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Matthew 26:47-57: Jesus is Arrested

Posted by adventbiblestudy on August 24, 2012


Matthew 26:47-57 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. (48) The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” (49) So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. (50) Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. (51) But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear. (52) “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. (53) Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? (54) But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?” (55) Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. (56) But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled. (57) Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered.

 

Jesus took Peter, James and John aside to watch over Him as He prayed. He asked the Father if there was any other way. Satan was there tempting Him, waiting for an opening, using all his knowledge of mankind, and all its weakness to find a way to get to Jesus. Satan knew the hour had come. There was little he could do to interpret the prophecies, but he was able to tell something was about to happen on the Passover. Was this the Passover? Satan had an uneasy feeling about the situation and knew the out come would not favor him. He felt he had to do something, anything to knock God’s plan off course.

 

Satan had been following Jesus longer and more carefully then the religious leaders. As he watched them fail at one opportunity after the another, he lost all confidence in them. He saw no other way than to take matters into his own hands. As Satan introduced his greatest temptations, Jesus simply prayed, “I want your will to be done, not mine.” Peter, James and John slept through all of this. He told them to take their rest now. And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the temple.

 

Judas was not certain what the priests were planning. He did not think they needed a contingency of guards. Judas began to feel uneasy about the whole situation. He wanted to put Jesus and the high priest together, to work together. Imagine Jesus’ power joined with Caiaphas’ influence. Surely when the others saw this union they would all unit. Judas thought the house divided referred to the religious leaders. If Israel was truly God’s Son, He would want them all united. Judas considered himself a national hero for initiating the inevitable union of God’s Son and the high priest. The more he thought about his plan the more it made sense. Maybe he should have discussed it with Caiaphas before accepting the money. Wasn’t the generous offer of a reward proof enough he was going God’s will?

 

The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. His kiss was a sign of respect. A way of telling Jesus, “remember me, I was the one who helped to establish your kingdom here.”

 

Judas acted out of greed as his ambition dulled his senses. At every point the Spirit pleaded with Judas to slow down, think, study the scriptures. Judas’ pride ruled his heart, blinded his eyes and made his hearing dull. Since he began thinking of his plan, Jesus’ parables seemed to support his plan. The ten virgins showed how foolish everyone involved was, and they needed someone like him to make the tough decisions. The parable of the ungrateful tenants showed Judas how ungrateful the priests could be, but if faced with the right opportunity would see the light. Jesus’ warning about false Messiahs is what convinced Judas to act. Jesus warned about the actions of the religious leaders. Judas did not want to see them deceived, he wanted them to accept Jesus as the true Messiah, just as he did. Everything seemed to fit. All this world needed was one determined man to show them all the truth. Judas’ kiss was a sign showing the high ranking he expected to receive.

 

As Judas stood back he sensed something was wrong. He looked around, noticing the guards moving into positions around the disciples. He wondered what they wanted with the other disciples. That wasn’t in his plan. All they high priest needed was him and Jesus. Remembering Jesus, he looked back at Him. He saw a look on Jesus’ face He had seen many times. The same look He displayed when He greeted mothers with their children, and those needing healing and comfort. Why would Jesus look at him in that manner? Judas had all but forgotten the anger he felt when Jesus rebuked him at Simon’s house, and again at the supper in the upper room. Looking at Jesus caused him to remember his anger played a role in his decision. Just as Judas was beginning to think he made a mistake, Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.

 

Everything happened so fast Judas had no idea what to do. The guards grabbed Jesus, threw Judas aside while temple guards tried to grab the other disciples. It looked more like they were arresting Jesus than quietly taking Him to a meeting with Caiaphas. Before he could say a word one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear. There were struggles happening all around Judas. The situation was nothing at all like he planned. Jesus spoke out, “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?” Instantly the entire scene quieted. The crickets in the back ground could be heard. A sudden unexpected gust of wind rustled through the trees giving an uneasy feeling to the guards who released Jesus. He walked to the slave, putting His hand over the man’s ear, healing it instantly. The guards moved back for a moment suddenly feeling like they were in the presence of a Higher Power. Jesus continued to speak. “But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”

 

As if it were some type of sign, Jesus walked around in His last moments of freedom. His face and stature resembled that of a King. Silently He prayed as He waited for a way to defend Himself, or teach one of the remaining lessons He was sent to present. Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.”

 

Another sudden gust of wind caught the attention of the guards. They gazed at Jesus as if they had forgotten why they came to the garden. Something told the disciples to prepare themselves. Their minds could not rest upon a single prophecy, but raced through a number of them. They all seemed to point to one conclusion, flee. In a moment eleven of the disciples disappeared into the night.

 

Startled at the sudden movement the guards swung their torches and lanterns around from side to side, finally realizing no one else was present, except for Jesus standing in front of them, and Judas lying on the ground. Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered.

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