Thy Kingdom Come – Uses Of The Kingdom

I. Video. Seminary Preview Day.

II. Article References.

Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D., D. Litt. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. John F. Walvoord, Th. D., D. Litt. Harold W. Hoehner, Th. D., Ph. D. Stanley D. Toussaint, Th. D. Edward E. Hindson Th. D., Ph. D. Robert L. Thomas, Th. D. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Th. D., D. Litt. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. Robert P. Lightner, Th. D.

III. Article Narrative. Uses of “the Kingdom.”

A. While there are many references to the kingdom in the New Testament epistles, on closer examination we find the term “the kingdom” used in several different ways.

B. It is used of the future earthly Davidic kingdom to be established at the second advent of Jesus Christ. In 2 Timothy 4:1 Paul wrote, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge.” This must refer to the earthly Davidic kingdom that will be established on earth, since that is the kingdom which will follow the second advent of Jesus Christ and the
judgments associated with that momentous event (Matt. 25:1-46).

C. Paul also wrote, “Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him. The end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power” (1 Cor. 15:23-24). Here Paul outlined a resurrection program that began with the resurrection of Christ and will continue with the resurrection of those that are Christ’s at His second advent.

1. The completion of the resurrection program does not come until after the reign of Christ here on earth, following His second coming. At the conclusion of that resurrection program, Christ will have delivered up the
kingdom to God (v. 24).

2. It is quite obvious, therefore, that the kingdom referred to here is the millennial kingdom over which Christ reigns on earth, following His second advent. Thus the idea of a future earthly Davidic kingdom is not at all foreign to the apostle’s thinking.

D. Besides the future earthly Davidic kingdom, we also find that the future eternal kingdom is referred to in the epistles. In 2 Timothy 4:18 Paul declared, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom.” Paul obviously was anticipating the eternal reign of Christ in His eternal kingdom. Peter declared, “You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:11). Peter likewise was anticipating his participation in that eternal reign of Christ.

E. Elsewhere Paul wrote, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Cor. 15:50). Here Paul seems to be using “kingdom of God” in reference to the eternal state of the believer. Thus “kingdom” or “kingdom of God” may refer to the eternal reign of Christ.

F. While the term “kingdom” is used in these two senses in the epistles, its third and most common use, by far, is in reference to the present form of the kingdom, that into which a believer enters by faith in Jesus Christ. Paul stated that God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14). Here the phrase “the kingdom of the Son He loves” is equated with the redemption and the forgiveness of sins received by faith in Jesus Christ.

G. In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul listed the works of the flesh and then declared “that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” He made a similar statement in Ephesians 5:3-5, where he listed grievous sins of the flesh and then stated that those who participate in such things do not have “any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:5).

1. This concept is also found in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10. 1. In these passages Paul is saying that men who are characterized by these sins are not saved, because it is evident they have never received by faith the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. Therefore they are not participants in the kingdom of God.

2. Thus we see again that the term “kingdom of God” is equated with salvation and must refer to participation in or exclusion from the present kingdom form.

H. Believers are exhorted to live lives worthy of God, who calls them into His kingdom and glory (1 Thess. 2:12). Here Paul seems to be referring to the participation of believers in the present form of the kingdom, who consequently are to walk worthy of that position. Paul commended the Thessalonians for their faithfulness and patience in the midst of
persecutions and testings (2 Thess. 1:4), which validated their membership in the kingdom. By that conduct they were deemed “worthy of the kingdom of God,” for which they were suffering (v. 5). Paul was not encouraging them to have patience and faithfulness in order to be able to participate in a future millennial kingdom; but, rather, to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of their participation in the kingdom’s present form.

I. Paul told the Corinthians, “The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power” (1 Cor. 4:20). In other words, if those in Corinth were actually saved and in the kingdom of God, they would demonstrate that by manifesting the power of the kingdom in their daily lives. Mere profession was not a sufficient demonstration of salvation or participation in the kingdom of God; that relationship must be established and demonstrated by the work of the
Holy Spirit, who is the power in the present form of the kingdom of God.

J. James made reference to the kingdom in James 2:5, where he asserted that entrance into that kingdom is for those who are “rich in faith.” A popular Jewish concept said that he whom the Lord loves He makes rich, and that those who had material wealth received it because God approved of their righteousness. Therefore, many sought riches as a basis for assurance of their acceptance by God. James, however, said that it is not those who are rich in this world’s goods, but those who are rich in faith, who will “inherit the kingdom.” Like Paul and Peter, James equated participation in the kingdom with salvation received by faith.

K. As a final note, according to Colossians 4:11 Paul considered himself a laborer on behalf of the kingdom of God, and he saw those faithful servants who worked with him as fellow workers in the kingdom.

L. From this survey, then, we see that the most frequent reference to the “kingdom” or the “kingdom of God” in the epistles is a reference to the present form of the kingdom, in which individuals by faith in Jesus Christ, and because of His death and resurrection, receive salvation and the gift of eternal life. All these are a part of the kingdom of God.

IV. Article Considerations.

A. One of the most difficult and most important factors of writing an article is related to sources of information. A writer must ensure that such sources have a high degree of knowledge on the subjects that are being written, and also must have a high degree of respect from other writers. A second factor that must be considered relates to how to lawfully use material of other writers. In this web site, copyright statutes are not violated. Also, “public domain,” is to be considered.

B. In this article, I have chosen theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (the study of what Scripture teaches about the end times), and other doctrines of scripture. All of the references in this article have a connection with Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) as graduate or instructor.

C.  For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following links show information about Dallas Theological Seminary. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.

D. About Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).

1. General Info.

2. Doctrinal Statement.


Thy Kingdom Come – Acts

I. Video. Swindoll Tower At DTS.

II. Article References.

Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D., D. Litt. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. John F. Walvoord, Th. D., D. Litt. Harold W. Hoehner, Th. D., Ph. D. Stanley D. Toussaint, Th. D. Edward E. Hindson Th. D., Ph. D. Robert L. Thomas, Th. D. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Th. D., D. Litt. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. Robert P. Lightner, Th. D.

III. Article Narrative. The Kingdom In Acts.

A. Following His resurrection, Jesus spent time with those whom He had chosen [John 15:9,15,16 , Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain], instructing them concerning the new form of the kingdom and preparing them for their ministry of introducing that new form to Jew and Gentile alike. He reiterated His promise of empowerment by the Holy Spirit for the work of their ministry. On Pentecost the promised Spirit was poured out and indwelt believers as His temple. In the book of Acts their ministry of proclaiming the new message of the new form of the kingdom is recorded, by which the gospel was proclaimed and spread throughout the world.

B. The kingdom of God in this present age, formed through the preaching of the gospel would be made up of Jews and Gentiles. This was made clear to Peter in the vision given to him in Acts 10. When Peter, in obedience to the Levitical law, refused to eat that which was unclean, he was told, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (v. 15). To make sure there was no misunderstanding, the command was repeated three times. It later became apparent that Peter understood that the distinctions inherent in the
Levitical law had been removed, for when he was in the house of Cornelius he declared, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right” (vv. 34-35).

C. Peter felt free to proclaim the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles assembled in Cornelius’s house In response to their faith, “The Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message” (v. 44). The evidence that Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit was that they spoke with tongues (v. 46). “Tongues were evidence to the apostles of the genuine conversion of the Gentiles and of their inclusion in the body of believers.” In response, “these Gentiles showed their identification with Jesus Christ and the company of believers by being baptized.”

D. Even so, Jerusalem had to be convinced of God’s acceptance of Gentiles into the church and the kingdom. So Peter testified to the genuineness of their conversion by recounting in his dream what had happened next. And those in Jerusalem, “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ‘So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life” (11:18). This question was submitted to the apostles in Jerusalem, and Peter testified to the salvation of the Gentiles by faith in Jesus Christ “apart from the law (15:7-11).” His testimony is further corroborated by Barnabas and Paul (v. 12), and James, who presided at this council and rendered its decision. It was evident that “God was dealing with Gentiles as Gentiles,” taking from the Gentiles a people for Himself (v. 14).

E. James found this in keeping with the prophetic program, as was given by God to the Jewish Prophet Amos, who gave the prophecy to Jews.

1. Amos, a Jew, but prophesying (B.C. 776-763) in the northern kingdom exercised his ministry during the reign of Jeroboam II, an able but idolatrous king who brought his kingdom to the zenith of its power. Nothing could seem more improbable than the fulfilment of Amos’s warnings; yet within fifty years the kingdom was utterly destroyed. The vision of Amos is, however, wider than the northern kingdom, including the whole “house of Jacob.”

2. Amos is in four parts: Judgments on the cities surrounding Israel. Judgements on Judah and Israel. God’s controversy with “the whole family” of Jacob. The future glory of the Davidic kingdom.

a. Amos 9:9-10, “A vision of the Lord judging:” “For behold, I am commanding, And I will shake the house of Israel among all nations
As grain is shaken in a sieve, But not a kernel will fall to the ground.
10 “All the sinners of My people will die by the sword,” Those who say, ‘The calamity will not overtake or confront us.’

b. Amos 9:11-12, “The Restoration of Israel:” 11 In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, And wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old; 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom And all the nations who are called by My name,” Declares the Lord who does this. (verse 11 comment: “In that day.” The aspect of the Day of the Lord known as the Millennium. “booth of David.” The dynasty of David, though humbled for a time, will be reinstated to rule over all the world (v. 12; see Acts 15: 15-17).

3. It was prophesied that after the period in which Israel was disciplined because of disobedience, and the Davidic throne left empty for a time, the Davidic throne would be restored and the Davidic kingdom would be instituted. When it is reinstituted, the kingdom will include not only the physical descendants of Abraham but also a multitude of Gentiles. Therefore the restored Davidic kingdom under its rightful Davidic king would be composed of both Jews and Gentiles. In that kingdom “Gentiles would not be made into Jews; instead, they would be in the kingdom as Gentiles.” This allowed James to conclude that if God had a program for “Gentiles, as Gentiles, in the future Davidic kingdom established here on the earth,” there was no reason to deny that God could include “Gentiles, as Gentiles,” in this present form of the theocracy through faith in Jesus Christ; Gentiles are equal participants with believing Jews in the present form of the kingdom of God.

F. Paul’s life was dedicated to the preaching of the grace of God. He wrote, “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again” (Acts 20:25). Paul clearly equated preaching the gospel of the grace of God with the preaching of the kingdom of God. Once again we see that “the two terms are used interchangeably,” as in 28:23 when Paul arrived in Rome and “they arranged to meet Paul on a certain day and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.” Again “the preaching of the gospel was referred to as testimony concerning the kingdom of God.” And in verses 30-31 this identification was again made, where for two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance “he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

G. Thus as we survey Paul’s ministry from the book of Acts, we see him as an
ambassador of the kingdom of God, but his message was salvation through the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “No reference is made to support the notion that the earthly Davidic kingdom had been established.” Rather, the message concerns entrance into a present form of the kingdom of God by faith in Jesus Christ.

IV. Article Considerations.

A. One of the most difficult and most important factors of writing an article is related to sources of information. A writer must ensure that such sources have a high degree of knowledge on the subjects that are being written, and also must have a high degree of respect from other writers. A second factor that must be considered relates to how to lawfully use material of other writers. In this web site, copyright statutes are not violated. Also, “public domain,” is to be considered.

B. In this article, I have chosen theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (the study of what Scripture teaches about the end times), and other doctrines of scripture. All of the references in this article have a connection with Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) as graduate or instructor.

C.  For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following links show information about Dallas Theological Seminary. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.

D. About Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).

1. General Info.

2. Doctrinal Statement.

Thy Kingdom Come – Mysteries

I. Video. Why Dallas Theological Seminary?

II. Article References.

Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D., D. Litt. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. John F. Walvoord, Th. D., D. Litt. Harold W. Hoehner, Th. D., Ph. D. Stanley D. Toussaint, Th. D. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Th. D., D. Litt. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D.

III. Article Narrative.

A. The Course Of This Present Age.

1. The age from the rejection of the Messiah by Israel, unto His reception by Israel at His second advent, is outlined in two portions of the Word: Matthew 13 and Revelation 2 and 3; the former from the viewpoint of God’s kingdom program, and the latter from the viewpoint of the church program.

2. The course of this present age will be considered as we discuss Matthew 13, in this study. The study of Revelation 2 and 3 has already been discussed in a study of the book of Revelation.

3. Matthew 13:11 reveals that our Lord is speaking in a way that He may give the course of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. This instruction comes through the proper instruction of the parables which are recorded here.

B. The Program Altered (The kingdom postponed).

1. The thirteenth chapter of Matthew marks a new division in the gospel, in which Jesus addresses Himself to the problem of what will occur when He goes back to heaven as the rejected King. The gospel of Matthew began with the proofs that Jesus was indeed the promised Son who would reign on the throne of David (chap. 1), supported by the visit of the wise men and the early ministry of John the Baptist (chaps. 2-3). After His temptation, Jesus presented the principles of His coming kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount (chaps. 5-7), emphasizing spiritual and moral principles that govern the kingdom of God, but especially as these applied to the prophesied kingdom on earth, which the Messiah-King was to bring when He came. The Sermon on the Mount accordingly contained timeless truths always applicable, some truths that were immediately applicable to Christ’s day on earth, and some truths that were to have their fulfillment in the millennial kingdom.

2.  Chapter 13 faces the question, “what will happen when the rejected king goes back to heaven and the kingdom promised is postponed until His second coming?” The concept of a kingdom postponed must be understood as a postponement from the human side and not from the divine, as obviously God’s plans do not change.  It may be compared to the situation at Kadesh-Barnea, when the children of Israel, bound for the promised land, because of unbelief, had their entrance postponed for forty years. If they had believed God, they might have entered the land immediately.

3. What is contingent from the human standpoint, however, is always planned from the divine standpoint. The rejection of Christ by His own people and His subsequent death and resurrection were absolutely essential to God’s program. Humanly speaking, the kingdom, instead of being brought in immediately, was postponed. From the divine viewpoint, the plan always included what actually happened. The human responsibility remains, however, and the rejection of the kingdom from this standpoint caused the postponement of the promised kingdom on earth.

4. This chapter, accordingly, does not only introduce a new subject and a new approach but also involves a new method of teaching, namely that of parables. While many of the illustrations which Christ used were designed to make plain the truth, parables were intended to reveal the truth only to believers and required explanation in order to understand them. In a sense, they were riddles which required a key, but supplied with the key, the truth became prophetically eloquent.

5. Jesus deliberately adopted the parabolic method of teaching at a particular stage in His ministry for the purpose of withholding further truth about Himself and the kingdom of heaven from the crowds, who had proved themselves to be deaf to His claims and irresponsive to His demands. From now onwards, when addressing the unbelieving multitude, He speaks only in parables, which He interprets to His disciples in private.

6. In this chapter are presented in the parables the mysteries of the kingdom. The parables are designed to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom, that is, the present age.

7. Mysteries, a word used of secret rites of various religious cults, refers to truth that was not revealed in the Old Testament but is revealed in the New Testament. More than a dozen such truths are revealed in the New Testament, all following the basic definition of Colossians 1:26, which defines a mystery as that “which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.” A mystery truth, accordingly, has two elements. First, it has to be hidden in the Old Testament and not revealed there. Second, it has to be revealed in the New Testament. It is not necessarily a reference to a truth difficult to understand, but rather to truths that can be understood only on the basis of divine revelation.

8. The Old Testament reveals, in clear terms, the earthly reign of Christ when He comes as King to reign on the throne of David (which truths are not mysteries).  Matthew 13 introduces a different form of the kingdom, namely the present spiritual reign of the King during the period He is physically absent from the earth, prior to His second coming. The mysteries of the kingdom, accordingly, deal with the period between the first and second advent of Christ and not the millennial kingdom which will follow the second coming.

C. The Mysteries Of The Kingdom Of Heaven (The Parables).

1. This period includes the time from Pentecost, in Acts 2, to the rapture; that is, the age of grace (which we also call the age of the Holy Spirit, or the church age). Although this period includes the church age, it extends beyond it, for the parables of Matthew 13 precede Pentecost and extend beyond the rapture.

2. These parables do not primarily concern the nature, function, and influence of the church. Rather, they show the previously unrevealed form in which God’s theocratic rule would be exerted in a previously unrevealed age, made
necessary by Israel’s rejection of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 13 there are eight parables, each one providing an essential characteristic of the kingdom in this present age.

3. Seed, sowers, and soils. The first feature of this age is that it is characterized by a sowing of the seed by sowers and by varied responses to the sowing. In this parable, the seed (Matt. 13:3-8) represents the word, or “the message about the kingdom,” and the field represents the “heart” of the individual hearer (v. 19). In Scripture, the “heart” often indicates intellectual capacity. A message, then, was being proclaimed and heard, but there were varying responses. Some seed showed no sign of life at all (that sown by the wayside).Some produced no fruit (that sown on rocky places).

4. The sewing of seed gave promise of bearing fruit but was eventually fruitless (that sown among the thorns). There was seed that produced a crop, yielding a 100, 60, or 30 times what was sown (v. 23). Jesus was saying that instead of the fruitage of the Gospel showing an increase, there would be a marked decrease.

5. Mark recorded another parable by Jesus on the theme of sowing seed. This parable (Mark 4:26-29) was designed to teach that the fruit depends not on the sower but on the life that is in the seed itself. Regardless of what the sower did, the seed germinated, sprouted, grew, produced grain, and eventually yielded a bountiful harvest, which the man reaped. Jesus wanted to make it clear that any harvest they saw would be the result of sowing and then allowing the life in the seed to manifest itself by growth and yield.

6. Weeds among wheat. The second parable (13:24-29) was designed to supplement the first to teach that there would be a false sowing alongside the sowing of the Word of God. The field had been sown with good seed, and the sower could anticipate a harvest for his labors. Later, the sower was told that an enemy had sown the field with the seed of weeds.

7. This false sowing evidently took place immediately after the good seed had been sown. Then both kinds of seed germinated and sprouted. In the process of waiting for the harvest, it became evident that weeds had been sown in the wheat field. The presence of weeds would crowd out the growth of the fruit-bearing wheat. The servants, concerned as they were with the results of their labors, suggested that they try to remove the weeds from the field. However, the owner of the field recognized that it would be impossible to remove
the weeds without destroying the wheat. So the servants were commanded to let both ripen, and at the time of wheat harvest they would then separate the good grain from the worthless weeds, without destroying the wheat. The weeds could be burned and destroyed, while the wheat would be gathered into storage. Through this parable Jesus prepared these men to be on guard for Satan’s work of sowing false seed, or false doctrine, while they were sowing the good seed. Satan’s false kingdom would continue to exist alongside the new form of God’s kingdom.

8. The mustard seed. The third parable (13:31-32) reveals that this new form of the kingdom will have an almost imperceptible beginning. The emphasis in the parable is on the contrast between the size of the seed and the plants that are produced. “Small as a mustard seed” was a Jewish proverb to indicate a very minute particle. But out of that insignificant seed in one year would grow a plant which became large enough for birds to nest in. In Ezekiel 31:6 and Daniel 4:12, the figure of a spreading tree, in which birds lodge, indicates a great kingdom that can protect and provide benefits for many peoples. Christ would
commission only 11 men to become His emissaries (John 17:18). This would seem to be an insignificant beginning, yet Jesus predicted that the world would hear His message from such a small beginning. Thus the parable teaches that the new form of the kingdom, while it did have an insignificant beginning, would eventually spread to the ends of the earth.

9. The hidden leaven. The fourth parable (13:33) was designed to show how the
kingdom program would develop and operate in the present age. Some have referred to this as “The Parable of the Leaven,” but that title puts emphasis on what leaven is or signifies. Actually, this is “The Parable of Leaven Hidden in Meal.” In other words, the parable emphasizes what leaven does or how leaven works. When the leaven, or yeast, was introduced into the flour, a process began that was steady, continuous, and irreversible. That process continued until the whole mixture was leavened. Thus Jesus was teaching that the kingdom would not be established by outward means; this was because no external force could make the dough rise. Rather, this new form of the kingdom would operate according to an internal force that would be continuous and progressive until the whole mixture had been leavened. Here the emphasis was on the Holy Spirit and concerned His ministry to the world. Christ would again speak of this in John 15:26 and 16:7-11.

10. Hidden treasure and the expensive pearl, The fifth and sixth parables reveal what accrues to God through the kingdom in this present age. In the “Parable of the Treasure Hidden in the Field” (13:44), Jesus revealed that a multitude from Israel will become God’s purchased possession through this present age.

11. In the “Parable of the Merchant Looking for Fine Pearls” (13:45-46), Jesus revealed that God will obtain a treasure not only from the nation Israel but from the Gentiles as well. We understand this because a pearl comes out of the sea, and quite frequently in Scripture the sea represents Gentile nations. Therefore, we see that a treasure from among the Gentiles becomes God’s by purchase.

12. The dragnet. The seventh parable (vv. 47-50) reveals that this new form of the kingdom will conclude in a judgment separating the righteous from the unrighteous. The net drawn up from the sea brings all kinds of fish, some useful and some useless. Through this parable Christ taught that the age will end in a judgment to determine who enters the future millennial kingdom and who is excluded.

13. Righteousness is a prerequisite for entrance into the kingdom. The righteous are taken into it, but the unrighteous are excluded. The destiny of the wicked is not the blessing of the kingdom, but rather the judgment of eternal fire. This same truth, concerning the judgment prior to the institution of the millennial kingdom, is taught in Matthew 25:1-30, where Christ predicted judgment on the nation Israel, and in verses 31-46 where He described judgment on living Gentiles. The judgment predicted here is not a judgment on the dead but on the living, and it will take place at the time of Christ’s second advent to the earth.

14. The householder The eighth and final parable of Matthew 13 is that of the householder (v. 52), which teaches that some features of the new form of the kingdom are identical to features previously revealed about the new and have no correspondence to what had been revealed about the millennial form of the kingdom.

D. A New Form Of The Kingdom.

1. As we survey the Matthew 13 parables, we find that in light of Israel’s rejection of Christ, He foresaw postponement of the millennial form of the kingdom. He announced the introduction of a new form of the kingdom, one that would span the period from Israel’s rejection of Christ until Israel’s future reception of Christ at His second advent.

2. This present age, with its new form of the kingdom, is characterized by the sowing of the Word, to which there will be varying responses depending on the soil’s preparation (the soils). The harvest that results from the sowing is the result of the life that is in the sown seed (the seed growing of itself). Concurrent with the sowing of the Word is a false counter-sowing (the weeds).

3. The new form of the kingdom had an insignificant beginning, but it will grow to great proportions (the mustard seed). The power in the kingdom is not external but internal (the leaven hidden in meal). God will gather a peculiar treasure to Himself through this present age (the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price).

4. The present form of the kingdom will end in a judgment to determine who are righteous, and therefore eligible to enter the future millennial form of the kingdom, as well as who are unrighteous thus to be excluded from the millennial kingdom to come.

5. This revelation of the new form through which the theocracy would be administered in this present age was followed by a specific prophecy: “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18). The nature and function of the church is not explained here, but it is revealed in its historical development in the book of Acts, with its doctrines explained in the epistles (Acts and Epistles’ explanations will follow).

IV. Article Considerations.

A. One of the most difficult and most important factors of writing an article is related to sources of information. A writer must ensure that such sources have a high degree of knowledge on the subjects that are being written, and also must have a high degree of respect from other writers. A second factor that must be considered relates to how to lawfully use material of other writers. In this web site, copyright statutes are not violated. Also, the term “public domain,” is a factor that is often considered.

B. In this article, I have chosen theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (the study of what Scripture teaches about the end times), and other doctrines of scripture. All of the references in this article have a connection with Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) as graduate or instructor.

C.  For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following links show information about Dallas Theological Seminary. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.

D. About Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).

1. General Info.

2. Doctrinal Statement.

Thy Kingdom Come – Judgment On Israel

I. Video. Dallas Theological Seminary Campus Tour.

II. Article References.

Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D., D. Litt. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. John F. Walvoord, Th. D., D. Litt. Harold W. Hoehner, Th. D., Ph. D. Stanley D. Toussaint, Th. D. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Th. D., D. Litt. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D.

III. Article Narrative.

A. Jesus’ Judgment Upon Israel.

1. Jesus viewed the explanation by the leaders as indicative of the course which that generation would follow. He viewed His rejection as if it were final, although it would not be finalized until His trial and crucifixion. The message that He began to proclaim was no longer “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28 NASB), but rather it was a message of judgment. Viewing the nation as being confirmed in their rejection and unbelief, Jesus from this time on speaks of the judgment to come.

2. In the parable of the wicked vinedressers (Matt. 21:33-44), after the leaders kill the heir, God, the owner, will destroy those wicked men miserably (Matt. 21:41). So, too, “the kingdom of God will be taken from you [that generation in Israel] and given to a nation [or generation] bearing the fruit of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder” (Matt. 21:43-44, author’s translation). This signifies the withdrawal of the offer of the covenanted kingdom to Israel and its postponement to the future.

3. This same judgment is depicted in Matthew 22:1-7, where the guests (the nation Israel), who had been invited to a wedding banquet (Messiah’s kingdom) but refused to come, suffered the consequences of rejecting the king’s invitation. The king “sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” This parable reveals the form of judgment: Roman armies, under Thus, would attack the city of Jerusalem, destroy it, and either kill or disperse its inhabitants.

4. Another specific prediction of the coming judgment is given in Matthew 23:37-24:2. Jesus declared He had sought to provide peace and security for Israel, but it was not experienced because “you were not willing.” As a consequence, “Your house is left to you desolate” (Matt. 24:38). The house could refer to the temple, or to the city of Jerusalem, in which the temple stood, or to the Davidic house, whose throne would be left empty. The severity of the judgment is seen in the declaration: “Not one stone shall be left here upon
another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24:2).

5. Luke is very specific in recording Jesus’ message of judgment. In Luke 19:11-27 the nobleman declared, concerning the unfaithful, “Take the mina from him… but bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.” In this parable it is significant that judgment fell on those who refused to submit themselves to the One who had the right to reign. This was the sin of that generation in Israel.

6. Once again, the judgment is predicted forcefully in Luke 21:20-24: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And
Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (NKJV).

7. Thus we see that the message of Jesus was initially a message of hope, of blessing, and of salvation. But after the announcement by the leaders that Jesus received His power from Satan, and so was a blasphemous impostor, His message turned to one of judgment on that generation in Israel. While this announcement did not cancel the covenants and promises given to Israel concerning the earthly kingdom of David’s greater Son, but only postponed the realization of those hopes, yet it did consign that generation to a physical and
temporal judgment which was inescapable (Luke 19:27). Thus the kingdom program for Israel, which began with such high hopes at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, ends with the somber note of judgment and postponement.

B. The Kingdom in the Present Age.

1. In light of all this, the following questions arise. What happens to God’s kingdom, of which the Davidic millennial kingdom is only an earthly form, in this present age when the millennial kingdom has been postponed? What form does the kingdom take in this present age? What are the essential characteristics or features of God’s kingdom in this present age?

2. In answer, Jesus referred to “the secrets of the kingdom” (Matt. 13:11). He was not referring to the covenanted Davidic, or millennial, kingdom. That there would be such a kingdom was no “secret” in the Old Testament! It clearly revealed the essential features or characteristics of the millennial kingdom. But what the Old Testament had not revealed was that an entire age would intervene between the offer of the kingdom by the Messiah and Israel’s reception of the King and enjoyment of full kingdom blessings. With this background, we see that the time period covered by the parables in Matthew 13 extends from Israel’s rejection until its future reception of the Messiah. Thus this new program began while Christ was still on the earth, and it will extend until His return to the earth in power and great glory.

IV. Article Considerations.

A. One of the most difficult and most important factors of writing an article is related to sources of information. A writer must ensure that such sources have a high degree of knowledge on the subjects that are being written, and also must have a high degree of respect from other writers. A second factor that must be considered relates to how to lawfully use material of other writers. In this web site, copyright statutes are not violated. Also, the term “public domain,” is a factor that is often considered.

B. In this article, I have chosen theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (the study of what Scripture teaches about the end times), and other doctrines of scripture. All of the references in this article had a connection with Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) as graduate or instructor, and all are deceased.

C.  For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following links show information about Dallas Theological Seminary. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.

D. About Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).

1. General Info.

2. Doctrinal Statement.

Thy Kingdom Come – Overview

I. The importance of Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) to this study.

II. Overview References: Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D., D. Litt., (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D., D. Litt., (DTS). Dr. Harold Hoehner, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Stanley D. Toussaint, Th. D. (DTS). Lewis Sperry Chafer, Th. D., D. Litt. (DTS).

III. Overview Narrative. God is Sovereign, and as Sovereign He rules eternally in a kingdom in which He is the absolute authority. In order to understand the biblical concept of “kingdom,” we must recognize that it includes several ideas: the right to rule, a realm in which ruling authority is exercised, and the reality of that authority actually being exercised.

A. The Kingdom in Eternity.

1 Concerning God’s kingdom, the Bible presents two aspects: the eternal aspect and the temporal aspect. The eternal kingdom is characterized by four essential truths: 1) It is timeless; 2) it is universal; 3) it is providential; 4) it is miraculous.

2. In eternity past, before the creation of the angels, the earth, and man, a kingdom existed in the sphere of “the heavenlies” because of the relationship among the members of the Trinity. God the Father was sovereign. God the Son, although equal in person, was subordinate to the Father. God the Holy Spirit was the active executor of the will of the Father (Gen. 1:2-3). Thus in eternity past there was a kingdom, involving the right to rule, as well as the sphere in which the right operated and the rule was exercised. Indeed, all the elements
essential to a kingdom were present.

3. This kingdom arises from the character of God and reaches from eternity to eternity. God’s kingdom was displayed in the angelic realm before it was developed on the earth. The created angelic hosts in that kingdom were subject to the Sovereign, and they worshiped Him and obeyed Him. This continued until the fall of Lucifer and the angels who followed him in rebellion.

B. The Kingdom on Earth (Pre-Abrahamic).

1. To demonstrate His right to rule, God ordered this earthly sphere as the place where He would rule. He populated it with creatures who were responsible to recognize that right, submit to it, and give the Ruler that which was due Him. Our sovereign God, in every period of theocratic administration, has ruled through those to whom He assigned His authority. It was the responsibility of administrators to subjugate all to God’s authority, to reward those who do good, to punish evildoers, and to provide an atmosphere in which the subjects of the King might live in peace. In the garden, Adam was the theocratic administrator whose responsibility was to subject all creation to himself, so that through him creation might be subject to the authority of God. When this form of administration failed, God brought a judgment and expelled Adam and Eve from the garden.

2. God instituted a new form of theocratic administration in which He wrote His law in the hearts of men and subjected man to His law. That law was man’s conscience (Rom. 2:15), and as men subjected themselves to the rule of conscience, they were in subjection to the authority of God. But that too failed. And when men rebelled against that form of theocratic administration, God wiped the human race off the face of the earth by a flood.

3. God then instituted a new form of theocratic administration in which authority was given to human government (Gen. 9:6). It was the responsibility of human government to curb lawlessness and to bring man in subjection to the authority of God. Again, man failed miserably. And when men organized in open rebellion against God; the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel-because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world (Gen. 11:8-9).

C. The Kingdom in Israel.

1. With the call of Abraham, God introduced a new form of theocratic administration. He instituted the Abrahamic Covenant that promised Abraham a land, seed, and blessing. Throughout the Old Testament-through that expanding covenant program-God administered His theocracy here on earth.

2. The kingdom program was then developed with the nation Israel through the
covenants God made with them: the Abrahamic (Gen. 15:18), the Davidic (2 Sam. 7:14), the New (Jer. 31:31-34), and the Land, (Deut. 28-30). These eternal, unconditional, irrevocable covenants determined the ultimate form of the kingdom of the God of heaven on earth.

3. While the covenants promised a kingdom here on earth, it was the prophets who described the glories of that kingdom. The prophets of the Old Testament had proclaimed a message of hope that caused Israel to eagerly anticipate the fulfillment of God’s covenants and promises to them. David’s son the Messiah would come to bring peace, righteousness, and prosperity to the nation. He would come as a Savior to redeem and as a Sovereign to reign. The nations which had persecuted Israel would be subjugated to Him, and Israel would
know the promised peace which the Prince of Peace would bring. Her accumulated sins would be put away and she would experience forgiveness and life in righteousness. Such was the hope of Israel.

4. Years passed before an official proclamation was made by the prophesied forerunner, John the Baptist, who heralded his message to the nation: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2 NASB). When Jesus began His ministry He made the same proclamation: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17 NASB). The call to repentance shows that this was a contingent offer and that the blessings of the kingdom depended on the nation’s response. This does not mean, however, it was not a genuine offer.
The reference to the kingdom needed no explanation; it was the covenanted kingdom under David’s son the Messiah, of which the prophets had so clearly spoken and for whom the nation was waiting. The nation was plunged into a great debate concerning His person. Who is this Jesus of Nazareth who claims to be the son of David and the Son of God? Is He what He claims to be? If so, He truly is the promised and covenanted Messiah. If not, He is a blasphemous impostor who is worthy of death. Jesus made His claims concerning His
person very clear. He validated those claims convincingly by His miracles, and He challenged people to accept His claims and to put faith in Him, so as to receive a righteousness from Him that would enable them to enter His forthcoming kingdom.

5. From the inception of His ministry two responses to His presentation were evident. John says: “He came to His own [things], and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12). His rejection is clearly seen in the response of those in Nazareth, who heard Him claim to be the One who would fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2. These responses climax in the incident recorded in Matthew 12:22-24. There were those who, on the basis of the evidence He had presented about Himself as the son of David, the Messiah, expressed their .willingness to accept Him as the Messiah. But there were also those who rejected the evidence and sought to explain it away, so that they would be guiltless for their rejection. There were two supernatural powers who could perform miracles: Satan and God. If the leaders acknowledged that Jesus performed miracles by God’s power, they would be without excuse for their unbelief; but if He performed miracles by Satan’s power, they could justify their rejection. Thus they sought to dissuade those who believed by saying: “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (Matt. 12:24).

Matthew Chapter 28

I. The Resurrection Of The Rejected King.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Overview. References: Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. Harold Hoehner, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS).

A. Appearance of Jesus to the Women, 28:1-10.

1. The resurrection of Jesus on the first day of the week is detailed in all four gospels (Mk 16:1-14; Lk 24:1-49; Jn 20:1-23). The probable order of events was as follows:

a. Appearance to Mary Magdalene when she returned after a preliminary visit of the women to the tomb (Mk 16:9-11; Jn 20:11-18).

b. Appearance to the women who had been to the tomb and were bearers of the message of the angels (Mt 28:8-10).

c. Appearance to Peter on the afternoon of the resurrection day (Lk 24:34; 1 Co 15:5).

d. Appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12; Lk 24:13-32).

e. Appearance to the ten disciples on the evening of the resurrection day, Thomas being absent (Lk 24:36-43; Jn 20:19-25).

f. Appearance a week later to the eleven, Thomas being present (Jn 20:26-31; 1 Co 15:5).

g. Appearance to seven of the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee (Jn 21:1-14).

h. Appearance to about five hundred brethren as well as the apostles (Mt 28:16-20; Mk 16:15-18; 1 Co 15:6).

i. Appearance to James, the half brother of Jesus (1 Co 15:7).

j. Appearance on the day of ascension from the Mount of Olives (Mk 16:19-20; Lk 24:44-53; Ac 1:3-12).

2. Matthew records that “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” came “to see the sepulchre” (28:1) early that resurrection morning. There were other women, however, including Salome (Mk 16:1). The women were the same group that had beheld the burial of Jesus and therefore knew where the tomb was. Mary, the mother of Jesus, apparently was not with them.

3. Mark 16:3 records their question, as they approached the tomb, concerning who would roll away the stone. Upon arrival at the scene, there was a great earthquake, and an angel descended from heaven and rolled back the stone. Matthew describes him, “His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow” (28:3).

4. The Roman soldiers were paralyzed with fear, but the angel said to the women, “Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you” (vv. 5-7). Luke 24:1-8 gives further details on the message of the angel and indicates that the women entered into the tomb, but the body of the Lord was gone. Matthew records, “They departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word” (28:8).

5. The account concerning Mary Magdalene would indicate that she saw the stone rolled away but did not linger long enough to understand the full meaning of it, and informed Peter and John simply that the tomb was empty. It was on her second visit to the tomb that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene. She, who sought Jesus most earnestly, was honored to be the first to see the resurrected Christ. Matthew records the second appearance to the other women as they also had left the tomb in order to tell the disciples, and records that the women “held him by the feet, and worshipped him” (v. 9). Jesus instructed them, as the angel had also mentioned in verse 7, to tell the brethren to go into Galilee, where they would see Jesus. However, He appeared to them that evening and apparently again a week later before the Galilee appearances occurred. For Matthew, the Galilean appearance was the climax of Jesus’ ministry. It was there that Christ witnessed to many outside of Judaism, an anticipation of His worldwide witness.

B. Report of the Soldiers, 28:11-15.

1. Just as Matthew alone records the request of the priests and Pharisees, the watch by the soldiers at the tomb, so Matthew alone records the outcome following the resurrection of Christ. Some of those guarding the tomb went to the chief priests and reported what had happened. It is astounding that the chief priests heard of the resurrection of Jesus before the disciples. The result was that they gave a bribe, described by Matthew as “large money,” to the soldiers and instructed them to report that the disciples had stolen the body by night while the soldiers slept. They also promised the soldiers that if it reached the Roman governor’s ears that they would protect them and persuade the governor not to punish them.

2. Under Roman law, the soldiers could be put to death for failure to do their duty, as was done to the soldiers who were watching Peter (Ac 12:19). The soldiers, glad both for the money and for the protection, did as they were instructed and started the rumor among the Jews that the body of Jesus had been stolen.

3. The dishonesty and lack of integrity on the part of the scribes and Pharisees, when confronted with the fact of the resurrection of Jesus, all too frequently are found in other forms of unbelief. Liberal scholarship today shows the same incredible blindness to the facts and tends to give credence to any criticism of the scriptural record more than to the Scriptures themselves. The unbelief of the scribes and Pharisees is shown here in all its stark wickedness, and their stooping to bribery and lies shows the extremity into which they fell. The very soldiers who were ordered to prevent the fulfillment of the prophecy of Christ’s resurrection were the first witnesses of it. It is possible that some were beneficially influenced and may be numbered among those who did come to Jesus in the early days of the church, as recorded in Acts.

4. The story of the soldiers, of course, was obviously false. How could they know that the disciples stole the body if they were actually asleep? So often the truth is more reasonable than the theories seeking to contradict the truth. The three thousand at Pentecost who believed Peter’s message concerning the death and the resurrection of Christ no doubt had investigated the story, had seen the empty tomb, and were fully persuaded that the facts as presented by Peter were the truth. The story served to bolster those, however, who, for various reasons, did not want to believe in Jesus, and Matthew reports the story was still common at the time he wrote the gospel.

C. Jesus’ Meeting with His Disciples in Galilee, 28:16-20.

1. The closing verses of Matthew’s gospel record Christ’s meeting with the eleven disciples in Galilee, prophesied in 28:7, 10. This is not clearly identifiable with any other appearance of Jesus. The appearance recorded in Mark 16:15-18, though often considered the same as this appearance in Matthew, could just as well fit the meeting on the second Sunday night, recorded in John 20:26-31. Sometimes also, the reference in Matthew 28 is linked with 1 Corinthians 15:6, where Jesus is said to have appeared unto more than five hundred brethren at once. The meeting mentioned in 1 Corinthians, however, may be another appearance of Jesus not found anywhere else in the gospels. The fact that “some doubted,” that is, were not sure the person they were seeing was Jesus, as mentioned in Matthew 28:17, might indicate that there was a larger crowd than just the eleven.

2. The one hundred and twenty which met in Jerusalem in Acts 1:15 were a smaller company, and, because of the many converts in Galilee, a group of five hundred there would be understandable. The meeting in Galilee has a prominence in Scripture because it was mentioned three times before, in Matthew 26:32; 28:7, 10. Just as the mountains of Galilee had been the scene of some of Christ’s great messages, such as the Sermon on the Mount, and had been the scene of His transfiguration, Galilee was a fitting place for a last meeting with a large group of His disciples.

3. The fact that “some doubted” is at first glance a problem, but it seems to indicate only a preliminary reaction as to whether or not this was indeed Jesus, not doubt concerning His resurrection. This doubt was soon dispelled, as Jesus spoke saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (28:18-20). Only Jesus could speak such words, and it must have brought reassuring faith to all who were there. The commission is mandatory, not optional. High mountains, deep oceans, wide deserts, starvation, shipwreck, death are not to be excuses for not going! We are to preach the Gospel to every creature.

4. In keeping with the theme of Matthew’s gospel, presenting Jesus as the King who was rejected but who will return to reign in majesty and power, these words were the final orders of the King concerning what should go on in His absence. He began by reaffirming His power or authority, both in heaven and in earth. On the basis of this authority, they, as His representatives, were to teach all nations. This was much wider than the purpose of Jesus in relation to Israel. Now the worldwide results of His death and resurrection must be publicized. As they recognized believers by the act of water baptism in the name of the Triune God, they were to instruct them concerning the obedience required by their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

5. In commanding them to observe “whatsoever I have commanded you,” Jesus was not referring to all His teachings in general, some of which were interpretative of the Law of Moses and were under the older dispensation, but to what He had commanded them as the believers who would be members of the church which was His body. Specifically, in using the word commanded, He was recalling the new commandment which He had given them in the upper room and the particular instructions that applied to the disciples in the organic union, symbolized by the vine and the branches. His presence with them, captured in the statement “ye in me, and I in you” (Jn 14:20), was going to be enjoyed by believers to the end of the world, that is, the end of the present age, which would culminate in His coming for them.

6. In these words, the gospel of Matthew, which began with the genealogy of the King and recorded His lowly coming in Bethlehem, where according to Luke, He was laid in swaddling clothes in a manger, ends with His reigning authority and commission to those He left behind. Ours is the glorious commission to proclaim the good news of what Jesus accomplished in His first coming and also to announce the fact that He is coming again.

Matthew Chapter 27

I. The Trial And Death Of The Rejected King.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Overview. References: Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS).

A. Jesus Delivered to Pilate, 27:1-2.

No doubt realizing that the trials before Annas and Caiaphas in the night were illegal both in the way they were conducted and in their outcome, the chief priests and elders reviewed their case against Jesus at a meeting held the next morning. Mention of this is made in the other gospels (Mk 15:1; Lk 23:1; Jn 18:28). The problem was not only the illegality of the trial, but the fact that the Jews did not have the authority to put Jesus to death. This could only be done by an order from a Roman ruler. Accordingly, at the close of this third trial before a Jewish authority, Jesus was bound and led away to be delivered to Pontius Pilate, the governor, for the first of the three trials before Roman rulers. Before proceeding with the account of the trial of Christ, Matthew records the remorse of Judas.

B. Judas Repents Too Late, 27:3-10.

1. The sad end of Judas Iscariot, recorded only in Matthew in the gospels, is mentioned by Luke in Acts 1:16-19 in connection with the election of Matthias as his successor. According to Matthew’s account, when Judas found that Jesus had been condemned to die, he repented of his act and attempted to return the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. Apparently, Judas had not believed that the arrest of Jesus would lead to His condemnation, or perhaps he was confronted now with his wicked betrayal of Jesus. In his conversations with the chief priests he said, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood” (27:4). While his feelings concerning the claim of Jesus to be the Messiah may still have been mixed with unbelief, he knew that Jesus was not worthy of death. The priests, however, were quite unconcerned and threw the problem back at him. This encounter with the chief priests and elders may have been before Caiaphas’ palace, as Lenski suggests.

2. Upon being spurned by them, however, Judas went to the temple and hurled the silver into the sanctuary (Gr. naos), meaning the entrance to the holy place. He then went out and hanged himself. Acts 1:18-19 describes the horrible deed in detail. The chief priests, confronted with what to do with this blood money, decided it could not be put in the treasury but could be used to buy a potter’s field in which to bury strangers. This they did; and according to Matthew, the field became known as “The field of blood,” or, as Acts 1:19 calls it, “Aceldama.” The whole transaction reflected on the one hand the casuistry of the Pharisees and their indifference to their crime, and on the other hand, the despair of Judas, for whom there seems to have been no road to forgiveness, even though he had remorse.

3. Matthew notes that this was a fulfillment of “that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me” (27:9-10). The reference to this as a quotation from Jeremiah has caused difficulty to expositors, as it is actually a quotation of Zechariah 11:12-13. How can this apparent discrepancy be explained?

4. Probably the best explanation is that the third section of the Old Testament began with the book of Jeremiah and included all that followed. Just as the first section was called the law, after the first five books, and the second section was called the psalms, although other books were included, so the third part began with Jeremiah, and the reference is related to this section of the Old Testament rather than to the book of Jeremiah. The references sometimes cited in Jeremiah, such as 18:2-12 and 19:1-15, do not correspond sufficiently to justify the quotation.

5. In Zechariah 11:12-13, the thirty pieces of silver are paid to dispose of Israel’s shepherd. In Matthew, the actual fulfillment is found in that the price was paid to dispose of Jesus, the true Shepherd of Israel. Obviously, Matthew is referring to the idea in Zechariah rather than to the precise wording.

C. Trial Before Pilate, 27:11-26.

1. The other gospels, in their description of the trial before Pilate, include some details not given by Matthew (cf. Mk 15:2-15; Lk 23:2-25; Jn 18:28-19:16). As Luke 23:6-12 indicates, Pilate, after a preliminary hearing of the case and on learning that Jesus was of Galilee, as a friendly gesture, sent Him to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at the time. Herod, after encountering complete silence from Jesus, sent Him back to Pilate to be judged. Jesus had three Roman trials, first before Pilate, then before Herod, and then again before Pilate. Matthew, Mark, and John combine the two trials before Pilate.

2. According to Luke 23:1-2, the trial began with various accusations being leveled against Jesus, including that He perverted the nation, forbade to give tribute to Caesar, and claimed that He was a king. It is at this point that Matthew begins his record because of the special interest in the gospel of Matthew in Jesus Christ as King.

3. Pilate asked Jesus, according to Matthew 27:11, “Art thou the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Thou sayest,” in other words, affirming that it was true. The full conversation between Jesus and Pilate is recorded in John 18:33-38. From John’s account, it is evident that Pilate explored fully the possibility that Jesus was a king who might threaten his rule and satisfied his mind that there was nothing to the charge. His conversation with Jesus ended up with the philosophical question, “What is truth?” According to John 18:38, Pilate at this time declared Jesus innocent in the words, “I find in him no fault at all.”

4. After Jesus was pronounced innocent, the chief priests and scribes renewed their vehement accusations, in reply to which Jesus was completely silent. This is the second important silence of Christ, the first being in Matthew 26:63 and the third in John 19:9. Pilate marveled that Christ could keep silent under the circumstances. The fact is that after Pilate pronounced Him innocent, Jesus was under no obligation to answer the Jews further; and, if more investigation was required, it was up to Pilate to reverse his former judgment and continue the examination. It was in the course of further accusation by the chief priests and the scribes that Pilate learned that Jesus was from Galilee and used this as an occasion to refer the whole matter to Herod.

5. When Jesus was later sent by Herod back to Pilate, a plan occurred to Pilate to get out of his problem. According to Matthew 27:15, it had been the custom for many years to release a prisoner whom the people would choose on the occasion of the feast. Pilate picked the worst possible prisoner, Barabbas, who, according to Mark 15:7, was guilty of insurrection and murder. (There is an interesting play on words here, as Barabbas means “son of the father.” Barabbas was released instead of Jesus who was the true Son of the Father.) Pilate, assured that Jesus was popular with the people and that the plot against Him was connived by the Jewish leaders, thought the people would choose Jesus rather than Barabbas and thus relieve him of the problem of making a final judgment. Matthew 27:18 notes that Pilate knew that the chief priests had delivered Jesus to him because of envy.

6. While in the process of discussing this, the wife of Pilate sent him a message which said, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” (v. 19). There has been much speculation as to who Pilate’s wife was and what the background of this incident could have been. The simplest explanation is that she had such a dramatic dream that she felt compelled to share it with her husband, with whom, no doubt, she had discussed Jesus on previous occasions. Pilate’s wife was concerned at the possibility of an innocent man of prophetic character being killed unjustly.

7. Meanwhile, however, the chief priests and elders had been busy persuading the people to ask for Barabbas and to request that Jesus be killed. To Pilate’s amazement, when the question was posed to the people, they asked for Barabbas to be released. In his astonishment, he asked, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” He hoped for a punishment short of death. They replied, “Let him be crucified” (v. 22).

8. Pilate was now occupied not only with the justice in the case but how he could reasonably sentence a man who had not been convicted of any real crime. Accordingly, he asked again, “Why, what evil hath he done?” But the people cried all the more, “Let him be crucified.” Unquestionably, they were influenced by the chief priests and elders.

9. Pilate, then, under great pressure lest there be an insurrection against him which would be damaging to his reputation, publicly took water and washed his hands before the multitude saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” Remarkably, in the same chapter, Jesus is pronounced innocent both by Judas and by Pilate (vv. 4, 24). The people recklessly responded, “His blood be on us, and on our children.” How tragically these words seem to have been fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the slaughter of several hundred thousand Israelites on that occasion.

10. Having reversed his earlier judgment that Jesus was innocent, Pilate now released Barabbas, scourged Jesus, and delivered Him to be crucified.

D. Jesus Mocked and Scourged, 27:27-32.

1. According to Matthew and Mark, Jesus was taken by the soldiers into the common hall, the praetorium, which was thronged with Roman soldiers. There, they stripped Him and mocked Him by putting on Him a purple robe and a crown of thorns. The indignities included being spit upon and being repeatedly beaten on the head. A parallel account is given in Mark 15:16-20, but Luke says only that Pilate delivered Jesus “to their will” (Lk 23:25). The fullest account is found in John 19:1-16, where the actual order of events which took place is given.

2. Putting the accounts together, it seems that Pilate himself observed and supervised this abuse of Jesus. His motivation was to degrade Him and to make His claim as a King of the Jews to be ridiculous. It is probable that Pilate hoped by this means to get off without actually having to order the crucifixion of Jesus. While Matthew introduces this idea of crucifixion in 27:26, John 19:16 makes clear that the order for crucifixion came at the end of the mockery rather than at the beginning. Matthew is simply recording the facts without necessarily giving the order of events.

3. That Jesus was submissive to this entire procedure is the measure of His total submission to the will of God. Here, the Lord of glory, capable of destroying anyone who put a hand upon Him, allowed Himself to be abused in this painful and humiliating way. Although the Scriptures are graphic, even they state only the essentials. The prophet Isaiah anticipated this when he stated in Isaiah 52:14, “His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” Jesus was beaten about the head and the body until He was almost unrecognizable.

4. Few incidents in history more clearly illustrate the brutality in the desperately wicked heart of man than that which was inflicted on Jesus the Son of God. The mockery of the crown of thorns, painful as well as humiliating, His being stripped naked in front of the large crowd; the mockery of the purple robe, intended to represent a kingly garment; His being spit upon and beaten over the head repeatedly as well as the mocking worship testified to the unbelief and sordidness of the actors in this situation. It was only after enduring all of this in complete silence, except for the conversation between Christ and Pilate recorded in John 19:8-11, that Jesus was finally led away to the crucifixion.

5. As the custom was, the accused had to bear His own cross. Luke 23:26-32 records some of the incidents that occurred on the way to Golgotha. Because of Christ’s suffering, He was too weak to carry the cross Himself; and Simon of Cyrene, who is identified in Mark 15:21 as the father of Alexander and Rufus, was forced to carry the cross for Jesus. Some believe he was black, not of Jewish background. The hour had come for the Lamb of God to die for the sins of the whole world.

E. Jesus Crucified, 27:33-44.

1. The account of Matthew and the parallel accounts in the other gospels (Mk 15:22-32; Lk 23:33-43; Jn 19:17-24) need to be combined to give the full account of the incidents that occurred at the crucifixion leading up to His death. The order of events seems to be as follows:

a. The arrival at Golgotha (Mt 27:33; Mk 15:22; Lk 23:33; Jn 19:17)

b. The offer of the wine mingled with gall (Mt 27:34; Mk 15:23)

c. The act of crucifixion between the two thieves (Mt 27:35-38; Mk 15:24-28; Lk 23:33-38; 19:18)

d. The first cry from the cross, “Father, forgive them” (Lk 23:34)

e. The soldiers taking the garments of Jesus, leaving Him naked on the cross (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:34; Jn 19:23)

f. The Jews mocking Jesus (Mt 27:39-43; Mk 15:29-32; Lk 23:35-37)

g. The conversation with the thieves (Mt 27:44; Mk 15:32; Lk 23:39-43)

h. The second cry from the cross with the words, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Lk 23:43)

i. The third cry, “Woman, behold thy son!” (Jn 19:26-27)

j. The darkness which overtakes the scene on Calvary (Mt 27:45; Mk 15:33; Lk 23:44)

k. The fourth cry, beginning, “My God, my God” (Mt 27:46-47; Mk 15:34-36)

l. The fifth cry, “I thirst” (Jn 19:28)

m. The sixth cry, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30)

n. The seventh cry, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46)

o. The Lord dismissing His spirit by an act of His own will (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30).

2. Matthew notes that Golgotha is “a place of a skull,” which is what Golgotha means, apparently from the idea that the hill Calvary looked something like a human skull. The hill above the garden tomb discovered by Gordon has a skull-like appearance from the side. The top of the hill is now a Muslim cemetery, and there is a convenient tomb which is identified as the tomb of Jesus at the foot of the hill in the garden. Positive identification of this site, of course, is impossible today.

3. Matthew records Christ’s refusal to drink the sour wine mingled with a drug, which would have tended to dull His senses and make the cross easier to bear. Matthew simply records His crucifixion ‘without going into details, as the crude spikes were driven through His hands and His feet, and the entire cross was set up by being placed in a hole in the ground.

4. The soldiers took His garments, tearing them in four pieces so that each soldier could have a part, but they cast lots for the coat, which was a woven garment, as John 19:23-24 explains. Matthew regards this as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Psalm 22:18. Textual evidence seems to indicate that this was added to Matthew’s gospel, but that in John 19:24, it is properly included. In any case, the prophecy was fulfilled.

5. The event of His crucifixion, as stated in Mark 15:25, reckoned according to Jewish time, was the third hour, or 9:00 a.m., or, as mentioned in John 19:14, the sixth hour, according to Roman time, actually meaning after 6:00 a.m., or early in the morning.

6. According to John 19:19, Pilate himself had ordered that the accusation made against Jesus should be nailed to His cross; and Matthew records this as, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (27:37). The wording in each gospel varies, and the title itself was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin (Jn 19:20). Putting the accounts together, the full inscription was, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” All the accounts contain the phrase, “The King of the Jews,” which was the substance of the accusation. Pilate intended this as a rebuke to the Jews, but at the same time it was a testimony to the person of Christ.

7. Mention is also made of the two thieves who were crucified on either side of Jesus. Only Luke 23:39-43 describes the conversion of one of the thieves. Matthew records the mocking of the crowd and the chief priests and scribes and elders, as they challenged Christ to come down from the cross, if He were indeed the Son of God who had said that He could destroy the temple and build it in three days.

8. How tragically true it was, as recorded in Matthew 27:42, “He saved others; himself he cannot save.” It was not that He lacked power; it was because it was the will of the Father that He should die. The mockery accurately fulfilled the anticipation of Psalm 22:6-13. Tasker notes there were three classes of mockers: (1) “Ignorant sinners”; (2) “religious sinners”; (3) “condemned sinners.” The tragedy was not that one was dying on the cross, but that the people beheld Him in hardness of heart and wickedness of unbelief.

F. Jesus Dies on the Cross, 27:45-56.

1. The closing events of the life of Jesus as He died on the cross are recorded in all gospels (Mk 15:33-41; Lk 23:44-49; Jn 19:30-37). Matthew records that from the sixth hour, or noon in Jewish reckoning, there was darkness over the land until the ninth hour, or 3:00 p.m. This darkness seems to have begun after the third cry of Christ on the cross in which He put His mother, Mary, under the care of John (Jn 19:26-27). It was in this period of darkness that Jesus became the sin offering and, as such, was forsaken by God the Father. Matthew records the fourth cry of Jesus on the cross as being spoken in a loud voice: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (27:46). Matthew’s account uses the Hebrew for “My God,” eli, but “lama sabachthani” is Aramaic, the spoken language of the Jews. Mark changes the Hebrew eli to eloi, which is Aramaic. The petition of Jesus is, of course, the quotation of Psalm 22:1, although the gospels do not mention it as a fulfillment.

2. The cry of Jesus has been variously interpreted, but it seems clear that God had judicially forsaken Jesus on the cross in contrast to the fact that He had strengthened Him in the garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus was bearing the sins of the whole world, and even God the Father had to turn away as Jesus bore the curse and identified Himself with the sins of the whole world. When Jesus actually died, He commended Himself back into the Father’s hands.

3. Those who heard Jesus utter this cry mistook the word eli for Elias, and thought that He was calling for Elijah. Matthew records that one of them took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed, in order to bring it to the lips of Jesus, to enable Him to speak more clearly. The rest of the observers, however, said that he should let Jesus alone to see whether Elijah actually came to save Him. While they observed, according to Matthew, “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost” (27:50). Luke 23:46 records that Jesus said: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” John records simply that Jesus said, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). Jesus had lived as no man has ever lived, and He died as no man ever died. Having completed His act of sacrifice, He dismissed His spirit by an act of His will. As He had stated earlier, in John 10:18, in regard to His life, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

4. At the moment of His death, a number of awesome things took place. An earthquake occurred, and the heaving ground brought fear to those who observed. According to Matthew 27:51, the heavy veil of the temple, which separated the holy of holies from the holy place, was torn in two from the top to the bottom. As the divine commentary in Hebrews 10:19-22 signifies, the death of Jesus opened the way for ordinary believers to go into the holy of holies, where formerly only the Jewish high priests could go.

5. Although not immediately known to those who witnessed the scene of Christ’s death, Matthew also records an event not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible: “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many” (27:53). As a careful reading of this account reveals, the raising of the bodies of the saints, although mentioned here, actually occurred after the resurrection of Jesus. This event is nowhere explained in the Scriptures but seems to be a fulfillment of the feast of the first fruits of harvest mentioned in Leviticus 23:10-14. On that occasion, as a token of the coming harvest, the people would bring a handful of grain to the priest. The resurrection of these saints, occurring after Jesus Himself was raised, is a token of the coming harvest when all the saints will be raised.

6. The centurion, impressed by the darkness and the earthquake, although he probably was not informed of the tearing of the veil of the temple, according to the Scriptures, feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God” (27:54). Although he had witnessed many executions, there never before had been one like this.

7. Matthew comments that many of the women who had followed Christ were beholding this from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children. No doubt, with the coming of evening and the knowledge that Christ had died, they went sorrowfully to their homes.

G. Burial of Jesus, 27:57-61.

1. Ordinarily, there was little ceremony in connection with those crucified, and their bodies would be thrown into a shallow grave or even on a refuse heap. The problem of what to do with the body of Christ was quickly solved, however, by the intervention of Joseph of Arimathaea. The account given in all four gospels (Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:38-42) indicates that he was a wealthy and influential man, a member of the Sanhedrin (Lk 23:51), and one who had been secretly a disciple of Jesus (Jn 19:38). He went boldly in to Pilate, although this involved ceremonial defilement for a Jew during the feast, and requested the body of Jesus. Mark 15:44-45 records Pilate’s surprise that Jesus was already dead, his inquiry from the centurion to verify the fact, and his permission to Joseph.

2. Matthew and the other gospels record the details of His burial. In the custom of the Jews, He was wrapped in clean linen cloth, and His body was placed in a new tomb hewn out of the rock. The stone door was rolled before the opening of the tomb, as they completed the act of burial. Matthew records that the two women, Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary,” identified in Mark 15:47 as “mother of Joses,” watched the burial. John 19:39-40 adds that Nicodemus, who first encountered Jesus in the incident recorded in John 3, participated in the burial, bringing myrrh and aloes of about one hundred pounds, the spices being used to saturate the linen cloths in which the body of Jesus was bound. John also records that the place of burial was in a garden.

3. The entire burial operation was done with some haste, because the Sabbath, which began at sundown, was already beginning (Mk 15:42; Lk 23:54; Jn 19:42). The Sabbath following the Passover had a special meaning, leading as it did to the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread.

H. Sealing of the Tomb, 27:62-66.

1. Only Matthew records the incident of the chief priests and Pharisees coming to Pilate the next day, which was Saturday, and requesting that the tomb be sealed to keep the disciples from stealing the body of Jesus and then claiming that He was risen from the dead. It is most interesting that the chief priests and Pharisees, who were unbelievers, remembered the prediction of Jesus that He would rise again after three days, while this truth does not seem to have penetrated the consciousness of the disciples in their sorrow. With Pilate’s permission, the Jews sealed the stone, which had closed the tomb’s door, and set a watch of soldiers to be sure there was no interference with the tomb.

2. The temple soldiers were not used for this purpose, as their jurisdiction was only the temple area. A regular detachment of Roman soldiers was sent to watch the tomb. Pilate had said to them, “Make it as sure as ye can,” and so they did. Stealing the body of Jesus was an impossibility, but chief priests, and Pharisees, and all the power of the Roman government could not prevent Jesus rising from the grave. Their care in thus guarding the tomb only added to the certainty of the evidence when the resurrection took place.

IV. Sources Of Information and Credentials. (DTS relates to those who were Instructors or Students at Dallas Theological Seminary).

A. Sources.

Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS).

B. Credentials.

1. Ryrie.


3. McGee.

4. Pentecost.

5. Walvoord.

Matthew Chapter 26

I. Jesus’ Last Hours Before Crucifixion

II. Scripture Text.

III. Overview. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS).

A. Final Announcement of His Coming Death, 26:1-5.

1. Having concluded His comprehensive answer to the disciples’ questions concerning the end of the age, Jesus returned to the consideration of the impending events (cf. Mk 14:1-2; Lk 22:1-2). He said to His disciples, “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified” (Mt 26:2). This notation concerning the time indicates that Jesus was speaking on Tuesday of the last week and that Matthew’s account of that Tuesday begins in 21:23 and extends through 26:5.

2. Liberal scholars try to make the most of what they believe is an inaccuracy here. Part of the problem is that Mark 14:1-2, in the parallel account, adds also “and of unleavened bread,” referring to the seven-day feast which followed the Passover. All this, however, is much ado about nothing, because, although the expression “after two days” may have more than one interpretation, it clearly connotes that two days or more would elapse before the Passover would occur. The Passover also used unleavened bread, and if more than two days elapsed before the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which follows the Passover, there would be no real error in fact. The practical point is that they were faced with the final betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus.

3. There is no record of the disciples’ comment on this, but Matthew records that even as Jesus was speaking, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people had assembled in the palace of the high priest Caiaphas, plotting to take Him when the people would not be around to prevent it. It is possible that they had in mind waiting until after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which would be ten days later, when the pilgrims would have begun returning to their homes, but Jesus said, “after two days.” And so it was. The early arrest of Jesus was to be made possible by the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. Only hours separated Jesus from the cross on Calvary.

B. Jesus Anointed for Burial, 26:6-13.

1. During these last days before His crucifixion, Jesus stayed in Bethany on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, probably residing with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. The incident, recorded here in Matthew and in Mark 14:3-9 and more in detail in John 12:1-8, occurred in the house of Simon the leper. While some have taken this as another name for Lazarus or possibly for Lazarus’ father, there is no reason it should not be another home, for Jesus had many friends in Bethany. In any event, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary were there. Matthew and Mark omit any reference to them, but John states plainly that Lazarus was there, that Martha served, and that it was Mary who anointed the feet of Jesus (Jn 12:1-3).

2. As they were reclining about the table in the cool of the evening, Mary took an expensive alabaster box containing a precious ointment, which John describes as “a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly” (Jn 12:3), and anointed Jesus. Matthew 26:7 and Mark 14:3 refer to the anointing of only His head. John adds that she also anointed His feet and wiped His feet with her hair (Jn 12:3). The fragrant perfume permeated the entire house.

3. This amazing act of devotion coming from Mary, who had sat at Jesus’ feet and perhaps more nearly than any other really understood that He would die, aroused criticism from the disciples. John mentions that it was Judas Iscariot who spoke up and asked why the ointment had not been sold for three hundred denarii and the proceeds given to the poor (Jn 12:4-5). John observes that Judas Iscariot said this not because of his concern for the poor but because he was a thief and was the treasurer of the twelve (v. 6). It is possible that the other disciples were also indignant, for Matthew and Mark both picture more than one of the disciples participating in the criticism (Mt 26:8; Mk 14:4). Jesus, perceiving the genuineness of Mary’s devotion, rebuked His disciples saying, “Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me” (Mt 26:10). He went on to say that they would have the poor with them always, and Mary had done this by way of preparing His body for burial. He predicted, “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” (v. 13).

4. The loving and sacrificial act of Mary has many connotations. While the disciples were slow to accept the repeated prophecies of His death, Mary seems to have comprehended it at least in part. Although she was not as active as the disciples or in a place of leadership, and though she did not serve as Martha had done, sitting at the feet of Jesus had given her insight into spiritual things which many in their busy lives never achieve. Undoubtedly, the precious ointment had been a treasure held in the family for some time, and the reckless abandon with which she dedicated it to the anointing of Jesus was not a senseless extravagance but an act of supreme devotion. That Jesus permitted it without rebuke was to Judas Iscariot the final evidence that led him to question that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, and the verses which follow record his covenant to betray Jesus.

C. Judas Seeks to Betray Jesus, 26:14-16.

When Judas went to the high priest (cf. Mk 14:10-11; Lk 22:3-6), Jesus had already cleansed the temple, as He had done it on Monday morning, and they were eager to find some way by which they could lay their hands on Him privately. Nothing is said concerning how they bargained back and forth, but they agreed on thirty pieces of silver. The price was not high, as it was the same as the fine for killing a slave accidentally (cf. Ex 21:32), but Judas was all too willing to sell the King of kings for the price of a slave. No doubt, the money was immediately weighed out to him, fulfilling Zechariah 11:12 precisely, as Judas was not going to take the risk of betraying Christ and then going penniless. He knew all too well that if he did not carry out his bargain, the money would have to be returned, as the Jews could have had him arrested at any time. Matthew records, “And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him” (26:16). The time was going to come earlier than even the chief priests had thought possible.

D. The Last Passover, 26:17-25.

1. Matthew gives only a brief account of the preparations for the last Passover which Jesus celebrated with His disciples (cf. Mk 14:12-16; Lk 22:7-13; Jn 13:1-12). The parallel passages describing the preparation of the Passover in Mark and Luke give more details. The time was Thursday; Friday was the day of the crucifixion of Christ. The two disciples, designated to find the place under the special instructions which Jesus gave them, were Peter and John, according to Luke 22:8. The rest of the disciples were not to know the place until that evening, when they would be led there by Jesus Himself.

2. No explanation is given for the somewhat secretive way in which preparations for the Passover were made. Jesus, of course, knew that the chief priests and scribes were plotting to arrest Him and that Judas had agreed to betray Him. The other disciples also were somewhat aware of the dangers of His being in Jerusalem, especially at night away from the crowds. Accordingly, the plan to keep the place completely secret from Judas and the rest of the disciples, except Peter and John, was necessary to avoid premature arrest and interference with the events of the evening.

3. None of the accounts indicate the name of the owner of the house, though apparently he was someone who recognized Jesus and was a disciple. Speculation is useless as to the identity of this man, and even the location is unknown, although visitors to Jerusalem today are often shown a traditional site for the Last Supper. The Passover was to be a hallowed occasion for Christ and the disciples, their last night together after more than three years of association, a night never to be forgotten.

4. The account of the Passover itself is recorded not only in Matthew but in Mark 14:17-21 and Luke 22:14-30. John 13:1-12 records the incident of Christ washing the disciples’ feet, which followed the Passover meal.

5. Matthew records that when evening (Thursday) came, which after sundown was actually the beginning of Friday, Jesus sat down with His twelve disciples. The verb sat down actually means to recline or to lie down. They lay on couches arranged around a table which was low enough to permit them to feed themselves while reclining. There was probably a long table with the disciples arranged in a U shape around one end with the other end acting as a serving table. The traditional picture of Jesus and His disciples seated about a table is inaccurate. The record of the situation in the various gospels indicates there had been some contest among them concerning who would sit close to Jesus.

6. Judging by the conversation between Jesus, John, Peter, and Judas, John, the youngest disciple and the one whom Jesus loved, was on one side of Jesus. It may be that Judas Iscariot was on the other, and that Peter, ambitious for one of these places, ended up on the opposite side of the table. In any case, Peter does not seem to be close to Jesus (Jn 13:24). The spirit of contest among them as to which should be the greatest (Mt 18:1-4; Mk 9:33-37; Lk 9:46-48), which had been going on for six months, and which Jesus had previously rebuked, was again evident at the Last Supper and was the occasion of the demonstration by Jesus of washing the disciples’ feet.

7. While none of the accounts in the four gospels give all the details, it is obvious that Matthew is providing only a concise summary. The extended discourse of Jesus in John 15-17 is not mentioned by Matthew. The events in Matthew, Mark, and Luke are treated topically and not necessarily in order chronologically. From Matthew’s point of view, the important point was the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, and this is what he introduced immediately into the narrative of the last Passover.

8. It is probable that most of the Passover feast was observed before Judas was identified. After washing the disciples’ feet and making introductory comments, the order of events was probably this: (1) Jesus gave thanks and they drank from the cup; (2) the bitter herbs were introduced, symbolizing their rigorous life in Egypt; (3) Jesus introduced the unleavened bread and the lamb which had been killed and roasted according to the instructions, as well as any other sacrificial meat; (4) Jesus ate the bitter herbs, and the others followed suit; (5) Jesus mixed the wine and the water for the second cup, which, in an ordinary home situation, would occasion the son asking the meaning of the Passover feast and the father explaining; (6) they sang the Hallel, Psalms 113 and 114 and then they drank again from the cup; (7) Jesus ceremonially washed His hands, then taking two cakes of bread, went through the ceremony of breaking one, laying it on the unbroken bread, blessing the bread, wrapping the broken bread with herbs, dipping in the juices of the roasted lamp, and eating of the meat; (8) the rest joined Him in eating the food that had been prepared.

9. The Passover celebration was normally concluded by the drinking of a third cup, the singing of Psalms 115-118, and then one or more drinks from the cup. The conclusion would be singing from Psalms 120-137. Whether all these details were followed by Jesus, the Scriptures do not make clear. It was probably at the end or near the end of the Passover that Judas was identified.

10. It must have been a great shock to the disciples, in the context of this hallowed feast, for Jesus to have said, as He did in Matthew 26:21, “Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” Matthew records that they all were extremely sorry and asked the question, “Lord, is it I?” Judas himself apparently was strangely silent for a time. In answer to the question of the other disciples, Jesus affirmed simply, “He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me” (v. 23). The whole incident must be interpreted as a gracious attempt on the part of Jesus to make Judas realize his terrible sin and turn from it before it was too late. That he would reject His pleas and harden his heart is all too evident in the words of Jesus in verse 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.”

11. Up to this time, Judas had not been identified clearly. According to John 13:21-26, Peter motioned to John, who was leaning on Jesus’ bosom, to ask who it was. John was informed, according to John 13:26, “He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” Peter and John accordingly knew that Judas was the betrayer.

12. Whether this prompted Judas to ask the question is not revealed, but according to Matthew 26:25, “Then Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.” If Judas was immediately to one side of Jesus, it is possible that the other disciples did not hear. The Scriptures do not indicate whether any heard the conversation between Jesus and Judas. Matthew does not record Judas’ response, but John 13:27-30 indicates that immediately after the conversation and his identification by receiving the sop, Judas went out into the night. Jesus had said to him, “That thou doest, do quickly” (Jn 13:27).

13. The question had apparently arisen in Judas’ mind whether Jesus actually knew that he had plotted against Him. Judas was torn between faith and unbelief, but with the cunning of a heart that is desperately wicked, he reasoned that if Jesus was indeed the Messiah, his betrayal of Him would not be effective. On the other hand, if He were not the Messiah and He were crucified as He had predicted, Judas at least would be ahead thirty pieces of silver. With the crooked reasoning of the natural mind, Judas concluded that he could not lose. His problem was that while he wanted to follow a King who would reign gloriously, he did not want to follow a crucified Saviour.

E. An Added Event To The Passover Meal, 26:26-30.

1. Probably at this point in the sequence of events, after Judas left, something new was added to the Passover feast. All the gospels record the event (Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:17-20; Jn 13:12-30). Further instruction is given by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. It was while they were involved in eating the major portion of the Passover feast that this special ceremony was introduced.

2. Engaging the disciples’ attention, Jesus took the ceremonial bread and after prayer broke it, giving pieces to the disciples with the instructions, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Following this, He also took the cup, and, again giving thanks, He gave the cup to them saying, “Drink ye all of it.” He then explained the ceremony in Matthew 26:28, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The new ceremony, instead of relating to the lamb slain in Egypt, now was referring to Christ as the new Passover Lamb, the one who would be slain on the cross. Although it was a new ceremony, it was also their last meal together, and He concluded the last supper with the words of verse 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.” Here He was referring to the millennial kingdom, when Christ will return to the earth with His resurrected disciples and participate once again in the earthly scene. There is no indication anywhere that wine will be drunk in heaven. Concluding with the final hymn of the Passover feast, they left the upper room and went to the Mount of Olives.

3. This ceremonial ending of the last Passover meal has been a point of controversy in the history of the church. Of the bread and the cup, the Roman church holds to transubstantiation, that the elements actually are transformed into the body and blood of Christ. The Lutheran church, historically, has held that while the bread remains bread and the wine remains wine, it is actually invested with the character of the body and blood of Christ, and that partaking of one is the same as partaking of the other.

4. Calvin held that the Lord’s spiritual presence was in the elements but not His physical presence.  Zwingli suggested that they were merely symbols and represented the body of Christ. The controversy cannot be settled, but many have concluded that Zwingli was probably right and that the bread and the cup become the body and blood of Christ no more than Jesus became a vine because of His words, “I am the true vine.” These are figures of speech, although wonderfully eloquent in their meaning. The important point is to partake of Christ in reality, not physically. The truth is that the believer is in Christ and Christ is in the believer in a wonderful, organic union of eternal life.

F. Jesus’ Teaching on the Way to the Garden, 26:31-35.

1. As the group walked from the upper room toward the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives, Jesus delivered His final teachings to His disciples, recorded mostly in the gospel of John (13-17). Matthew records Jesus’ prediction in 26:31 that all the disciples would forsake Him on that fateful night; “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.” The word translated “shall be offended” is a Greek word from which we get the word scandal, with the meaning here of causing one to stumble.

2. The events of the evening were to be too much for all the disciples, and Matthew records in 26:56 that they all “forsook him, and fled.” Jesus called their being offended a fulfillment of prophecy, as recorded in Zechariah 13:7, “Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.”

3. Jesus, however, also had anticipated His resurrection (Mt 26:32) and that they would meet again in Galilee. Actually, of course, Jesus met His scattered disciples first in Jerusalem before they all went to Galilee. Peter had been previously informed, according to John 13:38, that he would deny Jesus, but apparently Peter could not believe it, and here again, Matthew 26:33 records Peter’s renewed conversation with Jesus on this point and with the same warning from Jesus in verse 34 that Peter would deny Him before morning. The other disciples joined in their profession of faithfulness to Jesus even unto death (v. 35).

G. Jesus in Gethsemane, 26:36-46.

1. Having left the city of Jerusalem, and having crossed the Kidron Valley, Jesus was now at the foot of the Mount of Olives. They had come to a place called Gethsemane, meaning “oil press,” probably located in a grove of olive trees for the purpose of pressing oil from the olives. Visitors today are shown a place called Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives. There is no way to identify the place accurately. In a parallel account in Mark 14:32-42, Gethsemane is also named, but in the account in Luke 22:39-46, it is called simply the Mount of Olives. John 18:1 calls it a garden beyond the Brook Kidron.

2. Asking eight of the disciples to sit down, Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and they went farther into the garden. These three, who seem to form the inner circle, had been with Him on the mount of transfiguration (Mt 17:1-9; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36), had seen the girl raised at the house of Jairus (Mt 9:18-25; Mk 5:35-43; Lk 8:40-56), and were apparently the three from whom Jesus could most expect sympathy and understanding in this hour.

3. These three disciples perceived that Jesus was greatly agitated. A comparison of Matthew’s description with that of Mark and Luke emphasizes the fact that Jesus was experiencing great sorrow and inner struggle such as the disciples had never before witnessed. He said to them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me” (Mt 26:38). This did not mean that Jesus was in danger of dying on the spot, but it did mean that He was in extreme inner conflict. In this hour, He desired the sympathetic understanding of the three disciples. However, He went a little farther into the garden, away from even the three, and there began to pray (v. 39).

4. Many have commented on this experience of Jesus and have attempted to enter into the struggle which is revealed in the threefold prayer, and to discuss the contrast between Jesus in His agony and the sleepy disciples. While many truths can be derived from a study of this passage, the overwhelming impression is one of the loneliness of Jesus in His hour of crucifixion.

5. G. Campbell Morgan describes the progression of Jesus away from the multitude and toward the loneliness of the cross. Jesus first had left the multitude in order to be with His disciples in the upper room. There Judas had forsaken him. He went with the remaining eleven to the entrance to the Garden of Gethsemane. There, He had left eight of the disciples and took the faithful three with Him into the inner garden. Then He had left the three and retired to pray. The incidents relating to the whole scene emphasize the loneliness of Christ as He took upon Himself the sins of the whole world.

6. As Christ retired from even His closest three disciples, Matthew records that He “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” (v. 39). Luke 22:41 states that He “kneeled down”; it is probable that He kneeled first, and then, in the process of His prayer, sank down until He was completely on His face on the ground. Hebrews 5:7 is the commentary on this prayer, speaking as it does of “strong crying and tears.” This was an hour of supreme agony on the part of Jesus.

7. He addressed His prayer to “my Father,” claiming Their intimate eternal relationship. The clause, “if it be possible,” and the petition, “let this cup pass from me,” indicate the natural desire of Jesus’ human heart to avoid the supreme issue that was before Him. No man, in sinful and mortal flesh, can understand the conflict in the holy soul of Jesus who had never experienced the slightest shadow of sin and had never known any barrier between Himself and the Father. Now upon this holy One had come the hour when He would bear all the terrible sin of the world—past, present, and future—and would experience being the sin offering forsaken by the Father.

8. The human desire to avoid such an issue is not incompatible with the immutability of the divine nature. While this presents no theological problem to anyone accepting the full humanity as well as the full deity of Christ, at the same time, it offers no basis for men to understand the agony of Jesus. It is clear that whatever the desire of the human nature may have been, the will of Jesus was always without wavering to do the will of the Father.

9. After His first prayer and petition, Jesus returned to the three disciples, who probably were very near, and found them asleep. Matthew records that He addressed His words to Peter, and Mark 14:37 adds “Simon.” The address, however, was in the plural, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” In the hour of Christ’s supreme need, Peter, who had affirmed that he would die with His Lord, could not even keep awake. Recognizing the limitations of the human flesh, Jesus exhorted them, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mt 26:41). Christ did not question their desire to stay alert, but their will was not equal to the occasion.

10. Leaving the disciples a second time, He prayed, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (v. 42). This time, the condition is stated in the negative, which may indicate a progression in His prayer and a recognition that the cup could not pass away. Returning to the three disciples, He again found them sound asleep. Leaving them a third time, He prayed again, repeating the same words as in the second petition.

11. Luke 22:40-44 records only one of the three petitions, probably the last of the three, and indicates that Jesus withdrew “about a stone’s cast” from the three disciples. Luke records, however, the appearance of an angel from heaven to strengthen Him as He continued praying, and that His agony was so great that “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (vv. 43-44). Short of death itself, Jesus could not have been in more agony of soul.

12. Coming back to His disciples for the third time, He found them again asleep, and to them He said the sad words, “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” (Mt 26:45). Many have tried to analyze this statement of Jesus as being sarcastic or cutting. It probably was said in sad recognition of His own loneliness. Jesus said, in effect, that they should take their rest, for He knew that in a few moments, their rest would be interrupted, and a sleepless night was ahead of them all.

13. Matthew does not indicate that any time elapsed between verses 45 and 46, but probably there was a brief interval. Then Jesus, awakening them for the third time, said, “Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.” The agony of Gethsemane was behind Him. The brutality of His arrest, beating at the hands of the soldiers, and the crown of thorns were ahead, but even this was just the prelude to the cross itself.

H. Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus, 26:47-56.

1. As Jesus was awakening His disciples, the crowd led by Judas was seen approaching the garden. In the parallel accounts of Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53; and John 18:3-11, it is apparent that this was a large company of possibly several hundred people, including the chief priest and elders, a motley crowd which had been gathered by Jewish leaders to assist them, and may have included the two hundred Roman soldiers assigned to the use of the Sanhedrin.

2. The fact that they carried short swords would identify the Roman soldiers, and the clubs would identify those hired as temple police. Some also carried torches and lanterns. The size of the company indicated the apprehension of the Jewish leaders that, even at such a late hour in the night, the pilgrims who thronged Jerusalem might interfere with the arrest of Jesus. The importance of the event to the chief priests and scribes is indicated by their presence on the night of the Passover for the occasion of Christ’s arrest.

3 . Judas kept his sordid bargain with the Jews, and, in keeping with the prearranged plan to identify Him with a kiss, he came out of the multitude to Jesus and said, “Hail, master,” and kissed Him (Mt 26:49). His respectful address was the extreme in hypocrisy, and his kiss expressed, as no other means could possibly have done, his wicked unbelief, which rejected the evidence that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. In his heart, he was done with the whole concept that Jesus was the King and that he would reign with Him. The Greek verb translated “kissed” indicates that he kissed Him again and again, so that in the darkness, all would see and understand.

4. The fact that Christ permitted him to do it was in keeping with His purpose to be submissive to the will of God, even unto the death on the cross. But for Judas himself, it was also the last attempt of Jesus, even in this hour, to let Judas repent of his sin and unbelief. Jesus addressed Judas as “friend” which is translated from the Greek hetaire meaning friend or associate, but in contrast to phile, which would have meant a beloved friend. There was no hypocrisy in Christ’s words, and He asked searchingly, “Wherefore art thou come?”

5. Why, indeed, would one who heard the matchless sermons of Jesus and witnessed hundreds of miracles turn away from such a wonderful person? Such is the hardness of the human heart and the blinding of satanic influence that one who had every reason to trust in Christ and had been blessed as no unsaved man had ever been blessed, would persist in his hardness of heart and unbelief. Judas, like Pharaoh of old, had gone beyond the point of no return.

6. Only John records the conversation between Jesus and those who had come to arrest Him (18:4-9). According to John’s gospel, Christ asked the question, apparently after He had already been identified by Judas, “Whom seek ye?” When they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth,” Jesus replied, “I am he.” John records that after Jesus said, “I am he,” that “they went backward, and fell to the ground.” Apparently, there was a momentary display of divine power, a final witness to Judas who betrayed Him, to the disciples who were to flee from Him, and to the crowd that was filled with hatred for Him. Jesus then told them again that He was the one that they sought and then added that they should let the disciples go their way.

7. It is at this point that Matthew picks up the story and records the incident of Peter smiting a servant of the high priest. Only John identifies the disciple and gives the name of the servant, Malchus (Jn 18:10). By the time this was recorded in John, Peter was already dead.

8. Jesus had told them in the upper room that the time had come when one not having a sword should sell his garment and buy one, and they replied that they had two swords, which the Lord said were enough (Lk 22:36-38).

9. When it became apparent that Jesus was about to be arrested, Peter, with sudden courage, drew his sword and struck at the servant of the high priest, no doubt intending to hit him on the top of the head and kill him. He missed, however, and the sword cut off the ear of the servant and probably hit the armor covering the shoulder. If Peter had killed the servant, it is possible that he would have been crucified at the same time as Jesus. To him, however, Jesus addressed the words, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Mt 26:52). The time would come when Peter would die as a martyr for the faith, but this was not the hour, nor was the sword the way by which he should serve Christ.

10. To make it plain that Jesus needed no defender, He told Peter that all He needed to do was to pray to the Father and He would be given twelve legions of angels. A Roman legion consisted of from three thousand to six thousand men, and therefore, twelve legions was a company far in excess of the multitude that had gathered against Jesus. 11. It was not, however, the will of God that Jesus should be so rescued, and Jesus posed the question, “But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (26:54). Complete submission to the will of God and to the path that led to the cross is evident in the words of Christ.

11. To the multitude who had gathered, Jesus addressed the biting words, “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” (26:55). He was reminding them that the force that was gathered here was not because He would resist arrest but because the chief priests and the scribes feared the retaliation of those who had put their trust in Him. Matthew adds, “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” This was the will of God.

12. At this point, fear overtook the disciples, and Matthew records sadly, “Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” Jesus was indeed alone in this tragic hour, but out of the tragedy would come salvation and restoration even for those who had forsaken Him and fled. The majestic person of Christ may have impressed some of those in the multitude that arrested Him. Who knows whether some of them may not have been included in the multitude who became His followers on the day of Pentecost and afterward?

I. Trial of Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, 26:57-68.

1. Having arrested and bound Jesus as a dangerous prisoner, they led Him away, according to Matthew’s account, to Caiaphas—the high priest—and the Sanhedrin. A parallel account is given in Mark 14:53-65. John mentions that Jesus first had a brief trial before Annas (Jn 18:13-23) and that Annas had sent Him to Caiaphas (Jn 18:24). Matthew and Mark do not mention the trial before Annas, and Luke does not mention either of these trials. The whole procedure was highly illegal, as they were not to hold trials like this at night.

2. The purpose of these preliminary trials was to find a legal basis on which Jesus could be condemned to death. Matthew 26 indicates that they sought false witnesses, but they could not get even the false witnesses to agree, until finally they found two that agreed, as Matthew quotes them in 26:61, “This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.” Even this, however, was not a sufficient ground for condemnation.

3. In desperation, the high priest addressed Jesus saying, “Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?” (v. 62). Jesus, however, did not answer until the high priest said to Him, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God” (v. 63). At this official and direct question, Jesus responded, “Thou has 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” (v. 64).

4. It is strange that the high priest was unable to produce any witnesses to confirm his charges, as Jesus had freely claimed His deity and Messiahship, but the words of Jesus were all the high priest needed. Jesus not only claimed to be “the Christ, the Son of God,” but He added that He would sit at the right hand of God and come in clouds of heaven as the predicted Messiah. This clear claim of deity prompted the high priest to tear his clothes and say, “He hath spoken blasphemy. What think ye?” The crowd answered, “He is guilty of death” (vv. 65-66).

5. The issue was clear enough. If Jesus were not all He claimed to be, indeed He was guilty of death, according to the Jewish law. What the chief priests and the scribes ignored was the fact that Jesus had not only made the claim but He had fully supported it by the very credentials and miracles which the Old Testament had attributed to Him.

6. Then, contrary to both Jewish law and Roman law, they abused Him. “Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?” (vv. 67-68). This cowardly abuse of Jesus was not limited to servants; the text indicates the Sanhedrin itself lowered its dignity to participate. Tasker is too kind when he states, “It would seem highly improbable that such an august body would have demeaned themselves by such undignified behaviour.”  They hated Jesus and delighted in this opportunity to hurt Him. In all this abuse, Jesus was silent. He was ready to answer sincere questions of faith but not the slanted questions of unbelief.

J. Peter’s Three Denials, 26:69-75.

1. Peter, who had followed Jesus into the high priest’s court at a safe distance and had gone in to sit with the guards (26:58), hoped that no one would notice him. However, he was drawn to the scene as if by a magnet and wanted desperately to know what would become of Jesus. Parallel accounts of his denial are found in Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; and John 18:15-18, 25-27. The three denials recorded by Matthew were probably interrupted by some of the other incidents.

2. The first to detect Peter’s identity was a maid who accused, “Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee” (Mt 26:59). But Peter was loud in his denial. Peter then went out into the porch, where another maid saw him and accused him, “This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth” (v. 71). This time, Peter denied more emphatically and even denied with an oath that he did not know Jesus. Mark 14:68 records that after the second denial, the cock crowed. The third denial came some time later, which Luke refers to as after “about the space of one hour” (Lk 22:59). The third denial came when the crowd itself said to Peter, “Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech [betrayeth] thee” (Mt 26:73).

3. At this third accusation, Matthew records, “Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man” (v. 74). It was then that the cock crowed the second time. Matthew, Luke, and John record only this crowing of the cock, but Mark records that the cock crowed twice, “And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept” (Mk 14:72). Luke records that at this point, “The Lord turned, and looked upon Peter” (Lk 22:61). It was the look of Jesus that caused Peter to remember the prediction of Jesus that he would deny Him thrice. Peter, who thought he was willing to die for his Lord, now faced the bitter truth that in the hour of testing, he had failed.

IV. Source Credentials.

A. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie.

B. Dr. John F. Walvoord.

C. Dr. Merrill F. Unger.

D. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost.

Matthew Chapter 25

I. The Rejected King Describes The Coming Judgments.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Overview. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS).

A. Parable of the Ten Virgins, 25:1-13.

1. The kingdom of heaven” is the same as that foretold in the Old Testament and proclaimed by John the Baptist (3:2), Jesus 4:17, 23; 9:35), and the disciples of Jesus (10:7). The aspects of “the kingdom of heaven” were specifically made known by the King in Matthew 13. The familiar illustration of the ten virgins, as presented in Matthew 25, is a further effort by Christ to drive home the necessity of watchfulness and preparation for His second coming. An oriental wedding had three stages: first, the legal marriage arranged by the parents of the bridegroom and the bride; second, the traditional ceremony, when the bridegroom, accompanied by his friends, would proceed from his home to the home of the bride and claim her as his own; third, the marriage feast held at the home of the bridegroom. The ten virgins represent the remnant of Israel after the church has been taken. The Lord is teaching that following the second advent, and His regathering of Israel, there will be a judgment on the earth for living Israel to determine who will go into the kingdom, called the “marriage feast,” and who will be excluded from it. The judgment of Jewish survivors is described in Ezekiel 20:34-38 and illustrated in Matthew 25:1-30; Ezekiel states that it will occur after all surviving Israelites have been regathered from the ends of the earth to the land of Israel. Christ will cause them to “pass under the rod” (see Lev 27:32) to purge out the rebels. As a result those rebels (unsaved) will not enter the land of Israel (Ezekiel 20:28) but will be cast into outer darkness (Matt 25:30). In contrast, those who successfully pass through this judgment will enter the millennial kingdom t0 enjoy the blessings of the New Covenant (Ezekiel 20:37).

2. The illustration presumes that the legal marriage has already taken place and can reasonably be identified with the marriage of Christ and the church already consummated at the rapture. When Christ returns at His second coming, He will bring His bride with Him. The five virgins who bring oil in their vessels illustrate those that are ready for His return. The five foolish maidens, although outwardly prepared, are not really ready. When the time comes for the marriage feast, they are not prepared to enter into the procession and join the feast.

3. Although interpretation is not given in this passage, oil may be taken here as representative of the Holy Spirit and His work of salvation. When Christ comes to earth with His bride, only those prepared by new birth will enter into the wedding feast, which seems to be fulfilled in the millennium or at least the first portion of the millennium. Some commentators desire to apply the ten virgins to the church in the present age. The fact that the word then is used in 25:1 seems to refer to the second coming of Christ to the earth.

4. Although worthy expositors can be cited in support of this view, it is preferable to interpret it strictly in the context of the second coming of Christ. Actually, the bride, the church, is not in view specifically. Although the Syriac and Vulgate versions of verse 1 read that they “went forth to meet the bridegroom and the bride,” it is questionable whether this addition was in the original text, even though it is true that Christ will bring His bride with Him. The important point here, as in the preceding illustration, is that preparation should precede the second coming of Christ and that it will be too late when He comes.

5. What is true of the second coming is, of course, also true of the rapture, and believers today can derive a secondary application of this passage for their own need. In our modern world, where superficial religion is all too evident, this passage reminds us once again that apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, symbolized by the oil, no one is ready for the coming of the Lord.

B. Parable of the Talents, 25:14-30.

1 . The familiar parable of the talents in Matthew 25 is the sixth and final illustration Christ used in regard to preparedness for His second coming. Here, the emphasis is on serving rather than watching, as in the parable of the virgins.

2. As was customary in the ancient world, the master of the servants was pictured as turning over his property to his servants because he was going on a journey. He divided his property to his three servants according to their ability, giving five talents to one, two to another, and one talent to the third.

3. A talent was a large sum of money, varying greatly in value according to whether it was silver or gold, and could weigh from fifty-eight to eighty pounds. A silver talent could be worth as much as $2,000, and a gold talent could be worth as much as $30,000. With the rise in price of these metals, today the value would even be higher. When taking into consideration that a man’s wage in Christ’s time was sixteen cents a day, the purchasing power of this amount of money was very large. At maximum, the five-talent man could have received as much as $150,000, a fortune, which would be worth millions today in purchasing power.

4. In the absence of his lord, the five-talent man doubled his money. In like manner, the two-talent man also doubled his money. The one who had received the single talent, however, buried his money in the earth and did nothing with it.

5. In the illustration, the lord of the servants, upon his return, called in his servants for their report. The five-talent man was able to report proudly that he had doubled his money. The two-talent man did likewise. It is significant that both the five-talent and the two-talent man were given precisely the same commendation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (25:21). The principle that rewards are given according to faithfulness is illustrated well in this parable.

6. The one-talent man, however, had to report that he had done nothing but bury his money. He offered the lame excuse, “Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine” (vv. 24-25). Whether or not the servant’s accusation was true, it was only an excuse at best. If the servant had actually believed what he had said, it should have made him all the more diligent. His lord, accordingly, answered him abruptly and denounced him as a “wicked and slothful servant.” He pointed out that the least he could have done was to put his money in the bank where it would have received interest.

7. An interesting question that is not directly answered in the text is why the one-talent man did not put it in the bank. Most expositors are rather vague in their explanation of this detail. The explanation seems to be that this wicked man had the same kind of cunning that Judas Iscariot used when he accepted the money for the betrayal of Christ. Judas had reasoned that if Jesus was indeed the Messiah, his betrayal would not matter, and he would be ahead thirty pieces of silver. If Jesus was not the Messiah, he at least would have the silver. So, the wicked one-talent man likewise reasoned: If my lord returns, I will be able to give him back his talent and cannot be accused of being a thief, but if he does not return, there will be no record that the money belongs to him, such as would be true if I deposited it in the bank, and then I will be able to use the money myself. His basic problem, like the problem of Judas, was a lack of faith.

8. The one-talent man did not believe that it was sure his lord was coming back. It is therefore clear that his basic problem was that of being an unbeliever, not simply being unfaithful in service. Accordingly, the conclusion of the illustration, “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath” (v. 29), refers to everyone who has faith or who is lacking faith.

9. Here, as elsewhere in Scripture, while works may be an evidence of salvation, they are never the ground of salvation. The one-talent man, while deficient in works, was condemned because of his lack of faith. Accordingly, the one-talent man is not an illustration of a backsliding Christian, as no Christian justified by faith and declared righteous by God could ever be cast into the outer darkness. A person who really believes in the first coming of Christ will also believe in His second coming and for the same reasons.

10. Taken as a whole, the illustrations, which interpret the doctrine of the second coming and make practical application of the truth, emphasize the two themes of watching and serving. What is true for those anticipating the second coming is also true for those who anticipate Christ’s coming for His church.

C. Judgment of the Nations, 25:31-46.

1. The third section of the Olivet discourse begins with 25:31. The first section, 24:4-31, had answered the questions of the disciples concerning the signs of the end of the age and the coming of the Lord. The second section, 24:32-25:30, presented interpretations and applications of the truth of the second coming of Christ. Beginning in 25:31, Jesus went beyond the questions of the disciples to describe the period following the second coming.

2. This is a judgment related to the second coming of Christ. After Christ has dealt with Israel, He will turn in judgment to the Gentiles. He will enact His role of judge as the “Son of man” (Matt 8:20; Dan 7:13; Matt 16:28); the second Adam about to take over the restored sovereignty of the earth forfeited ay the first Adam. “The He will sit upon the throne of His glory (i.e., “His glorious throne,” 19:28, NASB) the rule promised to David through his posterity (2 Sam 8:12-16). The “throne,” moreover is not the Father’s throne in heaven, which Christ now occupies (Rev 3:21), but His own earthly millennial throne (2 Sam 7:16; Jer 23:5).

3. A strict exegesis of this passage, however, does not support the conclusion that this is a general judgment. There is no mention of resurrection of either the righteous or the wicked, and “all nations” seems to exclude Israel. Accordingly, if the view that there is a kingdom of Christ on earth for a thousand years after His second advent is supported by other Scriptures, this passage fits naturally in such a prophetic framework, and, as such, constitutes the judgment of the living who are on earth at the time of the second coming of Christ in respect to their entrance into the millennial kingdom. This judgment therefore should be contrasted to the judgment of Israel (Eze 20:34-38) and the judgment of the wicked (Rev 20:11-15) which comes after the millennium has concluded. This passage, more precisely than any other, describes the judgment of the world at the beginning of Christ’s millennial kingdom.

4. The time of the judgment is stated to be the period following the second coming of Christ, Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” This judgment, therefore, should be distinguished from the judgment of the church in heaven, the judgment of the wicked at the end of the millennium, and the judgment of Israel.

5. At this judgment, “all nations,” better translated “all Gentiles,” are gathered before Him and are described as sheep and goats intermingled. In the judgment, the sheep are put on His right hand and the goats on His left. The sheep are invited to inherit His kingdom, and Christ will address them: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (vv. 34-36). When the sheep reply, in verses 37-39, asking when they did these deeds of kindness, the King will reply, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (v. 40). In mentioning “my brethren,” He is referring to a third class, neither sheep nor goats, which can only be identified as Israel, the only remaining people who are in contrast to all the Gentiles.

6. The King will then address the goats and dismiss them into everlasting fire, declaring that they have not done these deeds of kindness. When they protest, asking when they omitted these deeds, the King will reply, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me” (v. 45). The passage concludes with the goats dismissed into everlasting punishment and the righteous entering into the blessings of eternal life.

7. This judgment fits naturally and easily into the prophetic program as usually outlined by premillenarians. The throne is an earthly throne, fulfilling the prediction of Jeremiah 23:5. Those who are judged are Gentiles (Gr. ethne), which, although sometimes used for Jews (Lk 7:5; 23:2; Jn 11:48, 51, 52; 18:35; Ac 10:22), is more characteristically used of Gentiles as distinguished from Jews, as for instance in Romans 11:13; 15:27; 16:4; Galatians 2:12; and is used in contrast to Jews in Romans 3:29 and 9:24.

8. If the evidence sustains the conclusion that this applies to Gentiles living on earth at the time of the second coming of Christ, a further problem is introduced by the nature of the judgment. How can deeds, such as giving the thirsty to drink, clothing the naked, and doing other deeds of kindness, form a basis for salvation? Ephesians 2:8-9 makes plain, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, that any man should boast.” The Bible clearly teaches in many passages that salvation is by grace and by faith alone and is not based on works (Ro 3:10-12, 21, 28). The answer to this problem is that works are presented here, not as the ground of salvation, but as the evidence of it, in the sense of James 2:26, where it is declared, “Faith without works is dead”; that is, it is not real faith unless it produces works. While this solves the problem in part, the question still remains whether such deeds of kindness are sufficient to demonstrate salvation.

9. The answer to this problem is found in the context of this passage. Those described here are people who have lived through the great tribulation, a time of unparalleled anti-Semitism, when the majority of Jews in the land will be killed. Under these circumstances, if a Gentile befriends a Jew to the extent of feeding and clothing and visiting him, it could only mean that he is a believer in Jesus Christ and recognizes the Jews as the chosen people. Accordingly, in this context, such works become a distinctive evidence that the Gentiles described as the sheep are those who are children of God by faith in Jesus Christ.

10. This judgment, which results in the goats being cast into everlasting fire, is in keeping with the previous prediction of Christ in the parable of the wheat and tares and the parable of the dragnet (Mt 13:24-30, 31-43, 47-50), and is also clearly taught in Revelation 14:11 and 19:15. No adults who are not converted will be allowed to enter the millennial kingdom. The judgment here is not a final judgment, but is preparatory to establishing the kingdom of righteousness and peace, of which many Scriptures speak.

11. In this passage, Christ comes to a world that is basically anti-Christ and worshiping a man satanically empowered. There is no basis here for concluding this to be a judgment of all men living and dead. It is quite different than the judgment of the great white throne (Rev 20:11-15), which takes place in space, whereas this judgment takes place on earth.

12. Although the question of whether Christ will come for His church before the tribulation (the pretribulational view) or at the time of His second coming to earth (the posttribulational view) is not dealt with in this passage, the implications are clearly in favor of the pretribulational view. If the rapture and translation of the church occur while Christ is coming from heaven to earth in His second coming to set up His kingdom, and the church meets the Lord in the air, it is obvious that this very act would separate all the saved from the unsaved. Under these circumstances, no judgment of the nations would be necessary subsequent to the second coming of Christ, because the sheep and the goats would already be separated.

13. The implication of this passage in Matthew is that no rapture of living saints occurs at the time Christ comes to set up His kingdom. This implies that there is a time period between the rapture and the time Christ comes to set up His kingdom, during which a new body of saints, both Jews and Gentiles, is created by faith in Christ.

14. Furthermore, when these saints are judged, they are not given new bodies, but enter the millennium in their natural bodies, in keeping with the millennial predictions of Scripture which describe the saints as bearing children, building houses, and otherwise having a natural life (Is 65:18-25).

15. A proper exegesis of this passage, accordingly, tends to support both the premillennial and the pretribulational point of view, even though this is not the main purpose of this prophecy.

16. Taken as a whole, the Olivet discourse is one of the great prophetic utterances of Scripture and provides facts nowhere else given in quite the same way. In it, Christ, the greatest of the prophets and the master Teacher, described the end of the age as the climax of the troubles of earth in a great tribulation. The time of unprecedented trouble will be terminated by the second coming of Christ. The saved and the unsaved will be separated, and only the saved will enter the millennial kingdom. This is the final word, which Matthew brings in answer to the leading question of this first gospel, concerning the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament of a glorious kingdom on earth. Matthew states clearly that while Christ, in His first coming, suffered and died and was rejected as both King and Saviour by His own people, He will come again and, in triumph, will bring in the prophesied kingdom literally, just as the Old Testament prophecies had anticipated. There is postponement but not annulment of the great prophecies of the kingdom on earth.

17. It is clear that the disciples did not understand these prophecies at the time. In the few days that followed, they were to witness the death and then the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were to ask again the question of when the kingdom would be brought in on the day of the ascension of Christ (Ac 1:6). As further revelation was given in the writing of the New Testament, and the disciples pondered the words that they had not understood before, they gradually comprehended the truth that Christ was first coming for His own in the rapture of the church, but then that there would be a fulfillment of the predicted time of trouble. This, in turn, would be climaxed by the second coming of Christ and the establishment of the kingdom. Not one prophecy will be left unfulfilled when history has completed its course and the saints are gathered in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 25:32. “All the nations.” Lit., All the Gentiles. This is a judgment of those Gentiles who survive the Tribulation, and whose heart-relation to God is evidenced by their treatment of the Jews (Christ’s brethren, v 40), especially during that time. Surviving Jews will also be judged at the same time. See Ezek 20:33-44 note. [This section describes the coming judgment of those Jews who will be living at the time of the conclusion of the Tribulation period when Christ returns to earth. The Chief Shepherd (Christ) will then examine His flock (pass under the rod, v 37; cf Lev 27:32), “purge … the rebels” (v 38), and bring the faithful into the blessing of the New Covenant in the kingdom. At this same time, Gentile survivors of the Tribulation period will also be judged so that all who live through that terrible time will, at its conclusion, either enter the kingdom or be case into hell. Thus, at the very beginning of the Millennium, all who enter it in earthly bodies will have proven through these two judgments that they are redeemed.]

B. 25:35. To do these deeds of kindness to Jewish people during the Tribulation will undoubtedly expose the doers to persecution and even death at the hands of the Antichrist and his agents.

C. 25:37. “when.” They are unconscious of their goodness, in contrast to the ostentation of the Pharisees. In v 44 we see the opposite: the unconscious neglect of duty.

V. Everybody reads material that has been written by someone else. So, it is imperative for us to trust our sources of information, so that we can feel confident that our writings are based on the knowledge and understanding of such Biblically sound authors. Please understand that my articles are based on the prior writings of knowledgeable and trustworthy theologians, of whom “had no ax to grind,” other than the ax of doctrinal truth.

VI. In this article, I have chosen theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (study of the end times), and other areas of scripture. Notice, in the following information, that each of my references are deceased and had lengthy times of ministry and instruction throughout much of their lives.

A. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie.

B. Dr. Merrill F. Unger.

C. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost.

D. Dr. John F. Walvoord.

VII. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.

A. Dallas Theological Seminary Wikipedia info.

B. Faculty.

C. About DTS.

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