You Can Provide Clean Water to Persecuted Christians

Matthew 26

1 And it was done, when Jesus had ended all these words, he said to his disciples,
2 Ye know, that after two days pask shall be made, and man's Son shall be betaken to be crucified.
3 Then the princes of priests and the elder men of the people were gathered into the hall of the prince of priests, that was said Caiaphas,
4 and made a counsel to hold Jesus with guile, and slay him; [and made a counsel, that they should hold Jesus with guile, and slay him;]
5 but they said, Not in the holiday [soothly they said, Not in the feast day], lest peradventure noise were made in the people.
6 And when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leprous,
7 a woman that had a box of alabaster of precious ointment, came to him [a woman having a box of alabaster of precious ointment, came nigh to him], and shedded it out on the head of him resting.
8 And the disciples seeing had disdain, and said [saying], Whereto is this loss?
9 for it might be sold for much [for this might have been sold for much], and be given to poor men.
10 But Jesus knew, and said to them, What be ye heavy to this woman? for she hath wrought in me a good work [she hath wrought a good work in me].
11 For ye shall ever have poor men with you, but ye shall not always have me. [For why ye shall evermore have poor men with you, but ye shall not all-gates have me.]
12 For this woman sending this ointment into my body, did [for] to bury me.
13 Truly I say to you, where ever this gospel shall be preached in all the world, it shall be said, that she did this, in mind of him [it shall be said and that this woman did, into mind of him].
14 Then one of the twelve, that was called Judas Iscariot, went forth to the princes of priests [went to the princes of priests],
15 and said to them, What will ye give to me, and I shall betake him to you? And they ordained to him thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from that time he sought opportunity [he sought covenability], to betray him.
17 And in the first day of therf loaves, the disciples came to Jesus, and said [+Forsooth in the first day of therf loaves, that is, the feast of pask, the disciples came to Jesus, saying], Where wilt thou [that] we make ready to thee, [for] to eat pask?
18 [And] Jesus said, Go ye into the city to a man, and say to him, The master saith, My time is nigh; at thee I make pask with my disciples.
19 And the disciples did, as Jesus commanded to them; and they made the pask ready [and they made ready pask].
20 And when the eventide was come, he sat to meat with his twelve disciples. [Forsooth evening made, he sat at the meat with his twelve disciples.]
21 And he said to them, as they ate, Truly I say to you, that one of you shall betray me.
22 And they full sorry began each by himself to say, Lord, whether I am he? [+And they made sorrowful greatly, began each to say, Lord, whether I it am?]
23 And he answered, and said, He that putteth with me his hand in the platter, [this] shall betray me.
24 Forsooth man's Son goeth, as it is written of him; but woe to that man, by whom man's Son shall be betrayed; it were good to him, if that man had not been born.
25 But Judas that betrayed him, answered, saying, Master, whether I am he? Jesus said to him, Thou hast said. [Forsooth Judas that betrayed him, answered, saying, Master, whether it am I? He said to him, Thou hast said.]
26 And while they supped [Forsooth them supping], Jesus took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to his disciples, and said, Take ye, and eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and did thankings, and gave to them, and said [saying], Drink ye all thereof;
28 this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many, into remission of sins.
29 And I say to you, I shall not drink from this time, of this fruit of the vine, [till] into that day when I shall drink it new with you, in the kingdom of my Father.
30 And when the hymn was said, they went out into the mount of Olives.
31 Then Jesus said to them, All ye shall suffer cause of stumbling in me, in this night [Then Jesus saith to them, All ye shall suffer offence in me, this night]; for it is written, I shall smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.
32 But after that I shall rise again, I shall go before you into Galilee.
33 Peter answered, and said to him, Though all [men] shall be caused to stumble in thee, I shall never be caused to stumble. [+Soothly Peter answering, said to him, Though all men shall be offended in thee, I shall never be offended.]
34 Jesus said to him, Truly I say to thee, for in this night before the cock crow, thrice thou shalt deny me.
35 Peter said to him, Yea, though it [shall] behoove that I die with thee, I shall not deny thee. Also [and] all the disciples said.
36 Then Jesus came with them into a town, that is said Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go thither, and pray.
37 And when he had taken Peter, and two sons of Zebedee, he began to be heavy and sorry [he began to be sorrowful and heavy in heart].
38 Then he said to them, My soul is sorrowful [till] to the death; abide ye here, and wake ye with me. [Then he saith to them, My soul is sorrowful till to the death; sustain ye, or abide ye, here, and wake ye with me.]
39 And he went forth a little, and felled down [fell down] on his face, praying, and saying, My Father, if it is possible, pass this cup from me [praying, and saying, My Father, if it is possible, this cup pass from me]; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he came to his disciples, and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, So, whether ye might not one hour wake with me [+And he saith to Peter, So, might ye not one hour wake with me]?
41 Wake ye, and pray ye, that ye enter not into temptation; for the spirit is ready, but the flesh is frail. [+Wake ye, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation; forsooth the spirit is ready, but the flesh is sick, or unstable/either unsteadfast.]
42 Again the second time he went, and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cup may not pass, but I drink it, thy will be done.
43 And again he came, and found them sleeping; for their eyes were heavied.
44 And he left them, and went again, and prayed the third time, and said the same word. [And them left, he went again, and prayed the third time, the same word saying.]
45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, Sleep ye now, and rest ye; lo! the hour hath approached, and man's Son shall be betaken into the hands of sinners; [+Then he came to his disciples, and saith to them, Sleep ye now, and rest ye; lo! the hour hath nighed, and man's Son shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners;]
46 rise ye, go we; lo! he that shall take me, is nigh. [rise ye, go we; lo! he that shall betray me, hath nighed.]
47 [And] Yet while he spake, lo! Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great company, with swords and bats [with swords and staves], sent from the princes of priests, and from the elder men of the people.
48 And he that betrayed him, gave to them a token, and said [saying], Whomever I shall kiss, he it is; hold ye him.
49 And at once [And anon] he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and he kissed him.
50 And Jesus said to him, Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came nigh, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him.
51 And lo! one of them that were with Jesus, stretched out his hand, and drew out his sword; and he smote the servant of the prince of priests, and cut off his ear [+and he, smiting a servant of the prince of priests, cut off his ear].
52 Then Jesus said to him, Turn thy sword into his place; for all that take sword, shall perish by sword.
53 Whether guessest thou, that I may not pray my Father, and he shall give to me now more than twelve legions of angels?
54 How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled? for so it behooveth to be done.
55 In that hour Jesus said to the people, As to a thief ye have gone out, with swords and bats, [for] to take me; day by day I sat among you, and taught in the temple, and ye held me not. [+In that hour Jesus said to the companies, As to a thief ye have gone out, with swords and staves, for to take me; each day I sat at you, teaching in the temple, and ye held not me.]
56 But all this thing was done, that the scriptures of prophets should be fulfilled. Then all the disciples fled, and left him [Then all the disciples fled, him forsaken].
57 And they held Jesus, and led him to Caiaphas, the prince of priests, where the scribes and the Pharisees, and the elder men of the people were come together. [And they holding Jesus, led him to Caiaphas, prince of priests, where the scribes and the elder men of the people had come together.]
58 But Peter followed him afar, [till] into the hall of the prince of priests; and he went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
59 And the prince of priests, and all the council sought false witnessing against Jesus, that they should take him to death; [Forsooth the princes of priests, and all the council sought false witnessing against Jesus, that they should betake him to death;]
60 and they found not, when many false witnesses were come. But at the last, two false witnesses came,
61 and said, This said, I may destroy the temple of God, and after the third day build it again [and after three days built it again].
62 And the prince of priests rose, and said to him, Answerest thou nothing to those things, that these witness against thee [which these witness against thee]?
63 But Jesus was still. And the prince of priests said to him, I conjure thee by the living God, that thou say to us, if thou art Christ, the Son of God [that thou say to us, if thou be Christ, the Son of God].
64 Jesus said to him, Thou hast said; nevertheless I say to you, hereafter ye shall see man's Son sitting at the right half of the virtue of God [nevertheless, I say to you, from henceforth, ye shall see man's Son sitting at the right half of God's virtue], and coming in the clouds of heaven.
65 Then the prince of priests rent his clothes, and said, He hath blasphemed; what yet have we need to witnesses [Then the prince of priests rent his clothes, saying, He hath blasphemed; what yet need have we to witnesses]? lo! now ye have heard blasphemy;
66 what seemeth to you? And they answered, and said, He is guilty of death.
67 Then they spat in his face, and smote him with buffets; and others gave strokes with the palm of their hands in [into] his face,
68 and said, Thou Christ, declare to us, who is he that smote thee? [saying, Thou Christ, prophesy to us, who is he that smote thee?]
69 And Peter sat without in the hall; and a damsel came to him, and said [+and an handmaiden/handmaid came nigh to him saying], [And] Thou were with Jesus of Galilee.
70 And he denied before all [men], and said [saying], I know not what thou sayest.
71 And when he went out at the gate, another damsel saw him [+another handmaiden/handmaid saw him], and said to them that were there, And this was with Jesus of Nazareth.
72 And again he denied with an oath, For I knew not the man.
73 And a little after [And after a little], they that stood came, and said to Peter, Truly and thou art [one] of them; for thy speech maketh thee known.
74 Then he began to curse and to swear, that he knew not the man. And at once [And anon] the cock crew.
75 And Peter bethought on the word of Jesus, that he had said, Before the cock crow, thrice thou shalt deny me. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

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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.

Matthew 26 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.