Matthew 26:36-75 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane
Comments for Study 32

Matthew 26:36-75
Memory Verse: 2

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Passion Week Events

Jesus had just left the temple where he pronounced woes against the religious leaders and cried for Jerusalem. A time line is as follows.
    Friday -Jesus arrives in the Jerusalem area. (John 11:54-12:1)
    Saturday (Sabbath) -a day of rest; no event recorded except Luke 21:37-38.
    Sunday -Jesus' triumphal entry. (Matt. 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19)
    Monday -Jesus curses the fig tree (Matt. 21:18-19; Mark 11:12-14). Jesus clears out the Temple. (Matt. 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18)
    Tuesday -Jesus' authority questioned. (Matt. 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:18) Jesus teaches in the temple. (Matt. 21:28-22:46; Mark 12:1-44; Luke 20:9-21:4) Jesus wept over Jerusalem's leader's unbelief and rejecting him as thier King. (Matthew 23:1-39) Jesus anointed at Bethany. (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 13:3-9; John 12:2-11)
    Wednesday -another day of rest; no event recorded except Luke 21:37-38. The Jews plot to kill Jesus. (Matt. 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6)
    Thursday (Hebrew month Abib the 13th day) -the Passover meal begins at twilight (see below note) when Jesus and the disciples celebrate the Last Supper. (Matt. 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; John 13:1-18) Jesus comforts the disciples (John 14:1-16:33) Jesus prays at Gethsemane. (Matt. 26:26-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46)
    Friday (Hebrew month Abib, 14 day) -According Hebrew time Jesus is arrest and tried from night to daylight. (Matt. 26:47-27:26; Mark 14:43-15:15; Luke 22:47-23:25; John 18:2-19:16) Jesus' crucifixion at 3:00pm, and death before sunset which is the end of the Hebrew day and Passover. (Matt. 27:27-56; Mark 15:16-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-30) Jesus is buried at sunset. (Matt. 27:57-66; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42)
    Saturday (Sabbath Abib 15, Seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread begins) Jesus' body is in the tomb. He appears in Sheol and accompanies the saints previously dead to heaven. (1 Peter 3:18-20)
    Sunday (Abib 16; day of First Fruits Sheaf Wave) Jesus' morning resurrection and appearing to the women. (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18) Then he appeared to the two on the road. (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35) Then to the ten apostles (no Thomas or Judas) in the evening. (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25)
    Saturday (Sabbath) -Jesus appears to Thomas and the rest of the apostles. (John 20:26-31)
    A week later -Jesus talks and eats with some disciples by the Sea of Galilee. (John 21:1-25)
    Forty days since his resurrection -Jesus ascends to his Father from the Mount of Olives. (Matt. 28:15-20; Mark 18:19-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:1-11)

* Note: The Passover is linked to the 14th days of the month not the day of the week. Passover starting on Thursday at twilight is a very rare event; unusally it starts on a different day of the week. (Hebrew days start at sunset/twilight and go thru the night till the next day's sunset.) Falling on a Thursday that year made it possible for Jesus to fulfill the meaning behind the feasts associated with the Passover. His crucified was on Friday (still Passover), the Sabbath (Saturday) rest was the Feast of Unleavened Bread (always on the first Sabbath after Passover), and Sunday was the third day since his death, the day of the First Fruit Sheaf Wave, and the day that Jesus rose from the dead. All three feasts were thus fulfilled by Jesus.

I. Jesus' Soul's Bathe in Prayer (36-46)

>1. Where had Jesus and the disciples been? (17-35)

* Jesus and his disciples had been eating the Passover in a house in Jerusalem.

* Jesus' disciples were sorrowful (John 14:1, 16:19-24; Luke 22:45)

>What had they been talking about?

* Jesus talked about his death, specifically his body and blood given for their redemption through a new covenant that many now call communion.

* Jesus' predicted the following sorrowful and alarming future this day:
    1) the woes on the religious leaders and the destruction of the temple
    2) the great tribulation at the end of the age
    3) his second coming in glory and wrath at the end of the age
    4) the judgement of nations at the end of the age
    5) his immediate arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection
    6) one of the twelve would betray him
    7) all of them would fall away
    8) Peter would deny his three times before the end of the day (the day had just started in Hebrew time)
    9) He was going away from them and they could not follow
    10) The world would hate them on account of him
    11) They would be cast out of the synagogues, arrested, put on trial and even killed
    12) Jesus had washed their feet as a rebuke to love and serve their each other

* All of these predictions after a busy and intense week full of ups and downs. The disciples were exhausted, heavy-hearted, and distraught. How much more was Jesus?

* Apostle John recorded from chapter 13-16 that Jesus taught a lot more during the meal. Matthew, Mark, and Luke did not record these teachings. John however didn't record the breaking of bread. (The concept is in John 6.) Puttting all the gospels together we can see that it was a very long and unusual Passover meal from the Jewish apostles point of view.

* The disciples had a hard time understanding and accepting all that Jesus taught. They especially denied every running away from him in a time of trouble, especially Peter.

* No one has ever known or experience what Jesus was going through at this time. He had all the power and authority to stop the pain, suffering and death. He is very God and also very man. Would he resist using is authority and power as creator God so that the flesh would be crushed? The answer of course is yes, but only after he prayed in a way that no man had prayed before and since.

>Look at verse 30. What can we learn here?

* "When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." (30)

* Psalms 115-118 are customarily sung during the Passover meal. They are songs of praise and thanks.

* Singing hyms and songs of praise and thanks is good for the soul.

* Songs that honor God lifts our hearts.

>2. What did Jesus do next?

* "Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane..." (36a)

* "Gethsemane" -Gethsemane means olive oil press. Gethsemane was a remote walled garden (Jesus “entered” and went out) on the Mount. of Olives where Jesus went often for prayer, rest, and fellowship with His disciples.

* Someone owned the land and let Jesus and his disciples use it. This person was a hidden unknown servant.

Olive oil press and mill

* The picture to the right is a Capernaum olive oil press and mill dating to the time of Jesus.

* A short road went east out of Jerusalem and the Temple mount and winded down into the Kidron Valley to the base of the Mount of Olives. At the base of the Kidron Valley was a small brook. During Passover (already begun) the priests on the temple mount above the valley would be continually offering the required unblemished lambs as sacrifices for the people's sins. Approximately 600,000 were offered. The lamb's blood and water would flow into drainage sewers that started on the Temple mount and emptied into the brook. The river would have overflowed with bloody water during Passover. Jesus and his disciples would have crossed this brook on their way to Gethsemane, reminding Jesus that his own blood would soon be pouring out too.

* David centuries earlier was forced out of Jerusalem and travelled on the same route when his son, Absalom tried to take Israel by force. David leaving was also a sorriful event, with much morning. (2 Sam. 15:13-16:14)

>Why? (36)

* "...and he said to them, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray.'" (36b)

* "Sit here" -Jesus wanted the eight to wait by the gate for the press area is surrounded by a short wall. Luke 22:40 adds, "On reaching the place, he said to them, 'Pray that you will not fall into temptation.'"

* "while I go over there" -Jesus wanted to pray quietly with only the closest of friends with him. He had prayed for them during the last supper (John 17), how he would engage in personal prayer. It is right to come to God as we are, speaking to him with our personal problems and agonies.

>Which of the disciples did he take along with him?

* "He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him..." (37a)

* Why these three?
    1) as witnesses to his agony as they were to his glory on the mount of transfiguration.
    2) to teach the way to endure the cross of mission
    3) to teach them how to depend on God in prayer

>What was Jesus' condition?

* "...and he began to be sorrowful and troubled." (37b)

* Jesus was crushed to the point of death by agony. Death by agony has been recorded.

* Psalms 22:14-15 "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death."

* Psalms 42:1-4 "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng."

* Psalms 60:3-5 "You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered."

* Psalms 69:1-4a "Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me."

* Psalms 88:1-3 "O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave."

* Psalms 116:3-4 "The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: 'O Lord, save me!'"

* John 12:27-28 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, 'I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.'"

>What did he tell them and what help did he ask of them?

* "Then he said to them, 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.'" (38)

* Mark 14:34 also records, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."

* Jesus is humble and very man.

* Hebrews 5:8-9 states, "Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him."

* The hour of darkness had now fallen. (Luke 22:53; John 14:30-31)

>Why?

* "overwhelmed with sorrow" -The Greek word here is "perilypos" and implies sorrow that does not desire companions near or fit for it.

* "keep watch with me" -Jesus did not ask them to keep watch for the guards and Judas, but to pray with him for strength so that they would not fall when temptation came.

* Jesus was not asking for his sake, but theirs.

* When we go through sorrow and trouble is coming prayer is what is needed.

* Jesus did not say this because of lack of faith.

>3. Look at verse 39. What was "the cup"?

* "Going a little father, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'" (39)

* "cup" -Jesus is referring to his suffering, crucifixion, and death. Jesus will take our sin on him and will be cursed by God. Galatians 3:13 states, " Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

* Psalms 75:7-8 "But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs."

* Isaiah 51:17 "Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger."

* God will lay on him the iniquity of us all.

* Psalms 40:7-12 "Then I said, 'Here I am, I have come-- it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.' I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly. Do not withhold your mercy from me, O Lord; may your love and your truth always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me."

* Hebrews 5:7 "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission."

* When we drink the cup of suffering we do not drink it forever. Eventually we see the bottom of the cup.

Jesus Praying in the Garden

See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.

>What were Jesus' prayer topics?

* "'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'" (39)

* "My Father" -Jesus' faith in, love for, and need of his Father always exists.

* "if it is possible" -The Scriptures is full of verses stated what was needed for salvation of mankind. Jesus is saying now as the Son of Man, "If there is any other way." He knew there wasn't. Coming to God is the exact state that our weak bodies are in is fully acceptable and desired by God the Father.

* "Yet not as I will, but as you will" -Jesus

* Jesus prayed this first time about one hour. These verses are the sum of the one hour.

>What does this reveal about his inner struggle?

* Jesus' prayer was very intense.

* Man's natural tendency is to flee from suffering. The natural man is subjected to the law of self preservation. His inner desire was to not be subjected to God's curse and wrath.

* Jesus made a free will offering. He freely gave us saving himself and his own needs. No one forced Jesus to drink the cup. (John 10:18a)

* Jesus knew it would happen. Judas had left to bring guards to Jesus.

* We should not base our life actions on our feelings, but on the will of God.

>What were the reasons for his deep sorrow? (John 1:29, Matthew 27:46)

* "About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi Eloi, lama sabachthani?' -which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" (Mt. 27:46)

* John 1:29 "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'"

* "a little further" -Calvin wrote, "It is useful to pray apart, for then the faithful soul develops itself more familiarly and with greater simplicity sours forced upon itself, groans, cares, fears, hope, and joys in the bosom of God."

* When the natural man is sorrowful he sleeps, commits suicide, drink alcohols, or takes drugs.

* When hard times come we need to do what Jesus did.

>4. What victory was Jesus about to win? (Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21)

* "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'" (Gal. 3:13)

* "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor. 5:21)

* Jesus victory was overcoming the law, the sin it produces, and the death that sin brings by because a curse for us.

* Romans 7:4-6 "So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code."

* Galatians 2:19-21 "For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

>What did he find his disciples doing?

* "Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping..." (40a)

* "sleeping" -Most likely they started to pray, but since they had not made prayer a habit, and because they refused to accept that they would all run away, they had not real prayer topics. After a few minutes they had to stop and started to go to sleep.

* I've heard people who had long prayers that say the same things over and over again only to make themselves look spiritual. I've heard people pray in babblings words that are not from the heart. I've heard people make baby noises because they believe that they are praying in the spirit. I've seen people receipt prayers that someone else wrote without making it their own. A good study of psalms reveals good prayers. Prayers are communication with God. The disciples were still young spiritually.

>What did he tell them? (40b-41)

* "'Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?' he asked Peter. 'Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (40-41)

* M. R. Vincent wrote in Word Studies in the New Testament, "It is hardly possible to convey the exact force of the Greek word here. The idea is, 'are you thus unable', or so 'utterly unable to watch?'"

* "Peter" -Jesus asked Peter directly because he was so clear that he would not denie Jesus. Jesus wanted to point out Peter just how weak he was in the flesh and how he needed prayer so much.

>What battle did they lose?

* The battle over control of their flesh and desires.

* They fell into temptation.

* James 5:16b states, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

* 1 Peter 4:7 "The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray."

* Jesus taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Matt. 6:13)

>Why?

* They had not accepted the words he spoke earlier. If they had they would have known of the emergency of this time.

* Victory comes when we do not fall asleep, but pray.

>5. Look at verse 42. Can you find any progression?

* "He went away a second time and prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.'" (42)

* Jesus was stronger now. He accepted God's will and overcame the sinful nature. Jesus resigned himself to the will of God. He would drink the cup of our sin and God's wrath against it.

* The first Adam failed to obey God. The second Adam, Jesus obeyed even unto death on the cross. Jesus is fully human, but not selfish what-so-ever.

* Jesus now did not want to do his will.

* Jesus' prayer became a God centered prayer.

>What was Jesus' decision in prayer?

* Jesus decided to do the Father's will, thus denying himself even though it meant great suffering; spiritual, physical, and mental.

>Why do you think he went to pray a third time? (44)

* "So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing." (44)

* Jesus was strengthened even more.

>Did the disciples make any progress?

* "When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy." (43)

* The only progress the disciples made was in more sleep and louder snores.

>How did Jesus' attitude change? (45-46)

* "Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, 'Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!'" (45-46)

* He now fully accepted the Fathers will. He fully denied himself.

* "Look, the hour is near" -Jesus could see the row of torches approaching, and the noise of the crowd coming.

* "Rise, let us go" -Jesus went to meet them. He did not leave. He took the initiative.

II. Jesus Was Arrested (47-56)

>6. Who led the large crowd armed with swords and clubs?

* "While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him wass a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people." (47)

* "Judas, one of the Twelve" -A term that came to mean the betrayer.

* "a large crowd" -"The Sanhedrin had neither soldiers nor a regularly-armed band at their command. In John 18:3, Judas receives a cohort of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees. Part of the band would consist of this regularly-armed cohort, and the rest of a crowd armed with cudgels, and embracing some of the servants of conspicuous men in the Sanhedrin." (M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament)

>Who sent them?

* The elders of the people. (44)

* Mark 14:43 "Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders."

* John 18:3 "So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons."

* The chief priests controlled temple guards, men responsible for keeping people from going places that was forbidden to them. Their jurisdiction was only on the temple mount.

>What did Judas do? (48-49)

* "Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: 'The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.' Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, 'Greetings, Rabbi!' and kissed him." (48-49)

* "arranged a signal" -It was night, hard to see who what who unless you had known someone very well.

* "going at once" -Judas was single minded and direct.

* "Rabbi" -Rabbi means my teacher here.

* "kiss" -"The compound verb has the force of an emphatic, ostentatious salute. Meyer says "embraced and kissed". The same word is used of the tender caressing of the Lord's feet by the woman in the Pharisees house (Luke 7:38), of the father's embrace of the returned prodigal (Luke 15:20), and of the farewell of the Ephesian elders to Paul. (Acts 20:37)" (M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament)

* Judas was pretending to the end to be a disciple who loved Jesus. Perhaps in some strange thinking he believed he was doing the right thing. Everyone wants to justify their sins. Judas couldn't have been the exception.

* Satan broke Judas' heart to the very end.

* Since Jesus' close friend betrayed him, we can expect people close to us will betray and hate us to. Satan will enter the heart of a person like Judas, even if they are in the inner circle, having an important position.

>What did Jesus say to him? (50)

* "Jesus replied, 'Friend, do what you came for.'" (50)

* "Friend" -Jesus called him friend. He did not condemn him, though he warned him the consequences during the Last Supper.

* "do what you came for" -Jesus is saying, "Enough with the pretensions, hand me over." Jesus again shows he is in control, freely giving up himself.

* Jesus had great peace and was in total control because he had already committed himself before God his Father in prayer.

>7. How did one of Jesus' companions respond? (51)

* "With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear." (51)

* Jesus had told Peter that Judas would be the betrayer. Peter understood that Jesus was going to be arrested. Yet, he did not know why. He did not understand that Jesus was giving up his life, just as he had been telling him.

* "cutting off his ear" -Peter did not try to cut off his ear. Only one well trained in swordsmanship could do that. Peter was a fisherman who tried to cut off someone's head and missed the neck.

>What did Jesus say to him? (52-54)

* "'Put your sword back in its place,' Jesus said to him, 'for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?'" (52-54)

* "Put your sword back in its place" -Jesus again is in total control.

* John 18:2-11 adds a few more details.

>Could Jesus have saved himself?

* "I could call on my Father" -Yes for he had the authority and a direct link to God, his Father.

* "he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels" -Jesus had authority over angels. He will come to Jerusalem again, very soon with a force even larger than this.

>Why did he not?

* "how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled" -His desire was for God's will to be fulfilled. God's will for him was clear in Scriptures.

* "it must happen this way" -Jesus must be handed over by a friend. He must be arrested. He must be tried illegally. He was be scorned. He must be crucified.

>What kind of battle was he fighting? (cf. Eph. 6:12)

* "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.'" (Eph 6:12)

* Jesus' battle was a battle against sin and death, against Satan and his plans. Jesus was fighting for mankind, not against them.

>How did he see this event? (54-56)

* "'But how then would the Scriptures by fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?' At tht time Jesus said to the crowd, 'Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.' Then all the disciples deserted him and fled." (54-56)

* "Am I leading a rebellion" -Jesus' teaching never said anything about a war or fighting against Rome.

* "you did not arrest me" -Jesus pointed out that they came to arrest him in secret, during the night.

* "the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled" -Jesus told them this so that after they may see that he was in control, letting it happen. They would see God's will and perhaps repent and believe.

>What did the disciples do?

* "All the disciples deserted him and fled." (56b)

* Their fear fulfilled Jesus' word to them.

* This is not the actions of a man who was leading a rebellion. Not even his closest friends stayed.

III. Jesus Was Tried Before the Sanhedrin (57-68)

>8. Where was Jesus taken?

* "Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled." (57)

* "took him to" -Leviticus 17:5 states the offering must be brought to the priest, "This is so the Israelites will bring to the Lord the sacrifices they are now making in the open fields. They must bring them to the priest, that is, to the Lord, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and sacrifice them as fellowship offerings."

* "Caiaphas, the high priest" -Recently it is reported that a type of burial box with this family name was found near Jerusalem. He was the son-in-law of Annas who served from 6-15 A.D. (Luke 3:2; John 18:12-14; 24) Caiaphas was appointed high priest about A.D. 18 and removed from office about A.D. 36 or 37.

* At this time in history there were two high priests which was against the law of God. God said the high priest was appointed for life. Luke says that Jesus was brought to the house of one of them, Annas (official by God, but not by the Romans). The other, Caiaphas should have been busy with the sacrifices on the temple mount (The Roman's would make sure he was there for they had a fortress overlooking the temple mount). However, he had to sit in the official Jewish court, the Sanhedrin. Caiaphas could be the only one over the Sanhedrin per the Romans.

* Matthew leaves out the fact that Jesus was first sent to Annas (as noted above). John records what took place at that questioning. (John 18:12-14, 19-24, 28) Luke only says Jesus was taken to the high priest without adding details except stating what the guards did to him. (Luke 22:54, 63-65) Mark records several interesting facts most overlapping Matthew's account. (Mark 14:53-65)

* John says that when Judas left it was dark. The sun was about ready to rise. By the time the high priest brought Jesus to Pilate it as light and they would not and could not enter his house. I've read somewhere that it was illegal for the Sanhedrin to meet at night.

* Psalms 22:6-8 "But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: 'He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.'"

* Psalms 35:15-16 "But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; attackers gathered against me when I was unaware. They slandered me without ceasing. Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me."

* The gate from the Mount of Olives to the Temple and Jerusalem was called the sheep gate because the sheep were brought to slaughter for Passover through this gate. In fact Jesus probably was taken through the gate with sheep all around him.

>What verdict and sentence were decided before the trial?

* "The chief priest and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death." (59)

* "the whole Sanhedrin" -The Sanhedrin was made up of seventy-one religious leaders (elders) from the parties of the Pharisees, Sadducees (priests), and perhaps even some Herodians. The high priest preceded over them, making the Sadducee priestly party the most influential. The high priest was not to make any rulings or question a prisoner. They can be traced back to Moses (Numbers 11:16) and Ezra after the Exile. However, the Old Testament provides no evidence of a council that functioned like the Sanhedrin of later times (consider the time of Israel's kings). Thus, the Sanhedrin had its origin sometime during the centuries between the Testaments.

* "false evidence against Jesus" -testimony that they arrested him for no legal reason.

* "so that they could put him to death" -They felt the only way to keep their authority was to kill him.

>Why was it difficult to find a charge?

* "But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward." (60)

* Deuteronomy 19:15 "One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."

* Proverbs 19:9 "A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish."

* "they did not find any" -Few laws of Moses required death.

>What charge was finally brought against him?

* "Finally two came forward and declared; 'This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.''" (60b-61)

* "two men came forward" -Meeting the requirement of Deuteronomy 19:15.

* "destroy the temple of God" -The law of Moses did not make this a capital offense.

* Mark 14:59 adds, "Yet even then their testimony did not agree." Mark has the other charge.

* Neither men quoted Jesus correctly. John 2:19 records Jesus saying, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." He said this at the beginning of his ministry, the first recorded time Jesus cleared the temple of money changers.

* Not only did they quote him incorrectly, but they missed the meaning. John 2:21 states, "But the temple he had spoken of was his body."

* People have been misquoting and misunderstanding God's word ever since Eve spoke to the serpent.

* Stephen was also accused of this. (Acts 6:13-14)

* Psalms 27:12 "Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence."

* Psalms 35:11 "Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about."

* Hosea 7:13 "Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled against me! I long to redeem them but they speak lies against me."

* Jesus told us that people will misunderstand us and misquote us too. How many times have people spread lies about me; even those who call themselves God's chosen people? More than anyone but God can count.

* Satan is the great accuser. Yet because Jesus was falsely accused, we will not be accused. Romans 8:33-34 states, "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."

>How did Jesus answer? (63a)

* "But Jesus remained silent." (63a)

* When falsely accused by people who hate us and are only looking for our ruin, it is good to remain quiet. When Jesus was asked about the truth (next), he answered.

>9. When the high priest continued questioning Jesus, what clear testimony did he give? (63b-64)

* "The high priest said to him, 'I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.' 'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied. 'But I say to all of you; In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.'" (63b-64)

* "the hight priest asked him" -He had asked Jesus this before. This question was always on the high priest's mind. Earlier they had asked, "If you are the Christ, tell us..." (John 10:24)

* When Jesus answered this question he knew he would be condemned to death.

* Jesus did not hide his identity.

* Christ is Greek for the Hebrew word Messiah.

* "the Son of God" -Another title for the Messiah only recorded here. Mark used "Blessed One". This is a way of saying the LORD God (YHWH Elohim) because the Jews had such high regard for the LORD God that they dare not say his name.

* "Yes it is as you say" -Perhaps better rendered, "You have said it." Mark adds that he said, "I am". Jesus answered in the word that God gave Moses at the burning bush. Exodus 3:12-15 says, "And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain." Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation."

* In the Exodus 3:12-15 quote above these are the English and Hebrew equivalants of the underline words (names) for God in order as they appear:
    God = Elohim
    you will worship God on this mountain = abad Elohim har
    God = Elohim
    God of your fathers = Elohim ab
    God said to Moses = Elohim amar mosheh
    I AM WHO I AM = Haya Haya
    I AM = Shalah
    God = Elohim
    the LORD = YHWH
    the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob = Elohim abraham Elohim yishaq Elohim yaaqob
    This is my name forever = shem olam

* Jesus used "I AM" thus claiming he is Elohim (creator God of Genesis 1:1), Haya Haya (I AM WHO I WILL BE), Shalah (I AM), and YHWH (LORD of the covenants).

* Elohim is a singluar/plural word. When a Hebrew word ends in "im" it is plural, similar to the way English adds a "s" to make a nown plural. However, "Eloh" is singular in meaning and use. Thus, in the word Elohim God is stating that he is singular/plural or as Christians says, "Three in One and yet One."

* Jesus stood up and told the truth about his identity before enemies. He was not afraid to. Nor should I be afraid to tell my identity before others.

* Mohamad, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Mormans, and other false christs take away from who Jesus said he is.

>Before whom must the high priest stand someday?

* "you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One" -Jesus is he.

* "and you will see" -seeing with their own eyes either happened when Stephen was stoned or has not yet happened.

* "the Son of Man" -Jesus was referring to his humanity when he used this phrase.

* "sitting at the right hand" -a place of highest authority. Jesus was saying that he was equal to God.

* "of the Mighty One" -Greek word "dynamis" meaning power, strength, and authority.

* Jesus was warning them that he will come as judge and in power, the Messiah that they taught everyone to believe was coming.

* Jesus knew that death wasn't the end.

* "coming on the clouds of heaven" -Jesus will be coming in glory to judge and save Israel and Judah. The cloud of heaven is the bright shining glory of the Lord. Glory is "kabad" in Hebrew meaning a bright shinning cloud surrounding the LORD God. The glory of the Lord came on Mt. Sinai just after the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt (Ex. 16:7-10, 24:16-17), in desert Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-38; Lev. 9:6, 23; Num. 14:10), and in the Temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:10-11; and 2 Chronicles 5:14, 7:1-3, Isa. 6:1-4). Jesus coming in the glory of the Lord is prophecies by Isaiah (Isaiah 4:2-6, 35:1-2, 40:4-5, 59:19-20, 60). Ezekiel also saw the glory of the Lord. (Ezekiel 1:25-28; 3:12, 22-23; 9:3-4; 10:3-4, 18-22; 11:22-23; 43:1-5; 44:4). Luke 2:9 says the glory of the Lord shown over the shepherds when they angles said Jesus was born. Paul calls Jesus the "Lord of glory" in 1 Cor. 2:8 and the "radiance of God's glory" in Hebrews 1:3.

* Jesus knew his past glory and future glory. John saw Jesus in the glorious resurrected body (Rev. 1:7-18; 4:1-11)

>What was the high priest's response?

* "Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, 'He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?' 'He is worthy of death,' they answered." (65-66)

* "the high priest tore his clothes" -According to Lev. 21:10 the high priest was not allowed his robe. If he tore his robe he would be disqualified to offer the Passover Lamb. This made it possible to offer himself as the Lamb of God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek. (Heb. 2:17, 3:1, 4:14-15, 5:1-10, 6:19-20, 7:1-9:28)

* "tore his clothes" -Tearing clothes was a sign of remorse at something they heard or saw that they considered a reproach to God. (Isa. 36:22, 37:1; Acts 15:14)

* "Why do we need... What do you think" -the high priest was suppose to be the last to speak. He was not to sway the vote with is opinions and comments.

* "the blasphemy" -With Jesus' words that he was the Son of the Blessed One, the Son of God, the LORD God himself; the Jews had a reason from Jesus' own lips to crucify him.

* Jesus crime was thus blasphemy, one of the few crimes worthy of death according to Moses.

* Matthew 26:67-68 "Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, "Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?"

* These actions were also illegal.

IV. Peter Disowns Jesus (69-75)

>10. Look at verses 33-35, 40-41, 58, 69-75. Did Peter intend to betray Jesus?

* No.

* Matthew 26:33-35 "Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same."

* Matthew 26:40-41 "Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

* Matthew 26:58 "But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome."

* Matthew 26:69-75 "Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth." He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!" After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away." Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!" Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly."

* Bad company corrupts good character. (1 Cor. 15:33)

>What do these verses reveal about why he did it?

* He was not prepared for it. (If he prayed as Jesus told him he would have been.)

* He was confused because he did not accept Jesus' words.

* Humanly he was loyal. Spiritually he was wrong.

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