carnal feelings, but by the Scripture. Besides, let us remember that it is a special favor of the Holy Spirit to instruct us in a gradual manner, that we may not be stupid in considering the works of God.
That these things had been written concerning him, and that they had done these things to him. I interpret that clause in this manner: “Then, for the first time, did it occur to the disciples that Christ did not do these things rashly, and that those men were not employed in idle amusement; but that the whole of this transaction had been regulated by the providence of God, because those things which had been written must necessarily be fulfilled;” so that the words may be thus arranged: “ did these things to him, as they had been written concerning him.”