August 12th, 2022 – Matthew 26:49.

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Matthew 26:49. And immediately he went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.   

After Jesus’ time in prayer in Gethsemane, He went to His disciples and urged them to wake up, for the time had arrived to fulfil the purpose for which He had come. “Then He came to the disciples, and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” Matthew 26:45-46. Jesus fully understood what Judas was doing, for he was working with the Pharisees to have Him arrested. And all this for a paltry sum as his reward, thirty pieces of silver.

Now Judas gives the guards a sign as to whom  to arrest. “Whomever I shall kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” Matthew 26:48b. And Judas wasted no time in giving this sign. “And immediately he went to Jesus and said, Hail, Rabbi! and kissed Him.” Matthew 26:49. Judas goes to Jesus and warmly greets Him, even giving Him the customary kiss. Now it was getting dark, and therefore Judas needed to show the soldiers who Jesus was in a way they could get Jesus without Judas simply handing Him over. Also, he addressed Jesus by the title Rabbi rather than as Lord. It appears Judas had already stopped believing Jesus was God’s son, or actually never did from the beginning.

Jesus then responds to Judas in a way that was not condemning. “Friend, do what you have come for. Then they came and laid hands-on Jesus and seized Him.” Matthew 26:50. Jesus is being quite calm here. Judas betrayed Him and turned Him over to the soldiers, and even after this He still referred to Judas as friend. After this, the soldiers took hold of Jesus to take Him away. But before they could leave, we read, “And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear.” Matthew 26:51. Here in Matthew we are not told who this was, nor in Mark or Luke. But John declares who this was. “Simon Peter therefore having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus therefore said to Peter, put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” John 18:10-11. Jesus tells Peter to put the sword away, for this was ordained by His Father for the purpose of paying the penalty for all. And besides, Is the Father’s hands tied? No! “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?” Matthew 26:53-54. Then Jesus said to the people there. “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled. Then all the disciples left Him and fled.” Matthew 26:55-56.

The apostle John wrote the following, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2:6. Jesus accomplished exactly what His Father sent Him here to do. And He trusted His Father to be there with Him, knowing that everything that happens to Him is allowed by His Father for the express purpose of providing salvation to all who believe and live it. And we must do the same. Do we believe God would leave us on our own during times of trial and tribulations? He would never do that. Moses wrote to the Israelites. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6. And the writer of Hebrews wrote, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6. And finally, Paul wrote that whatever we go through will end good. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. There is nothing that happens that surprises God, or that He did not know about before it happened. “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” Isaiah 46:8-10. As Jesus trusted completely in God the Father no matter the circumstances, we should as well. He is always with us, and He can do anything. Therefore, we can rest in this trust. And as the end comes closer, we can trust that He will help us through all that comes our way. What more could we ask for?

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

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