What Jesus Did! 'Not a Victim' — Matthew 26:50-54

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Jesus answered, "Friend, do the thing you came to do." Then the men came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him. When that happened, one of the followers with Jesus grabbed his sword and pulled it out. This follower hit the servant of the high priest with the sword and cut off his ear. Jesus said to the man, "Put your sword back in its place. People that use swords will be killed with swords. Surely you know I could ask my Father and he would give me more than twelve armies of angels. But this thing must happen this way so that it will be like the Scriptures said."
— Matthew 26:50-54
Illustration of Matthew 26:50-54 — "Friend, do the thing you came to do."

Key Thought

Jesus makes it clear to Judas, to his enemies, and to his disciples he is not a victim. What will unfold does not happen because of Jesus' powerlessness. Instead, what happens is because of Jesus' submission to the Father's will. His prayer in Gethsemane had asked for other options. The arrival of Judas, with his treacherous and cowardly kiss, is Jesus' answer from that Father. This will play out as the prophets had said. This will be accomplished as the Father had planned. Jesus could call a myriad of angels to defeat his human foes, but the ones he loves and came to save would be left without a sacrifice for their sins and his salvation would be short-lived.
Jesus commands Judas to do what he has to do. Jesus commands Peter to put the sword away; there is no need to fight. As always, Matthew reminds us through Jesus' obedience that what happens is what the Scriptures had foretold.
No, Jesus is no victim. Even in his death he is in control, submitting only to the will of the Father for us!

Today's Prayer

O loving Father, who watched as your Son was betrayed and killed, thank you for your love and concern for me. Thank you, Jesus, for taking your obedience to the Father all the way to the cross and suffering when you could have prevented it. Give me courage as I wrestle with my own will and my own temptation to run from the Father's will to protect what I want for myself. God, as much as I am and I can, I give you my heart and will to be lived for your glory. In the name of the Lord Jesus, who conquered death and brought life and immortality to light, I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

While Jesus was still speaking, Judas came there. Judas was one of the twelve followers. Judas had many people with him. These people were sent from the leading priests and the older leaders of the people. These people with Judas had swords and clubs. Judas planned to do something to show the people which man was Jesus. Judas said, "The man I kiss is Jesus. Arrest him." So Judas went to Jesus and said, "Hello, teacher!" Then Judas kissed Jesus. Jesus answered, "Friend, do the thing you came to do." Then the men came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him. When that happened, one of the followers with Jesus grabbed his sword and pulled it out. This follower hit the servant of the high priest with the sword and cut off his ear. Jesus said to the man, "Put your sword back in its place. People that use swords will be killed with swords. Surely you know I could ask my Father and he would give me more than twelve armies of angels. But this thing must happen this way so that it will be like the Scriptures said." Then Jesus said to all the people, "You came to get me with swords and clubs like I am a criminal. Every day I sat in the temple area teaching. You did not arrest me there. But all these things have happened so that it will be like the prophets wrote." Then all of Jesus' followers left him and ran away.

Matthew 26:47-56

Related Scripture Readings

Then Jesus walked a little farther away from them. Jesus fell to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, don't give me this cup {of suffering}. But do what you want, not what I want." Then Jesus went back to his followers. Jesus found his followers sleeping. Jesus said to Peter, "You men could not stay awake with me for one hour? Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. Your spirit wants to do what is right. But your body is weak." Then Jesus went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this {painful} thing to be taken from me, and if I must do it, then I pray that what you want will be done." Then Jesus went back to the followers. Again Jesus found them sleeping. Their eyes were very tired. So Jesus left them and went away one more time and prayed. This third time he prayed, he said the same thing.

Matthew 26:39-44

Jesus was given to you, and you killed him. With the help of bad men you nailed Jesus to a cross. But God knew all this would happen. This was God's plan. God made this plan long ago. Jesus suffered the pain of death, but God made him free. God raised Jesus from death. Death could not hold Jesus.

Acts 2:23-24

Pilate said, "You refuse to speak to me? Remember, I have the power to make you free. I also have the power to kill you on a cross." Jesus answered, "The only power you have over me is the power given to you by God. So the man who gave me to you is guilty of a greater sin."

John 19:10-11

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.