Matthew 26:46
Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
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(46) Rise, let us be going.—It is obvious that the latter clause does not involve any suggestion of flight, but rather a call to confront the danger.

Matthew 26:46-49. Rise, let us be going — Namely, to meet those who are coming to arrest me, and to go along with them whithersoever they shall lead us. Behold, he is at hand that doth betray me — Though they had not come within sight, our Lord perfectly knew the precise moment of their approach, and gave his disciples notice of it. And while he yet spake, Judas came — Judas found Christ in the most heavenly and excellent employment when he came to apprehend him. O how happy is it when our sufferings find us in God’s way, engaged in his service, and engaging his assistance by fervent supplication! Thus did our Lord’s sufferings meet him; may ours so meet us! And with him a great multitude — The chief priests and elders being informed by Judas that the proper time of apprehending his Master was come, sent a band of soldiers along with him, and servants Υπηρετας, (John 18:3,) carrying lanterns and torches to show them the way, because, though it was always full moon at the passover, the sky was dark by reason of the clouds, and the place whither they were going was shaded with trees. At the same time, a deputation of their number accompanied the band, to see that every one did his duty, (Luke 22:52,) for they were exceedingly anxious to get Jesus into their hands. He that betrayed him gave them a sign, &c. — As the soldiers probably had never seen Jesus before, and it was now night, and there were twelve persons together, probably dressed much alike, Judas found it necessary to point him out to them by some such sign as he now gave: a sign, the design of which was less to be suspected by his other disciples, as it was a Jewish custom, after a long absence, or at departing from each other, to make use of the ceremony of a kiss. They used it likewise as a sign of affection to their equals, and as a mark of homage and reverence to their superiors. See Psalm 2:12; Luke 7:45. It is very probable that our Lord, in great condescension, had used, agreeably to this custom, to permit his disciples thus to salute him when they returned, after having been any time absent. And forthwith he came to Jesus — Here we see it was the portion of our blessed Redeemer to be betrayed into the hands of his mortal enemies by the treachery of a false and dissembling friend, whose sin was greatly aggravated by the eminence of his place and station, and by the peculiar honour done him and trust reposed in him. For he bare the bag; that is, he was, as it were, almoner and steward of Christ’s family, to take care for the necessary accommodations of Christ and his apostles; and yet this man, thus called, thus honoured, thus respectfully treated by Christ, for the lucre of a little money, perfidiously betrays him! “O whither,” says Burkitt, “will not a bad heart and busy devil carry a man?” Hail, Master, and kissed him — “Here was honey on the tongue, and poison in the heart. This treacherous kiss enhanced his crime beyond expression. O vilest of hypocrites, how durst thou approach so near thy Lord in the exercise of so much baseness and ingratitude! But none sin with so much impudence as hypocrites and apostates.”

26:36-46 He who made atonement for the sins of mankind, submitted himself in a garden of suffering, to the will of God, from which man had revolted in a garden of pleasure. Christ took with him into that part of the garden where he suffered his agony, only those who had witnessed his glory in his transfiguration. Those are best prepared to suffer with Christ, who have by faith beheld his glory. The words used denote the most entire dejection, amazement, anguish, and horror of mind; the state of one surrounded with sorrows, overwhelmed with miseries, and almost swallowed up with terror and dismay. He now began to be sorrowful, and never ceased to be so till he said, It is finished. He prayed that, if possible, the cup might pass from him. But he also showed his perfect readiness to bear the load of his sufferings; he was willing to submit to all for our redemption and salvation. According to this example of Christ, we must drink of the bitterest cup which God puts into our hands; though nature struggle, it must submit. It should be more our care to get troubles sanctified, and our hearts satisfied under them, than to get them taken away. It is well for us that our salvation is in the hand of One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. All are tempted, but we should be much afraid of entering into temptation. To be secured from this, we should watch and pray, and continually look unto the Lord to hold us up that we may be safe. Doubtless our Lord had a clear and full view of the sufferings he was to endure, yet he spoke with the greatest calmness till this time. Christ was a Surety, who undertook to be answerable for our sins. Accordingly he was made sin for us, and suffered for our sins, the Just for the unjust; and Scripture ascribes his heaviest sufferings to the hand of God. He had full knowledge of the infinite evil of sin, and of the immense extent of that guilt for which he was to atone; with awful views of the Divine justice and holiness, and the punishment deserved by the sins of men, such as no tongue can express, or mind conceive. At the same time, Christ suffered being tempted; probably horrible thoughts were suggested by Satan that tended to gloom and every dreadful conclusion: these would be the more hard to bear from his perfect holiness. And did the load of imputed guilt so weigh down the soul of Him of whom it is said, He upholdeth all things by the word of his power? into what misery then must those sink whose sins are left upon their own heads! How will those escape who neglect so great salvation?Rise, let us be going - That is, probably, "with them." Let us go wheresoever they shall lead us. The time when "I must die" is come. It is no longer proper to attempt an escape, and no more time can be given to repose. Mt 26:36-46. The Agony in the Garden. ( = Mr 14:32-42; Lu 22:39-46).

For the exposition, see on [1364]Lu 22:39-46.

Ver. 44-46. Mark saith nothing of this third praying, but saith, Mark 14:41,42, And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betray me is at hand. What the meaning of saying the same words is, we heard before; praying to the same sense, or saying the same thing, or matter, though using other words, as it is plain he hid. Luke tells us, Luke 22:43, there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. This is not the first time we read of angels appearing and ministering to Christ. They did so, Matthew 4:11, after his conflict with the devil in the wilderness. Now an angel appeared to him in the hour of temptation. Then he had without, troubles; but now he hath within, fears, being in a great agony.

Thus it is said, John 12:27,28, that he being in a conflict, and praying, Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. A voice was heard, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. There the answer was testified by a voice from heaven; here it is by an angel. So God, Daniel 9:21, let Daniel know his prayer was heard. Hannah knew another way, by the peace of her spirit after prayer—her countenance was no more sad, 1 Samuel 1:18. How the angel did strengthen him we are not told. Let no man think that he who was the Son of God needed an angel to strengthen him: he was not now exerting his Divine virtue, but by his suffering showing that he was truly man, and, as to that nature, made lower than the angels.

Luke addeth, Luke 22:44, And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. These words are expressive of the great conflict of our Saviour’s spirit, which was such as thrust out sweat like great drops of blood: whether they were very blood, or sweat with some mixture or tincture of blood, is very hard to determine, nor of any consequence for us to know: it is no unusual thing for bodies to breathe out sweat in ordinary conflicts of spirit; this was much more than ordinary. Luke saith, Luke 22:45,46, that when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. All three evangelists agree, that Christ coming the third time found them sleeping. Luke gives one reason of it, for sorrow. Their sorrow, added to their watching, may be some excuse for their sleeping, though otherwise it was a time which called for more waking.

The evangelists do not so well agree in what Christ said to his disciples. Luke saith, Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Matthew and Mark say he said, Sleep on now, and take your rest, &c. He might say both. Nor can we determine whether he spake those words seriously, as willing that they should take their rest, for they could be no further useful to him, whose time was now come; he was betrayed, and the traitor was at hand: or, with some reflection upon them for their drowsiness, which the words going before, What, could ye not teach with me one hour? Seem to hint us.

Rise, let us be going,.... Not to run away from the enemy, but to meet him: this was said, partly to arouse his sleepy disciples; and partly to show his love to his Father, and his submission to his will; as also to express the fortitude of his mind as man; he was now rid of his fears, and free from those agonies and dreadful apprehensions of things, he was but a little while ago possessed of; and likewise, to signify his willingness to be apprehended, and to suffer, and die, in the room of his people:

he is at hand that doth betray me. This shows his omniscience: he not only knew, as he did from the beginning, who should betray him; but he knew when be would do it; and he knew where the betrayer now was, that he was just now coming upon him, in order to deliver him the hands of sinful men. And this he spake with trepidity of soul, with greatness of mind, being no more concerned at it, than when he gave him the sop, and bid him do what he did quickly: he does not mention his name; nor did he ever, when he spoke of him as the betrayer; either because the disciples, as yet, did not fully and certainly know who should betray him, and he would not now surprise them with it; or because they did, and therefore it was needless to mention his name; or rather, because he was unworthy to be mentioned by name: a "behold" is prefixed to this, partly to awaken the attention of his disciples; and partly to express what an horrid, insolent, and unparalleled action that was, Judas was now about to be guilty of.

{12} Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

(12) Christ offers himself willingly to be taken, that in so obeying willingly he might make satisfaction for the wilful fall of man.

Matthew 26:46. Observe the air of quick despatch about the words ἐγείρεσθε, ἄγωμεν, ἰδού.

ἄγωμεν] is not a summons to take to flight, in consequence perhaps of a momentary return of the former shrinking from suffering (which would be inconsistent with the fact of the victory that had been achieved, and with the clear consciousness which He had that ὁ υἱὸς τ. . παραδίδοται, κ.τ.λ. Matthew 26:45), but: to go to meet the betrayer, with a view to the fulfilling of the παραδίδοται of which He had just been speaking. Κἀντεῦθεν ἔδειξεν, ὅτι ἑκὼν ἀποθανεῖται, Euthymius Zigabenus.


On the agony in the garden (see, in general, Ullmann, Sündlos., ed. 7, p. 127 ff.; Dettinger in the Tüb. Zeitschr. 1837, 4, 1838, 1; Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 306 ff.; Keim, III. p. 306 ff.), the following points may be noted: (1) As to the nature of it, we must not regard it simply as bodily suffering (Thiess, Paulus), nor as consisting in sorrow on account of the disciples and the Jews (Jerome), nor as pain caused by seeing His hopes disappointed (Wolfenbüttel Fragments), nor as grief at the thought of parting from His friends (Schuster in Eichhorn’s Bibl. IX. p. 1012 ff.); but, as the prayer Matthew 26:39; Matthew 26:42 proves, as consisting in fear and dread of the cruel suffering and death that were so near at hand, the prospect of which affected Christ—whose sensibilities were purely human, and not of the nature of a philosophical abstraction, like the imperturbability of Socrates or the apathy of the Stoic (Celsus, in Origen, ii. 24, charges Him with cowardice)—all the more powerfully in proportion to the greater purity, and depth, and genuineness of His feelings, and the increasing distinctness with which He foresaw the approach of the painful and, according to the counsel of the Father, inevitable issue. For having been victorious hitherto over every hostile power, because His hour had not yet come (John 7:30; John 8:20), He realized, now that it was come (Matthew 26:45), the whole intensity of horror implied in being thus inevitably abandoned, in pursuance of God’s redemptive purpose, to the disposal of such powers, with the immediate prospect before Him of a most dreadful death, a death in which He was expected, and in which He Himself desired, to manifest His perfect obedience to the Father’s will. The momentary disturbing of the complete harmony of His will with that of God, which took place in Gethsemane, is to be ascribed to the human ἀσθένεια incidental to His state of humiliation (comp. 2 Corinthians 13:4; Hebrews 5:7), and should be regarded simply as a natural shrinking from suffering and death, a shrinking entirely free from sin (comp. Dorner, Jesu sündlose Vollkommenh. p. 6 f.). Neither was it in any way due to the conviction, unwarrantably ascribed to Him by Schenkel, that His death was not absolutely necessary for the redemption of the world. That touch of human weakness should not even be described as sin in embryo, sin not yet developed (Keim), because the absolute resignation to the Father’s will which immediately manifests itself anew precludes the idea of any taint of sin whatever. To suppose, however, that this agony must be regarded (Olshausen, Gess) as an actual abandonment by God. i.e. as a withdrawing of the presence of the higher powers from Jesus, is to contradict the testimony of Hebrews 5:7, and to suppose what is inconsistent with the very idea of the Son of God (Strauss, II. p. 441); and to explain it on the ground of the vicarious character of the suffering (Olshausen, Ebrard, Steinmeyer, following Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, Beza, and the dogmatic writers of the orthodox school), as though it were to be regarded as “a concrete bearing of the whole concentrated force of a world’s sin” (Ebrard), and of the wrath of God in all its fulness (comp. Thomasius, III. 1, p. 69 f.; Weber, v. Zorne Gottes, p. 266 ff.), is erroneously to take a materialistic and quantitative view of the ἱλαστήριον of Jesus; whereas Scripture estimates His atoning death according to its qualitative value,—that is to say, it regards the painful death to which the sinless Son of God subjected Himself in obedience to the Father’s will as constituting the efficient cause of the atonement, and that not because He required to undergo such an amount of suffering as might be equivalent in quantity and intensity to the whole sum of the punishment due to mankind, but because the vicarious λύτρον on behalf of humanity consisted in the voluntary surrender of His own life. Comp. Matthew 26:27 f., Matthew 20:8; John 1:29; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 3:5; 1 Timothy 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13. But it would be unwarrantable, on the other hand, to ascribe the dread which Jesus felt merely to the thought of death as a divine judgment, and the agonies of which He was supposed to be already enduring by anticipation (Köstlin in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol. III. p. 125). Those who adopt this view lay great stress upon the sinlessness of our Lord as tending to intensify this painful anticipation of death (Dettinger, comp. Ullmann, Neander). (2) John, notwithstanding the fact that he was both an eye and ear witness of the agony in Gethsemane, makes no mention of it whatever, although he records something analogous to it as having taken place somewhat earlier, Matthew 12:27. With the view of accounting for this silence, it is not enough to suppose that John had omitted this incident because it had been sufficiently recorded by the other evangelists, for a mere external reason such as this would accord neither with the spirit of his Gospel nor with the principle of selection according to which it was composed (in opposition to Lücke, Tholuck, Olshausen, Ebrard). We should rather seek the explanation of the matter in the greater freedom which characterizes the composition of this Gospel, and therefore in the peculiarities of style and form which are due to this work of John being an independent reproduction of our Lord’s life. After the prayer of Jesus, which he records in ch. 17, John felt that the agony could not well find a place in his Gospel, and that, after Matthew 12:23 ff., there was no reason why it should be inserted any more than the cry of anguish on the cross. Comp. Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 557 f. In John, too, ch. 18, the transition from acting to suffering is somewhat abrupt (in opposition to Hofmann); but after the high-priestly prayer, the suffering appears as one series of victories culminating in the triumphant issue of John 18:30; in fact, when Jesus offered up that prayer, He did so as though He were already victorious (John 16:33). It is quite unfair to make use of John’s silence either for the purpose of throwing discredit upon the synoptic narrative (Goldhorn in Tzschirner’s Magaz. f. chr. Pred. 1, 2, p. 1 ff.; Schleiermacher, L. J. p. 422 f.), or as telling against John (Bretschneider, Probab. p. 33 ff.; Weisse, II. p. 268; Baur, Keim; likewise Theile in Winer’s Journ. II. p. 353 ff., comp. however, his Biogr. Jesu, p. 62), or with a view to impugn the historical character of both narratives (Strauss, Bruno Bauer). The accounts of the two earliest evangelists bear the impress of living reality to such an extent that their character is the very reverse of that which one expects to find in a legend (in opposition to Gfrörer, Heil. Sage, p. 337; Usteri in the Stud. u. Krit. 1829, p. 465); nor is there any reason why, even after the high-priestly prayer, such an agony as that in question should not find a place in the Gospel narrative; for who shall presume to say what changes of feeling, what elevation and depression of spirit, may not have taken place on the eve of such a catastrophe in a heart so noble, so susceptible, and so full of the healthiest sensibilities, and that not in consequence of any moral weakness, but owing to the struggle that had to be waged with the natural human will (comp. Gess, p. 175; Weizsäcker, p. 563)? Comp. John, remark after ch. 17. (3) The report of Jesus’ prayer should not be (unpsychologically) supposed to have been communicated by the Lord Himself to His disciples, but ought rather to be regarded as derived from the testimony of those who, before sleep had overpowered them, were still in a position to hear at least the first words of it.

Matthew 26:46. Ὁ παραδιδούς Με, he that betrayeth Me) Of whom I have already spoken: “that betrayeth Me,” He says, not “you.”

Verse 46. - Rise, let us be going. He wilt meet, and he wishes his disciples to meet, the coming attack with alacrity and readiness. So with them he goes towards the entrance of the garden where he had left the eight. Behold. Judas and his companions come in sight. Matthew 26:46
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