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Matthew 26.31-75 BLB

MT 26:31-75 - BLB Study Guide


5. (Mat 26:31-35) Jesus predicts the desertion of the disciples.

31 Then Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee."33 Peter answered him, "Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away." 34 Jesus said to him, "Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." 35 Peter said to him, "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!" And all the disciples said the same.

a. All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night: Jesus said this not to condemn His disciples, but to show them that He really was in command of the situation, and to demonstrate that the Scriptures regarding the suffering of the Messiah must be fulfilled.

b. After I have been raised: Jesus already was looking beyond the cross. His eyes were set on the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2).

c. Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You! Peter was tragically unaware of both the spiritual reality and the spiritual battle that Jesus clearly saw. Peter felt brave at the moment and had no perception beyond the moment. Soon, Peter would be intimidated before a humble servant girl, and before her Peter would deny that he even knew Jesus.

i. "No doubt these words were spoken from his heart; but 'the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.'" (Spurgeon)

d. Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times: Jesus knew that Peter would fail in what he thought was his strong area - courage and boldness. Through this solemn warning Jesus gave Peter an opportunity to take heed and consider his own weakness.

i. Jesus said it so clearly to Peter. "Peter, you will be made to stumble. You will forsake Me, your Master. You will do it this very night - before the rooster crows. You will deny that you have any association with Me, or even know Me. And you won't only do it once; you will do it three times." "Was not this warning enough to him not to trust in his own strength, but to depend on God?" (Clarke)

ii. It was an opportunity that Peter did not use. Instead he said, "If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" Jesus knew Peter far better than Peter did, and in over-estimating himself, Peter was ready for a fall.

iii. The rest of the disciples also overestimated their strength and did not rely on the Lord in the critical hour: And so said all the disciples. The Apostle Paul warned us against falling where we think we are strong: Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). When we think we are beyond the reach of some sins, we are ready for a fall.

iv. "Apparently it was usual for roosters in Palestine to crow about 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 A.M.; so the Romans gave the term 'cock-crow' to the watch from 12:00 to 3:00 A.M." (Carson)


7-15-2017 LESSON VERSES - Do I have the Strength?

C. Jesus prays and is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.

1. (Mat 26:36-39) Jesus' prayer in deep distress.

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray." 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[a] with me." 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."

a. Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane: This is just east of the temple mount area in Jerusalem, across the ravine of the Brook Kidron, and on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives. Surrounded by ancient olive trees, Gethsemane means "olive press." There olives from the neighborhood were crushed for their oil. So too, the Son of God would be crushed here.

i. "And again, he chose that garden, amongst others contiguous to Jerusalem, because Judas knew the place. He wanted retirement, but he did not want a place where he could skulk and hide himself. It was not for Christ to give himself up-that were like suicide; but it was not for him to withdraw and secrete himself-that were like cowardice." (Spurgeon)

b. He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed: Jesus was disturbed; in part from knowing the physical horror waiting for Him at the cross. As He came to Gethsemane from central Jerusalem, He crossed the Brook Kidron, and saw in the full moon of Passover the stream flowing red with sacrificial blood from the temple.

i. "The words in the Greek are expressive of the greatest sorrow imaginable." (Poole)

c. My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death: But more so, Jesus was distressed at the spiritual horror waiting for Him on the cross. Jesus would stand in the place of guilty sinners and receive all the spiritual punishment sinners deserve; He who knew no sin would be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).

i. Exceedingly sorrowful "is a rather weak translation for a phrase which contains Matthew's favourite word for violent emotion, even shock (used in 17:6, 23; 18:31; 19:25; 27:54)." (France)

ii. Jesus did not die as a martyr. "Jesus went to his death knowing that it was his Father's will that he face death completely alone (Matthew 27:46) as the sacrificial, wrath-averting Passover Lamb. As his death was unique, so also his anguish; and our best response to it is hushed worship." (Carson)

iii. "Hence the Greek Litany, 'By thine unknown sufferings, good Lord, deliver us." (Trapp)

iv. Yet in this hour of special agony, God the Father sent special help to His Son. Luke 22:43 says that angels came and ministered to Jesus in the garden.

d. If it is possible: Of course, there is a sense in which all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). Yet this is true only in a sense; because there are things that are morally impossible for God. It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18) and impossible to please Him without faith (Hebrews 11:6). It was not morally possible for God to atone for sin and redeem lost humanity apart from the perfect, wrath-satisfying sacrifice that Jesus prepared Himself for in Gethsemane.

e. If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me: God the Father would never deny the Son any request, because Jesus prayed according to the heart and will of the Father. Since Jesus drank the cup of judgment at the cross, we know that it is not possible for salvation to come any other way. Salvation by the work of Jesus at the cross is the only possible way; if there is any other way to be made right before God, then Jesus died an unnecessary death.

i. Repeatedly in the Old Testament, the cup is a powerful picture of the wrath and judgment of God.

- For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is fully mixed, and He pours it out; surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth drain and drink down. (Psalm 75:8)

- Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of His fury; you have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, and drained it out. (Isaiah 51:17)

- For thus says the LORD God of Israel to me: "Take this wine cup of fury from My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it." (Jeremiah 25:15)

ii. Jesus became, as it were, an enemy of God, who was judged and forced to drink the cup of the Father's fury, so we would not have to drink from that cup - this was the source of Jesus' agony.

iii. The cup didn't represent death, but judgment. Jesus was unafraid of death, and when He had finished His work on the cross - the work of receiving and bearing and satisfying the righteous judgment of God the Father upon our sin - when He finished that work, He simply yielded Himself to death as His choice.

f. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will: Jesus came to a point of decision in Gethsemane. It wasn't that He had not decided before nor had consented before, but now He had come upon a unique point of decision. He drank the cup at Calvary, but He decided once for all to drink it at Gethsemane. The struggle of the cross was won at the Garden of Gethsemane.

i. " 'Not your will but mine' changed Paradise to desert and brought man from Eden to Gethsemane. Now 'Not my will but yours' brings anguish to the man who prays it but transforms the desert into the kingdom and brings man from Gethsemane to the gates of glory." (Carson)

ii. This struggle at Gethsemane - the place of crushing - has an important place in fulfilling God's plan of redemption. If Jesus failed here, He would have failed at the cross. His success here made the victory at the cross possible.

iii. The struggle at the cross was first won in prayer in Gethsemane. Jesus fell on His face, and prayed.

2. (Mat 26:40-46) Jesus wins the battle of prayer.

40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour?41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done." 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Sleep and take your rest later on.[a] See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

a. Could you not watch with Me one hour? Jesus valued and desired the help of His friends in this battle of prayer and decision. But even without their help, He endured in prayer until the battle was won.

i. "But they not only not help him, but wound him by their dullness unto duty, and instead of wiping off his bloody sweat, they draw more out of him." (Trapp)

b. Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation: Jesus knew Peter would fail; yet He encouraged him to victory, knowing that the resources were found in watching and praying. If Peter woke up (both physically and spiritually), and drew close in dependence on God, he could have kept from denying Jesus at the critical hour.

i. "By watching, he directed them to the use of such means as were within their power to use; by adding pray, he lets them know, that it was not in their power to stand without God's help and assistance, which must be obtained by prayer." (Poole)

ii. Jesus found victory at the cross by succeeding in the struggle in Gethsemane. Peter - just like us - failed in later temptation because he failed to watch and pray. The spiritual battle is often won or lost before the crisis comes.

iii. Speaking kindly about the disciples Jesus said, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." "Their Master might find an excuse for their neglect; but oh! How they would blame themselves afterwards for missing that last opportunity of watching with their wrestling Lord!" (Spurgeon)

iv. He went away and prayed: "Fervent prayer loves privacy, and Christ by this teaches us that secret prayer is our duty." (Poole)

v. He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy: "That is, they could not keep them open. Was there nothing preternatural in this? Was there no influence here from the powers of darkness?" (Clarke)

c. Prayed the third time, saying the same words: This shows us that it is not unspiritual to make the same request to God several times. Some hyper-spiritual people believe that if we ask for something more than once, it proves that we don't have faith. That may be true for some in some situations, but Jesus shows us that repeated prayer can be completely consistent with steadfast faith.

d. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand: Jesus knew Judas and those who would arrest Him were on the way. He could have run and escaped the agony waiting for Him at the cross. But Jesus rose to meet Judas. He was in complete control of all events.

i. "Let us be going could suggest a desire to escape, but the verb implies rather going into action, advance rather than retreat." (France)


3. (Mat 26:47-50) Judas betrays Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; seize him." 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, "Friend, do what you came to do." Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.

a. With a great multitude with swords and clubs: They clearly regarded Jesus as a dangerous man and came to take Him with great force.

i. Behold, Judas: "What he received payment for was probably information as to where Jesus could be arrested in a quiet setting with little danger of mob violence." (Carson) Perhaps he led the soldiers first to the upper room; when he found that Jesus and the disciples were not there, he could guess where they would be.

ii. "Judas knew where to find them. Jesus could easily have foiled his plan by choosing a different place for this night, but ... this was not his intention." (France)

iii. "Those skilled in the Jewish learning tell us, that the ordinary guard of the temple belonged to the priests, and such officers as their employed; but upon their great festivals, the Roman governors added a band of soliders, who yet were under the command of the priests." (Poole)

b. Greetings, Rabbi! Judas warmly greeted Jesus, even giving Him the customary kiss. But the kiss only precisely identified Jesus to the authorities who came to arrest Jesus. There are no more hollow, hypocritical words in the Bible than "Greetings, Rabbi!" in the mouth of Judas. The loving, heartfelt words of Jesus - calling Judas "Friend" - stand in sharp contrast.

i. And kissed Him: "Kissed Him heartily ... What a tremendous contrast between the woman in Simon's house (Luke 8) and Judas! Both kissed Jesus fervently: with strong emotion; yet the one could have died for Him, the other betrays Him to death." (Bruce)

ii. "This sign of Judas was typical of the way in which Jesus is generally betrayed. When men intend to undermine the inspiration of the Scriptures, how do they begin their books? Why, always with a declaration that they wish to promote the truth of Christ! Christ's name is often slandered by those who make a loud profession of attachment to him, and then sin foully as the chief of transgressors." (Spurgeon)

c. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him: This happened only after they had all fallen to the ground when Jesus announced Himself as the "I am" (John 18:6).

i. "It is strange that, after this, they should dare to approach him; but the Scriptures must be fulfilled." (Clarke)

4. (Mat 26:51-56) The arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane.

51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant[a] of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?" 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples left him and fled.

a. One of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear: Matthew doesn't tell us, but we know from John 18:10 that this unnamed swordsman was Peter.

i. "A wonderful work of God it was surely, that hereupon he was not hewn in an hundred pieces by the barbarous soldiers." (Trapp)

ii. "It would have been far better if Peter's hands had been clasped in prayer." (Spurgeon)

iii. "But how came Peter to have a sword? Judea was at this time so infested with robbers and cut-throats that it was not deemed safe for any person to go unarmed. He probably carried one for his mere personal safety." (Clarke)

b. He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels: Had Jesus wanted Divine help at this moment, He could have had it. There were more than twelve legions of angels ready to come to His aid.

i. "A legion is judged to be six thousand foot and seven hundred horse. And this great army of angels is by prayer despatched from heaven in an instant." (Trapp) The number is impressive, especially considering that one angel killed up to 185,000 soldiers in one night (2 Kings 19:35).

ii. With one sword, Peter was willing to take on a small army of men. Yet he couldn't pray with Jesus for one hour. Prayer is the best work we can do, and often the most difficult.

iii. With his sword, Peter accomplished very little. He only cut off one ear, and really just made a mess that Jesus had to clean up by healing the severed ear (Luke 22:51). When Peter moved in the power of the world, he only cut off ears. But when he was filled with the Spirit, using the Word of God, Peter pierced hearts for God's glory (Acts 2:37).

iv. "Our Lord had thus the means of self-defense; something far more powerful than a sword hung at his girdle; but he refused to employ the power within his reach. His servants could not bear this test; they had no self-restraint, the hand of Peter is on his sword at once. The failure of the Servants in this matter seems to me to illustrate the grand self-possession of their Master." (Spurgeon)

v. At the moment when it seemed that Jesus had nothing and no advantage, He knew that He still had a Father in heaven, and access to His Father and all His resources through prayer.

c. All this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled: With all power at His disposal, Jesus was in total command. He was not the victim of circumstance, but He managed circumstances for the fulfillment of prophecy.

d. Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled: At this point, all the disciples scattered, running for their own safety. A few (Peter and John, at least) followed back to see what would happen at a distance. None of them stood beside Jesus and said, "I have given my life to this Man. What you accuse Him of, you may accuse me of also." Instead, it was fulfilled what Jesus said: All of you will be made to stumble because of Me (Matthew 26:31).

i. "We never know our hears upon the prospect of great trials, until we come to grapple with them, and to be engaged in them. These disciples had all said they would not forsake him; when it comes to the push, not one of them stands by him." (Poole)

D. The trial before the Sanhedrin.

1. (Mat 26:57-61) Jesus is taken to the home of Caiaphas.

57 Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 

 a. And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest: This was not the first appearance of Jesus before a judge or official on the night of His betray. On that night and the day of His crucifixion, Jesus actually stood in trial several times before different judges.

i. Before Jesus came to the home of Caiaphas (the official high priest) He was led to the home of Annas, who was the ex-high priest and the "power behind the throne" of the high priest (according to John 18:12-14 and John 18:19-23).

b. Where the scribes and the elders were assembled: Caiaphas had gathered a group of the Sanhedrin to pass judgment on Jesus.

i. After the break of dawn, the Sanhedrin gathered again, this time in official session, and they conducted the trial described in Luke 22:66-71.

c. Peter followed Him at a distance ... to see the end: Peter was determined to prove wrong Jesus' prediction that He would deny and forsake Jesus at His death.

2. (Mat 26:59-61) The first trial before the Sanhedrin.

 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'" 

a. Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council: This nighttime trial was illegal according to the Sanhedrin's own laws and regulations. According to Jewish law, all criminal trials must begin and end in the daylight. Therefore, though the decision to condemn Jesus was already made, they conducted a second trial in daylight (Luke 22:66-71), because they knew the first one - the real trial - had no legal standing.

i. This was only one of many illegalities made in the trial of Jesus. According to Jewish law, only decisions made in the official meeting place were valid. The first trial was held at the home of Caiaphas, the high priest.

- According to Jewish law, criminal cases could not be tried during the Passover season.

- According to Jewish law, only an acquittal could be issued on the day of the trial. Guilty verdicts had to wait one night to allow for feelings of mercy to rise.

- According to Jewish law, all evidence had to be guaranteed by two witnesses, who were separately examined and could not have contact with each other.

- According to Jewish law, false witness was punishable by death. Nothing was done to the many false witnesses in Jesus' trial.

- According to Jewish law, a trial always began by bringing forth evidence for the innocence of the accused, before the evidence of guilt was offered. This was not the practice here.

ii. "These were the Sanhedrin's own rules, and it is abundantly clear that, in their eagerness to get rid of Jesus, they broke their own rules." (Barclay)

iii. "Neither in the annals of the historian nor in the realm of fiction is there anything that can equal the degradation of the unholy trial, the base devices to find a charge to prefer against the Prisoner, the illegal tricks to secure a verdict of guilty which would ensure a death penalty." (Morgan)

b. The council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none: This is a remarkable testimony to the life and integrity of Jesus. For having lived such a public life and performed such a public ministry, it was difficult to find even false testimony against Him.

c. This fellow said, "I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days": After all the false witnesses had their say, Jesus was finally charged with threatening to destroy the temple (as in a modern day bomb threat). Clearly, Jesus said "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). But this glorious prophecy of His resurrection was twisted into a terrorist threat. John 2:21 makes it clear that He was speaking of the temple of His body.

7-23-2017 LESSON VERSES-Loyal?

3. (Mat 26:62-64) Jesus testifies at His trial.

62 And the high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?"[b] 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven."

a. Do You answer nothing? Jesus sat silently until He was commanded by the office of the high priest to answer the accusations against Him.

i. "The high priest expected a long defence, and so to have had matter of accusation against him out of his own mouth." (Poole)

ii. Remarkably, Jesus kept silent and answered nothing until it was absolutely necessary for obedience for Him to speak. Jesus could have mounted a magnificent defense here, calling forth all the various witnesses to His deity, power and character. The people He taught, the people He healed, the dead risen, the blind who see, even the demons themselves testified to His deity. But Jesus opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth (Isaiah 53:7).

iii. "Our Lord, before his enemies, was silent in his own defense, but he faithfully warned and boldly avowed the truth. His was the silence of patience, not of indifference; of courage, not of cowardice." (Spurgeon)

b. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" Seeing the trial going badly, Caiaphas confronted Jesus, acting more as an accuser than an impartial judge.

i. "I adjure you is a rare and formal expression (cf. 1 Kings 22:16 for a similar Old Testament formula), invoking the name of God in order to compel a true answer. This is therefore the climax of the hearing." (France)

ii. "The high priest, frustrated by Jesus' silence, tried a bold stroke that cut to the central issue: Was Jesus the Messiah or was he not?" (Carson)

iii. "It was a tacit confession that Christ had been proved innocent up till then. The high priest would not have needed to draw something out of the accused one if there had been sufficient material against him elsewhere. The trial had been a dead failure up to that point, and he knew it, and was red with rage. Now he attempts to bully the prisoner that he may extract some declaration from him which may save all further trouble of witnesses, and end the matter." (Spurgeon)

c. It is as you said: Instead of defending Himself, Jesus simply testified to the truth. He was indeed the Christ, the Son of God. He answered as briefly and directly as possible.

i. The high priest probably asked the question with sarcasm or irony. "The wording of Caiaphas' question (especially in Mark) probably suggests that it did not even sound like a dispassionate enquiry: 'Are you the Messiah?' (you, the abandoned, helpless, prisoner!)." (France)

d. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven: Jesus did add this one word of warning. He warned them that though they sit in judgment of Him now, He will one day sit in judgment of them - and with a far more binding judgment.

i. Hereafter: " 'Hereafter!' 'Hereafter!' Oh, when that hereafter comes, how overwhelming it will be to Jesus' foes! Now where is Caiaphas? Will he now adjure the Lord to speak? Now, ye priests, lift up your haughty heads! Utter a sentence against him now! There sits, your victim upon the clouds of heaven. Say now that he blasphemes, and hold up your rent rags, and condemn him again. But where is Caiaphas? He hides his guilty head he is utterly confounded, and begs the mountains to fall upon him." (Spurgeon)

ii. Sitting at the right hand of the Power: "Power is a typically Jewish reverential expression to avoid pronouncing the sacred name of God (which might have laid Jesus open to the charge of blasphemy, though ironically it was precisely that charge on which he was condemned, Matthew 26:65!)." (France)

4. (Mat 26:65-68) The Sanhedrin reacts with horror and brutality.

65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.66 What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death." 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?"

a. He has spoken blasphemy! The accusation of blasphemy would have been correct, except that Jesus was whom He said He was. It is no crime for the Christ, the Son of God, to declare who He really is.

b. He is deserving of death: Their verdict reveals the depths of man's depravity. God, in total perfection, came to earth, lived among men, and this was man's reply to God.

c. They spat in His face and beat Him: They spit on Him; they hit Him with their fists; they slapped Him with their open hands. It is easy to think that they did this because they didn't know who He was. That is true in one sense, because they would not admit to themselves that He was indeed the Messiah and the Son of God. Yet in another sense it is not true at all, because by nature man is an enemy of God (Romans 5:10, Colossians 1:21). For a long time man waited to literally hit, slap, and spit in God's face.

i. "Be astonished, O heavens, and be horribly afraid. His face is the light of the universe, his person is the glory of heaven, and they 'began to spit on him.' Alas, my God, that man should be so base!" (Spurgeon)

ii. Spurgeon suggested some ways that men still spit in the face of Jesus.

- Men spit in His face by denying His deity.

- Men spit in His face by rejecting His gospel.

- Men spit in His face by preferring their own righteousness.

- Men spit in His face by turning away from Jesus.

iii. As these religious leaders vented their hatred, fear, and anger upon Jesus, spitting in His face and beating Him, it was remarkable that the immediate judgment of God did not rain down from heaven. It was remarkable that a legion of angels did not spring to the defense of Jesus.  This shows the amazing forbearance towards sin that God has, and the staggering riches of His mercy.

iv. "As one reads this story one wonders more and more at the greatest miracle of all, the patient suffering of the spotless One." (Morgan)

5. (Mat 26:69-75) Fearing association with Jesus, Peter denies his relationship with Jesus three times.

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, "You also were with Jesus the Galilean." 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you mean." 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." 72 And again he denied it with an oath: "I do not know the man." 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you." 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

a. A servant girl came to him: Peter was not questioned before a hostile court or even an angry mob. Peter's own fear made a servant girl and another girl hostile monsters in his eyes, and he bowed in fear before them.

b. I do not know the Man! Peter's sin of denying his association with Jesus grew worse with each denial. First, he merely lied; then he took an oath to the lie, then he began to curse and swear.

i. Those who stood by: "Loungers; seeing Peter's confusion, and amusing themselves by tormenting him." (Bruce)

ii. "The Galileans spoke with a burr; so ugly was their accent that no Galilean was allowed to pronounce the benediction at a synagogue service." (Barclay) "Galilean speech was defective in pronouncing the gutturals, and making ש=ת." (Bruce)

iii. And, as if it would help distance himself from association with Jesus, Peter began to curse and swear. "To call down curses on himself, sign of irritation and desperation; has lost self-control completely." (Bruce) When we hear that kind of language, we normally assume the person is not a follower of Jesus.

c. Peter remembered the word of Jesus ... so he went out and wept bitterly: Peter finally remembered and took to heart what Jesus said, but in this case he did so too late. For now, all he could do was to weep bitterly. Yet Peter would be restored, showing a significant contrast between Judas (showing apostasy) and Peter (showing backsliding).

i. Apostasy is giving up the truth, as Judas did. Judas was sorry about his sin, but it was not a sorrow leading to repentance.

ii. Backsliding is a decline from a spiritual experience once enjoyed. Peter slipped, but he will not fall; his bitter weeping will lead to repentance and restoration.

d. And wept bitterly: This was the beginning of Peter's repentance. Several things brought him to this place.

i. The rooster's preaching brought Peter to repentance. "The cock proved a preacher to Peter. Despise not the minister though never so mean; it is the foolishness of preaching that must bring men to heaven." (Trapp)

ii. The loving look of Jesus brought Peter to repentance. Luke tells us that just after the rooster crowed, the Lord turned and looked at Peter (Luke 22:61). "Christ looked upon Judas, when Judas kissed him ... yet Judas went on in his villany without remorse. He looked upon Peter, and he went out and wept bitterly." (Poole)

iii. The give of remembering brought Peter to repentance; Peter remembered the words of Jesus. "Our memories serve us much in the business of repentance." (Poole)