Matthew 26

The Plot to Kill Jesus

1 1When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples,
2 "2You know that after two days 3the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be 4handed over for crucifixion."
3 5Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in 6the court of the high priest, named 7Caiaphas;
4 and they 8plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.
5 But they were saying, "Not during the festival, 9otherwise * a riot might occur among the people."

The Precious Ointment

6 10Now when Jesus was in 11Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper,
7 12a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.
8 But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, "Why * this waste?
9 "For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor."
10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you bother * the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me.
11 "For you always have 13the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.
12 "For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it 14to prepare Me for burial.
13 "Truly I say to you, 15wherever * this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."

Judas's Bargain

14 16Then one of the twelve, named 17Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
15 and said, "What are you willing to give me to 18betray Him to you?" And 19they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.
16 From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.
17 20Now on the first day of 21Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?"
18 And He said, "Go into the city to 22a certain man, and say to him, 'The Teacher says, "23My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples."' "
19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

The Last Passover

20 24Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.
21 As they were eating, He said, "25Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me."
22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, "Surely not I, Lord?"
23 And He answered, "26He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me.
24 "The Son of Man is to go, 27just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! 28It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."
25 And 29Judas, who was betraying Him, said, "Surely it is not I, 30Rabbi?" Jesus said to him, "31You have said it yourself."

The Lord's Supper Instituted

26 32While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and 33after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."
27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you;
28 for 34this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for 35many for forgiveness of sins.
29 "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
30 36After singing a hymn, they went out to 37the Mount of Olives.
31 Then Jesus said to them, "You will all 38fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, '39I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE 40SCATTERED.'
32 "But after I have been raised, 41I will go ahead of you to Galilee."
33 But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away."
34 Jesus said to him, "42Truly I say to you that 43this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
35 Peter said to Him, "44Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You." All the disciples said the same thing too.

The Garden of Gethsemane

36 45Then Jesus came with them to a place called 46Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."
37 And He took with Him 47Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed.
38 Then He said to them, "48My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and 49keep watch with Me."
39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let 50this cup pass from Me; 51yet not as I will, but as You will."
40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "So, you men could not 52keep watch with Me for one hour?
41 "53Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; 54the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this 55cannot * pass away unless * I drink it, 56Your will be done."
43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.
45 Then He came to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, 57the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46 "Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!"

Jesus' Betrayal and Arrest

47 58While He was still speaking, behold, 59Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied * by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, "Whomever * I kiss, He is the one; seize Him."
49 Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, "Hail, 60Rabbi!" and kissed Him.
50 And Jesus said to him, "61Friend, do what you have come for." Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.
51 And behold, 62one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his 63sword, and struck the 64slave of the high priest and cut off his ear.
52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for 65all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.
53 "Or do you think that I cannot * appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve 66legions of 67angels?
54 "How then will 68the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?"
55 At that time Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? 69Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.
56 "But all this has taken place to fulfill 70the Scriptures of the prophets." Then all the disciples left Him and fled.

Jesus before Caiaphas

57 71Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to 72Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.
58 But 73Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the 74courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the 75officers to see the outcome.
59 Now the chief priests and the whole 76Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death.
60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on 77two came forward,
61 and said, "This man stated, '78I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.' "
62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?"
63 But 79Jesus kept silent. 80And the high priest said to Him, "I 81adjure You by 82the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, 83the Son of God."
64 Jesus said to him, "84You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter * you will see 85THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and 86COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."
65 Then the high priest 87tore his robes and said, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;
66 what do you think?" They answered, "88He deserves death!"
67 89Then they 90spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,
68 and said, "91Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?"

Peter's Denials

69 92Now Peter was sitting outside in the 93courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean."
70 But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about."
71 When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth."
72 And again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man."
73 A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; 94for even the way you talk gives you away *."
74 Then he began to curse and swear, "I do not know the man!" And immediately a rooster crowed.
75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, "95Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

Images for Matthew 26

Matthew 26 Commentary

Chapter 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)

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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?

Verses 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!

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Cross References 95

  • 1. Matthew 7:28
  • 2. Matthew 26:2-5: {Mark 14:1, 2; Luke 22:1, 2}
  • 3. John 11:55; John 13:1
  • 4. Matthew 10:4
  • 5. John 11:47
  • 6. Matthew 26:58, 69; Matthew 27:27; Mark 14:54, 66; Mark 15:16; Luke 22:55; John 18:15
  • 7. Matthew 26:57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; John 18:13, 14, 24, 28; Acts 4:6
  • 8. Matthew 12:14
  • 9. Matthew 27:24
  • 10. Matthew 26:6-13: {Mark 14:3-9;} Luke 7:37-39; John 12:1-8
  • 11. Matthew 21:17
  • 12. Luke 7:37
  • 13. Deuteronomy 15:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8
  • 14. John 19:40
  • 15. Mark 14:9
  • 16. Matthew 26:14-16: {Mark 14:10, 11; Luke 22:3-6}
  • 17. Matthew 10:4; Matthew 26:25, 47; Matthew 27:3; John 6:71; John 12:4; John 13:26; Acts 1:16
  • 18. Matthew 10:4
  • 19. Exodus 21:32; Zechariah 11:12
  • 20. Matthew 26:17-19: {Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13}
  • 21. Exodus 12:18-20
  • 22. Mark 14:13; Luke 22:10
  • 23. John 7:6, 8
  • 24. Matthew 26:20-24: {Mark 14:17-21}
  • 25. Luke 22:21-23; John 13:21
  • 26. Psalms 41:9; John 13:18, 26
  • 27. Matt 26:31, 54, 56; Mark 9:12; Luke 24:25-27, 46; Acts 17:2; Acts 26:22; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 1:10
  • 28. Matthew 18:7; Mark 14:21
  • 29. Matthew 26:14
  • 30. Matthew 23:7; Matthew 26:49
  • 31. Matthew 26:64; Matthew 27:11; Luke 22:70
  • 32. Matthew 26:26-29: {Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25;} 1 Corinthians 10:16
  • 33. Matthew 14:19
  • 34. Exodus 24:8; Hebrews 9:20
  • 35. Matthew 20:28
  • 36. Matthew 26:30-35: {Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:31-34}
  • 37. Matthew 21:1
  • 38. Matthew 11:6
  • 39. Zechariah 13:7
  • 40. John 16:32
  • 41. Matt 28:7, 10, 16; Mark 16:7
  • 42. Matthew 26:75; John 13:38
  • 43. Mark 14:30
  • 44. John 13:37
  • 45. Matthew 26:36-46: {Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46}
  • 46. Mark 14:32; Luke 22:39; John 18:1
  • 47. Matthew 4:21; Matthew 17:1; Mark 5:37
  • 48. John 12:27
  • 49. Matthew 26:40, 41
  • 50. Matthew 20:22
  • 51. Matthew 26:42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 6:38
  • 52. Matthew 26:38
  • 53. Matthew 26:38
  • 54. Mark 14:38
  • 55. Matthew 20:22
  • 56. Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 6:38
  • 57. Mark 14:41; John 12:27; John 13:1
  • 58. Matthew 26:47-56: {Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:3-11}
  • 59. Matthew 26:14
  • 60. Matthew 23:7; Matthew 26:25
  • 61. Matthew 20:13; Matthew 22:12
  • 62. Mark 14:47; Luke 22:50; John 18:10
  • 63. Luke 22:38
  • 64. Mark 14:47; Luke 22:50; John 18:10
  • 65. Genesis 9:6; Revelation 13:10
  • 66. Mark 5:9, 15; Luke 8:30
  • 67. Matthew 4:11
  • 68. Matthew 26:24
  • 69. Mark 12:35; Mark 14:49; Luke 4:20; Luke 19:47; Luke 20:1; Luke 21:37; John 7:14, 28; John 8:2, 20; John 18:20
  • 70. Matthew 26:24
  • 71. Matthew 26:57-68: {Mark 14:53-65; John 18:12f, 19-24}
  • 72. Matthew 26:3
  • 73. John 18:15
  • 74. Matthew 26:3
  • 75. Matthew 5:25; John 7:32, 45; John 19:6; Acts 5:22, 26
  • 76. Matthew 5:22
  • 77. Deuteronomy 19:15
  • 78. Matthew 27:40; Mark 14:58; Mark 15:29; John 2:19; Acts 6:14
  • 79. Matthew 27:12, 14; John 19:9
  • 80. Matthew 26:63-66; Luke 22:67-71
  • 81. Leviticus 5:1
  • 82. Matthew 16:16
  • 83. Matthew 4:3
  • 84. Matthew 26:25
  • 85. Psalms 110:1; Mark 14:62
  • 86. Daniel 7:13; Matthew 16:27
  • 87. Numbers 14:6; Mark 14:63; Acts 14:14
  • 88. Leviticus 24:16; John 19:7
  • 89. Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67, 68; Luke 22:63-65; John 18:22
  • 90. Matthew 27:30; Mark 10:34
  • 91. Mark 14:65; Luke 22:64
  • 92. Matthew 26:69-75: {Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:55-62; John 18:16-18, 25-27}
  • 93. Matthew 26:3
  • 94. Mark 14:70; Luke 22:59; John 18:26
  • 95. Matthew 26:34

Footnotes 26

Matthew 26 Commentaries

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.