About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 26
1 says that “these things He said to His disciples”.
The words “these things” refer to what Jesus is about to say.
begins in verse 2 by mentioning that they are two days away from Passover.
Passover was Thursday. Associated
with Passover would be the time when Jesus would be handed over to the
authorities to be killed. Once
again, Jesus is preparing His disciples for this moment.
verses 3 to 5 we see that the Jewish leadership began their final plot to
arrest Jesus and have Him killed. They
did not want to do this during the Passover Feast.
They feared the masses who were on Jesus’ side at this point.
might well imagine how Jesus is feeling at this point.
The pressure must really be beginning to load His emotions down.
The Jewish leaders are more frustrated and upset with Jesus than
ever. The climax to Jesus’
three year ministry is now at hand. The
most important time in human history is beginning to take place.
verses 6 and 7 we see Jesus and His disciples in
man named Simon was clearly a man that Jesus had healed.
Beyond that, it is pure speculation to whom this man is.
suggest the woman here with the perfume was Mary, the sister of Martha,
while others suggest it was Mary Magdalene.
see that the container of perfume used here was alabaster.
This is a limestone type container that was often seen in
don’t know what kind of perfume was in this jar from Matthew’s account
but Jon tells us it was nard. Nard
was very expensive and was often used as a gift for kings and royalty.
Thus you know what this lady thought of Jesus.
in those days were normally very heavy and strong in smell and weren’t
necessarily meant for one to simply smell nice.
They were meant more to cover up bad body odors.
in verse 7 we notice that this lady poured out this perfume on the head of
Jesus. John says she poured it
out on Jesus’ feet. There
doesn’t need to be any discrepancy here.
The verb suggests a pouring on to the head that would have run down
Jesus’ head and body and
onto His feet.
verses 8 and 9 we see that the disciples were very upset.
They asked, “why this waste”.
They thought that this perfume could have easily been sold and the
money raised from the sale, given to the poor.
We learn from John that Judas Iscariot was one of the disciples who
was more vocal in this respect.
might well expect Judas to think in terms of money and profit because we
know as John said that he was a thief and he was one from the beginning.
Jesus knew about those He chose to follow Him.
Jesus knew that Judas was a thief when He asked him to follow Him.
rest of the disciples might have been thinking in terms of the poor from a
more pure motive than that of Judas. Jesus
often spoke of the poor, and because of this they might have thought this
perfume could have been used in a much better way than simply dumping out
verse 10 we see Jesus’ response. While
the disciples thought that the pouring out of this perfume was a waste,
Jesus saw this woman’s actions as a thing of “beauty”.
Jesus even thought that what they were saying was an undue bother
to the woman.
11 gives us a little clue to why Jesus felt that this woman’s actions
was beautiful. He said that
the poor would always be around but He wouldn’t always be around.
This was yet another time when Jesus spoke of His soon coming
more interesting aspect to Jesus’ statement though concern the poor.
He was basically saying that now isn’t the time to be concerned
with the poor. Jesus said that
the poor would be around a lot longer than Him, so the priority at this
present moment needed to be Jesus not the poor.
This tells us something concerning the poor and our priorities as
Christians. Jesus and the
preaching of the gospel takes preeminence over the poor but not to the
exclusion of the poor. Ministering
to the poor is important, but not to the exclusion of Jesus and the
in fact viewed what this woman did as an act of worship.
This tells me how important true worship for Jesus is, no matter
how it is expressed. We often think of worship as in a Sunday worship
service. But this act of
worship came from this woman’s heart and Jesus understood it to be
worship from a pure heart.
verse 12 Jesus pointed out the reason and the motive of the heart of this
woman, who was likely Mary. It
was for His burial, Jesus said. Perfumes
were used in the burial process. Jesus
knew the heart of Mary and knew she had His burial in mind.
This tells me that this woman understood better than the men who
followed Jesus what would soon happen to Him.
They might well have been expecting the dawn of the
the controversy I mentioned earlier about Matthew saying that Mary poured
her perfume on Jesus’ head and John saying she poured it on His feet.
Here in verse 12 Jesus says she poured it on His body, not feet or
head. To me this makes it
clear. She poured it on His
head. It ran down His body
onto His feet.
13 is prophetic. Jesus
confirms the importance of Mary’s action by telling the rest in the room
that what she has done would be preached along with the gospel throughout
the world. And indeed
this has been the case with the inclusion of this event in the
canonization of Scripture.
verses 14 through 18 we see the true nature of Judas Iscariot.
He was more than a thief. He was a traitor. He was self motivated.
We learn from John that he gave into the devil’s call on his
goes to the Jewish leadership as Matthew states here to see what they will
give him if he hands Jesus over to them.
They agree on thirty pieces of silver, which in today’s North
American world might be around twenty
to twenty five dollars. This was the going price for a slave in those
immediate thing that triggered Judas’ decision to hand Jesus over was
Mary’s act of loving kindness when she anointed Jesus with her expensive
perfume. This act of love in
turn prompted an act of cruelty and hatred.
the world of the devil, we often see an act of love responded to by satan
with an act of hostility on his part.
Whether the act is directly from God or from one of His children.
learn most of what happened at the Lord supper you can read John 13 and
14. He spends more time on
this event than any of the other gospel writers.
17 says that it was the first day of the Passover, meaning the Passover
week. It was Thursday.
The disciples wanted to know where Jesus wanted to eat the Passover
verse 18 we see Jesus tell the disciples to go to a certain man in
don’t know who this man was. Bothe Mark and Luke said that this man will
be carrying water.
words “time is at hand” refers to the death of Jesus, the climax to
His ministry. Jesus’ life
would not simply come to an abrupt end by His enemies.
It was God’s will that Jesus would die as part of His ministry,
and when He would die was also long planned in the mind of God.
verse 19 the disciples followed Jesus’ directions and they went and
prepared for the Passover meal. Unless
the disciples knew the owner of the house, this whole event must have been
a little strange. They knew
that things were about to change, although I think they were in much
confusion. They heard Jesus’
words about His death that would soon come.
Yet did they believe or understand Jesus’ words?
I don’t think they completely understood.
Of course we know that Peter told Jesus earlier that he would not
allow such a thing to happen. Peter
might still have had this in his mind.
verse 20 we note that it is evening when Jesus and the disciples “are
reclining at the table”. People
in those days did not sit on a chair at a table.
They actually “reclined” on the floor while they ate.
verse 21 we see that while they were eating Jesus told them all that one
of them would betray Him. This must have sent shock waves through the
disciples’ hearts. We know
from John’s account that they wondered who might be the one to betray
Him. All along though in
Judas’ heart, he knew. I
often wonder what went through the heart and mind of Judas at that time.
believe from my study of John that there was a spiritual battle going on
between Judas and Jesus that the others could not see.
Jesus knew who was going to turn Him in, and so did Judas.
We know from John’s account that Jesus washed the disciples feet,
and that included Judas. I can
see Jesus looking into the eyes of Judas as He washed his feet.
Those piercing eyes would have said much.
22 says it clearly The
disciples were sadden to hear that one of them would deny Jesus.
In response many of them said, “not I”.
They were certain that they could not do such a thing.
gives the clue to who it will be in verse 23.
The one who would dip his hand into a bowl with Jesus would be the
one. In those days people
dipped their bread into a soupy mixture to moisten
the bread. Can you
imagine that. All eyes would
be on Jesus as He dipped His bread into the bowl.
Who would dip his bread into the bowl with Jesus?
Finally Judas dipped his bread into the bowl.
verse 24 Jesus said that the Son of Man would go as the Scriptures
prophesied. This tells me that
Jesus’ death was the will of God, that it was a forgone conclusion.
You might think that such an event was so predestined to happen
that those who brought it about would not be responsible for their
actions, but this is not so. Jesus
said “woe” to the one who hands Him over to the authorities.
He also said that it would have been better for this man to have
never been born.
would suffer eternal punishment for what he did. It would have been better
for him to have never been born and come into existence in the first
place. One might think of an interesting side-note here.
If Jesus says that it would have been better for Judas to have
never been born, that suggests to me that Jesus did not believe in
reincarnation. The sol of
Judas never existed before he was conceived.
What Jesus is saying here is that it is better for Judas never to
have existed than to exist and enter eternal punishment for what he did.
believe that Judas is a type of the anti-christ.
As satan entered a man before the climax to Jesus’ ministry to
fight against Jesus, so satan will enter the man known as the anti-christ
just before Jesus returns. There
is a real parallel here.
verse 25 Judas must have dipped his hand in the bowl with Jesus.
As he did, he asks, “surely not I”.
As Judas was dipping his bread into the bowl as Jesus said, he
claimed that he would not do such a thing.
Why and how Judas would say such a thing is beyond me.
He knew that he would betray Jesus.
He had already made the plans.
Jesus answered by saying, “yes it is you”.
Once again, how these words must have echoed in the hearts of those
in that room that evening. How
dramatic of a moment this must have been for everyone, and that includes
26 begins what Christians have called the institution of the “Lord
Supper”. Jesus took some
bread and passed it around and told them that this piece of bread was His
body. Catholics take this
literally and say that when we eat of the bread in communion the bread
actually turns into the body of Jesus.
Protestants believe the bread was symbolic, and that is what I
does the same with the cup of wine in verse 27 through 29.
He passes the cup of wine around table.
He then says that the wine is the blood of the covenant that would
be poured out for many. These
men would have understood what Jesus was talking about.
Every other Passover meal that they would have eat, the wine would
represent the blood of lambs, but not this time.
The blood represented Jesus’ blood.
His blood would now replace the blood of lambs that would usher in
the age of the New Covenant.
Old Covenant would soon be obsolete and laid aside.
This is a great truth that many, if not most Christians do not
understand, and this can be seen in how they interpret the Old Testament
as New Testament Christians. Way
too often we mix the rules and regulations of the Old Covenant with the
New Covenant, and by so doing water down the New Covenant and make it into
something its not.
said that His blood would be shed for “many”.
In once sense of the word it was shed for all, not just many, but
not all people accepted His sacrifice, so in that sense of the word only
the many would benefit from the shedding of His blood.
in verse 28 Jesus speaks of the shedding of His blood was
for the “forgiveness of sins”. Forgiveness means
blood paid for our sins to be cancelled, wiped out of the records of God,
never to be recorded again. Forgiveness
does not mean “not feeling resentment”, as is often understood today.
Jesus not only doesn’t feel resentment towards us, but our sins
have been totally cancelled, as if we had never sinned in the first place.
verse 29 Jesus says that He would not drink of this cup again until He
drank it anew with those people again in the
verse 30 we see all who were gathered singing a hymn, and then they went
out to the Mount of Olives where we see the very heart of Jesus revealed
and torn apart.
verse 31 Jesus tells all of His followers who were with Him in the room,
which I believe were the Twelve, that they would “all fall away”.
We often think in terms of Judas falling away, and Peter falling
away for a short while, but in fact they all fell away.
They all forsook Jesus in one way or another.
falling away was prophesied centuries earlier in Zech. 13:7 that said,
“I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be
scattered”. We need to know
here who the sheep are, who the shepherd is, and who the one who strikes
the shepherd is.
sheep are the disciples. Jesus
is the shepherd, and God the Father is the one who strikes Jesus the
shepherd. We must
remember that God was the one who really put Jesus to death.
It was not the Jews and it was not the Romans behind the death of
Jesus. They might well have
participated and did the actual act, but God Himself was the mastermind of
the death of Jesus as seen in Isa. 53.
verse 32 Jesus tells the Twelve that He will rise from the dead and He
will go ahead of them and head back into
verse 33 Peter responds to what Jesus said about everyone falling away.
In typical Peter fashion he tells Jesus that even though everyone
else falls away he won’t. Peter
is always full of self confidence, that could not be supported in reality.
verse 34 Jesus sticks a pin in Peter’s self-confidence by saying that he
would deny Him three times before the rooster would crow.
This is a pretty specific prophecy on the part of Jesus.
First of all the denial is prophetic, but the crowing of the
rooster gives the specific time of the denial. Peter would have needed to
be close enough to the rooster to hear it, and that he was.
verse 35 Peter responds with even more self-confidence by saying that even
if he had to die with Jesus, there was no way he would disown Him.
As Peter proclaimed this the rest joined in and agreed that none of
them would fall away. How
human they were. The Lord of
all things says something, and they tell Him that what He says is not
true. We all tend to put more
confidence in our own ability than we put in our Lord’s ability.
The reliance on self is one of our most common sins.
doesn’t tell us, but we know from other accounts that Jesus told Peter
that satan wanted him, but He’d pray that “his faith would not
fail’. The point is this.
Even though Peter himself failed, or fell away, he did not forsake
his faith. His faith, or trust
in Jesus brought him back. This
is important. We all fail at
times. We all may disown Jesus
by our actions at times, but that does not mean we’ve lost our
salvation. We still have
faith, and it is this faith in Jesus that always brings us back to a place
where we should be.
what has just taken place Jesus and His disciples go out to the
verse 36 Jesus tells His disciples to simply sit down while He walked a
few yards away to pray. He
wanted them to watch Him pray. Jesus
needed to pray. The time was
very short now. He knew that
His Father would not prohibit what would happen.
He knew that He’d be left alone and His Father would forsake Him
for a while. He might well
have felt the need for some human contact and comfort here, yet still
needed to be far enough away from humanity to meet with His Father in
verse 37 we see that as Jesus walked away from the Twelve that he took
Peter, James and John with Him. These
three men would be by Jesus’ side as He experienced the terror that
would soon come. This is
one of three times that we know of when Jesus took these three men aside
for a special occasion. Some
suggest that this was the inner circle to the Twelve.
verse 37 Jesus told these three men to sit and watch with Him because He
was overwhelmed with sorrow, almost to the point of death.
The Greek word for our English word “overwhelmed” means to be
completely crushed, overwhelmed to the point that one loses all sense of
what is going on and has no control in the situation to change his
feelings. The point to this
verse here is that Jesus almost died in
convinced that there was a spiritual battle going on here.
Jesus might well have been in a spiritual battle with satan at this
point. He was clearly in a
battle with His own mind, but it might well be that satan wanted to kill
him right in this garden, but this was not the will of God.
verse 39 we see Jesus going “a little farther” away from the three men
He brought with Him. So by now
there were nine men farther back, three men fairly close to Jesus, but
Jesus was still off a bit by Himself.
verse 39 we see the battle between the will of God and Jesus.
He pleaded with His Father to take this cup from Him, to take back
what He needed to do. But
Jesus knew better. He knew He
had to fulfill the will of His Father so He told His Father, “not my
will but yours”. Those were
the words of victory that has led us to salvation.
Without Jesus saying these few words, there would be no salvation.
few words that Jesus spoke here are words that we need to say as well, and
need to say them over and over again, as the battle between our flesh
rages with the will of God. If
we aren’t in this battle, it means that we’ve already said no to
God’s will. We’ve already
given in to our own selfishness.
verse 40 we see that Jesus returned to the three men and found them
sleeping. They could not keep
watch with Jesus for one hour. So we know how long Jesus was in prayer.
It wasn’t a short thirty second prayer.
relates prayer to the word “watch”.
Praying is not only talking to God, but watching out for what He
might say or do. Prayer in one
real sense of the word is a type of “watching”.
This is why Jesus has told the disciples so many times in the last
few days to either “watch”, or “watch and pray”.
Watching out for the signs of the times, the signs that signal the
end suggests a prayerful attention to what is happening around you.
is also interesting to note that Jesus specifically asked Peter if he
could not watch with Him for just one hour.
Peter, the one with the self-confidence, who said he’d protect
Jesus, he’d die with Jesus, he wouldn’t deny Jesus, could not sit up
and watch with Jesus.
verse 41 Jesus says “watch and pray so you will not fall into
temptation. The spirit is
willing but the flesh is weak”. We
see watching associated with praying again here.
The context to these words are that Jesus will die.
He will leave this earth. We
will be responsible for the way we live.
We are to live in a state of “watchful prayer” so we will not
give into temptation because our flesh is weak.
gave these men an example of how to watch and pray but they fell asleep.
Jesus was being tempted in this garden.
He had to watch and pray, but once again, they missed the good
example of how to overcome temptation.
verse 42 we see Jesus left the three men again and went to pray.
Again Jesus had a battle with the flesh
He asked again to be released from the terror that would soon be
His, but once again He gave into the will of God.
verse 43 Jesus came back to the three men again and once again they were
sleeping. They were just very
tired. So in verse 44 Jesus went again and prayed
for the third time. Matthew tells us that he prayed the same prayer
and returned to find the three asleep again.
After the third time of prayer Jesus went back to the three men.
verse 45 He asked Peter, James And John, “are you still sleeping”?
Jesus could not imagine that they would sleep through one of the
most important times of His life, but such it is with humanity.
We sleep when Jesus wants us awake and alert.
section ends with verse 46. Jesus tells the disciples that His hour of
betrayal is now here. He tells
them to look up for His betrayers are now walking towards them.
How horrible these men must have felt.
How confused and saddened they must have been as they saw the
soldiers walking towards them with their friend Judas in the lead.
verse 47 we see that while Jesus was telling His disciples that those who
were coming to arrest Him would soon be here, Judas comes with the
soldiers. How dramatic of an
experience this would be.
Matthew tells us that Judas was one of the Twelve.
He clearly wanted his readers to understand that it was one of
Jesus’ own that did Him in,
and this is often the case, even in church circles today.
we learn about those who came with Judas in verse 47.
There was a large contingent of soldiers.
They had both swords and clubs, and they were sent by the Jewish
leadership. These men were
might wonder why Judas had to bring a crowd of soldiers with him to take
Jesus. Did he think that Jesus
would not go peacefully after all that He had told His disciples?
Apparently not. It might well
be that Judas was worried about Peter and the rest trying to protect
Jesus. I’m sure the Twelve
had discussions about these things, probably lad by Peter.
Then there might well be the thought that Jesus might do some kind
of miracle that would prevent His arrest.
The point is simple though, Judas
made sure that his attempt would not fail like all the other attempts by
the Jewish leadership. He
wanted to get Jesus, and he made sure he did.
verse 48 Matthew calls Judas “the betrayer”.
He doesn’t call him by name.
He might want to reinforce the point that Judas is about to betray
Jesus, and how Judas did that is ironic to us.
was standard procedure in those days to greet one another with a kiss.
So Judas kissing Jesus in verse 49 isn’t really out of place, but
the verb tense in the Greek suggests that this was more of an intense kiss
than just a quick kiss. Some
scholars wonder if Judas didn’t have conflicting feelings, and this
would be the reason for the intense kiss.
That might well be the case. Or
on the other hand, the intensity might have reflected a great measure of
anger Judas had for Jesus at this point.
You might even suggest that because satan was inside of Judas at
this point that satan himself kissed Jesus.
Judas had prearranged with the Jewish leaders that the one he kissed would
be Jesus and it would be He that they needed to arrest.
Once again we see Judas has planned this out well.
Though he might have felt some feelings for Jesus when he kissed
him, he didn’t feel them strong enough to change his mind.
that Jesus calls Judas “friend”. Jesus
had no resentment towards Judas even though he was about to betray Him.
While in the garden Jesus had made His mind up to submit to God’s will
and from that point on The Old Testament prophesies that Jesus went to the
cross as if He were a sheep going to slaughter.
This is exactly what we see here. He simply quietly took each event
as they came, and this event is no different.
I think that Jesus had great compassion for Judas.
He felt bad for him that he was about to betray Him.
calling Judas “friend” demonstrates the fact that god, Jesus too, is
both loving and just. Even
though Jesus loved Judas, His sense of justice did not sway Him.
Jesus knew, and said earlier, that it would have been better Judas
was never born.
a bit of a controversy concerning verse 50.
The NIV states, “friend, do what you came for”.
Other translations put this as a question, like, “why have you
come”. I don’t know if Jesus asked a question or made a statement.
He certainly knew why Judas came.
If He did indeed ask a question, it might well have been for Judas
to verbalize his intentions. Jesus
often has us verbalize our intentions and requests.
If Jesus did not ask the question, He was simply giving Judas
permission to do what he wanted to do.
As Jesus stated before Pilate, only God the Father had the real
authority to take Jesus’ life from Him.
Pilate was only the tool, and so was Judas in this case.
soon as Jesus gave the permission, the soldiers took Jesus and arrested
him. I think it is important
to understand that Jesus willingly went to the cross.
He willingly was arrested. He
gave His permission to be arrested or else no on could have arrested Him.
tells us that one of the disciples took out his sword at this point and
cut off the ear of one of the soldiers.
Matthew does not tell us who this disciple is but we know from
other accounts that it was Peter. This
would be Peter’s typical response to a situation like this. Peter told
Jesus that he would not allow anyone to take Him, and this was his futile
attempt to do just that.
Peter’s actions here were an attempt to change the will of God, so man
is constantly doing things that would interfere with God’s will, but
whatever we do, God will have His way in His own time.
verse 52 Jesus tells Peter to put away his sword.
The reason that Jesus gives for this is, “he who draws the sword
will die by the sword”. Many
people over the centuries have given many meanings to Jesus’ words here.
Pacifists have seen Jesus’ words to mean that they should not
fight in war.
not convinced that Jesus’ words here are telling us not to fight in what
some would call a just war. He’s
simply saying, “if you pull out your sword to fight, you might well be
killed by the one you are fighting, and if you consistently draw out your
sword, sooner or later you will die’.
It’s just a fact Jesus is making, not a commentary on war.
verse 52 Jesus rebukes Peter. He
basically says that He doesn’t need his human and futile help.
He could call on His Father and if it were His will more than ten
thousands legions of angels would come to His rescue, but that was not
God’s will. A legion of
soldiers back then consisted of 6,000 men. God’s will was for Jesus to
be arrested. The point
here is that God’s will must be done and human interference, no matter
how well intended must stop.
verse 54 Jesus says that if God did send the legion of angels to rescue
Him, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that stated this would have to
be. Jesus is saying that it is
God’s will for Him to be taken, and all this has been foretold in the
Old Testament. This should
give us a bit of a clue how to interpret Old Testament passages, something
the Jewish leadership did not understand.
verse 55 Jesus turns and now speaks to the crowd of soldiers by asking
them if they think He is leading a rebellion since they’ve come with
swords and clubs. This is a
natural question. The soldiers
come in all military might to arrest a man who has no defense, who has no
weapons to defend Himself with.
is clear that Jesus was not leading a revolt like all the other false
Messiahs that were around in those days.
Many of His followers, if not most, would have preferred and really
wanted Jesus to lead such a revolt. Some
even thought this would happen, and for this reason the soldiers might
have come prepared.
the last part of verse 56 Jesus says that He taught in the temple on other
days and they did not arrest Him then.
They could have, but they didn’t.
They couldn’t, because that was not God’s will.
verse 56 Jesus states again why these soldiers did not, nor could not
arrest Him. The Scriptures had
to be fulfilled right down to the last detail. And so they were.
also see in this verse that it was at this point the disciples forsook
Jesus, most likely out of fear of being arrested themselves.
How tragic this must have looked.
The close followers of Jesus left Him alone to the swords and the
clubs, but that’s what Jesus Himself foretold what would happen.
It wasn’t only Peter and Judas that fell away.
They all fell away.
appears from certain Scriptures, at least they are interpreted by many
Futurists that this will all happen again before the return of Jesus.
The pressure of the world will get to many and they will not be
able to withstand the enemy.
verse 57 we see that the soldiers took Jesus to the Sanhedrin.
The Sanhedrin was the ruling class of men in Jewish society.
This body of men consisted of 70 men.
They were elders,
teachers of the Law, lawyers, Pharisees, and Sadducees.
Caiaphas was the high priest at the moment so he would have been in
58 tells us that Peter went along to see what was going to happen, but he
followed “at a distance”. He
did not want to get caught himself.
As often is the case, many of us want to follow Jesus, but when
things get tough, we follow Him at a distance.
Such a distance between us and Jesus would allow a way of escape if
we felt so inclined.
verses 59 to 61we see that while Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin, many
false witnesses came before the council. They lied in order to find
something to convict Jesus on, but none of what was said was sufficient
for a conviction. Judas had
done his part. He got Jesus to
this point and now it was up to the Jewish leadership to do their part to
legally arrest Jesus, and that is what they wanted.
They wanted some sense of legality here, but in fact, much of this
so-called trial was not legal according to Jewish law.
two witnesses came forward who heard Jesus say that He’d destroy the
learn from verse 62 that Jesus did not answer this accusation.
At this point in time He really didn’t have to answer.
He knew God’s will and any attempt to try to save Himself at this
point would be going against the will of His Father.
Jewish leadership asked Jesus if He was going to answer this accusation.
Jesus remained silent. This
surely made the Jews more angry than ever. Ignoring them and their
procedures would have been seen as a major put down.
not answering the accusation Caiaphas got right to the issue.
He knew that Jesus had claimed to be the Christ, the Son of God.
This would make Him equal with God, which would have been seen as
blasphemy in the eyes of the Jews, for which they could convict Him and
ask the Romans to execute Him.
Jews had no legal authority to execute anyone.
They could arrest people, imprison them and flog them, but they had
no authority to sentence anyone to death.
verse 64 Jesus does answer this question.
He has to answer this question.
He can’t let the opportunity go by to proclaim who he really was,
especially in front of all the Jewish leadership.
Not answering this question might well be seen as denying the fact
that He was the Son of God.
way Jesus answers this question is especially interesting.
He says, “yes, it is as you say”.
Jesus didn’t say, “yes, I am the Son of God”.
That would have been direct words from His mouth.
He answered in a more indirect way.
What He was in fact saying here is that “what you say Caiaphas is
right. Your proclamation of me is accurate.
You’re now the one who is saying that I am the Christ, the Son of
God”. Jesus is putting His
own confession back into the mouth of Caiaphas who would deny such a
confession. So Caiaphas, even
though He did not want to, was confessing the truth of who Jesus really
continues in verse 64 as He turns to speak to not only Caiaphas, but the
rest of the Sanhedrin. He
tells them that in the future they will see
“the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the Mighty One and
coming on the clouds of heaven”. These
words are in reference to the
second coming of Jesus to earth.
calls Himself the “Son of Man” here as He often does.
This is a Messianic term. The
Jews would have known then that Jesus believes He is the Christ, the
Messiah. Then Jesus tells them
that He will be at God’s right hand.
This is a symbolic way to say that Jesus will be in joint authority
words “sitting at one’s right hand” back then was idiomatic,
meaning, they understood these picture words to mean sitting a place of
authority, not necessarily sitting at someone’s right hand.
Jesus is telling these Jewish leaders that they will see Him at some
distant future point return to earth on the clouds.
Of course these men would have been dead for centuries when Jesus
returns, but wherever their souls are, they will see the return of Jesus.
verse 65 and 66 we see that Caiaphas is furious with Jesus.
He tares his clothes. This
is a traditional way of showing one’s anger and disgust at something.
Caiaphas is totally disgusted with Jesus and His claim to deity and
tells the others that they’ve seen enough.
Jesus had definitely spoken blasphemy according to the rabbinical
teaching. This was worthy of death. Caiaphas
thus asks what the rest of the Sanhedrin thinks.
verse 67 and 68 we see that some men spit in Jesus’ face and hit Him,
asking Him to prophesy who did these things to Him.
They said this because He was blind folded at this point.
This was a complete mockery to Jesus.
The whole assembly and this so-called trial was a complete mockery
to Jesus and to the Jewish system of government and justice.
verse 69 we see Peter sitting out in the courtyard, waiting to see if he
might hear anything about what would happen to Jesus.
While sitting by the fire with others a girl comes up to him and
said, “you also were with Jesus of Galilee”.
We know that Peter’s accent gave him away.
He talked liked a Galilean.
The girl called Jesus, “Jesus of Galilee”.
This might well suggest that she is not totally informed to who
Jesus was and why He was with the Jewish leadership.
She knew He was from
verse 70 Peter “denies all of it”, suggesting that the girl probably
said more concerning Peter and Jesus than what we have recorded by
Matthew. I can picture Peter,
in a disgusting tone of voice making this very confident denial. Of course
Peter was lying.
see Peter leaving the fire and going back to the gateway where yet another
girl claims that Peter was with Jesus.
Notice that the ones making these claims are girls.
They weren’t men, or important men, but just girls.
I say “just girls” because that is how they would have been
viewed back then. Peter was
being shown up by girls.
verse 72 Peter denies knowing Jesus with even stronger words.
He makes an oath saying that he did not know Jesus.
This was more than a lie. This
was disobeying the Law of Moses in terms of making an oath.
Peter was taking his confident denial one step farther with this
second girl. And it wasn’t
just to this girl, but to all those around to whom this girl was pointing
Peter’s association with Jesus to.
verse 73 we learn of Peter’s accent.
Those standing by Peter tell him that he is indeed a friend of
Jesus “because his accent gives him away”.
Peter spoke as a Galilean would speak.
Jesus must then have spoken with a Galilean accent as well.
Thus the association was clear to those standing in the courtyard.
Peter knew Jesus.
verse 74 we see the next stage in Peter’s denial of Jesus.
The first time he was confronted with being a friend of Jesus, he
simply said that he wasn’t. The
second time he made an oath saying he wasn’t a friend of Jesus.
Now this time he tries to curse himself.
With any oath or covenant there would be blessings and cursings
stipulated in the covenant. Basically
what Peter was doing here was in relation to the covenant that he made
with the second girl. If he
was in fact not telling the truth as he claimed in the oath, then he
should have been cursed with the curse stipulated in the oath.
You can certainly see that each of Peter’s denials got more
intense as he spoke them.
as he made this last denial he heard a rooster crow which was foretold to
him by Jesus. The word
“immediately” is important here. The
impact of the immediate crowing by the rooster would have had severe
impact on Peter. The rooster
didn’t crow a few hours after Peter’s third denial.
He crowed immediately which would have enforced the words of Jesus
into Peter’s heart and mind.
chapter ends with verse 75. As
soon as Peter hears the rooster crow he remembers the words of Jesus.
Immediately he leaves the courtyard and goes outside “and weeps
bitterly”. Peter is
extremely sorrowful for what he has said in disowning Jesus.
He, in all of his confidence told everyone that he would never do
such a thing, and here he was, caught in such a terrible thing.
Disowning his Lord, and using an oath in the process.
This was no simple denial. The
fact that Peter “wept bitterly” should tell us that he repented of his
actions from the bottom of his heart.
convinced that this time of sorrow and repentance on the part of Peter was
a life changing event for him. It
made him ready for that which would follow, meaning, the death of Jesus.
But not only His death but His resurrection that culminated in the
ascension and then the giving of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.