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26. Plot Against Jesus

1And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these words, he said unto his disciples, 2Ye know that after two days the passover cometh, and the Son of man is delivered up to be crucified. 3Then were gathered together the chief priests, and the elders of the people, unto the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas; 4and they took counsel together that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him. 5But they said, Not during the feast, lest a tumult arise among people.

6Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7there came unto him a woman having an alabaster cruse of exceeding precious ointment, and she poured it upon his head, as he sat at meat. 8But when the disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10But Jesus perceiving it said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 12For in that she poured this ointment upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which this woman hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

14Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15and said, What are ye willing to give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver. 16And from that time he sought opportunity to deliver him unto them.

17Now on the first day of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Where wilt thou that we make ready for thee to eat the passover? 18And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Teacher saith, My time is at hand; I keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. 19And the disciples did as Jesus appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

20Now when even was come, he was sitting at meat with the twelve disciples; 21and as they were eating, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began to say unto him every one, Is it I, Lord? 23And he answered and said, He that dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. 24The Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him: but woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had not been born. 25And Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said, Is it I, Rabbi? He saith unto him, Thou hast said.

26And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it; and he gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins. 29But I say unto you, I shall not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

30And when they had sung a hymn, they went out unto the mount of Olives.

31Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended in me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee. 33But Peter answered and said unto him, If all shall be offended in thee, I will never be offended. 34Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 35Peter saith unto him, Even if I must die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

36Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go yonder and pray. 37And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and sore troubled. 38Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: abide ye here, and watch with me. 39And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42Again a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43And he came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44And he left them again, and went away, and prayed a third time, saying again the same words. 45Then cometh he to the disciples, and saith unto 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. 46Arise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that betrayeth me.

47And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priest and elders of the people. 48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he: take him. 49And straightway he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Rabbi; and kissed him. 50And Jesus said unto him, Friend, do that for which thou art come. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. 51And behold, one of them that were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and smote the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear. 52Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53Or thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54How then should the scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be? 55In that hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a robber with swords and staves to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and ye took me not. 56But all this is come to pass, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples left him, and fled.

57And they that had taken Jesus led him away to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. 58But Peter followed him afar off, unto the court of the high priest, and entered in, and sat with the officers, to see the end. 59Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death; 60and they found it not, though many false witnesses came. But afterward came two, 61and said, This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 62And the high priest stood up, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 63But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God. 64Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. 65Then the high priest rent his garments, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard the blasphemy: 66what think ye? They answered and said, He is worthy of death. 67Then did they spit in his face and buffet him: and some smote him with the palms of their hands, 68saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ: who is he that struck thee?

69Now Peter was sitting without in the court: and a maid came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilaean. 70But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. 71And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and saith unto them that were there, This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. 72And again he denied with an oath, I know not the man. 73And after a little while they that stood by came and said to Peter, Of a truth thou also art one of them; for thy speech maketh thee known. 74Then began he to curse and to swear, I know not the man. And straightway the cock crew. 75And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

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Luke follows a different order from Matthew and Mark in the narrative; but when we come to the proper place, we will endeavor to reconcile the points in which they differ. It will be proper, in the meantime, to glance briefly at those things which claim our attention in the words of Matthew and Mark. First, in order to remove the offense of the cross, we ought to consider the advantage which we have derived from Christ’s emptying of himself, (Philippians 2:7;) for thus will the inestimable goodness of God, and the efficacy of his grace, be found to remove by its brightness every thing in it that was disagreeable or shameful. According to the flesh, it was disgraceful that the Son of God should be seized, bound, and made a prisoner; but when we reflect that by his chains we are loosed from the tyranny of the devil, and from the condemnation in which we were involved before God, not only is the stumbling-block, on which our faith might have struck, removed out of the way, but in place of it there comes an admiration of the boundless grace of God, who set so high a value on our deliverance, as to give up his only-begotten Son to be bound by wicked men. This will also be a pledge of the astonishing love of Christ towards us, that he spared not himself, but willingly submitted to wear fetters on his flesh, that our souls might be freed from fetters of a far worse description.

Matthew 26:57. But they who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas. Though the Jews had been deprived of what is called, the higher jurisdiction, there still lingered among them some vestiges of that judicial authority which the Law confers on the high priest, (Deuteronomy 1:8;) so that, while they had lost the absolute authority, 223223     “La puissance de condamner à mort;” — “the power of condemning to death.” they retained the power of administering moderate correction. This is the reason why Christ is brought before the high priest to be interrogated; not that a final sentence may be pronounced on him by theft tribunal, but that the priests may afterwards present him before the governor, under the aggravating influence of their decision. 224224     “Estant desja chargé par leur jugement, et que cela soit un prejudice contre luy;” — “being already accused by their decision, and that this may excite a prejudice against him.” Caiaphas the high priest was also named Joseph, and this man—as we are told by the historian Josephus—was appointed to be high priest by Valerius Gratus, governor of Judea, when Simon, the son of Camithus, was deposed from that office. 225225     Ant. 18:2. 2. — Repeated allusions have been made, in earlier portions of the Commentary, to this remarkable passage in the writings of the great Jewish historian. The reader will find it quoted at length. — Harmony vol. 1, p. 177, n. 1Ed. The Evangelists give his surname only, 226226     That is, instead of calling him Joseph Caiaphas, they call him simply Caiaphas. perhaps because he was more generally named, and better known, by it.

Matthew says that the priests assembled in the house of Caiaphas; and that they were already assembled at midnight, before Christ was brought, but because the place of meeting had been appointed, that, as soon as the information reached them, they might meet hastily at an early hour in the morning; though we have lately seen that some who belonged to the order of the priesthood went out by night, along with the soldiers, to seize Christ. But we have frequently seen, in other passages, that the Evangelists were not very exact in adhering to the order of time. In this passage, certainly, they had no other object in view than to show that the Son of God was oppressed by a wicked conspiracy of the whole council. And here a frightful and hideous spectacle is placed before our eyes; for nowhere else than at Jerusalem was there at that time either a temple of God, or lawful worship, or the face of a Church. The high priest was a figure of the only Mediator between God and men; those who sat along with him in the council represented the whole Church of God; and yet all of them unite in conspiring to extinguish the only hope Of salvation. But as it had been declared by prediction of David, that

the stone which the builders rejected would nevertheless become the head-stone of the corner, (Psalm 118:22;)

and as Isaiah had foretold that

the God of armies would be to the whole people of Israel a stone of stumbling, on which they would dash themselves,
(Isaiah 8:14)

the Lord wisely made provision that such wickedness of men should not perplex believing souls.




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