The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 26: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/26?lang=eng
A couple of days before The Feast of the Passover, Jesus said to His disciples,
“Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified (Matthew 26:2).
‘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, And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. But they said,
“Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people”’ (vs. 3-5).
Woman Anoints Jesus’s head in Preparation for His Burial: Read Matthew 26:6-13; (See also John 11:2).
When the woman anointed Jesus’s head with oil, some of the disciples were filled with indignation.
Do we also sometimes question how or why some things are done, because we lack understanding, or because we would have chosen to do a certain thing differently? Do we care more for the things of men that the things of God?
‘Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 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. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him (vs. 14-16).
Was Judas still filled with indignation over the cost of the ointment? Is anything too good for the Lord? Could he not accept the Lord’s rebuke and humble himself? Are we sometimes like Judas? Would we betray the Lord over a minor offense, or over a perceived offense, because we would have chosen to do something differently than He would? Do we lose faith in Him, or in His servants who deliver His word, because we lack understanding and are unwilling to seek truth according the Spirit?
Are the things of God an offense to us?
How do we respond when we are chastised by our leaders or by the Spirit over something small? Are we humble enough to get past it? Can we set aside those things with which we don’t agree momentarily, or indefinitely, until we ourselves gain more understanding? Do we still stand with our leaders and with Christ even when we may feel slighted?
The Feast: Read Matthew 26:17-29
As the disciples are sitting with Jesus for their last supper together, Jesus tells them that one of them is going to betray him. Each one asked,
‘“Lord, is it I?”
‘And he answered and said,
“He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me”’ (vs. 22-23).
Was Jesus just talking about Judas? He ate with all of the Twelve. He has fed all of us. Have we all betrayed Him at some point in time? We are certainly all lost without Him and in need of His forgiveness, which when we receive, we are found.
Have you witnessed others speaking ill of the hands that feed them? Have you been guilty of that? Whether that be parents, or employers, or the Lord? Do we expect to receive the good virtue of others when we are harboring evil against them?
Jesus then instituted the Sacrament and sang an hymn with his disciples (see vs. 26-30).
Jesus tells His disciples that He will be betrayed that very night: Read Matthew Chapter 26:30-35.
Jesus’s Intercessory Prayer and Atonement: Read Matthew Chapter 25:36-45.
Jesus was ever ready to do His Father’s will, even while facing the most bitter agony. Would we not have plead to have it taken away? Yet He said,
“Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (vs. 39).
‘And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter,
“What, could ye not watch with me one hour” (vs. 40)?
Do we ourselves pray intently for hours at a time? How private is that? How much energy, both soul and body does it take? Can we even begin to comprehend the anguish that filled His Being as He poured out His soul in His loving intercessory prayer on our behalf? Could we watch Jesus as He poured out His Soul to God for us? Could we have been praying for Him, for God to strengthen and encourage Him?
I personally have difficulty thinking of Jesus and directing my thoughts to His Atonement and sacrifice for me for the duration of a five minute sacrament. My mind wanders. Am I sleeping? Wouldn’t I do better to watch the entire hour and gain from what the Spirit has for me?
Three times Jesus found them asleep. How often are we sleeping?
The Betrayal of Jesus Christ: Read Matthew 26:46-56; (See also John 18:10).
“Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me” (vs. 55).
Would Jesus have been taken if He had not been delivered? Do we defend or betray each other? Do we bear shame for the Lord? Do we defend Him on all accounts? If we, as His disciples, were all constantly true to Him, wouldn’t that silence all others who mock and hate Him?
Jesus is taken to Caiaphas: Read Matthew 26:57-75.
Peter, true to his word, tried to follow Jesus even when the others had fled (see vs. 58).
How ironic and out of place is it for someone to command Christ in the name of God (see vs. 63)? Do we use what limited authority we have unrighteously?
Many question, rationalize, or justify why Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. Is it necessary to know why? Or do Peter’s works thereafter prove his repentance and his reputation, his forgiveness and his great love for the Lord? Can we forgive each other for past mistakes and recognize the good and even the greatness in each other? The Lord’s senior apostle Peter died for the Lord and for His gospel; and he did not count himself worthy to die on the cross in the manner of His Lord, so they crucified Peter upside down.
(Notes: This chapter is lengthy and worthy of personal reading and reflection. Even though I am skipping over some major parts of the chapter, that does not mean that they are not worthy of attention. In fact, they may be the parts that are more worthy of our own personal attention. This is true for the entire blog. I am sharing some of my thoughts and insights on a few things that stand out to me. But you must read for yourself, and you will be blessed with insights that stand out to you.
In previous posts, I have written “Further Thoughts” to distinguish my thoughts from the scriptural account. Since this post is mainly my own thoughts, I have not done so.)