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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - October 13, 2007
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October 13, 2007

Matthew 26
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Matthew
Chapter 26
  1. And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,
  2. Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
  3. 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,
  4. And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
  5. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.
  6. Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
  7. There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
  8. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
  9. For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
  10. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
  11. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
  12. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
  13. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
  14. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
  15. 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.
  16. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
  17. Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
  18. And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
  19. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
  20. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
  21. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
  22. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
  23. And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
  24. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
  25. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
  26. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
  27. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
  28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
  29. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
  30. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
  31. Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
  32. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
  33. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
  34. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
  35. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
  36. Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
  37. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
  38. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
  39. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
  40. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
  41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
  42. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
  43. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
  44. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
  45. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
  46. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
  47. And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
  48. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
  49. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
  50. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
  51. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
  52. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
  53. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
  54. But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
  55. In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, 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.
  56. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
  57. And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
  58. But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
  59. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
  60. But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
  61. And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
  62. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
  63. But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
  64. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
  65. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
  66. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
  67. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
  68. Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
  69. Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
  70. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
  71. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
  72. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
  73. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
  74. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
  75. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.


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Thought for the day:
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 There are many events in this chapter that are worthy of our attention. I would like to focus on just one of them. Following the celebration of the Passover, Jesus and the disciples went out to the Mount of Olives. The Lord informed His followers that all of them would stumble that night, because of what was going to happen to Him. However, He gives them encouragement by telling them that after His resurrection He would see them again. Peter, who often was the spokesman for the group, spoke up and told Christ that he personally would never do that. In his pride he said that he would remain true even if everyone else fell by the wayside. There are a couple pieces of truth here that every believer ought to take notice of. First of all, Peter's pride caused him to question and rebuke the Lord Himself. What audacity! Can you imagine someone looking the Lord in the face and telling Him that He didn't know what He was talking about? Yet this is exactly what Peter does. The application is this: how often does the Lord warn us about things in His Word, and we ignore what He says? To do this is to tell God that He doesn't know what He is talking about, and that somehow we know more than He does. How foolish this attitude is! In addition, Peter felt that he was different than everybody else. Perhaps all the other disciples would fall, but he wouldn't, because he was better than they were. This attitude is prevalent among Christians today as well, particularly young people. They are warned by their parents or their pastor that the path that they are following is going to lead to destruction, but they won't listen. Why? Because they think that they are different than everyone else. Others may ruin their lives but they certainly won't. Pride wrecks them, just like it did Peter.

 Once they reached the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus left most of the disciples, and took Peter, James and John with Him further into the garden. He told them that He would go still further into the garden to pray, and asked them to remain where they were and pray with Him, particularly because His soul was sorrowful. What a great privilege to be asked to pray not only by the Lord, but also for the Lord! What greater honor could there be? So Jesus went on to pray, and the three disciples fell asleep. After an hour the Lord returned, and woke them up. He rebuked them for not praying with Him, and then said these words,

"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (41).
This is very important, because it shows that even though Christ had asked them to pray with Him, they actually needed to pray for their own benefit. They needed to pray because of their own impending temptation, not because of what Jesus was about to go through. But, because they were filled with pride, and didn't believe that they could fall as Christ had said they would, they didn't feel the need to pray, so they didn't. Christ warns them that they might indeed desire to do what was right, but because their flesh was weak they needed to get a hold of the power of God through prayer. This incident is repeated two more times, and then the betrayal of Jesus takes place.

 The importance of prayer is shown here. Peter and the others had no idea what they were going to face in the next few hours, but they figured that they could handle it in their own strength. Christ, on the other hand, knew exactly what they were going to face, and encouraged them to quit trusting in themselves and start functioning in the power of God through prayer, but they refused. You and I don't know what situations are going to occur in our lives over the next few days, or even the next few hours. The greatest crisis of my life may be just around the corner. Therefore, I had better spend time alone with God right now confessing my sins, restoring my relationship with Him, and getting His power in my life. The disciples did not, and we know how that story ended. All fled, and later John and Peter followed at a distance. Peter was recognized, and chose to deny his relationship to the Lord, even to the point where he took an oath to a foreign god and cursed with the vilest language that he could use in order to distance himself from Christ. When he realized that the Lord knew, he went out and wept bitterly because of his failure. Perhaps if Peter had taken his prayer life more seriously a few hours before, he would have been able to stand when the crisis came.

 What is going to happen to you tomorrow that will make you wish that you had spent more time in prayer today? It would be best to be prepared.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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