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1 And it came to passe, when Iesus had finished al these sayings, hee said vnto his disciples,

2 Ye know that after two dayes is the feast of the Passeouer, and the Sonne of man is betrayed to be crucified.

3 Then assembled together the chiefe Priests, and the Scribes, and the Elders of the people, vnto the palace of the high Priest, who was called Caiaphas,

4 And consulted that they might take Iesus by subtiltie, and kill him.

5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there bee an vproare among the people.

6 Now when Iesus was in Bethanie, in the house of Simon the leper,

7 There came vnto him a woman, hauing an alabaster boxe of very precious ointment, and powred it on his head, as he sate at meat.

8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

9 For this ointment might haue bin sold for much, and giuen to the poore.

10 When Iesus vnderstood it, he said vnto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good worke vpon me.

11 For ye haue the poore alwayes with you, but me ye haue not alwayes.

12 For in that she hath powred this ointment on my body, shee did it for my buriall.

13 Uerely I say vnto you, Wheresoeuer this Gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memoriall of her.

14 Then one of the twelue, called Iudas Iscariot, went vnto the chiefe Priests,

15 And said vnto them, What will ye giue me, and I will deliuer him vnto you? and they couenanted with him for thirtie pieces of siluer.

16 And from that time he sought opportunitie to betray him.

17 Now the first day of the feast of vnleauened bread, the disciples came to Iesus, saying vnto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passeouer?

18 And he said, Goe into the citie to such a man, and say vnto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand, I will keepe the Passeouer at thy house with my disciples.

19 And the disciples did, as Iesus had appointed them, and they made ready the Passeouer.

20 Now when the euen was come, he sate downe with the twelue.

21 And as they did eate, he said, Uerely I say vnto you, that one of you shal betray me.

22 And they were exceeding sorowfull, and began euery one of them to say vnto him, Lord, Is it I?

23 And he answered and said, Hee that dippeth his hand with mee in the dish, the same shall betray me.

24 The sonne of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe vnto that man by whom the sonne of man is betrayed: It had bin good for that man, if hee had not bene borne.

25 Then Iudas, which betrayed him, answered, and said, Master, Is it I? He said vnto him, Thou hast said.

26 And as they were eating, Iesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gaue it to the Disciples, and said, Take, eate, this is my body.

27 And he tooke the cup, and gaue thankes, and gaue it to them, saying, Drinke ye all of it:

28 For this is my blood of the new Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sinnes.

29 But I say vnto you, I will not drinke henceforth of this fruite of the vine, vntill that day when I drinke it new with you in my fathers kingdom.

30 And when they had sung an hymne, they went out into the mount of Oliues.

31 Then saith Iesus vnto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night, For it is written, I will smite the Shepheard, and the sheepe of the flocke shall be scattered abroad.

32 But after I am risen againe, I will goe before you into Galilee.

33 Peter answered, and said vnto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I neuer be offended.

34 Iesus said vnto him, Uerily I say vnto thee, that this might before the cocke crow, thou shalt denie me thrise.

35 Peter said vnto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not denie thee. Likewise also said all the Disciples.

36 Then commeth Iesus with them vnto a place called Gethsemane, and saith vnto the Disciples, Sit yee heere, while I goe and pray yonder.

37 And hee tooke with him Peter, and the two sonnes of Zebedee, and beganne to be sorrowful, and very heauie.

38 Then saith he vnto them, My soule is exceeding sorrowfull, euen vnto death: tary ye heere, & watch with me.

39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my father, if it be possible, let this cup passe from me: neuerthelesse, not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40 And he commeth vnto the Disciples, and findeth them asleepe, and saith vnto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one houre?

41 Watch and pray, that yee enter not into temptation: The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weake.

42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my father, if this cup may not passe away from me, except I drinke it, thy will be done.

43 And he came and found them asleep againe: For their eies were heauie.

44 And he left them, and went away againe, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

45 Then commeth he to his Disciples, and saith vnto them, Sleepe on now, and take your rest, behold, the houre is at hand, and the sonne of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46 Rise, let vs be going: behold, he is at hand that doeth betray me.

47 And while yet spake, loe, Iudas one of the twelue came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staues from the chiefe Priests and Elders of the people.

48 Now he that betrayed him, gaue them a signe, saying, Whomsoeuer I shall kisse, that same is he, hold him fast.

49 And forthwith hee came to Iesus, and said, Haile master, and kissed him.

50 And Iesus said vnto him, Friend, Wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid handes on Iesus, and tooke him.

51 And behold, one of them which were with Iesus, stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and stroke a seruant of the high Priests, and smote off his eare.

52 Then said Iesus vnto him, Put vp againe thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword, shall perish with the sword.

53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my father, and he shall presently giue me more then twelue legions of Angels?

54 But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

55 In that same houre said Iesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thiefe with swords and staues for to take mee? I sate daily with you teaching in the Temple, and ye laide no hold on me.

56 But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the Prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the Disciples forsooke him, and fled:

57 And they that had laid hold on Iesus, led him away to Caiaphas the high Priest, where the Scribes and the Elders were assembled.

58 But Peter followed him afarre off, vnto the high Priests palace, and went in, and sate with the seruants to see the end.

59 Now the chiefe Priests and Elders, and all the councell, sought false witnesse against Iesus to put him to death,

60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,

61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and to build it in three dayes.

62 And the high Priest arose, and said vnto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it, which these witnesse against thee?

63 But Iesus held his peace. And the high Priest answered, and said vnto him, I adiure thee by the liuing God, that thou tell vs, whether thou bee the Christ the Sonne of God.

64 Iesus saith vnto him, Thou hast saide: Neuerthelesse I say vnto you, Hereafter shall yee see the Sonne of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heauen.

65 Then the high Priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemie: what further need haue wee of witnesses? Behold, now ye haue heard his blasphemie.

66 What thinke ye? They answered and said, He is guiltie of death.

67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him, and others smote him with the palmes of their hands,

68 Saying, Prophecie vnto vs, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee?

69 Now Peter sate without in the palace: and a damosell came vnto him, saying, Thou also wast with Iesus of Galilee.

70 But hee denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou saiest.

71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maide saw him, and saide vnto them that were there, This fellow was also with Iesus of Nazareth.

72 And againe hee denied with an oath, I doe not know the man.

73 And after a while came vnto him they that stood by, and saide to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them, for thy speech bewrayeth thee.

74 Then beganne hee to curse and to sweare, saying, I know not the man. And immediatly the cocke crew.

75 And Peter remembred the words of Iesus, which said vnto him, Before the cocke crow, thou shalt denie mee thrice. And hee went out, and wept bitterly.

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Commentary for Matthew 26

The rulers conspire against Christ. (1-5) Christ anointed at Bethany. (6-13) Judas bargains to betray Christ. (14-16) The Passover. (17-25) Christ institutes his holy supper. (26-30) He warns his disciples. (31-35) His agony in the garden. (36-46) He is betrayed. (47-56) Christ before Caiaphas. (57-68) Peter denies him. (69-75)

1-5 Our Lord had often told of his sufferings as at a distance, now he speaks of them as at hand. At the same time the Jewish council consulted how they might put him to death secretly. But it pleased God to defeat their intention. Jesus, the true paschal Lamb, was to be sacrificed for us at that very time, and his death and resurrection rendered public.

6-13 The pouring ointment upon the head of Christ was a token of the highest respect. Where there is true love in the heart to Jesus Christ, nothing will be thought too good to bestow upon him. The more Christ's servants and their services are cavilled at, the more he manifests his acceptance. This act of faith and love was so remarkable, that it would be reported, as a memorial of Mary's faith and love, to all future ages, and in all places where the gospel should be preached. This prophecy is fulfilled.

14-16 There were but twelve called apostles, and one of them was like a devil; surely we must never expect any society to be quite pure on this side heaven. The greater profession men make of religion, the greater opportunity they have of doing mischief, if their hearts be not right with God. Observe, that Christ's own disciple, who knew so well his doctrine and manner of his life, and was false to him, could not charge him with any thing criminal, though it would have served to justify his treachery. What did Judas want? Was not he welcome wherever his Master was? Did he not fare as Christ fared? It is not the lack, but the love of money, that is the root of all evil. After he had made that wicked bargain, Judas had time to repent, and to revoke it; but when lesser acts of dishonesty have hardened the conscience men do without hesitation that which is more shameful.

17-25 Observe, the place for their eating the passover was pointed out by Christ to the disciples. He knows those hidden ones who favour his cause, and will graciously visit all who are willing to receive him. The disciples did as Jesus had appointed. Those who would have Christ's presence in the gospel passover, must do what he says. It well becomes the disciples of Christ always to be jealous over themselves, especially in trying times. We know not how strongly we may be tempted, nor how far God may leave us to ourselves, therefore we have reason not to be high-minded, but to fear. Heart-searching examination and fervent prayer are especially proper before the Lord's supper, that, as Christ our Passover is now sacrificed for us, we may keep this feast, renewing our repentance, our faith in his blood, and surrendering ourselves to his service.

26-30 This ordinance of the Lord's supper is to us the passover supper, by which we commemorate a much greater deliverance than that of Israel out of Egypt. Take, eat; accept of Christ as he is offered to you; receive the atonement, approve of it, submit to his grace and his government. Meat looked upon, be the dish ever so well garnished, will not nourish; it must be fed upon: so must the doctrine of Christ. This is my body; that is, spiritually, it signifies and represents his body. We partake of the sun, not by having the sun put into our hands, but the beams of it darted down upon us; so we partake of Christ by partaking of his grace, and the blessed fruits of the breaking of his body. The blood of Christ is signified and represented by the wine. He gave thanks, to teach us to look to God in every part of the ordinance. This cup he gave to the disciples with a command, Drink ye all of it. The pardon of sin is that great blessing which is, in the Lord's supper, conferred on all true believers; it is the foundation of all other blessings. He takes leave of such communion; and assures them of a happy meeting again at last; "Until that day when I drink it new with you", may be understood of the joys and glories of the future state, which the saints shall partake with the Lord Jesus. That will be the kingdom of his Father; the wine of consolation will there be always new. While we look at the outward signs of Christ's body broken and his blood shed for the remission of our sins, let us recollect that the feast cost him as much as though he had literally given his flesh to be eaten and his blood for us to drink.

31-35 Improper self-confidence, like that of Peter, is the first step to a fall. There is a proneness in all of us to be over-confident. But those fall soonest and foulest, who are the most confident in themselves. Those are least safe, who think themselves most secure. Satan is active to lead such astray; they are most off their guard: God leaves them to themselves, to humble them.

36-46 He who made atonement for the sins of mankind, submitted himself in a garden of suffering, to the will of God, from which man had revolted in a garden of pleasure. Christ took with him into that part of the garden where he suffered his agony, only those who had witnessed his glory in his transfiguration. Those are best prepared to suffer with Christ, who have by faith beheld his glory. The words used denote the most entire dejection, amazement, anguish, and horror of mind; the state of one surrounded with sorrows, overwhelmed with miseries, and almost swallowed up with terror and dismay. He now began to be sorrowful, and never ceased to be so till he said, It is finished. He prayed that, if possible, the cup might pass from him. But he also showed his perfect readiness to bear the load of his sufferings; he was willing to submit to all for our redemption and salvation. According to this example of Christ, we must drink of the bitterest cup which God puts into our hands; though nature struggle, it must submit. It should be more our care to get troubles sanctified, and our hearts satisfied under them, than to get them taken away. It is well for us that our salvation is in the hand of One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. All are tempted, but we should be much afraid of entering into temptation. To be secured from this, we should watch and pray, and continually look unto the Lord to hold us up that we may be safe. Doubtless our Lord had a clear and full view of the sufferings he was to endure, yet he spoke with the greatest calmness till this time. Christ was a Surety, who undertook to be answerable for our sins. Accordingly he was made sin for us, and suffered for our sins, the Just for the unjust; and Scripture ascribes his heaviest sufferings to the hand of God. He had full knowledge of the infinite evil of sin, and of the immense extent of that guilt for which he was to atone; with awful views of the Divine justice and holiness, and the punishment deserved by the sins of men, such as no tongue can express, or mind conceive. At the same time, Christ suffered being tempted; probably horrible thoughts were suggested by Satan that tended to gloom and every dreadful conclusion: these would be the more hard to bear from his perfect holiness. And did the load of imputed guilt so weigh down the soul of Him of whom it is said, He upholdeth all things by the word of his power? into what misery then must those sink whose sins are left upon their own heads! How will those escape who neglect so great salvation?

47-56 No enemies are so much to be abhorred as those professed disciples that betray Christ with a kiss. God has no need of our services, much less of our sins, to bring about his purposes. Though Christ was crucified through weakness, it was voluntary weakness; he submitted to death. If he had not been willing to suffer, they could not conquer him. It was a great sin for those who had left all to follow Jesus; now to leave him for they knew not what. What folly, for fear of death to flee from Him, whom they knew and acknowledged to be the Fountain of life!

57-68 Jesus was hurried into Jerusalem. It looks ill, and bodes worse, when those who are willing to be Christ's disciples, are not willing to be known to be so. Here began Peter's denying him: for to follow Christ afar off, is to begin to go back from him. It is more our concern to prepare for the end, whatever it may be, than curiously to ask what the end will be. The event is God's, but the duty is ours. Now the Scriptures were fulfilled, which said, False witnesses are risen up against me. Christ was accused, that we might not be condemned; and if at any time we suffer thus, let us remember we cannot expect to fare better than our Master. When Christ was made sin for us, he was silent, and left it to his blood to speak. Hitherto Jesus had seldom professed expressly to be the Christ, the Son of God; the tenor of his doctrine spoke it, and his miracles proved it; but now he would not omit to make an open confession of it. It would have looked like declining his sufferings. He thus confessed, as an example and encouragement to his followers, to confess him before men, whatever hazard they ran. Disdain, cruel mocking, and abhorrence, are the sure portion of the disciple as they were of the Master, from such as would buffet and deride the Lord of glory. These things were exactly foretold in the fiftieth chapter of Isaiah. Let us confess Christ's name, and bear the reproach, and he will confess us before his Father's throne.

69-75 Peter's sin is truly related, for the Scriptures deal faithfully. Bad company leads to sin: those who needlessly thrust themselves into it, may expect to be tempted and insnared, as Peter. They scarcely can come out of such company without guilt or grief, or both. It is a great fault to be shy of Christ; and to dissemble our knowledge of him, when we are called to own him, is, in effect, to deny him. Peter's sin was aggravated; but he fell into the sin by surprise, not as Judas, with design. But conscience should be to us as the crowing of the cock, to put us in mind of the sins we had forgotten. Peter was thus left to fall, to abate his self-confidence, and render him more modest, humble, compassionate, and useful to others. The event has taught believers many things ever since, and if infidels, Pharisees, and hypocrites stumble at it or abuse it, it is at their peril. Little do we know how we should act in very difficult situations, if we were left to ourselves. Let him, therefore, that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall; let us all distrust our own hearts, and rely wholly on the Lord. Peter wept bitterly. Sorrow for sin must not be slight, but great and deep. Peter, who wept so bitterly for denying Christ, never denied him again, but confessed him often in the face of danger. True repentance for any sin will be shown by the contrary grace and duty; that is a sign of our sorrowing not only bitterly, but sincerely.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Matthew 26

  • Hazel Carty
    Matthew 27:40 make me think of unbelivers saying if thou be the son of God save your self and come down from the across, thank you Lord Jesus for bearing the cross for me I am save by your blood,
  • BSP
    Verse 46~Jesus was able to successfully stand and face his troubles because he offered earnest prayer to Jehovah God. We need to do the same.
  • Predikuesi
    It's interesting to note that Judas was of the same tribe Judah as Jesus. This fact makes Psalm 41:9 even more significant.
  • A disciple
    "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?" Even if called as One Of The Twelve, the Light continually exposing our nature must cause us to either repent and seek His mercy and healing, or harden us into a selfish traitor. Jesus received Judas as a friend, but Judas forsook that friendship.
  • BSP
    Verse 30: on one of the important nights in history, we see that Jesus and his apostles sung songs of praise.
  • Dixie Ludwig
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

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