Free Bible Commentary
“Matthew 26:47-75”Categories: 50 Days with Jesus
“While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, 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. Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, ‘Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.’ Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, ‘Hail, Rabbi!’ and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you have come for.’ Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?’ 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? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.’ Then all the disciples left Him and fled. Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome. Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, and said, ‘This man stated, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.”’ The high priest stood up and said to Him, ‘Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?’ But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, ‘I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; What do you think?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death!’ Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, ‘Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?’ Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, ‘You too were with Jesus the Galilean.’ But he denied it before them all, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ 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.’ And again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’ A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.’ Then he began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know the man!’ And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, ‘Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”
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"It must happen this way" (verse 54). The chief priests and the elders thought they were in control of this situation (verse 47), but had they known the Holy Word, they would have understood that "all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets" (verse 56). How clearly Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 and numerous other Scriptures revealed that this was all God's plan to save the world and that He was in complete control.
Jesus quoted Daniel 7:13 and Psalm 110:1 and applied those verses to himself (verse 64). Obviously the council members knew the Scriptures well enough to understand that these passages were written about the Messiah. That's all the "evidence" they needed to convict Him of blasphemy and consider Him worthy of death (65-66). The abuse began in full earnest (verses 67-70). Jesus "convicted" himself intentionally with His words knowing what the outcome would be. Nothing would stop Him from dying for you and me.
"Peter was following Him at a distance" (verse 58). Please try your best to never do that. That is such a dangerous place to be. We get ourselves into all kinds of trouble when we refuse to stick to Jesus just as closely as possible. That night would prove to be a brutal one for Peter. After He denied even knowing His Lord three times, Jesus looked at him (Luke 22:61). I'm sure he never forgot that look as long as He lived. Peter went out and wept bitterly (verse 75). When we deny our Lord and try to follow Him at a distance, we should feel great remorse like Peter. But also like Peter, we should repent and turn back to Him and follow Him faithfully unto death (Luke 22:32).
Please read John 18:28-19:15 for tomorrow – Jesus stands trial before the governor.
Have a great day!