Matthew 26:1

(1) The portion of the Gospel narrative on which we now enter is common, as far as the main facts are concerned, to all the four Gospels, and this gives to every detail in it a special interest. We cannot ignore the fact that it brings with it also some peculiar difficulties. The first three Gospels are in substantial agreement as to the order of the facts and the time at which they occurred. But the fourth, in some respects the fullest and most striking, differs from the Three: (1) in omitting all mention that the Last Supper of our Lord with His disciples was also the Paschal Supper, and at least appearing to imply (John 13:1; John 18:28) that it was before it; (2) in also omitting all record (a) of the institution of the Lord's Supper as the sign of the New Covenant, and (b) of the agony in Gethsemane; (3) in recording much, both as to our Lord's acts and words, which the Three do not record. It will be enough to discuss once for all the problems which thus present themselves, and it is believed that the right place for the discussion will be in the Notes on the Gospel which first presents the difficulties. Here, therefore, our work will be confined to the text actually before us, with only such passing references to the narrative of St. John as occasion may require. As far as the variations in the first three Gospels are concerned, they are sufficiently explained by the hypothesis that they had a common origin in a history at first delivered orally, and reduced afterwards to writing, with the diversities which are, in the nature of the case, incident to such a process.

All these sayings.--The words clearly point to the great discourse of Matthew 24, 25. The "disciples" to whom our Lord then spoke of His betrayal and death, may have been either the four who are named in Mark 13:3, or the whole company of the Twelve. In the latter case, we must assume that the rest had joined Him, either during the utterance of the discourse or after it was finished.

Verses 1, 2. - Final announcement of the approaching Passion. (Mark 14:1; Luke 22:1.) Verse 1. - When Jesus had finished all these sayings; i.e. those comprised in chs. 22-25. This was the close of his public teaching. The other discourses which are preserved by St. John (John 13:31-17:26) were addressed to the chosen apostles Henceforward the narrative sets him forth as Priest, Victim, Redeemer; and Christ himself now distinctly states the day of his death and the person who was to betray him.

26:1-5 Our Lord had often told of his sufferings as at a distance, now he speaks of them as at hand. At the same time the Jewish council consulted how they might put him to death secretly. But it pleased God to defeat their intention. Jesus, the true paschal Lamb, was to be sacrificed for us at that very time, and his death and resurrection rendered public.And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings,.... Meaning either all that are recorded by this evangelist, all the sermons and discourses of Christ, delivered both to the people of the Jews, and to his disciples; his conversation with the former, and his divine instructions and prudent advice to the latter, together with all his excellent parables, which are largely related in this book; or else what is said in the two preceding chapters, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the world, the state of the church, and conduct of his servants to the end of time, expressed in the parables of the virgins and talents, and concerning the last judgment and final state of all men:

he said unto his disciples; who now were alone with him: having finished his prophetic, and being about to enter on his priestly office, he gives his disciples some intimations of its near approach.

Matthew 25:46
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