Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
CONSPIRACY OF THE
1, 2. (See on
3. Then entered Satan, &c.--but not yet in the full sense. The
awful stages of it were these: (1) Covetousness being his
master--passion, the Lord let it reveal itself and gather strength by
entrusting him with "the bag"
as treasurer to Himself and the Twelve. (2) In the discharge of that
most sacred trust he became "a thief," appropriating its contents from
time to time to his own use. Satan, seeing this door into his heart
standing wide open, determines to enter by it, but cautiously
first merely "putting it into his heart to betray Him"
suggesting the thought to him that by this means he might enrich
himself. (3) This thought was probably converted into a settled purpose
by what took place in Simon's house at Bethany. (See
and see on
(4) Starting back, perhaps, or mercifully held back, for some time, the
determination to carry it into immediate effect was not consummated
till, sitting at the paschal supper, "Satan entered into him"
and conscience, effectually stifled, only rose again to be his
tormentor. What lessons in all this for every one
1Pe 5:8, 9)!
5. money--"thirty pieces of silver"
thirty shekels, the fine payable for man- or maid-servant accidentally
and equal to between four and five pounds of our money--"a goodly
price that I was priced at of them"
6. in the absence, &c.--(See
PASSOVER--INSTITUTION OF THE
SUPPER--DISCOURSE AT THE
7. the day of unleavened bread--strictly the fifteenth Nisan (part of
our March and April) after the paschal lamb was killed; but here, the
fourteenth (Thursday). Into the difficult questions raised on this we
cannot here enter.
10-13. when ye are entered the city--He Himself probably stayed at
Bethany during the day.
there shall a man, &c.--(See on
14-18. the hour--about six P.M. Between
three and this hour the lamb was killed
15. With desire . . . desired--"earnestly have I longed" (as
"sore longedst"). Why? It was to be His last "before He suffered"--and
so became "Christ our Passover sacrificed for us"
when it was "fulfilled in the Kingdom of God," the typical
ordinance thenceforth disappearing.
17. took the cup--the first of several partaken of in this service.
divide it among, &c.--that is, It is to be your
last as well as Mine, "until the Kingdom of God come," or as it is
beautifully given in
"until that day when I shall drink it new with you in my Father's
kingdom." It was the point of transition between two economies and
their two great festivals, the one about to close for ever, the
other immediately to open and run its majestic career until from earth
it be transferred to heaven.
21, 22. (See on
24-30. there was--or "had been," referring probably to some
symptoms of the former strife which had reappeared, perhaps on seeing
the whole paschal arrangements committed to two of the Twelve. (See on
25. benefactors--a title which the vanity of princes eagerly coveted.
26. But ye . . . not--Of how little avail has this condemnation of
"lordship" and vain titles been against the vanity of Christian
28. continued, &c.--affecting evidence of Christ's tender
susceptibility to human sympathy and support! (See on
Joh 6:66, 67;
29. I appoint, &c.--Who is this that dispenses kingdoms, nay, the
Kingdom of kingdoms, within an hour or two of His apprehension, and less
than a day of His shameful death? These sublime contrasts, however,
perpetually meet and entrance us in this matchless history.
30. eat and drink, &c.--(See
and see on
31-34. Simon, Simon--(See on
desired to have--rather, "hath obtained you," properly
"asked and obtained"; alluding to Job
(Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6),
whom he solicited and obtained that he might sift him as wheat,
insinuating as "the accuser of the brethren"
that he would find chaff enough in his religion, if indeed there was
any wheat at all.
you--not Peter only, but them all.
32. But I have prayed--have been doing it already.
for thee--as most in danger. (See on
Lu 22:61, 62.)
fail not--that is, entirely; for partially it did fail.
converted--brought back afresh as a penitent disciple.
strengthen, &c.--that is, make use of thy bitter experience for the
fortifying of thy tempted brethren.
33. I am ready, &c.--honest-hearted, warmly-attached disciple,
thinking thy present feelings immovable as a rock, thou shalt find them
in the hour of temptation unstable as water: "I have been praying for
thee," therefore thy faith shall not perish; but thinking this
superfluous, thou shalt find that "he that trusteth in his own heart is
34. cock . . . crow--"twice"
35-38. But now--that you are going forth not as before on a temporary
mission, provided for without purse or scrip, but into scenes of
continued and severe trial, your methods must be different; for
purse and scrip will now be needed for support, and the usual means of
37. the things concerning me--decreed and written.
have an end--are rapidly drawing to a close.
38. two swords . . . enough--they thinking He referred to present
defense, while His answer showed He meant something else.
AGONY IN THE
39. as . . . wont--(See
40. the place--the Garden of Gethsemane, on the west or city side of
the mount. Comparing all the accounts of this mysterious scene, the
facts appear to be these: (1) He bade nine of the Twelve remain "here"
while He went and prayed "yonder." (2) He "took the other three, Peter,
James, and John, and began to be sore amazed [appalled], sorrowful, and
very heavy [oppressed], and said, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even
unto death"--"I feel as if nature would sink under this load, as if life
were ebbing out, and death coming before its time"--"tarry ye here, and
watch with Me"; not, "Witness for Me," but, "Bear Me company." It did
Him good, it seems, to have them beside Him. (3) But soon even they were
too much for Him: He must be alone. "He was withdrawn from them about a
stone's-cast"--though near enough for them to be competent witnesses and
kneeled down, uttering that most affecting prayer
that if possible "the cup," of His approaching death, "might
pass from Him, but if not, His Father's will be done": implying that
in itself it was so purely revolting that only its being the
Father's will would induce Him to taste it, but that in that
view of it He was perfectly prepared to drink it. It is no struggle
between a reluctant and a compliant will, but between two views of one
event--an abstract and a relative view of it, in the one
of which it was revolting, in the other welcome. By
signifying how it felt in the one view, He shows His beautiful
oneness with ourselves in nature and feeling; by expressing how He
regarded it in the other light, He reveals His absolute obediential
subjection to His Father. (4) On this, having a momentary relief, for
it came upon Him, we imagine, by surges, He returns to the three, and
finding them sleeping, He addresses them affectingly, particularly
Peter, as in
Mr 14:37, 38.
He then (5) goes back, not now to kneel, but fell on His face on the
ground, saying the same words, but with this turn, "If this cup may
not pass," &c.
--that is, 'Yes, I understand this mysterious silence
it may not pass; I am to drink it, and I will'--"Thy will be done!" (6)
Again, for a moment relieved, He returns and finds them "sleeping for
sorrow," warns them as before, but puts a loving construction upon it,
separating between the "willing spirit" and the "weak flesh." (7) Once
more, returning to His solitary spot, the surges rise higher, beat more
tempestuously, and seem ready to overwhelm Him. To fortify Him for
this, "there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven strengthening
Him"--not to minister light or comfort (He was to have none of that,
and they were not needed nor fitted to convey it), but purely to
sustain and brace up sinking nature for a yet hotter and fiercer
struggle. And now, He is "in an agony, and prays more earnestly"--even
Christ's prayer, it seems, admitted of and now demanded such
increase--"and His sweat was as it were great drops [literally,
'clots'] of blood falling down to the ground." What was this? Not
His proper sacrificial offering, though essential to it. It was
just the internal struggle, apparently hushing itself before, but now
swelling up again, convulsing His whole inner man, and this so
affecting His animal nature that the sweat oozed out from every pore in
thick drops of blood, falling to the ground. It was just shuddering
nature and indomitable will struggling together. But again
the cry, If it must be, Thy will be done, issues from His lips,
and all is over. "The bitterness of death is past." He has anticipated
and rehearsed His final conflict, and won the victory--now on the
theater of an invincible will, as then on the arena of the
Cross. "I will suffer," is the grand result of Gethsemane: "It
is finished" is the shout that bursts from the Cross. The Will without
the Deed had been all in vain; but His work was consummated when He
carried the now manifested Will into the palpable Deed, "by the
which WILL we are sanctified THROUGH THE OFFERING OF THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST ONCE FOR ALL"
(8) At the close of the whole scene, finding them still sleeping (worn
out with continued sorrow and racking anxiety), He bids them, with an
irony of deep emotion, "sleep on now and take their rest, the hour is
come, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners, rise, let
us be going, the traitor is at hand." And while He spoke, Judas
approached with his armed band. Thus they proved "miserable
comforters," broken reeds; and thus in His whole work He was
alone, and "of the people there was none with Him."
The particulars of these two sections require a combination of all the
narratives, for which see on
61. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter--(Also see on
62. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly--(Also see on