Matthew chapter 26

A woman anoints Jesus. He celebrates the Passover, prays at Gethsemane, and is betrayed. He stands before the religious leaders. Peter denies Jesus.





VERSE 1. When Jesus had finished all these words, he said to his disciples,


VERSE 2. “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”


VERSE 3. Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas.


VERSE 4. They took counsel together that they might take Jesus by deceit, and kill him.


VERSE 5. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest a riot occur among the people.”




VERSE 6. Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,


VERSE 7. a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.

very expensive ointment. This woman poured costly perfume on Jesus Christ. This was a huge financial sacrifice. She did it to honor him.

This is a lovely image of stewardship. It was costly, not cheap. It was done to honor Jesus Christ. It was offered with no expectation of anything in return. It was done with joy.

In our stewardship and tithing, we can be cheap. Or we can be exuberantly generous, like this woman. We can give without counting the cost.

Some people give “as unto man,” so to speak. They want something back. This is a very common distortion of the concept of stewardship is. Many preachers play into it: “Give me your full tithe, or more, and perhaps God will give you something in return.”

Matthew 26:7. a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.

Mark 14:3. While he was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard—very costly. She broke the jar, and poured it over his head.

Luke 7:37-38. Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.


VERSE 8. But when his disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?

they were indignant. The disciples have a worldly mindset. They are not capable of seeing the beauty of giving. Worse, when a magnificent example appears before their very eyes, they have contempt for it.


VERSE 9. For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.”


VERSE 10. However, knowing this, Jesus said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has done a good work for me.


VERSE 11. For you always have the poor with you; but you don’t always have me.


VERSE 12. For in pouring this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.


VERSE 13. Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of as a memorial of her.”

what this woman has done will also be spoken of. This woman stands as the supreme example of tithing.

Jesus Christ honors her for all eternity. And the indignation of the disciples is also recorded in the Scriptures for all of history.




VERSE 14. Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests,


VERSE 15. and said, “What are you willing to give me, that I should deliver him to you?” They weighed out for him thirty pieces of silver.

thirty pieces of silver.Thirty pieces of silver was the price of a slave:

Exodus 21:32. If the bull gores a male servant or a female servant, thirty shekels of silver shall be given to their master, and the ox shall be stoned.

Zechariah 11:12. I said to them, “If you think it best, give me my wages; and if not, keep them.” So they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver.


VERSE 16. From that time he sought opportunity to betray him.




VERSE 17. Now on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”


VERSE 18. He said, “Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.” ’ ”


VERSE 19. The disciples did as Jesus commanded them, and they prepared the Passover.


VERSE 20. Now when evening had come, he was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.


VERSE 21. As they were eating, he said, “Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me.”


VERSE 22. They were exceedingly sorrowful, and each began to ask him, “It isn’t me, is it, Lord?”


VERSE 23. He answered, “He who dipped his hand with me in the dish will betray me.


VERSE 24. The Son of Man goes, even as it is written of him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.”


VERSE 25. Judas, who betrayed him, answered, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You said it.”




VERSE 26. As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”


VERSE 27. He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it,


VERSE 28. for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.

the remission of sins. What did the word “sin” mean to Jewish people of those days?

In general Judaism regards the violation of any of the 613 commandments as a sin.

That is very different than the Christian perspective, which is that sin is an epic moral failure worthy of eternal damnation.

The Lord Jesus Christ was a practicing Jewish believer. When he spoke of sin, unless he specified otherwise, he would have intended the Jewish meaning.

In that worldview, “sin” does not carry the sense of tragic moral failure that the Christian culture has contrived. Nor does it have the sense of inescapable human wretchedness because of Adam.


VERSE 29. But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”


VERSE 30. When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.




VERSE 31. Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’


VERSE 32. But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.”


VERSE 33. But Peter answered him, “Even if all will be made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”

I will never be made to stumble. Jesus is not impressed when we brag about our faith in him. “Pope” Peter claims he will never stumble. Yet mere hours later he denies the Lord Jesus Christ three times.


VERSE 34. Jesus said to him, “Most certainly I tell you that tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”


VERSE 35. Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.” All of the disciples also said likewise.

1 Corinthians 10:12. Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall.




VERSE 36. Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.”


VERSE 37. He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled.


VERSE 38. Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.”


VERSE 39. He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”


VERSE 40. He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour?


VERSE 41. Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”


VERSE 42. Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.”


VERSE 43. He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.


VERSE 44. He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words.


VERSE 45. Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.


VERSE 46. Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.”




VERSE 47. While he was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people.


VERSE 48. Now he who betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, “Whoever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him.”


VERSE 49. Immediately he came to Jesus, and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed him.


VERSE 50. Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

laid hands on Jesus. That is, they arrested him. Jesus Christ had an arrest warrant and a police record.

Has you every been arrested for your testimony to Jesus Christ? Has your pastor ever been arrested?


VERSE 51. Behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.


VERSE 52. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.

Sirach 3:26. A stubborn heart will fare ill at the last; And he that loves danger will perish therein.


VERSE 53. Or do you think that I couldn’t ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?

more than twelve legions of angels. A Roman legion consisted of 6,000 soldiers. So Jesus has at his beck and call more than 72,000 angels.

Recall that when it was time for the total annihilation of Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 24, God called for just one angel. Just one angel.

2 Samuel 24:15-16. So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning even to the appointed time; and seventy thousand men died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough. Now withdraw your hand.” The LORD’s angel was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

It is awe-inspiring to think of 72,000-plus angels!

2 Kings 6:16. He answered, “Don’t be afraid; for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

2 Kings 6:17. Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, please open his eyes, that he may see.” the LORD opened the young man’s eyes; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.


VERSE 54. How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?”


VERSE 55. In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and you didn’t arrest me.


VERSE 56. But all this has happened that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.




VERSE 57. Those who had taken Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.


VERSE 58. But Peter followed him from a distance, to the court of the high priest, and entered in and sat with the officers, to see the end.

Peter followed him from a distance. Peter the first “pope” was following Jesus from a distance. Simply because one is a leader in the Christian community does not mean that they are following Jesus Christ.

Following Jesus Christ from a distance can’t be a good thing. Why not follow him as closely as we can?


VERSE 59. Now the chief priests, the elders, and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus, that they might put him to death;


VERSE 60. and they found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward,


VERSE 61. and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.’ ”


VERSE 62. The high priest stood up, and said to him, “Have you no answer? What is this that these testify against you?”


VERSE 63. But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him, “I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”


VERSE 64. Jesus said to him, “You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.”

You have said it. See also:

Luke 22:70. They all said, “Are you then the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say it, because I am.”

right hand. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ. More verses about the right hand.


VERSE 65. Then the high priest tore his clothing, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy.


VERSE 66. What do you think?” They answered, “He is worthy of death!”


VERSE 67. Then they spat in his face and beat him with their fists, and some slapped him,

Isaiah 50:6. I gave my back to those who beat me, and my cheeks to those who plucked off the hair. I didn’t hide my face from shame and spitting.


VERSE 68. saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who hit you?”




VERSE 69. Now Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a maid came to him, saying, “You were also with Jesus, the Galilean!”


VERSE 70. But he denied it before them all, saying, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”


VERSE 71. When he had gone out onto the porch, someone else saw him, and said to those who were there, “This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”


VERSE 72. Again he denied it with an oath, “I don’t know the man.”


VERSE 73. After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, “Surely you are also one of them, for your speech makes you known.”


VERSE 74. Then he began to curse and to swear, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately the rooster crowed.


VERSE 75. Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Then he went out and wept bitterly.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.