Read This Week: Matthew 26
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives… He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” – Matthew 26:26-30, 40 NIV
Matthew 26 is about the power of moments and the steadfastness of the mission that Jesus was on. It is apparent here and throughout this entire gospel that the life and ministry of Christ are purposeful. Everything he did was within the will of God and intentionally on the mission that He came to fulfill.
As we read this chapter, it is important to keep this idea of Jesus’ words, actions, and mission in view. The disciples often failed to understand this reality as they walked with Him, but that does not have to be the case with us. We can read and absorb these powerful moments and events in the context and light of the meta-narrative of God and the accomplishment of His eternal will through Christ.
We see God’s will and mission in the story of the woman with the alabaster box. It shows not only a beautiful act of sacrifice, love, and devotion to Jesus but also has theological implications for the Gospel. The disciples saw it as a kind yet wasteful gesture of expensive perfume but, Jesus interprets the action as preparing him for burial as was the custom in that culture. What the disciples saw as a frivolous act was a love-filled foreshadowing of the burial of Jesus after His sacrificial death on the cross. It was symbolic of both the human devotion of the woman and the divine sacrifice of Christ.
We see God’s will and mission in the betrayal of Judas. Jesus demonstrates that it is a sacrificial and loving act to receive someone as they are and invest life in them by his treatment of Judas. It also shows that we can trust God’s plan amid bad choices. His perfect will is not stopped by flawed behavior. In what followed next, we see Jesus overcome the fallenness of betrayal with the power of love. Betrayal chooses to forget. Love chooses to redeem.
We see God’s will and mission in the last supper. Jesus breaks bread with the disciples and gives it to them as a symbol of remembrance of what was to come. It anticipated His necessary bodily sacrifice for all. He identifies the cup of wine as his blood, the blood of the new covenant that is necessary for the covering of sin. We observe the Lord’s Supper in the same way, to remember what Christ did for us and to honor His payment of our sin debt that we could never pay.
We see God’s will and mission in the garden as Jesus submits in divine humility to the will of the Father even as he suffers in his humanity. This demonstrates to us the humble submission to God that we should have in our daily lives, decisions, and actions. We further see God’s will and mission in Jesus’ arrest and trial as it furthered accomplished the plan of salvation and glory that would come to the Lord for all time through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It shows us that nothing on earth can’t prevent the movement of God’s work and the furthering of His kingdom.
We see God’s will and mission in Peter’s denial of Jesus. It would be a temporary setback for an incredible comeback in the disciple’s life. Peter, a lying coward at this moment, would be transformed by the resurrection, appearance, and ascension of Christ. He would later stand on the steps of Pentecost and with truth, boldness, and courage, proclaim the saving message of Jesus to the world. It is one of the great examples of personal redemption and transformation for the cause of Christ. God’s will provides moments that ensure our lowest and worst moments don’t have to be the defining moments of our future.
As I read this chapter in the life of Jesus, I see him on a journey, a mission, an assignment from and with his father, with other people, his friends and family and others, some kind and others not so kind. Fun times, miracles happening and hard times too.
It may seem like a sequence of random events, but they are not random, they are planned out by his father, foretold by the prophets, and designed in detail to reconcile all who would call upon his name to himself.
Our lives are full of Gods plans and purposes as well and are meant to be an exciting adventure as well, so similar, in so many ways, as sons and daughters of God, as we represent the kingdom of heaven, right here, right now on earth, in our lives, with the people that God has connected us with too, just like Jesus.
So, for me, I want to do a good job and finish well, just like Jesus. I know life is not always easy and at times, it can be a real challenge, but it still is an adventure with God and others, and it is meant to be substantial and significant, and God has planned for our life to be good.
This is a tremendous exhortation, Ken, for all believers as we live on mission every day and seek to accomplish God’s will and purpose for our lives. This thought and truth is one we all need to hear on a regular basis:
It may seem like a sequence of random events, but they are not random, they are planned out by His Father, foretold by the prophets, and designed in detail to reconcile all who would call upon his name to himself… Our lives are full of God’s plans and purposes as well, as we represent the kingdom of heaven in our lives with the people that God has connected us with just like Jesus.
May we see our lives as purposeful and impactful in God’s power as we do life with Him and know that He works all things together for our good according to His will.
This is quite a profound chapter with a lot to learn and take from it. The verses that God drew my attention to are Matthew 26:40-41, And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The words that I felt God portraying to me on these verses are: “There is an ever-present battle within you at all times. Your heavenly spirit knows of what My will entails, and has all intentions of performing. However, your body is of this world and will pull you away from your goal. The ones who succeed recognize this and are stronger to react.
It is necessary that your carnal nature will win some battles to strengthen your soul, however, with My guidance your heavenly spirit will be as strong as it can be, winning and shining over your carnal skin. Do not destroy yourself over mistakes of the flesh, but use setbacks as a chance to grow your love with Me and forever enhance your heavenly nature.”
I feel that we all have challenges in life. Regardless of the caliber, there are ups and downs, and it is how we react to these challenges that define us through God’s eyes. The strong our spiritual/heavenly nature gets, the weaker our carnal nature gets and it becomes easier and easier to connect with God and have His breath and breadth flow within, around, and between us. We are imperfect and will have challenges that are going to test us and push us back, but it is those challenges that propel us forward with God.
Welcome back to A Week in the Life, Javaid! I really appreciated and enjoyed reading your thoughts and insights again. You’ve got a lot of good stuff packed in there. This really stood out to me and touched me in light of Matthew 26 and Peter’s story:
Do not destroy yourself over mistakes of the flesh, but use setbacks as a chance to grow your love with Me and forever enhance your heavenly nature.
Nothing puts God’s grace, mercy, and redeeming salvation on greater display than when a follower of Jesus uses the setbacks, mistakes, and poor choices for good, for the glory of God and to point people to Christ. It is the essence of His redemptive work on the cross and the provision of the Holy Spirit that He promised to those who have a relationship with Him.
Matthew 26:26-28 says, Now as they were eating Jesus took bread, and after [l]blessing it, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and [m]given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the [new and better] covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many [as a substitutionary atonement] for the forgiveness of sins.
I see Jesus pouring out His heart to those who were around Him, sharing what is about to happen, preparing their hearts because He loves them all. The part that blessed my heart while reading it again is how Jesus was thanking Father God, Then at the end They sang a song to the Father! What song came to me is: “As We Gather”:
As We Gather
As we gather may Your Spirit work within us
As we gather may we glorify Your name
Knowing well that as our hearts begin to worship
We’ll be blessed because we came, oh Lord
We’ll be blessed because we came
For me, I love to thank God and remember what Jesus went through for us. It’s a blessing I believe to His heart when were eating with others to thank God for not only having something to eat but to remember what He has done for us and continues to do. Then to ask others what their thankful for, How has God blessed them, then share.
I’m so thankful for Jesus’ Love, His love for us all, for the New Covenant that Father God blessed us with forgiveness from my past, I was blessed with a new life, I’m born again, I’m a child of God, I get to have a wonderful relation with Father God, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit. Thank you Jesus for sacrificing and suffering so much so we can be with You all here and were blessed to be able to live in heaven someday with You forever and ever!
I love what God brought to your heart and mind this week from Matthew 26, Heidi. It is so important to keep in view the community that Jesus created during His ministry. It is easy to focus on the miracles, teachings, and then on His death, burial and resurrection, but it is also important to remember how He instilled relationship, love, and community into the fabric of His ministry for His followers. I appreciated what you said here:
For me, I love to thank God and remember what Jesus went through for us. It’s a blessing I believe to His heart when we’re eating with others to thank God for not only having something to eat but to remember what He has done for us and continues to do. Then to ask others what they are thankful for, how has God blessed them, then share.
One of my favorite and most joyful and encouraging thoughts from the Scriptures is that God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). It is a form of worship expression to God when we sit with others and share what He has done for us and how much we love and are thankful for Him. Jesus demonstrated this and wants us to do likewise.
In Matthew 26 this was what God was saying to me: “Because of what My Son did on the cross, you can have a new covenant relationship with Me. Do not live as if this didn’t happen. Do not live as if there is no inner transformation, or no true cleansing of sin. My word and My will should be in your heart. Because of Jesus, you should have a new and close relationship with Me. You are to take and eat the bread and the cup in remembrance of Jesus. It means that you should not be forced to take it, you must actually receive it. Take Him in.
Without food and drink, you cannot live. Without Jesus, you will perish. You must take Jesus into your innermost being. No one can do this for you. Jesus is waiting for His people to be gathered to Him in Heaven and this will be ‘the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ (Rev 19:9) Jesus sang with his disciples, in adoration and worship to Me, His Father, even while knowing what He would have to endure. I want you to lift up your whole heart in praise and worship to Me. If you love Jesus, you will want to do the things that please Me. It doesn’t matter if it does or doesn’t please you.”
What this said to me is it should always be a sacred honor to take communion in remembrance of my Lord Jesus. It is not to be taken lightly. Jesus suffered on the cross for me to be able to have a relationship with God, and I can not take this for granted. I need to take Him in. I did not know Jesus sang in praise and worship with his disciples before having to suffer and endure the cross. It reminds me I am to lift up my whole heart in praise and worship, through all circumstances. If I watch and pray, I will be less apt to fall into temptation.
Wonderful commentary from Matthew 26 that God gave to you, Kathy. May we all be challenged by your words to take the sacrifice of Jesus seriously on a daily basis and observe it in our hearts. As you pointed out, this observance of what He did for us and how He suffered is a reminder of His grace and power in our lives to endure the challenges we face in His strength. I think this truth went beautifully with this thought about Jesus:
Without food and drink, you cannot live. Without Jesus, you will perish. You must take Jesus into your innermost being. No one can do this for you.
Without physical sustenance, we cannot be sustained in our bodies in the here and now, but more importantly, without spiritual sustenance that we get from a relationship with Jesus through faith, we will perish for all time. May we never forget this.
Thank you so much Jason! Your words are always so encouraging to me and to others. I am so blessed to have you as my brother in Christ.
Thank you so much, Kathy. Your words touch me deeply. I am blessed to know and interact with you. You’re a true sister in Christ and encouragement to me and so many.
This week, God gave me a song from Matthew 26 called “Praising You”:
We praise you, praise you!
We are standing together praising you, our Father
Your love is so true that you gave your life so we could be free
Come all, come all, let’s worship our Lord as His Spirit lives within us
Because of our Lord, we have eternal life
We are his servants so let’s share his love, grace, and mercy
We praise you, praise you!
We are standing together praising you, our Father. Amen.
I’m in you and your in me we are together in everything I do. Thank you, my Lord.
This is so beautiful, Alma. It reads like an old hymn and anthem of faith. Certainly, it is reminiscent of how they must have sung and given thanks to God in Matthew 26 after the Lord’s Supper. I pray that we will all share in His love, grace, and mercy every day and praise Him for eternal life at every opportunity we are given.
Your song reminded me of the first stanza of Asaph, the choir director in Psalm 75:1: We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds. Thank you for always telling of God’s wonderful deeds.
Thank you Jason that is so True. God is always so near. All we have to do is Trust and rely on his perfect timing. What an amazing Father he is.
He truly is! I agree wholeheartedly. Thank you for always pointing us to those truths and promises in Christ, Alma. Blessings to you always.