Matthew 26:45-55

45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”

49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

51 And suddenly, 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.

52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me.

This account is also found in Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53 and John 18:3-11.

There was probably an interval of time between verses 45-46.

multitude (v.47) — Roman soldiers with swords, Jewish temple guards with staves and perhaps a crowd of onlookers. They were probably afraid of His power and of the reaction of the crowd who so recently had been following and worshiping Him.

The arrest of Jesus was effected by the Sanhedrists though the temple police, accompanied by a part of the cohort of Roman soldiers from the tower of Antonia. This cohort of some five hundred soldiers was kept in the tower to quell any tumult among the people and act as an emergency police force. It is possible that these soldiers were granted [to] the Sanhedrists by Pilate, in order to effect the arrest without a tumult among the people. The arrangement of this matter would account for the delay in the coming of Judas and the armed force to Gethsemane until after midnight. The temple police were under direct orders as servant-officers from the chief priests and Pharisees. — Pentecost, pages 457-458.

Greetings, Rabbi (v.49) — “Oh, the joy! Rabbi!” as if happy to see Him, perhaps hoping to hide the evil of what he was doing

kissed (v.49) = the original uses the tense for “kissed again and again” or “kissed warmly and fervently”

friend (v.50) = companion (Not the word the Lord used for the disciples in John 15:13, which indicated endearment.) Jesus knew Judas’ heart, but He may have been issuing a final appeal to Judas to believe.

Why have you come? (v.50) — probably meaning “Do what you came to do.”

one of those (v.51) — Peter (John 18:10 — written after Peter was dead. This verse also reveals that the servant’s name was Malchus.)

sword (v.51) — The disciples had informed Him that they had two swords (Luke 22:36-38). These swords were the small ceremonial daggers with which the disciples had prepared the Passover lamb. Peter was one of the two who carried this small weapon. He drew it and then struck a blow to deliver Christ from the large band of soldiers. The Romans carried broad swords into battle. These swords were approximately a yard long and had a handle that could be grasped with two hands. The sword was raised high and brought down on the head of an adversary in order to crush that one’s skull. Peter evidently tried to use the small dagger as a large broad sword and attempted to crush the head of the nearest adversary but succeeded in only cutting off his right ear (John 18:10). Without doubt Peter expected to lay down his life for Christ’s sake that night. — Pentecost, page 458.

twelve legions (v.53) — A Roman legion contained 6,000 soldiers, so, 72,000 angels—but Jesus likely wasn’t referring to an exact number of angels, just a huge group.

Scriptures (v.54) — During the last day before His death and the first day after His resurrection, Jesus quoted Scripture 30 times.

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