Matthew 26:56

56 But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Matthew 26:56 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 26:56

But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets
might be fulfilled
Some have thought these to be the words of the evangelist, making this remark upon what was said and done; but by what both Mark and Luke record, ( Mark 14:49 ) ( Luke 22:53 ) , they appear to be the words of Christ himself; who observes this, partly to make himself, as man, easy under the treatment he met with; and partly, to fortify the minds of his disciples against offence at it; and also to throw conviction, or confusion, into the minds of his enemies. The Scriptures of the prophets he refers to, as having, or about to have, by this conduct, their accomplishment, were such, as regarded the betraying him by Judas, the taking him in this secret, private, insidious, yet violent manner; in all which he showed great meekness, calmness, and submission, as ( Psalms 41:9 ) ( Lamentations 4:20 ) ( Isaiah 53:7 Isaiah 53:8 ) . As also what respected the scattering, and hasty flight of his disciples from him, ( Zechariah 13:7 ) , which in the next clause is shown to be accomplished.

Then all the disciples forsook him and fled;
not only went away from him, and left him alone, as he foretold they would, ( John 16:32 ) , but they ran away from him in a precipitant manner, like timorous sheep, the shepherd being about to be smitten; and they fearing, lest Peter's rash action should be imputed to them all, and they suffer for it; or lest they should be laid hold on next, and bound, as their master was, or about to be. Every thing in this account is an aggravation of their pusillanimity, and ingratitude; as that they were the "disciples" of Christ that forsook him, whom he had called, and sent forth as his apostles to preach his Gospel; and to whom he had given extraordinary gifts and powers; who had forsaken all and followed him, and had been with him from the beginning; had heard all his excellent discourses, and had seen all his miracles, and yet these at last forsake him, and even "all" of them: John the beloved disciple, that leaned on his bosom, and Peter, that professed so much love to him, zeal for him, and faith in him; the three that had just seen him in his agony and bloody sweat, and everyone of them left him; not one stood by him, and this too, after they had had a fresh instance of his power, in striking the men to the ground, that came to take him; and when he was sueing for them with their enemies, to let them go peaceably and safely: so that they had no need to have fled in such haste; and to leave him "then", in the midst of his enemies, in his great distress and trouble, was very unkind and ungrateful: and to this account of the evangelist, pretty much agrees what the Jews themselves say of it; for they report F16, that

``when his disciples saw that he was taken, and that they could not fight against them, (Mhylgrb wuwry) , "they ran away on foot", and lift up their voice and wept greatly.''
Though they also pretend, that the citizens of Jerusalem killed many of them, and that the rest "fled" to the mountain, which is false.


F16 Toldos Jesu, p. 16, 17.

Matthew 26:56 In-Context

54 But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?"
55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me.
56 But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered.
58 But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.