Mathew 26 Lesson

Remaining Faithful In Challenging Times

JESUS’ LIFE ON EARTH STARTED WITH A STRUGGLE

Shortly before the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary had to leave their home in Nazareth to register for the Roman census. The unpaved, hilly trails would have been a challenge for anyone, but for somebody in Mary’s condition, the 90-mile trip had to be especially difficult.

When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, Mary was going into labor and there was no room for them at the inn. We can read about this in Luke’s Gospel:

  • “While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” – Luke 2:6-7.

If we put ourselves in the place of Joseph, and Mary, we can only imagine how difficult this journey must have been, and it was about to get even harder! 

The life of Jesus shows us that nobody is exempt from sufferingwhile on earth.

  • Not Jesus,
  • Not the apostles,
  • Not Joseph and Mary,
  • And not us!

Shortly after the birth of Jesus, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said:

  • “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” – Mathew 2:13.

Joseph obeyed the angel and did exactly what he was asked to do. So the three of them departed for Egypt immediately to escape the wrath of King Herod. Herod had previously asked a group of magi that were traveling to see Jesus to let him know where Jesus was. He lied to the magi and said that he wanted to worship Jesus, but he was planning to kill Him.

The magi did not comply with Herod's plan.

Mathew records the events that happened next as follows:

  • “Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.” – Mathew 2:16-18.

And just as Jesus’ life began with hardship, it would end the same way.

JESUS’ LIFE ON EARTH ENDED WITH GREAT SUFFERING

Now in Mathew Chapter 26, we see that Jesus’ life on earth ended in the same way it began, with suffering and adversity.

Jesus explained to His disciples exactly what was going to happen to Him:

  • You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion .” - Mathew 26:2.

Jesus was greatly troubled as the time for Him to suffer a violent death on the cross approached.

Because He was both God and man, He was able to feel all the stress and anxiety that you would expect from somebody that about to go through what Jesus was.

In fact, the burden that Jesus was under was so acute, that He suffered a rare condition known as hematidrosis. According to webmd.com, hematidrosis can be caused by, “Extreme distress or fear, such as facing death, torture, or severe ongoing abuse.

Three times Jesus went away by Himself to pray to His Father and see if there was a way for Him to avoid the events that were about to take place.

That was the human side of Jesus.

He was betrayed by those closest to Him and turned over to an angry mob to be crucified.

The side of Jesus that was deity, however, was always obedient to His Father, no matter how difficult the situation was. Three times Jesus said to His Father:

Each time, He ended His prayer by showing His obedience to His Father:

Jesus understood that those closest to Him were going to deny Him, as evidenced by the following scripture:

  • “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’” – Mathew 26:31.

CONCLUSION

So what can we learn from these accounts, and how does it apply to us? We can see that Jesus was not immune to adversity. In fact, He suffered more than any of us ever will. And yet, He remained faithful and obedient to His Father, regardless of the circumstances that He found Himself in.

That is the takeaway for us!

Life will get hard. When it does, we need to follow the perfect example of Jesus and remain faithful and obedient to God!

And when we do, we will be with God and Jesus for eternity inheaven!

We will end today’s lessons with the following words spoken by the Apostle Paul in His second letter to Timothy:

  • I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” - 2 Timothy 4:7.

Comments

Nancy

Is there any connection between there having been two false witnesses in this chapter and the two truthful witnesses to come in Revelation?

Reply
Dan
Nancy

What an interesting contrast!

Reply
Michael
Dan

Thank you Nancy for bringing that up. I will look for that the next time I study Revelation. I do not think we will get a definitive answer to that question, but I'm excited to study it!

Reply