Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 26:48-63

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Matthew 26:48-49

Whomever I kiss, he is the one. Typical of many cultures, Jewish people in the first century greeted their friends with a kiss. Judas had agreed to kiss Jesus as the sign to the Jewish leaders which person in the crowd was Jesus in the dark garden at night.

Matthew 26:51

Struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. Matthew does not tell which disciple drew his sword (maybe to protect the disciple's identity) but John 18:10 tells us that it was Peter and the servant's name was Malchus. Luke 22:51 tells us that Jesus healed the servant's ear.

Matthew 26:52

Put your sword back in its place. Jesus rejected using violence to protect or expand his kingdom. He was willing to submit to God's will, which was for him to suffer and die (Matt. 26:39, 42). See HC 105.

Matthew 26:53

He would send more than twelve legions of angels. Even as Jesus submitted to God's will in the temptations at the beginning of his ministry (Matt. 4:1-11), so he trusted God's will when facing his own death.

Matthew 26:54,56

The scriptures be fulfilled… the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled. Jesus as the fulfillment of Scripture is a repeated and central theme throughout Matthew's Gospel. No specific OT texts are quoted here and it seems the point is that all of these events concerning Jesus fulfill the overall message of Scripture. The point is that Jesus was faithfully completing all of God's work in the world. See WLC 49.

Matthew 26:57

The scribes and the elders. In Jesus' day the Jewish people were governed by a religious group of elders who were part of an elite group of educated people who were experts in the Scriptures and God's laws.

Matthew 26:61

"I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days." Nowhere in Matthew does Jesus say that he would destroy the temple, but John 2:19 records that Jesus said this and therefore the saying must have been well-known and used as an accusation against Jesus. However, John 2:21 makes clear that Jesus was referring to his own body, which he was willing to give over to death in obedience to the Father.

Matthew 26:63

Jesus was silent. Matthew describes Jesus like Isaiah's Suffering Servant who was like a sheep who was silent as it was led to slaughter (Isa. 53:7). Peter will later use this as an example for Christians to not revile when reviled but to entrust themselves to their heavenly Father (1 Pet. 2:23).

Matthew 26:63

The Christ, the Son of God. This central description of Jesus as the Messiah (Christ) and the Son of God is what was rightly said of Jesus at crucial points throughout the story, including Jesus' baptism (Matt. 3:17), his temptation (Matt. 4:1-11), Peter's confession (Matt. 16:16), Jesus' transfiguration (Matt. 17:5), and at his death on the cross (Matt. 27:54). Even though the high priest does not believe Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God, he recognized that this is the most important question about Jesus.

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