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Bible Commentaries

The Fourfold Gospel
Matthew 26

 

 

Verse 1
And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these words, he said unto his disciples,
    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.) Matthew 26:1-5,14-16; Mark 14:1,2,10,11; Luke 22:1-6


Verse 2
Ye know that after two days the passover cometh1, and the Son of man is delivered up to be crucified.

  1. Ye know that after two days the passover cometh. See .


Verse 3
Then were gathered together the chief priests, and the elders of the people1, unto the court of the high priest2, who was called Caiaphas3;

  1. Then were gathered together the chief priests, and the elders of the people. 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.

  2. Unto the court of the high priest. The court where they met was the open space enclosed by the palace of the high priest.

  3. Caiaphas has 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 (Josephus Ant. 18:2.2). See .


Verse 4
and they took counsel together that they might take Jesus by subtlety1, and kill him.

  1. That they might take Jesus by subtlety. See .


Verse 5
But they said, Not during the feast1, lest a tumult arise among people.

  1. Not during the feast, etc. See .


Verse 6
Now when Jesus was in Bethany1, in the house of Simon the leper,
    JESUS ARRIVES AND IS FEASTED AT BETHANY. (From Friday afternoon till Saturday Night, March 31 and April 1, A.D. 30.) Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 11:55-12:11

  1. Now when Jesus was in Bethany, etc. See John 11:55-12:11.


Verse 8
there came unto him a woman1 having an alabaster cruse of exceeding precious ointment, and she poured it upon his head, as he sat at meat.

  1. There came unto him a woman, etc. See .


Verse 9
For this [ointment] might have been sold for much1, and given to the poor.

  1. For this [ointment] might have been sold for much. See .


Verse 10
But Jesus perceiving it said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman1? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
    Matthew 26:10-12

  1. Why trouble ye the woman? See Matthew 26:10-12.


Verse 12
For ye have the poor always with you1; but me ye have not always.

  1. For ye have the poor always with you, etc. See .


Verse 13
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world1, that also which this woman hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

  1. Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, etc. See .


Verse 14
Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests1,

  1. Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests. See .


Verse 15
and said, What are ye willing to give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver1.

  1. And 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". See .


Verse 16
And from that time he sought opportunity to deliver him [unto them.]

  1. From that time he sought opportunity to deliver him [unto them]. See .


Verse 17
Now on the first [day] of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus1, saying, Where wilt thou that we make ready for thee to eat the passover?
    PREPARATION FOR PASSOVER. DISCIPLES CONTEND FOR PRECEDENCE. (Bethany to Jerusalem. Thursday afternoon and, after sunset, beginning of Friday.) Matthew 26:17-20; Mark 14:12-17; Luke 22:7-18,24-30

  1. Now on the first [day] of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus. See Luke 22:7-18,24-30.


Verse 19
And he said, Go into the city to such a man1, and say unto him2, The Teacher saith, My time is at hand; I keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

  1. Go into the city to such a man. See .

  2. And say unto him, etc. See .


Verse 20
Now when even was come, he was sitting at meat with the twelve disciples1;

  1. Now when even was come, he was sitting at meat with the twelve disciples. See .


Verse 21
and as they were eating, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me1.
    JUDAS' BETRAYAL AND PETER'S DENIAL FORETOLD. (Jerusalem. Evening before the crucifixion.) Matthew 26:21-25,31-35; Mark 14:18-21,27-31; Luke 22:21-23,31-38; John 13:21-38

  1. Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. See John 13:21-38.


Verse 22
And they were exceeding sorrowful1, and began to say unto him every one, Is it I, Lord?

  1. They were exceeding sorrowful, etc. See .


Verse 23
And he answered and said, He that dipped his hand with me in the dish1, the same shall betray me.

  1. He that dipped his hand with me in the dish, etc. See .


Verse 24
The Son of man goeth1, even 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.

  1. The Son of man goeth, etc. See .


Verse 25
And Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said, Is it I, Rabbi? He saith unto him, Thou hast said.

  1. Judas . . . said, Is it I, Rabbi? He saith unto him, Thou hast said. It seems strange that the disciples showed no resentment toward Judas, and made no effort to interfere with this course, but their conduct is plain if we regard them as viewing the predictions of Jesus as referring to the indefinite future, and not the immediate present.


Verse 26
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it; and he gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
    THE LORD'S SUPPER INSTITUTED. (Jerusalem. Evening before the crucifixion.) Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

  1. Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, etc. See 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.


Verse 27
And he took a cup, and gave thanks1, and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it2;

  1. He took a cup, and gave thanks. See .

  2. Drink ye all of it. "All" refers to the persons and not to the wine. It was important that all the disciples participate in the cup, but not that all the wine should be used. See Mark 14:23.


Verse 28
for this is my blood of the covenant1, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins2.

  1. For this is my blood of the covenant. See .

  2. Which is poured out for many unto remission of sins. 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 (Isaiah 53:10; John 1:29; Romans 8:2; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 7:27; 1 John 2:2).


Verse 29
But I say unto you, I shall not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine1, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

  1. I shall not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, etc. See .


Verse 30
And when they had sung a hymn1, they went out unto the mount of Olives.
    GOING TO GETHSEMANE, AND AGONY THEREIN. (A garden between the brook Kidron and the Mount of Olives. Late Thursday night.) Matthew 26:30,36-46; Mark 14:26,32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1

  1. And when they had sung a hymn. See John 18:1.


Verse 32
Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended in me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd1, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
    Matthew 26:31,32

  1. I will smite the shepherd, etc. See Matthew 26:31,32.


Verse 33
But Peter answered and said unto him, If all shall be offended in thee, I will never be offended1.

  1. If all shall be offended in thee, I will never be offended. See .


Verse 34
Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice1.

  1. Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. See .


Verse 35
Peter saith unto him, Even if I must die with thee, [yet] will I not deny thee1. Likewise also said all the disciples.

  1. Even if I must die with thee, [yet] will I not deny thee. See .


Verse 36
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane1, and saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go yonder and pray.

  1. A place called Gethsemane. See .


Verse 37
And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee1, and began to be sorrowful and sore troubled.

  1. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. See .


Verse 38
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death1: abide ye here, and watch with me.

  1. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, etc. See .


Verse 39
And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed1, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me3: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.

  1. And fell on his face, and prayed. See .

  2. If it is possible. These words breathe the same spirit of submissive obedience which is found in the closing words. See .

  3. Let this cup pass away from me, etc. See .


Verse 41
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour1?

  1. What, could ye not watch with me one hour? See .


Verse 44
Again a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, thy will be done1.

  1. 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 51:17,22; Ezekiel 23:31-33).


Verse 46
Then cometh he to the disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest1: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

  1. Sleep on now, and take your rest, etc. See .


Verse 47
And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came1, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priest and elders of the people.
    JESUS BETRAYED, ARRESTED, AND FORSAKEN. (Gethsemane. Friday, several hours before dawn.) Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-11

  1. Judas, one of the twelve, came, etc. See John 18:2-11.


Verse 49
Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign1, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he: take him.

  1. He that betrayed him gave them a sign, etc. See .


Verse 50
And Jesus said unto him, Friend, [do] that for which thou art come1. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him2.

  1. Friend, [do] that for which thou art come. See .

  2. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. See .


Verse 51
And behold, one of them that were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and smote the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.

  1. Behold, one . . . drew his sword, etc. See .


Verse 54
Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword1.

  1. All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 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 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.


Verse 55
In that hour said Jesus to the multitudes1, Are ye come out as against a robber with swords and staves to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and ye took me not2.

  1. Said Jesus to the multitudes, etc. See .

  2. I sat daily in the temple teaching, and ye took me not. See .


Verse 56
But all this is come to pass, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled1. Then all the disciples left him, and fled.

  1. That the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. See .


Verse 57
And they that had taken Jesus led him away to [the house of] Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together2.
    SECOND STAGE OF JEWISH TRIAL. JESUS CONDEMNED BY CAIAPHAS AND THE SANHEDRIN. (Palace of Caiaphas. Friday.) Matthew 26:57,59-68; Mark 14:53,55-65; Luke 22:54,63-65; John 18:24

  1. They . . . led him away to [the house of] Caiaphas the high priest. 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.

  2. Where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. This was not the Sanhedrin's formal session as a court; it was more in the nature of a caucus, or committee of the whole.


Verse 60
But Peter followed him afar off1, unto the court of the high priest, and entered in, and sat with the officers, to see the end.
    PETER THRICE DENIES THE LORD. (Court of the high priest's residence. Friday before and about dawn.) Matthew 26:58,69-75; Mark 14:54,66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-18,25-27

  1. But Peter followed him afar off, etc. See John 18:15-18,25-27.


Verse 61
and said, This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God1, and to build it in three days.

  1. This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, etc. See .


Verse 62
And the high priest stood up, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

  1. Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? See .


Verse 63
But Jesus held his peace1. And the high priest said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God.

  1. But Jesus held his peace, etc. See .


Verse 64
Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you1, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.

  1. Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, etc. See .


Verse 65
Then the high priest rent his garments1, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard the blasphemy:

  1. Then the high priest rent his garments, etc. See .


Verse 66
what think ye? They answered and said, He is worthy of death1.

  1. He is worthy of death. See .


Verse 73
Then did they spit in his face and buffet him1: and some smote him with the palms of their hands,
    Matthew 26:67,68

  1. Then did they spit in his face and buffet him, etc. See Matthew 26:67,68.


Verse 74
Then began he to curse and to swear1, I know not the man. And straightway the cock crew.

  1. Then began he to curse and to swear. See .


Verse 75
And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly1.

  1. He went out, and wept bitterly. See .

 


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.

Bibliography Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Matthew 26:4". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/matthew-26.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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