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Bible Commentaries

The Fourfold Gospel

Matthew 26

Verses 1-16


CXVI.
JESUS PREDICTS, THE RULERS PLOT FOR,
AND JUDAS BARGAINS FOR HIS DEATH.
(Mount of Olives, Bethany, and Jerusalem. Tuesday after sunset,
which Jews regarded as the beginning of Wednesday.)
aMATT. XXVI. 1-5, 14-16; bMARK XIV. 1, 2, 10, 11; cLUKE XXII. 1-6.

c1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. {b1 Now after two days was the feast of the passover and the unleavened bread:} a1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these words, he said unto his disciples, 2 Ye know that after two days the passover cometh, and the Son of man is delivered up to be crucified. [We may regard Jesus as having entered the temple Tuesday morning, and as having taught there until the evening. * He then retired to the slopes of Olivet and delivered the discourse which occupies Sections CXIII.-CXV., The discourse finished, it is likely that he arose about or a little after sunset (which the Jews reckoned as Wednesday) and proceeded on his way to Bethany, where he remained until late Thursday afternoon. On his way to Bethany he spoke the words of this section. The two days mentioned are Wednesday and Thursday. The passover was eaten Thursday night after sunset, which the Jews reckoned as Friday. For a full discussion of the time when the Passover was eaten, see Andrews’ "Life of Christ," pp. 423-460.] 3 Then were gathered together the chief priests, and the elders of the people, unto the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas; 4 and they took counsel together c2 And [641] sought bhow athat they might take Jesus by subtlety, and chow they might put him to death; {akill him.} [This council may have begun on the evening of Tuesday and continued until the beginning of Wednesday, Jewish time. It seems to have been a formal rather than an informal conference. The court where they met was the open space enclosed by the palace of the high priest. Caiaphas had been appointed high priest in A. D. 26 by the Procurator Valerius Gratus and was deposed A. D. 38. Ishmael, Eleazar, and Simon held the office between the deposition of Annas and the appointment of Caiaphas (Jos. Ant. xviii. 2. 2). See also p. 64.] 5 But {b2 for} they said, Not during the feast, lest haply there shall be a tumult aarise among {bof} people. cfor they feared the people. [They knew that there were many at the feast from Galilee, and other sections of the country where Jesus ministered; and, judging by the demonstration made at the triumphal entry, they felt that there were plenty to take arms in Jesus’ behalf. The sense of their council, therefore, seemed to be that if Jesus could be taken by subtlety--i. e., arrested privately--he might be taken during the feast. But if he had to be arrested publicly, then it was better to postpone his apprehension until after the feast. The treachery of Judas caused them to adopt the former course. At this place Matthew and Mark insert the account of the supper given to Jesus in the house of Simon the leper. They do this because the treacherous determination of Judas was formed at it and dates from it. The rebuke of the Lord then administered, or the desire to reimburse himself for the price of the ointment, which Mary expended, and which he felt that he ought to have had, or some other reasons, evidently induced him at that time to decide upon our Lord’s betrayal. Since then he had been seeking opportunity to betray the Master.] 3 And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. {bhe that was one of the twelve,} [See pp. 226, 391, 392.] a14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, bwent away unto the chief priests, that [642] he might deliver him unto them. cand communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might deliver him unto them. a15 and said, What are ye willing to give me, and I will deliver him unto you? [It is probable that the proposal to sell his Master was made by Judas to individual members of the Sanhedrin, and that this proposal was one of the moving causes leading to the assembling of the council. The language implies that Judas appeared before the council and bargained openly with it.] b11 And they, when they heard it, were glad, and promised cand covenanted to give him money. aAnd they weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver. [There had been coined shekels since the time of Simeon, or 143 B. C., before that the money was weighed. It is likely that the term "weighed" survived the practice and became a synonym or equivalent for "paid." The amount paid him was about fifteen dollars of our money. It was indeed a low price for so base a deed, but from the language used it may be fairly implied that it was but the earnest money of a larger sum. But Judas evidently hardened himself, and shut out all thought as to anything save the actual labor involved. Viewed thus, his task was neither difficult nor dangerous.] c6 And he consented, a16 And from that time he sought opportunity to deliver him bhow he might conveniently deliver him unto them. cin the absence of the multitude. [He soon found his opportunity. He bargained on Tuesday night and fulfilled his contract on Thursday night. Or, as the Jews reckoned time, he agreed in the beginning of Wednesday and fulfilled his covenant on the beginning of Friday.] [643]

{*} NOTE.--If this had been Tuesday, he would have said "after three days," as is the case of the resurrection. In all such expressions the remaining part of the present day was counted as one.--J. W. McG.

[FFG 641-643]

Verses 6-13


P A R T S E V E N T H.
LAST WEEK OF OUR LORD’S MINISTRY, THE
FOURTH PASSOVER, THE CRUCIFIXION.

CIV.
JESUS ARRIVES AND IS FEASTED AT BETHANY.
(From Friday afternoon till Saturday Night, March 31 and April 1, A. D. 30.)
dJOHN XI. 55-57; XII. 1-11; aMATT. XXVI. 6-13; bMARK XIV. 3-9.

d55 Now the passover of the Jews was at hand: and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the passover, to purify themselves. [These Jews went up before the Passover that they might have time to purify themselves from ceremonial uncleanness before the feast. They were expected to purify before any important event ( Exodus 19:10, Exodus 19:11), and did so before the passover ( 2 Chronicles 30:13-20), for those who were ceremonially unclean were excluded from it-- John 18:28.] 56 They sought therefore for Jesus, and spake one with another, as they stood in the temple, What think ye? That he will not come to the feast? 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given commandment, that, if any man knew where he was, he should show it, that they might take him. [The decree of the Sanhedrin ordering the arrest of Jesus led the people to question as to whether he would dare to approach the city. But this mention of it and the stir and question which it created have a dark significance. It shows that the Jews generally were forewarned of the evil purpose of the Sanhedrin, and the dangers which surrounded Jesus. They were not taken unawares when their rulers told them to raise the cry "Crucify him!" And they raised it after they had due notice and time [568] for deliberation.] d1 Jesus therefore six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus raised from the dead. [The word "therefore" refers to the decree and consequent dangers just mentioned. Because his "hour" had come, Jesus went to face these dangers. We are told that he came to the house of Lazarus and that he kept near Lazarus because these facts emphasized the great miracle which roused the hatred of the Jews, and caused them more earnestly to seek the death of Christ. Jesus appears to have arrived in Bethany Friday afternoon, March 31, A. D. 30. It is likely that he spent the Sabbath day at that place, and that the supper mentioned below was given him after sunset on Saturday, which, according to Jewish reckoning, would be the beginning of Sunday. This supper is mentioned later by Matthew and Mark, but without any note of time to show that it belongs specifically where they put it. But John does give us a note of time. The John 12:12 shows that it was the night before the triumphal entry, and therefore we follow the chronology of John.] 2 So a6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, dthey made him a supper there: ain the house of Simon the leper, dand Martha served; but Lazarus was one of them that sat at meat with him. [Who Simon the leper was is not known. It is not unlikely that he was one whom Jesus had healed, and that he united with the household of Lazarus in a joint effort to show gratitude unto the Lord for his goodness to this group of his friends.] b3 And while he was [there] as he sat at meat, there came aunto him a woman {d3 Mary} ahaving an alabaster cruse of exceeding precious ointment, bof pure nard very costly; d3 Mary therefore took a pound [a litra, a Greek weight containing nearly twelve ounces avoirdupois] of ointment of pure nard, very precious [Nard was a liquid perfume distilled from some odorous plant or plants and mingled with oil. It was sealed in flasks or alabaster boxes and imported from the far East], band she brake the cruse, and poured it over {aupon} bhis head. aas he sat at meat. dand anointed [569] the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair [The cruse seems to have been a long-necked flask sealed with wax so tightly as to necessitate it being broken to extract the nard. These flasks were tasteful and costly objects such as women delight to possess. Many of them were so delicate that Pliny compares them to closed rosebuds, and the same writer, speaking of nard, reckons it as an instance of excessive luxury to anoint the feet or ankles with it]: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. [Thus the liberality of Mary contributed to the pleasure of all the guests. The odor of a good deed is generally diffusive.] 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, that should betray him, saith, 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred shillings, and given to the poor? 6 Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein. a8 But when the disciples saw it, they {bthere were some that} had indignation among themselves, asaying, To what purpose is this waste? bTo what purpose hath this waste of the ointment been made? 5 For this ointment might have been sold afor much, bfor above three hundred shillings, and given to the poor. And they murmured against her. [It seems very likely that this murmuring was started by Judas Iscariot, for the murmurers fall in with his notions that the price of the ointment should be deposited in the poor fund. It is a singular thing that Jesus permitted a thief to occupy the office of treasurer. It is probable that Judas was honest when he was called to serve, but that same management and spirit of economy which made him fit for the place ruined him when he got it. Thus our strong points are often our weakest. The price of the pound of nard would be about fifty-one dollars of our money, but the purchasing power of money was then nearly ten times as great as it is now. The price here named agrees almost exactly with the figures at which Pliny rates the most costly nard.] a10 But Jesus perceiving it, dtherefore said, aunto them, bLet her [570] alone; aWhy trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. dSuffer her to keep it against the day of my burying. a12 For in that she poured this ointment upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. b8 She hath done what she could; hath anointed my body beforehand for the burying. [The expression "Suffer," etc., used by John, is taken by some as implying that all the ointment was not poured out, and that some of the apostles were endeavoring to persuade Mary to keep and sell what was left, and that Jesus ordered it kept to finish the embalming of his body which Mary had already begun. But there is nothing in the language to require such an interpretation. Jesus meant, "Let her use it rightly," using the word "keep" as in the expression, "keep the feast;" i. e., observe the ceremony. The words of Jesus about the ointment taken as a whole may be construed thus: "The sorrows of my coming passion oppress me ( Matthew 26:38), and Mary, conscious of that sorrow, wishes to cheer me with the evidence of love and gratitude. She sympathizes with me as I approach the shadow of death, and anoints me beforehand for the burial. You do not begrudge what is given to the dead. You do not censure as extravagant what is spent for the embalming of a dear one. You yourselves would be ready enough to anoint me in this same manner after I am dead. So do not censure her because in the fullness of her sympathy she has anticipated the coming catastrophe and has anointed me beforehand."] d8 For the poor ye have always with you [ Deuteronomy 15:11]; band whensoever ye will ye can do them good: but me ye have not always. [There would be plenty of opportunities in which to do good to the poor, but the time for conferring a personal benefit upon Christ in the flesh was now limited to seven days. Thereafter gifts could only be given to Christ by bestowing them upon the poor.] 9 And verily I say unto you, Wheresoever the {athis} gospel shall be preached in {bthroughout} the whole world, that also which this woman hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. [Jesus here makes [571] prominent the different estimates which God and man place upon the same acts. That which the disciples had censured as a waste and that which they had regarded as worthy of rebuke was in his sight an action fit to be kept in everlasting remembrance as a model for the conduct of future generations throughout the whole earth, and he accordingly decreed that it be so kept in mind.] d9 The common people therefore of the Jews learned that he was there [in Simon’s house]: and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead, 10 But the chief priests took counsel that they might put Lazarus also to death; 11 because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away [withdrew from the party headed by the Jewish rulers], and believed on Jesus. [The presence of the resurrected man and the Christ who had resurrected him both at one table greatly excited the curiosity of the multitudes who had come up to Jerusalem to attend the passover. When word of this supper spread among the people it was natural that they should slip out to Bethany to see the sight, and it was equally natural that seeing it they should believe in Jesus. This deflection of the common people gave a keener venom to the hatred of the rulers.]

[FFG 568-572]

Verses 17-21


CXVII.
PREPARATION FOR PASSOVER.
DISCIPLES CONTEND FOR PRECEDENCE.
(Bethany to Jerusalem. Thursday afternoon and, after sunset, beginning of Friday.)
aMATT. XXVI. 17-20; bMARK XIV. 12-17; cLUKE XXII. 7-18, 24-30.

c7 And the day of unleavened bread came, on which the passover must be sacrificed. [See Exodus 12:8), and a room for the feast must be secured.] 13 And he sendeth {csent} Peter and John, btwo of his disciples, csaying, God and make ready for us the passover, that we may eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we make ready? 10 And he said {bsaith} unto them, Go into the city, and cBehold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house whereinto he goeth. b14 and wheresoever he shall enter in, say to {c11 And ye shall say unto} the master of the house, {aGo into the city to such a man, and say unto him,} cThe Teacher saith unto thee, aMy time is at hand; I keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. cWhere is the {bmy} guest-chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? [It was customary for the residents of Jerusalem to open their houses for guests during this feast, and therefore Jesus might have presumed on the hospitality of almost anyone; but the probability is that the man to whom he sent this message was an acquaintance and a friend. It is not improbable that Jesus let Peter and John thus find the place that Judas might not know its whereabouts in time to bring the officers of the Sanhedrin so as to interrupt the feasts which meant so much to him and to his church.] 15 And he will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready: and there make ready for us. 16 And the disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. a19 And the disciples did as Jesus appointed them; and they made ready the passover. b17 And a20 Now when even was come, {bwhen it was evening} he cometh with the twelve [The law required that the paschal lamb should be slain "between the evenings." The Jews reckoned the two evenings as from three o’clock to sunset, and from sunset to nine o’clock, which was the end of the first watch. But [645] Josephus tells us that the lambs were killed from the ninth to the eleventh hours, or between the hours of three and five. It would take some time to dress the lamb and to roast it, so that it must have been about sundown or shortly afterward when Jesus and his disciples sat down to the feast.] c14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the apostles with him. 15 And ahe was sitting at meat with the twelve disciples; 21 and che said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 for I say unto you, I shall not eat it, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. [Jesus had desired to keep with his disciples this last type which stood so close to the thing typified. It was a feast commemorating a great deliverance from death through the sacrifice of a lamb, and the real sacrifice and deliverance of which it was typical were about to be fulfilled in the unfolding of the kingdom of God.] 17 And he received a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 for I say unto you, I shall not drink from henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. [Luke brings out the parallelism between the passover and the Lord’s supper. Each consisted in eating followed by drinking, and the closeness of the parallel is emphasized by the use of almost the same words with regard to the cup. The passover was typical of the Lord’s suffering before the event, and the Lord’s supper is typical of the same thing after the event.] 24 And there arose also a contention among them, which of them was accounted to be greatest. 25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles have lordship over them; and they that have authority over them are called Benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is the greater among you, let him become as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For which is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am in the midst of you as he that serveth. [In sending to secure the room in which [646] the paschal supper was being eaten, Jesus had said, "My time is at hand." Such expressions were falsely construed by the apostles. They thought that Jesus was about to set up his kingdom, and began at once to contend for the chief places. Jesus rebukes this false ambition in much the same manner as he had previously. See James 1:2, James 1:3). For the rest of the passage compare the remarks on 2 Samuel 9:7, 2 Samuel 19:28), and indicate that the apostles, being about to participate in the Lord’s condemnation and suffering, should in the end share his exaltation and its attendant joys.]

[FFG 644-647]

Verses 21-35


CXIX.
JUDAS’ BETRAYAL AND PETER’S DENIAL FORETOLD.
(Jerusalem. Evening before the crucifixion.)
aMATT. XXVI. 21-25, 31-35; bMARK XIV. 18-21, 27-31; cLUKE XXII. 21-23, 31-38;
dJOHN XIII. 21-38.

b18 And d21 When Jesus had thus said, bas they sat and were eating, dhe was troubled in the spirit, and bJesus dtestified, and said, Verily, verily, I say [651] unto you, that one of you shall betray me. beven he that eateth with me. c21 But behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. [The foreknowledge of Judas’ crime did not relieve the Lord from the sting of it. By the use of the word "betray" Jesus revealed to Judas that he had perfect knowledge of the peculiar crime which he was about to commit. To induce repentance the enormity of the crime is pointed out in two ways: 1. It was the act of one, an act in which no other could be found willing to have a part. 2. It was the act of one whose hand rested on the table, who was admitted to the closest intercourse and fellowship.] d22 The disciples looked one on another [in startled amazement], doubting of whom he spake. a22 And they bbegan to be {awere} exceeding sorrowful [that the Lord should be betrayed was sorrow enough, but that one of the twelve should do the deed was an added grief], c23 And they began to question among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. band abegan bto say unto him one by one, aevery one, Is it I, Lord? [The form of the question in the Greek indicates that it expects "No" for an answer, so that it may be rendered, "Surely it is not I?"] 23 And he answered and said, bunto them, It is one of the twelve, aHe that dipped {bdippeth} ahis hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. [According to Oriental custom, knives and forks were not used. One dish served to hold the sop for several people, that they might dip their bread into it. In so large a company, two or three bowls would be used for convenience’ sake. The words of Jesus, therefore, limited the circle of accused ones from twelve to four or five, and also further emphasized the tender and close intimacy between the traitor and the Master.] b21 For the Son of man goeth, cas it hath been determined: beven as it is written of him: but woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had not been born. [Jesus was following with unfaltering step the path of suffering marked out by the prophets. [652] But this fact in no way exculpated the authors of his death. The prophecies referred to are many. As examples, see Psalms 22:1, Isaiah 53:1-12. The woe pronounced upon Judas was no vindictive or vengeful wish; it is the solemn announcement of the divine judgment. The words of Jesus stop the mouths of the apologists for Judas. When the judge thus speaks in condemnation, who shall presume to argue in extenuation?] d23 There was at the table reclining in Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. [John thus speaks of himself. His couch was in front of that of the Lord, so that when he laid his head back it rested upon Jesus’ bosom. See Luke 22:53). Alford says, "I feel, with Meyer, that there is something awful in this termination--’it was night.’"] 31 When therefore he was gone out, Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him; 32 and God shall glorify him in himself, and straightway shall he glorify him. [The departure of Judas was the first step in the progress of the Lord’s Passion, and in this moment of its beginning Jesus exults in the prospect of its end. Having just condemned the false pride and glory of men by washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus rejoices that the true glory of God is about to be immediately manifested in himself--the glory of humility, charity, service, and self-sacrifice, which was realized to the utmost in the person of Jesus.] 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews [see John 13:1). It is found nowhere else in the Gospels. In the light of his near separation Jesus looked upon his apostles as about to be made orphan children. As to this new commandment, love had been commanded before ( Leviticus 19:18), but the Christian love here commanded is different from that which the Jew was bade to feel for the Jew, just as the affection of a loving family differs from the mere broad and kindly spirit of neighborliness. A love which had Christ’s heart as the standard would of necessity be new, and would distinguish those who possessed it from all men.] b27 And a31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended in me this night: for it is written [ Zechariah 13:7], I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32 But b28 Howbeit, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee. [The scattering would take place after the return of the apostles to Galilee, and there after his resurrection, Jesus would gather them together as their shepherd.] d36 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered, Whither I go, thou canst not follow now; but thou shalt follow afterwards. 37 Peter saith unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee even now? I will lay down my life for thee. [Peter, grieved at the prospect of separation, can see no reason why he should not follow, since he is willing to pass even through the portal of the grave that he may do so. Though perhaps prevented by no moral inability, he was prevented by the plan of life which God had designed for him. It was not in accordance with the divine will that he should die at this time.] 38 Jesus answereth, Wilt thou lay down thy life for me? c31 Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat: 32 but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not [The language here suggests a repetition, in some degree, of Satan’s conduct in the case of Job. See Zechariah 13:7 Jesus, having insight into what was going on in the spirit world, made supplication that Peter [655] might be enabled to endure the trial]; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, establish thy brethren. [The language sadly intimates that Satan’s test would leave him in need of repentance. As the one who perhaps exercised the strongest influence over the other ten apostles, Peter is exhorted to use his own bitter experience for their benefit and strengthening.] 33 And he said unto him, Lord, with thee I am ready to go both to prison and to death. a33 But Peter answered and said unto him, bAlthough, {aIf} all shall be offended in thee, byet will not I. aI will never be offended. [Thus Peter repudiates the idea that he could not stand the test.] b30 And Jesus saith {asaid} unto him, Verily I say unto thee, cI tell thee, Peter, bthat thou to-day, even this night, before the cock crow twice, cthou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. dVerily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, cthis day, dtill {cuntil} dthou hast denied me thrice. [Mark speaks of two cock-crowings and shows that the denial of Peter occurred between them ( Mark 14:68-72). But Matthew, Luke, and John speak of but one cock-crowing and place the denial before it. The discrepancy is not an important one. Luke and John look upon the night in its entirety and speak of the cock-crowing at three in the morning, the signal of the dawning day. Mark looks at the night in its details, and shows that the denials of Peter began at midnight, the time of the first cock-crowing, and were finished before the last, or about three in the morning. Peter appears to have been thunderstruck at this prediction, which showed the nature, the details, and the nearness of his sin. He lapsed into silence, and we hear no more from him during the discourses which followed. But he did not yield without one final protest, as the sequel shows.] b31 But aPeter bspake exceedingly vehemently, asaith unto him, Even bIf I must die with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner {aLikewise} also said all the disciples. [According to Matthew’s account these accusations of our Lord and protestations of Peter were taken up again after [656] Jesus left the upper room and was on his way to Gethsemane. The reader may therefore conceive of them as occurring again in the opening lines of Isaiah 53:12] must be fulfilled in me, And he was reckoned with transgressors: for that which concerneth me hath fulfilment. 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. [In this passage our Lord draws a contrast between the favor with which his messengers had been received on their former mission and the trials and persecutions which awaited them in their future course. If they had prepared then to be received with joy, they were to prepare now to be opposed with bitterness; for the utter rejection of the Master would be followed by the violent persecution of the servants. The apostles took the words of Jesus literally, and showed two swords, and the Lord, for their future enlightenment, said, "It is enough," thus intimating that he did not mean a literal arming with carnal weapons, for had he done so, two swords would not have sufficed for twelve men.]

[FFG 651-655]

Verses 26-29


CXX.
THE LORD’S SUPPER INSTITUTED.
(Jerusalem. Evening before the crucifixion.)
aMATT. XXVI. 26-29; bMARK XIV. 22-25; cLUKE XXII. 19, 20; fI. COR. XI. 23-26.

a26 And as they were eating, fthe Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, {bblessed,} fhe brake it, aand he [657] gave to the disciples, and said, bTake ye: aTake, eat; this is my body. fwhich is cgiven ffor you: this do in remembrance of me. [As only unleavened bread was eaten during the paschal supper, that kind of bread must have been used by our Lord, and it is fitting that it should still be used by us in keeping the Lord’s Supper, not only for propriety’s sake, but because that bread which is emblematic of purity is most suitable to represent the body of the sinless Christ. The Catholics and some few others take our Lord’s words literally when he says, "This is my body." On this they found the doctrine of transubstantiation, i. e., that the bread and the wine become literal body and blood when blessed by the priest. There are many weighty arguments against such a doctrine, but the main one for it is found in the words of our Lord. But Jesus could not have meant them literally, for his body was untouched and his blood unshed on this occasion when he spoke them. Moreover, in the Jeremiah 31:31-34. It was the practice of Eastern [658] peoples to use blood in making any pact or covenant ( Exodus 24:6-8). Christ represents himself as the victim from whence the blood was to be taken to ratify or seal the new covenant, and he makes the cup the symbol of that blood. A full discussion of the old and new covenants will be found in the Book of Hebrews. We may, however, sum them up by saying that the old covenant promised the land of Canaan and Christ in the flesh to the Israelites, while the new covenant promises heaven and Christ in glory to the Christian], bwhich is poured out for many. [It is explicitly stated elsewhere that Christ died for all ( Hebrews 2:9, 2 Corinthians 5:14, 2 Corinthians 5:15), and the word "many" is used, not to contradict, but to emphasize the fact. When the persons included are contemplated individually, the term many is employed on account of the vast number of them; for no man can number the individuals for whom Christ died. But when they are contemplated under the feebler conception of the whole, the term all is employed.] aunto remission of sins. ceven that which is poured out for you. [The prime object of Christ’s death is here declared. It was to accomplish the forgiveness of sins. All other purposes which it served are subordinate to this, and all other blessings which it secures are consequent upon this-- John 1:29, Ephesians 5:2, Hebrews 7:27, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10, Isaiah 53:10, Romans 8:2, 1 Corinthians 15:3.] fthis do, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. [The word "remembrance" comes as a refrain after both the loaf and the cup. The central purpose of the supper is to bring the sacrifice of Christ and all its blessed results vividly to mind.] 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come. [This verse is a comment of Paul’s upon the nature of the supper. In keeping the Lord’s Supper we proclaim to our own souls and to the world our trust in the death of Christ, and our hope that he will return and fulfill the expectations begotten in us by it.] a29 But b25 Verily I say unto you, I shall no more drink {ashall not drink henceforth} bof the {athis} fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in bthe kingdom of [659] God. amy Father’s kingdom. band they all drank of it. [In speaking of this future drinking of the fruit of the vine Jesus does not mean literal wine, for he does not drink literal wine with his disciples in the kingdom as it now is, nor will he do so in the eternal kingdom. The term "drink," therefore, is used figuratively for that communion which Jesus has with his disciples while they are drinking the wine of the Lord’s Supper. The term new is most naturally understood as modifying wine, but as the wine of the supper is not necessarily new wine, we think it rather indicates the new method of drinking wine just described.]

[FFG 657-660]

Verses 30-46


CXXIII.
GOING TO GETHSEMANE, AND AGONY THEREIN.
(A garden between the brook Kidron and the Mount of Olives. Late Thursday night.)
aMATT. XXVI. 30, 36-46; bMARK XIV. 26, 32-42; cLUKE XXII. 39-46; dJOHN XVIII. 1.

d1 When Jesus had spoken these words [the words contained in :], a30 And when they had sung a hymn [the shadow of the cross did not quench the spirit of praise in Christ], they went out c39 And he came out, and dhe went forth with his disciples cas his custom was, dover the brook Kidron, ainto {bunto} the mount of Olives. dwhere was a garden, into which he entered, himself and his disciples. {cand the disciples also followed him.} a36 Then cometh Jesus with them b32 And they come unto a place which was named {acalled} Gethsemane [The name Gethsemane means a place of oil-presses, and hence it accords well with the name of the mountain at whose base it was situated. But the place was now a garden. It was about half a mile from the city, and from what Luke says here and elsewhere ( Luke 21:37), it seems that Jesus often resorted to it while in Jerusalem at the festivals. Compare also John 18:2], c40 And when he was at the place, he said {asaith} unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I pray. cPray that ye enter not into temptation. [As the hour of trial and temptation came upon Jesus he fortified himself against it by prayer. And he bade his disciples do likewise, for his arrest would involve them also in temptations which he [685] foresaw that they would not be able to withstand.] a37 And he took {btaketh} with him Peter aand the two sons of Zebedee, bJames and John, and began to be greatly amazed, asorrowful and sore troubled. [While seeking heavenly aid in this hour of extremity, our Lord also manifested his desire for human sympathy. All the eleven apostles were with him in the garden, and the three most capable of sympathizing with him were stationed nearer to him than the rest.] c41 And he was parted from them about a stone’s cast [one hundred fifty to two hundred feet]; b34 And a38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: babide ye here, and watch. awith me. [The sequel shows that the phrase "even unto death" was no figure of rhetoric. The nervous prostration of Jesus was such as to endanger his life, and the watching of the apostles may have been doubly needful. Not only did he require their sympathy, but he may also have looked to them to render him assistance in the case of a physical collapse.] 39 And he went forward a little, cand he kneeled down band fell on the face, aand fell on his face, and prayed, bthat, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him. [This posture was expressive of the most intense supplication.] 36 And he said, {asaying,} bAbba, aMy Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: ball things are possible unto thee; cif thou be willing, remove this cup from me: bhowbeit anevertheless, not as {bwhat} I will, abut as {bwhat} thou wilt. cnot my will, but thine, be done. [Much of mystery is found in all life, so it is small wonder if the dual nature of Jesus presents insoluble problems. It perplexes many to find that the divine in Jesus did not sustain him better during his trial in the garden. But we must remember that it was appointed unto Jesus to die, and that the divine in him was not to interfere with this appointment, or the approaches to it. For want, therefore, of a better expression, we may say that from the time Jesus entered the garden until he expired on the cross, the human in him was in the [686] ascendant; and "being found in fashion as a man," he endured these trials is if wholly human. His prayer, therefore, is the cry of his humanity for deliverance. The words "if it is possible" with which it opens breathe the same spirit of submissive obedience which is found in the closing words. Reminding the Father of the limitless range of his power, he petitions him to change his counsel as to the crucifixion of the Son, if his gracious purposes can be in any other way carried out. Jesus uses the words "cup" and "hour" interchangeably. They are both words of broad compass, intended to include all that he would undergo from that time until his resurrection. They embrace all his mental, moral, physical, and spiritual suffering which we can discover, together with an infinite volume of a propitiatory and vicarious nature which lies beyond the reach of our understanding. The submission of Jesus was no new fruitage of his character; the prayer of the garden had been the inner purpose of his entire life-- John 5:30, John 6:38.] 43 And there appeared unto him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. [Commentators give instances of bloody sweat under abnormal pathological conditions.] 45 And when he rose up from his prayer, he came {acometh} unto the disciples, and findeth {cfound} them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. [The admonition which had at first been addressed to all the eleven is now spoken to the chosen three] aand saith unto Peter, bSimon, sleepest thou? couldest thou not watch one hour? aWhat, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. [Peter, having boasted of his loyalty, has his weakness pointed out and is further warned to be on his guard, since the weakness of his nature will not stand the coming strain. The slumber of the disciples was not through indifference; but was [687] caused by the prostration of grief. When we remember the excitement which they had endured that night, the tender words spoken by Jesus, the sadness of which was intensified by the atmosphere of mystery which pervaded them, the beautiful and touching prayer, and lastly this agony in the garden, it is not to be wondered at that the apostles, spurred by no sense of danger, should succumb to the long-borne tension and fall asleep. Had they comprehended how much the Lord needed their wakeful sympathy as he came again and again seeking for it, they would probably have kept awake.] b39 And again aa second time he went away, and prayed, bsaying the same words. asaying, My Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, thy will be done. [Jesus here speaks of draining the cup. The "cup" was a common Hebrew figure used to denote one’s divinely appointed lot or fortune-- Psalms 23:5, Psalms 75:8, Isaiah 51:17, Isaiah 51:22, Ezekiel 23:31-33.] 43 And he came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were bvery heavy; and they knew not what to answer him. [They were ashamed of the stupor which had come upon them and knew not what apology to make for it.] a44 And he left them again, and went away, and prayed a third time, saying again the same words. b41 And a45 Then cometh he to the disciples, bthe third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and that your rest: it is enough; abehold, the hour is at hand, {bthe hour is come;} aand bbehold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Arise, let us be going: behold, he that betrayeth me is at hand. [Our Lord’s words are paradoxical. In our judgment the saying is best understood by regarding the first part of it as spoken from the Lord’s viewpoint, while the latter part is spoken from the disciple’s viewpoint. It is as if he said, "So far as I am concerned, you may sleep on and take your rest, for the time to be of comfort or assistance to me has wholly passed. But so far as you yourselves are concerned, you must arise and be going, because Judas with his band of temple police is upon us."] [688]

[FFG 685-693]

Verses 47-56


CCXXIV.
JESUS BETRAYED, ARRESTED, AND FORSAKEN.
(Gethsemane. Friday, several hours before dawn.)
aMATT. XXVI. 47-56; bMARK XIV. 43-52; cLUKE XXII. 47-53; dJOHN XVIII. 2-11.

d2 Now Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. [See 2 Kings 6:8-12). Jesus asked, "Whom seek ye?" (1) To openly and manfully declare his identity; (2) to make the Jewish rulers fully conscious that they were arresting him, an innocent man; (3) to confine the arrest to himself and thus deliver his disciples. The older commentators regard the falling to the ground as a miracle, but modern scholars look upon it as a result of sudden fear. Jesus merely manifested his dignity and majesty, and the prostration followed as a natural result.] a48 Now he that betrayed him gave {bhad given} them a token, aa sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he: take him. band lead him away safely. cand he drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. 48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? b45 And when he was come, astraightway he came to Jesus, and said {bsaith,} aHail, Rabbi; and kissed him. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, do that for which thou art come. [Some place this event before the preceding paragraph. It comports better with the fitness of things to place it here. Jesus made Judas feel his utter nothingness, and his worthlessness even as a betrayer. Before Judas can in any way identify Jesus, the Lord had twice declared himself to be the party whom they sought. When he approaches to carry out his contract, the Lord’s question exposes him before all as a betrayer, and not a disciple as he wished to appear to be (for kissing was the common mode of salutation between men, especially between teacher and pupils), and when Judas brazenly persists in completing the sign, Jesus bids him do it, not as a friend, but as a traitor. Little did the betrayer think that the kiss of Judas would become a proverb in every nation.] Then they came [690] and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. [The sight of Judas touching him no doubt reassured them, and they laid hands on Jesus.] c49 And when they that were about him saw what would follow, they said, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? b47 But {a51 And} behold, d10 Simon Peter ba certain one of them that stood by athat were with Jesus dtherefore having a sword astretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and smote {dstruck} athe servant of the high priest, and struck {dcut} off his right ear. [We have seen that the apostles were but scantily armed, there being only two swords in their possession. See John 18:16). He knew Malchus by name, and he also knew his kindred-- John 18:26.] c51 But Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye them thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him. [Some think that Jesus spoke these words, "Suffer ye thus far," to those who held him, asking them to loose him sufficiently to enable him to touch the ear of Malchus. But the revision committee by inserting "them" make Jesus address his disciples, commanding them not to interfere with those who were arresting him, making it a general statement of the idea which the Lord addressed specifically to Peter in the next sentence.] a52 Then d11 Jesus therefore said {asaith} dunto Peter, aPut up again thy {dthe} sword into the sheath: aits place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. dthe cup which the Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? [By the healing of Malchus’ ear and the words spoken to Peter, Jesus shows that the sword is not to be used either to defend the truth or to advance his kingdom. Had he not thus spoken and acted, Pilate might have doubted his words when he [691] testified that his kingdom was not of this world ( John 18:36). While we know better than to rely upon the aid of the sword for the advance of truth, we are often tempted to put undue trust in other "carnal weapons" which are equally futile. Wealth and eloquence and elaborate church buildings have but little saving grace in them. It is the truth which wins. By using the word "cup" John gives us an echo of the agony in Gethsemane, which suggests that he expects his readers to be conversant with the other Gospels. The other Evangelists, having shown that Jesus was fully resolved to drink the cup, do not regard it as necessary to repeat these words.] a53 Or thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then should the scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be? [Jesus still addresses Peter. Had it accorded with the divine purpose that Jesus should resist this arrest, angels and not men would have been his proper and infinitely more effective rescuers. But, on the contrary, it was God’s purpose that he should be arrested, as the Scripture had foretold.] 55 In that hour bJesus answered and said unto them athe multitudes, cthe chief priests, and captains of the temple, and elders, that were come against him, Are ye come out, as against a robber, with swords and staves? ato seize me? c53 When aI sat {bwas} daily with you in the temple teaching, cye stretched not forth your hands against me: band ye took me not: cbut this is your hour, and the power of darkness. a56 But all this is come to pass, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. [The party which came to arrest Jesus was large. The word "band" used by John to describe part of it is speira, which is the Greek name for the cohort, a division of the Roman army which in the time of Augustus contained 555 men. Ten cohorts, or a legion, were usually quartered in the castle Antonia, at the northwest corner of the temple enclosure. That the whole cohort was present is not likely ( Matthew 27:27), but there was a large enough body to represent it. The [692] Evangelists therefore properly style it a great multitude. Moreover, it was a motley crowd. Its strength and diversity suggest the fear that Jesus might miraculously defend himself. Each part of the crowd found courage in the strength possessed by the other part, the priests relying upon the solidity of the soldiers, the soldiers superstitiously trusting to some spiritual power residing in the priests, etc. Now, because of these fears, the preparation was as great as if some band of robbers was to be taken. The questions of Jesus, therefore, show two facts: 1. By their extensive preparation the rulers bore an unintentional testimony to his divine power. 2. By their failure to arrest him openly in the temple, they bore witness to his innocence. With his divinity and his innocence, therefore, Jesus challenges them, referring to their own conduct for testimony thereto. In conclusion, he cites them to the Scriptures which they were fulfilling. Our Lord’s dual reference to the Old Testament at this sacred time should cause us to handle them with awe and reverence.] b50 And aThen all of the disciples left him, and fled. b51 And a certain young man followed with him, having a linen cloth cast about him, over his naked body: and they lay hold on him; 52 but he left the linen cloth, and fled naked. [All the predictions of Jesus had failed to prepare the apostles for the terrors of his arrest. Despite all his warnings, each apostle sought his own safety. The young man who fled naked is usually presumed to be Mark himself, and it is thought that he thus speaks impersonally after the manner of Matthew and John. The manner of his description shows that he was not an apostle. As Mark’s mother resided in Jerusalem ( Acts 12:12, Acts 12:25), Canon Cook advances the theory that the Lord’s Supper was eaten in the upper room of her house, and that when the disciples retired with Jesus from thence to Gethsemane, Mark slipped from his bed, threw his sindon about him, and followed after them. The sindon, or linen vestment, was very costly, not being worn even by the middle classes: no apostle would be thus attired.] [693]

[FFG 689-692]

Verses 57-68


CXXVI.
SECOND STAGE OF JEWISH TRIAL. JESUS CONDEMNED
BY CAIAPHAS AND THE SANHEDRIN.
(Palace of Caiaphas. Friday.)
aMATT. XXVI. 57, 59-68; bMARK XIV. 53, 55-65; cLUKE XXII. 54, 63-65; dJOHN XVIII. 24.

d24 Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. [Foiled in his attempted examination of Jesus, Annas sends him to trial.] band there come together with him all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. a57 And they that had taken Jesus led him away to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, cand brought him into the high priest’s house. awhere the scribes and the elders were gathered together. [It is very likely that Annas had apartments in the same palace with Caiaphas, and that from these apartments Jesus was led into some hall large enough to hold the Sanhedrin, which was now convened. But this was not its formal session as a court; it was more in the nature of a caucus, or committee of the whole.] b55 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought afalse witness against Jesus, bto {athat they might} put him to death; 60 and they found it not, though many false witnesses came. b56 For many bare false witness against him, and their witness agreed not together. aBut afterward came b57 And there stood up certain, atwo, band bare false witness against him, a61 and said, {bsaying,} aThis man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. b58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands. 59 And not even so did their witness agree together. [What Jesus [696] had really said will be found at John 2:19-22. Though his words were misunderstood at that time, being applied, not to his body, but to Herod’s temple, yet it is not unlikely that the Jewish rulers, hearing our Lord’s prediction that he would rise from the dead after three days ( Matthew 27:62, Matthew 27:63), came to understand the import of his words. If so, the record itself shows the willingness of the Sanhedrin to receive false witnesses against Christ, for its judges received testimony which they knew to be utterly immaterial if rightly construed. The accounts of the two Evangelists, moreover, show how the witnesses failed to agree. A man could only be condemned on the testimony of two witnesses as to some fact or facts constituting a ground for condemnation-- Deuteronomy 17:6, Deuteronomy 19:15.] a62 And the high priest stood up, bin the midst, and asked Jesus, aand said unto him, {bsaying,} Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? a63 But Jesus held his peace. band answered nothing. [While the testimony then before the court might be used to show that Jesus was recklessly boastful, it was insufficient to justify a sentence of blasphemy. A threat to destroy the temple might be thus construed ( Jeremiah 26:9-11, Acts 6:13, Acts 6:14); but a promise to rebuild the temple, if destroyed, was altogether different. The high priest, knowing this, sought to extort from Jesus some additional evidence. With great cunning and effrontery he assumes that the testimony is all that could be possibly desired, and demands of Jesus what he has to say in answer to it. But our Lord did not suffer himself to seem so easily deceived. He gave no explanation, since the future would explain his meaning, and speak the real truth to all who had ears to hear it.] aAnd bAgain the high priest asked him, and saith {asaid} unto him, bArt thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? aI adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God. [Seeing that Jesus was not to be lured into an answer, and well knowing his perfect frankness, Caiaphas resolved, in his desperation, to question Jesus plainly and [697] bluntly. His question is twofold: 1. Art thou Christ? 2. Art thou the Son of God? The latter of these would constitute blasphemy, and the former, by showing a boastful spirit, would tend to confirm the charge. Perhaps, too, Caiaphas anticipated the future, and foresaw how useful this claim to be the Messiah would prove when a hearing was had before Pilate ( Luke 23:2). Originally the Messiah was recognized as the Son of God ( Psalms 2:7), but if the Jews had ever generally entertained such an idea, they had lost it before Jesus’ day, The Messiah might of course be called the Son of God in that secondary sense in which Adam was thus called ( John 1:49, Luke 3:38). But Jesus had used the term in an entirely different sense, and his usage had been extremely offensive to the Jews ( John 5:17, John 5:18, John 10:30-39, Matthew 22:41-46). Caiaphas evidently wished Jesus to answer this question in that new sense which the Lord had given to the words. Caiaphas had no legal right to ask either of these questions. No man can be compelled to testify against himself, but he knew the claims of Jesus, and realized that if Jesus repudiated them he would be shamed forever, and if he asserted them he could be charged with blasphemy. Taking advantage, therefore, of the situation, Caiaphas put the question with the usual formula of an oath, thus adding moral power to it, for, under ordinary circumstances, one was held guilty if he refused to answer when thus adjured ( Leviticus 5:1). When their own witnesses failed, these rulers called the "faithful witness"-- 1 Timothy 6:13, Revelation 1:5.] b62 And Jesus said, {asaith} unto him, Thou hast said: bI am: and anevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on {bwith} the clouds of heaven. [Jesus freely confessed the truth which his church is called upon to confess. "Right hand of Power" was commonly understood to mean the right hand of God. By the words "nevertheless" and "henceforth" Jesus brings the present state of humiliation into contrast with his future state of glory. Hard as it might be for them to believe it, the day would come when he should [698] sit in judgment and they should stand on trial before him.] 63 And a65 Then the high priest rent his garments, {bclothes,} and saith, {asaying,} He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard the blasphemy: 66 what think ye? [Though Jesus had given the very answer which the high priest was longing to hear, yet he hypocritically pretends to be shocked at it, and rends his clothes and feigns horror. Evidently he feared the effect of the clear, calm answer of Jesus and sought to counteract its influence on his colleagues.] They answered and said, He is worthy of death. bAnd they all condemned him to be worthy of death. [This was not the final, formal sentence, but the mere determination of the council at the preliminary hearing.] c63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and beat him. b65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, a67 Then did they spit in his face and buffet him: c64 And they blindfolded him, aand some smote him with the palms of their hands, 68 saying, {band [began] to say unto him,} aProphesy unto us, thou Christ: who is he that struck thee? band the officers received him with blows of their hands. c65 And many other things spake they against him, reviling him. [To spit in the face has been an insult in all ages and in all lands. See Numbers 12:14, Deuteronomy 25:9, Job 30:10. Jesus, having stood out for examination, is now given back to the officers to be led away into the council chamber. These officers received Jesus with many indignities. They seek to make his high claims contemptible, and to make it appear that instead of being divine he is hardly worthy to be regarded as human.] [699]

[FFG 696-699]

Verses 58-75


CXXVII.
PETER THRICE DENIES THE LORD.
(Court of the high priest’s residence. Friday before and about dawn.)
aMATT. XXVI. 58, 69-75; bMARK XIV. 54, 66-72; cLUKE XXII. 54-62;
dJOHN XVIII. 15-18, 25-27.

a58 But {d15 And} Simon Peter followed Jesus [leaving Jesus in the palace of the high priest, we now turn back to the garden of Gethsemane at the time when Jesus left it under arrest, that we may follow the course of Simon Peter in his threefold denial of the Master], and so did another disciple. [This other disciple was evidently the apostle John, who thus speaks of himself impersonally.] Now that disciple was known unto the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest [John’s acquaintanceship appears to have been with the household as well as with the high priest personally, for we find that it is used as a permit at the doorway. It is likely that the high priest knew John rather in a business way-- Acts 4:13]; b54 And Peter had followed him afar off, aunto the court of the high priest, d16 but Peter was standing at the door without. So the other disciple, who was known unto the high priest, went out and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. beven within, into the court of the high priest [For courts of houses see Acts 12:13. John would have shown a truer kindness to Peter had he let him stay out]; d17 The maid therefore that kept the door saith unto Peter, Art thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not. aand [Peter] entered in [The doorkeeper evidently recognized John as a disciple, and was therefore suspicious of Peter. The cowardly "I am not" of Peter is a sad contrast to the strong "I am he" of Jesus], [700] d18 Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals; for it was cold; and they were warming themselves: and Peter also was with them [they were gathered around a little smokeless charcoal fire], c55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the court, and had sat down together, Peter asat with the officers, cin the midst of them. ato see the end. [Though his faith in Christ was shaken, he still loved him enough to see what would become of him.] band he was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire. c56 And a69 Now bas dSimon Peter awas sitting {dstanding} awithout bbeneath in the court, there cometh {acame} unto him, ca certain bone of the maids of the high priest; 67 and seeing Peter cas he sat in the light of the fire, bwarming himself, she looked {cand looking} stedfastly upon him, said, {bsaith, asaying,} Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilaean. bthe Nazarene, even Jesus. cThis man also was with him. a70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. bI neither know, nor understand what thou sayest: cWoman, I know him not. dThey said therefore unto him, Art thou also one of his disciples? He denied, and said, I am not. band he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. a71 And when he was gone out into the porch, cafter a little while another saw him, and said, Thou also art one of them. But Peter said, Man, I am not. b69 And aanother bthe maid saw him, and began again to say {asaith} unto them that were there, bthat stood by, This is one of them. aThis man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. b70 But {a72 And} again he denied bit. awith an oath, I know not the man. [Peter’s second denial was of a quadruple nature. He denied to four different parties, but in such quick succession that the event is regarded as one.] 73 And after a little cafter the space of about one hour another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a [701] truth this man also was with him; for he is a Galilaean. 60 But Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. bAgain they that stood by acame and said to Peter, Of a truth thou also art one of them; bfor thou art a Galilaean. afor thy speech maketh thee known. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. d26 One of the servants of the high priest, being a kinsman of him whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? b70 But d27 Peter therefore denied again: a74 Then began he to curse and to swear, I know not the {bthis} aman. bof whom ye speak. 72 And straightway cimmediately, while he yet spake, bthe second time the cock crew. [Exasperated by the repeated accusations, Peter loses his temper and begins to emphasize his denial by profanity. Desire to make good his denial is now supreme in his thoughts and the Lord whom he denies is all but forgotten.] c61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered bAnd Peter called to mind the word, cof the Lord, awhich Jesus had said, bhow that he said unto him, aBefore the cock crow, btwice, cthis thou shalt deny me thrice. 62 And he went out, bAnd when he thought thereon, he wept. cbitterly. [When Peter remembered the loving tenderness of Jesus manifested when he foretold Peter’s crime it formed a background against which the sin appeared in all its hideous enormity.]

[FFG 700-702]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Matthew 26". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tfg/matthew-26.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.