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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 26 - Verse 39

Verse 39. And he went a little farther. That is, at the distance that a man could conveniently cast a stone, (Luke.)

Fell on his face. Luke says, he "kneeled doom." He did both. He first kneeled, and then in the fervency of his prayer, and the depth of his sorrow, he fell with his face on the ground, denoting the deepest anguish, and the most earnest entreaty. This was the usual posture of prayer in times of great earnestness. See Nu 16:22; 2 Ch 20:18; Ne 8:6.

 

If it be possible. That is, if the world can be redeemed; if it be consistent with justice, and with maintaining the government of the universe, that men should be saved without this extremity of sorrow, let it be done. There is no doubt that if it had been possible, it would have been done; and the fact that these sufferings were not removed, that the Saviour went forward and bore them without mitigation, shows that it was not consistent with the justice of God, and with the welfare of the universe, that men should be saved without the awful sufferings of such an atonement.

Let this cup. These bitter sufferings. These approaching trials. The word cup is often used in this sense, denoting sufferings. See Barnes "Mt 20:22".

 

Not as I will, but as thou wilt. As Jesus was man, as well as God, there is nothing inconsistent in supposing that, like a man, he was deeply affected in view of these sorrows. When he speaks of his will, he expresses what human nature, in view of such great sufferings, would desire. It naturally shrunk from them, and sought deliverance. Yet he sought to do the will of God. He chose rather that the high purpose of God should be done, than that that purpose should be abandoned, and regard be shown to the fears of his human nature. In this he has left a model of prayer in all times of affliction. It is right, in times of calamity, to seek deliverance. Like the Saviour also, in such seasons, we should, we must submit cheerfully to the will of God, confident that, in all these trials, he is wise, and merciful, and good.

{i} "and prayed" Heb 5:7 {k} "let this cup" Mt 20:22 {l} "nevertheless" Joh 5:30; 6:38; Ro 15:3; Php 2:8

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