The Scriptorium

Betrayed

Jesus submitted to God's Word, and so must we. Matthew 26.47-75

Matthew 26: Arrested (6)

Pray Psalm 22.23, 24.
You who fear the LORD, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.

Sing Psalm 22.23-25.
(Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord is King)
All you who fear the Lord, now praise His holy Name!
You children of His glorious Word, declare His fame!
We stand in awe of our eternal God, and on His mercy call.

For He has not despised the anguish of our King,
nor from Him hid His eyes, Who knew such suffering.
Let praise arise from all who love and serve the Ruler of the skies!

Read Matthew 26.1-75; meditate on verses 47-75.

Prepare.
1. Why did Jesus submit to being arrested?

2. How did the disciples react to this situation?

Meditate.
This is what it means to be completely submitted to the Word of God. A mob arrived where Jesus was finishing His time of prayer in the garden. Judas stepped forward to greet Jesus with a kiss. After a brief scuffle, the rash act of one of His disciples, Jesus was taken into custody.

Just like that? He Who walked on water? Healed the lame? Gave sight to the blind? Cast out demons? Raised the dead? Could command twelve legions of angels? He just gave Himself up to wicked, violent men?

Yes. Because He knew the Word of God, and He understood that Word to be God’s will for His life (v. 42). Twice in this passage Jesus insisted that He must submit to the Word of God (vv. 54, 56). He spoke this mainly for His disciple’s sake, knowing they were all about to abandon Him (v. 56). Thus, He encouraged them to follow His example and trust in the Word of God, which would include His own words to them, in which He promised to rise from the dead and give them the Kingdom.

Jesus knew that what was best for all was not His convenience, comfort, or safety, but the fulfillment of God’s Word. He knew the crucifixion was at hand, and how terrible, how humiliating and agonizing that would be (cf. Ps. 22.1-21; Ps. 88). But He was already looking through the crucifixion to the joy of the Kingdom that God the Father had set down before Him (Heb. 12.2; cf. Ps. 22.21-31).

The trial before the Sanhedrin was a mockery. But Jesus submitted to it, insisting that He is the Christ, the Son of God, and warning that all those present would one day see the truth of this (vv. 57-67). What courage! What confidence in the Word and power of God!

And what a contrast to Peter, cowering before mere peasants, as he denied the Savior three times (vv. 69-75).

God’s will for us is that at all times we should submit to His Word. That may involve inconvenience, difficulty, hardship, and even suffering. But at the end of it, there is joy in knowing the Lord is with us always, and in holding fast to His unshakeable Word. Following Jesus means submitting to the Word of God just as He did.

Reflect.
1. Jesus chose not to rely on violence in this situation. Why?

2. What will it mean for you to submit to the Scriptures today?

3. How can believers help one another to keep their eyes on Jesus and to submit always to His Word?

“Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” By these words he quenched their anger, appealing to holy Scripture. He prayed that the disciples might accept meekly whatever befell him when they had learned that this also is occurring according to God’s will.
John Chrysostom (344-407.), The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 84.1

Whatever it requires of me, Lord, help me to submit to Your Word, especially as I…

Pray Psalm 22.26-28.
Praise God for His Kingdom, and thank Him for the suffering of Jesus, by which He earned the Kingdom He has now given to us.

Sing Psalm 22.26-28.
Psalm 22.26-28 (Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord is King)
The suff’ring King shall eat and praise with us the Lord.
Forever we His praise repeat and trust His Word.
Praise God above, all you who keep His vows and who His mercies love!

All nations shall repent and hasten to the Lord;
all those to whom His truth is sent shall praise His Word.
The Lord is King!  His sovereign rule on high now we His people sing!

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore