Matthew 26

Assassination plot 1
Jesus anointed; Simon and Judas rebuked 6
Betrayal planned 14
Passover supper 17
Feast of remembrance established 26
All would be offended because of Jesus 31
Gethsemane, time of decision 36
Betrayal 47
Trial before Caiaphas 57
Peter denies his Lord and weeps bitterly 69
Betrayal plans. Luke 22:1-6; Matt. 26:1-5, 14-16; Mark 14:1, 2, 10 ,11; John 12:10, 11.
1 ¶ And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,
2  Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
3  Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,
4  And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
5  But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.
   1 - This phrase marks a new division in the book.
   2 - After two days ... crucified Then why were the disciples surprised?
Feast at Simon's house, verses 6-13. Also Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-9.
6 ¶ Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
7  There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
8  But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
9  For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
10  When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
11  For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
12  For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
13  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
  7 - Ointment ... head Luke and John say it was over His feet. Apparently it was both. She could have taken a portion as in a typical anointing, then a bit later when He was lying at the table with His head out of her reach, she washed His feet with the rest. See on jn1203. The "reclining" position seems like an awkward way to eat, but it was apparently a custom.
Continuation of betrayal, from v5.
After reading the text and comments here, see a sobering commentary on the story of Judas, go.
14 ¶ Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
15  And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
16  And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
  15 - Give me Personal wealth was important to Judas.
  15 - Thirty pieces of silver Thought to be shekels. Peter found one in a fishes mouth and used it to pay the temple tax for himself and Jesus mt1727. The value was minimal. Thirty shekels was the traditional price for a slave ex2132. Judas' act was foreseen by the prophet Zechariah zc1112.
Preparations for the Passover. Luke 22:7-13; Matt. 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16.
17 ¶ Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
18  And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
19  And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
  17 - First day ... unleavened Mark says that the passover [lamb] was killed on this day mr1412. Luke agrees lu2207. According to le2305, the lamb was killed on the 14th of Nisan and Passover began the next day. The custom at the time of Jesus was to consider the terms "Feast of Unleavened Bread" and the "Passover" as indicating the same thing.
Passover celebration. Matt. 26:20; Mark 14:17, 18a; Luke 22:14-16.
20  Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.  The first day of unleavened bread.
The betrayer. Matt. 26:21-25; Mark 14:18b-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:21-30.
21  And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22  And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
23  And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
24  The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
25  Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
  21 - One of you Many including leaders will turn from the truth when trouble comes. Compare ac2029f.
  22 - Is it I? Better translated, "Surely not I."
  25 - Which betrayed him Or "who was betraying him," NASB.
  One of you ... betray This must have startled the disciples. It was one of five statements pointing to Jesus' betrayer:
  1. "Ye are not all clean" jn1311.
  2. "He that eateth ... life up his hell against me" jn1318.
  3. The announcement here in verse 21.
  4. "He that dippeth his hand ... shall betray" verse 23.
  5. "Thou hast said" verse 25. Judas realized that Jesus understood the plans. 
The Lord's Supper. Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20.
26 ¶ And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
  26 - Bread The Passover bread was without leaven (yeast) de1603.
  26 - This is my body Some teach that the bread becomes His actual body. See comments on re1408f. He also said He was the door jn1007 and the way jn1406 but didn't become a door or a road. Also see lu2220.
  29 - Until that day Apparently the "marriage supper of the Lamb" re1909. A reunion I am longing to participate in.
Retirement to Gethsemane and Prayer. Luke 22:39; Matt. 26:30.
30  And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.  There are several Passover psalms. Jesus and His disciples may have been singing Psalm 118 (notice verse 14).
Warning to Peter and other disciples. Luke 22:31-38; Mark 14:27-31. Compare John 13:36-38.
31 ¶ Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
32  But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
33  Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
34  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
35  Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
   32 - Risen The disciples must have barely heard this since they were surprised when he arose.
   34 - Deny me three times What should Peter have answered? To affirm Jesus' prophecy would have indicated rebellion. See v41.
Prayer commitment in Gethsemane. Luke 22:40-53; Matt. 26:36-56; Mark 14:32; John 18:1-12.
36 ¶ Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and 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 pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, 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.
42  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
43  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
45  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
  39 - Let this cup pass ... nevertheless This was the decision. Here Christ gave Himself for us. He took the cup that we and the whole world should drink. Death on the cross was only carrying out this agonizing decision.
  40 - Why to Peter? v31.
  41 - Spirit The enlightened spiritual nature of the mind as in ro0809.
  41 - Flesh is weak What can we do about weak flesh? The text says. Also 1pe0401.
47 ¶ And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.   Judas He knew where to find Jesus jn1802. His being described as "one of the twelve" emphasizes the wickedness of the action.
  Staves Clubs.
  Multitude The high priest must have been there because his servant was v51. Other leaders who shared the hatred of the high priest would have been there, too. They would have been included in the Pharisees mentioned by John jn1803. Also included in the "multitude" would have been  a band of soldiers (same verse), the temple police (who were Jews) jn1812 and, no doubt, a general mob.
48  Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
49  And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
50  And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
51  And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.

  51 - Friend Compare jos0705.
  51 - One of them Peter jn1810. Peter had no power to prevent the death of Christ, and Judas had no power to cause it jn1804ff.
52  Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again 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 give me more than twelve legions of angels?
54  But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
55  In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
56  But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
  55 - Why would Jesus say this? To bring conviction v4. Why do people today seek darkness? jn0319.
  56 - Scriptures ... fulfilled See ps022, is5303.
  56 - Disciples forsook Jesus had asked that they not be molested jn1808. Peter had promised never to leave Him v33ff.
Night trial before the Sanhedrin. Matt. 26:57-75; Mark 14:53-72; Luke 22:54-end; John 18:25-27.
57 ¶ And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.    Led him away The night trial before the Sanhedrin is recorded here and also in mr1453ff, lu2254ff, jn1825ff. Jesus would be tried on religious grounds then on political.
   To Caiaphas He had a preliminary hearing before Annas jn1813. The two were then in power lu0302.
   Assembled This would have been past midnight.
58  But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.    Peter followed So did John jn1815. This was after the initial flight of all v56.
   Sat and stood, too. jn1825.
   Palace Greek aule. Literally "courtyard. This was an enclosed area in connection with a residence here the home of the high priest. John requested that Peter be admitted jn1816.
59  Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, 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 days.
62  And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
63  But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
64  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
65  Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
66  What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
67  Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
68  Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?

  61 - John explains jn0221.
  62 - What temptation was here brought to Jesus? is5307.
  64 - See on da1202.
  67 - Prophesied mi0501. Image © 2002 GoodSalt
.69 ¶ Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
.70  But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
.71  And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
.72  And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
.73  And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee.
.74  Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
.75  And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
   75 - A lesson for us verse 34.
Previous Next Matthew home Contact Commentary home