Matthew – Chapter 26

The Religious Leaders Plot to Kill Jesus

Verse 1 – Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples,

Verse 2 – “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

The name “Passover,” was given to the celebration to be remembered when the death angel passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and saved their first-born. They were told to place blood of a lamb on their door post and they would be delivered. The “after two days,” means Jesus gave this prophecy on Tuesday. (If Christ was crucified on Friday, that would not be 3 days. I personally believe He was crucified on Thursday. This is not big enough to argue with anyone over. The point being, He’s “Alive!”)

Verse 3 – Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priests, who was called Caiaphas,

Caiaphas was the ruling high priest during Jesus ministry. The Roman government had taken over the process of appointing all political and religious leaders. He was the first to recommend Jesus death.

Verse 4 – and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.

Verse 5 – But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Because Jesus was popular, they were afraid to arrest Him during the Passover time. If there was an uproar, it would cause the Romans to tighten their grip on Jerusalem.

Verse 6 – And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,

Verse 7 – a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.

John 12:1-3, says, this woman was Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’ sister.

Verse 8 – But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “To what purpose is this waste? (John’s Gospel singles out Judas Iscariot, John 12:4)

Verse 9 – “For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”

First of all, does Mary have the right to use what belongs to her anyway she sees fit? Yes, she does. Do Christians have the right to do with their own property any way they see fit? Yes, they do. They answer to God, only.

Verse 10 – But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.

Verse 11 – “For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.

Verse 12 – “For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.

Verse 13 – “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

And is this still talked about today? Yes, it is.

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

Verse 14 – Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests.

Verse 15 – and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” and they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.

Verse 16 – So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

Judas thought like many did, that Jesus would start a revolt against the Roman government. When Judas realized that Jesus kingdom was not physical or political, but spiritual, he decided to gain favor from the religious leaders.

Matthew alone records the exact amount of money Judas accepted to betray Jesus. Thirty silver coins was the amount to buy a slave.

Verse 17 – Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat Passover?”

Verse 18 – And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.” ‘ ”

Verse 19 – So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

The Passover is Celebrated

Verse 20 – Now when evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.

Verse 21 – Now as they were eating, He said “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

Jesus only considered Judas’ betrayal, not Peter’s when he denied him. Maybe because Judas did it out of gain and Peter did it because he was scared. However, Jesus could see into the heart and the true intentions.

Verse 22 – And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”

Verse 23 – Then He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me.

Verse 24 – “The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

God’s purpose in His redemption plan did not force Judas to betray Him. He did it of his own free will. He did exactly what his wicked heart prompted him to do.

Verse 25 – Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”

Verse 26 – And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take eat; this is My body.”

The breaking of the bread represents the sufferings of Jesus was about to take place. Luke says, “This do in remembrance of Me.” In other words: As I give this broken bread to you to eat, so will I deliver My body to be afflicted and slain for your sins.

Verse 27 – Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to the, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

The “Bread” was taken while they were eating, the cup after they were done eating.

Verse 28 – “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

A covenant was sealed by a sacrifice. In the old covenant, the people could only approach God through a priest and an animal sacrifice. This old covenant had only been a foreshadow of the new covenant to come. Jesus is the final sacrifice for sin. Why, because He is the perfect, without blemish, sacrifice, the Lamb of God. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. The punishment for sin is death, and Jesus took our place and received the punishment that was due every one of us!

Verse 29 – “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the wine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus assured His disciples of victory over death and a future with Him. The next few hours, however, would look like a defeat. Please, don’t ever give up on the One who died and rose again for you. It may appear to look like there is no victory in sight, but God’s not finished until “He says it’s finished!”

Peter’s Denial Is Predicted

Verse 30 – And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Verse 31 – Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ (Zechariah 13:7)

Verse 32 – “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Verse 33 – Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”

None of us know just how feeble we are until we are tested. Luke adds that Satan had desired to have him, that he might sift him as wheat. But Jesus says that He prayed for him that his faith should not fail, and charged that when he turned form this sin, to strengthen his brethren.

Verse 34 – Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

Verse 35 – Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.

Verse 36 – Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”

This garden was on the west side of Mount Olives and a short distance from Jerusalem. This was not a vegetable garden but one where olive trees were planted. It was far enough away from Jerusalem that it would be quiet from the noise of the city. Luke’s gospel, in 22:40, says that Jesus told the disciples to pray that they might not enter temptation.

Verse 37 – And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John, went a little further away from the rest of the disciples.

Verse 38 – Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

Because of the anguish of His coming death and being separated form His Father, Jesus can relate to our suffering. Jesus strength to endure would come directly from God the Father, who is also our source.

Verse 39 – He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

In the Old Testament, the cup is often the image of divine wrath and judgment. The cup that Jesus faced was God’s wrath against sin. Taking on the sins of the world was an agony so great, that we can’t even imagine what it was like. The sinless Son of God took our sins and the punishment upon Himself, so that we wouldn’t have to suffer and be forever separated for the Father. It takes a tremendous amount of trust to say, “Your will be done, not mine.”

Verse 40 – Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What, could you not watch with Me one hour?

Verse 41 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Watch therefore, be on guard for the possibilities of temptations, be sensitive to your surrounding.Temptation will strike where we are most vulnerable.

Verse 42 – He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Luke 22:43, says, “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.”

Verse 43 – And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

Verse 44 – So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Verse 45 – Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Verse 46 – “Rise, let us be going. See, he who betrays Me is at hand.”

Verse 47 – And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

Judas was aware that Jesus often came here, away from the crowds to pray. This couldn’t have happened in broad daylight because the people would have over powered them.

Verse 48 – Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”

This was not an arrest by Roman soldiers, but by the religious leaders. Jewish men did not kiss other men publicly except on formal occasions. Judas’ kiss was one of shame and hypocrisy.

Verse 49 – Then immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

Verse 50 – And Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

Jesus knew exactly why Judas had come, but He wanted Judas to think about what he was dong.

Verse 51 – And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

All four gospels record that the ear of the servant’s ear was the servant to the high priest, not a Roman soldier. And John is the only gospel that says it was Peter who struck the ear of the “servant of the high priest.” I just wanted to clear that up.

Verse 52 – Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

Jesus kingdom would not be advanced with a sword, but by faith and obedience.

Verse 53 – “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Verse 54 – “How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

Verse 55 – In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me.

Verse 56 – “But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

Jesus’ heart must have broken when these men that had been so close to Him fled. If we want to see who truly is our friends, go through a hardship or crises, and see who sticks with you till the end.

Verse 57 – And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

Please take note: This is all taking place at night. This was all done illegally, because the law said a trial had to take place in daylight.

Verse 58 – But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.

This reminds me of people who only want to be associated with Jesus at a distance, a spectator. Or those who don’t mind mentioning “God,” because it can be any god. But will not say “Jesus, ” because that defines which God!

Verse 59 – Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death,

Verse 60 – but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at least two false witnesses came forward

Verse 61 – and said, “This fellow said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ”

The Sanhedrin was the most powerful religious and political body of the Jewish people. The Roman government gave the people the power to handle religious and some civil disputes. However, a death sentence had to be approved by the Romans.

The witnesses had perverted what Jesus said and what He meant. Jesus actually said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up  (John 2:19).” Jesus was referring to His own body. We should be very cautious when quoting scripture not to add or take away.

Verse 62 – And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it that these men testify against You?”

Verse 63 – But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God that You tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.”

Verse 64 – Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus told them exactly who He was. However, they considered this statement to be blasphemy and worthy of death.

Verse 65 – Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witness? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!

Verse 66 – “What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”

Verse 67 – Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,

Verse 68 – saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”

Mark says they blindfolded Him (Mark 14:65). I think we all need to read what all Jesus went through more often than just at Easter. We need to be reminded of the humility He suffered for us all. Maybe then, it will keep us where we need to be in how we treat others.

Verse 69 – Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. and a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

Verse 70 – But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

Verse 71 – And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

Verse 72 – But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know this Man!”

In other words, Peter was saying, “May God strike me dead if I am lying!”

Verse 73 – And after a while those who stood by came to him and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, because your speech betrays you.”

Peter’s speech from Galilee distinguished him from others, maybe in pronunciation of certain words or phrases.

Verse 74 – Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” And immediately a rooster crowed.

Verse 75 – And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times. Then he went out and wept bitterly.

Luke mentions that when the cock crew, Jesus turned and looked upon Peter. The consciousness of deep and awful guilt rushed over Peter’s soul.

The danger of self-confidence. “He that thinketh he standeth should take heed lest he fall”, 1 Corinthians 10:12. Peter repented through deep sorrow proportioned to the nature of the offence he had committed. Though Christians may go astray and fall into sin, we have a loving Father who forgives. However, he who sins with the expectation of “Just saying, I’m sorry, ” is not a true believer at all.













This entry was posted in Matthew.

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