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Matthew Chapter 26:1-25

Memory verses for this week:  3 John 1:11  Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.


Introduction: In last week’s lesson, we studied about the parable of the ten virgins and discussed the importance in being ready when the real bridegroom (Christ) comes to take out His bride, the church.  We closed on the topic of the judgment of the nations.   This week we study about the plot to murder Jesus Christ.


I.  Plot to Murder Christ

Mat 26:1  And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,

Mat 26:2  Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

Mat 26:3  Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

Mat 26:4  And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.

Mat 26:5  But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.

Jesus forewarns the disciples of  his coming crucifixion.  It is sad, but  the ones who were plotting to put him to death were the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes, the ones in leadership positions that should have known that He was the true Messiah.  But they were cautious as to when they were going to kill him… not on the feast day unless the people have an uproar.   It is sad how people think that the opinion of the people is so important, whereas what God thinks is not considered.   This was not out of respect for God and the feast day, but rather for fear of the people and what they might do to them.   In all of this, we need to keep in mind that Jesus went willingly to die.   He gave his life a ransom for sinners, and it was only because that God allowed man to do this was he put to death by wicked hands.   Jesus could have called a legion of angels and saved himself from the hour, but  because of his love for us, he died, the just for the unjust.

Acts 7:51  Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Acts 7:52  Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

Acts 7:53  Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.


Mat 26:52  Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Mat 26:53  Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

Mat 26:54  But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?


II.  Jesus Anointed by Mary of Bethany

Mat 26:6  Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

Mat 26:7  There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

This scene happened at Simon’s house in Bethany.   Mary anoints Jesus on the head with this oil.  In the record of the event in John, he points out that she also anointed his feet.  To anoint the feet was quite unusual but this revealed the special love Mary had for the Lord.

John 12:1  Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

John 12:2  There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

John 12:3  Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

John 12:4  Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,

John 12:5  Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

John 12:6  This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

John 12:7  Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

John 12:8  For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.


Mat 26:8  But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

Mat 26:9  For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

We see the attitude of the disciples of what transpired.  It appears that more than just Judas Iscariot was upset that the women  had used the ointment on Christ.   They perceived it as waste.   It was sad that Judas made a fuss that the money could have been used on the poor, since he was not truly concerned about the poor.   If we speak out for something, we should mean what we say.    Apparently this was very expensive ointment that Mary used, but it was not wasted.   I have heard teaching about verse 8 in John 12 saying that Jesus did not have compassion on the poor. That is not the case at all.   This reference was pointing out that this was a one time offering that was needful.  No one ever loved the poor (or the rich), like Jesus did.

Mat 26:10  When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

Mat 26:11  For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

Mat 26:12  For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

Jesus rebukes the disciples and declares that  Mary had wrought a good work.   She did what she did to prepare his body for burial, and he was soon to die there on Calvary.   Again the mention is made of the poor, and how that he would soon not be with them in body.   No one ever loved the poor more than Jesus.

Matthew Henry also felt that Jesus loved the poor greatly.

Observe his reason; You have the poor always with you. Note, 

1. There are some opportunities of doing and getting good which are constant, and which we must give constant attendance to the improvement of. Bibles we have always with us, Sabbaths always with us, and so the poor, we have always with us. Note, Those who have a heart to do good, never need complain for want of opportunity. The poor never ceased even out of the land of Israel, Deu. 15:11. We cannot but see some in this world, who call for our charitable assistance, who are as God’s receivers, some poor members of Christ, to whom he will have kindness shown as to himself.

2. There are other opportunities of doing and getting good, which come but seldom, which are short and uncertain, and require more peculiar diligence in the improvement of them, and which ought to be preferred before the other; "Me ye have not always, therefore use me while ye have me.’’ Note, (1.) Christ’s constant bodily presence was not to be expected here in this world; it was expedient that he should go away; his real presence in the Eucharist is a fond and groundless conceit, and contradicts what he here said, Me ye have not always. (2.) Sometimes special works of piety and devotion should take place of common works of charity. The poor must not rob Christ; we must do good to all, but especially to the household of faith. [i]

Mat 26:13  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

For what Mary did for Christ, she will forever be remembered in all  the world for a memorial.   Just like the widow who cast in all her living, we remember what Mary did here for Jesus Christ.

III. Judas Iscariot Sells out the Lord

Mat 26:14  Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

Mat 26:15  And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

Mat 26:16  And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

Judas went to the religious leaders of Israel to sell the Lord.   He agrees to sell him for 30 pieces of silver, which would be approximately $18 in American currency today.  He sought opportunity to betray him.   Oh that he would have sought opportunity to serve Christ and become a true disciple of the Lord.

IV.  Preparation of the Passover

Mat 26:17  Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

Mat 26:18  And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

Mat 26:19  And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

This was the yearly passover held by the Jews at Jerusalem.  The disciples question where they might partake of the passover.   Jesus tells them to go to a certain man, possibly a friend of the Lords,  and they would meet there to eat the passover.  Jesus gives instructions, and the disciples follow them.

Title:   Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the New Testament

Author:   Clarke, Adam  

How astonishing is this, that HE who created all things, whether visible or
invisible, and by whom all things were upheld, should so empty himself as not to
be proprietor of a single house in his whole creation, to eat the last passover with
his disciples! This is certainly a mystery, and so, less or more is every thing that
God does. But how inveterate and destructive must the nature of sin be, when
such emptying and humiliation were necessary to its destruction! It is worthy of
note what the Talmudists say, that the inhabitants of Jerusalem did not let out
their houses to those who came to the annual feasts; but afforded all
accommodations of this kind gratis. A man might therefore go and request the
use of any room, on such an occasion, which was as yet unoccupied. The earthen
jug, and the skin of the sacrifice, were left with the host.


V.  The Last Passover

Mat 26:20  Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

Mat 26:21  And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

Jesus sits down with the 12 disciples and announces that one of the 12 would betray Him.

Mat 26:22  And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

Mat 26:23  And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

Mat 26:24  The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

Mat 26:25  Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

Each man turns and questions, “Is it I?”  I guess this shows that even Judas could act religious, having never been truly saved.   Many sit in  church pews today and appear to be righteous, but inside have never experienced the life-changing conversion of the new birth.  It is a one on one decision that every man and woman must make.   We must personally come to  Christ, forsake and repent of our sins, and ask Him to come into our heart and save us.   When we do, we are saved.   We have witness in ourselves as His spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are saved.

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Rom 8:15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Rom 8:16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Jesus says that it would have been better if Judas had never  been born than to live and die without Christ.  If any person comes into this life and never experiences salvation, it would have been better had they never have been born.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.