Topical Studies                                                                                                          Power Point Show

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 26:47-56


January, 2003



1.     Matt. 26:47-56 – Scene of betrayal by Judas & abandonment by apostles in Gethsemane.

2.     In Gethsemane we see the tension – and harmony – between the humanity & deity of Christ.  While seeking & receiving (Lk. 22:43) heavenly strength to endure the approaching horror, Jesus could have used His divine power to prevent the events from unfolding – yet He did not.

3.     The love of God & devotion of the Son of God dramatically displayed for us all to witness & marvel over – and to stir us up to faith, love & good works!


#1a:  Does Mt. 26:53 imply that Jesus had a choice on whether to go through with his crucifixion, or not?  If so, how does that harmonize with Mt. 26:39 and other similar gospel accounts?  Here, Jesus prays as if it were up to God to decide, but then v. 53 seems to imply that Jesus himself would decide.


1.  Matt. 26:53:  Yes, the passage implies Jesus’ choice re. His crucifixion.

    a.     It was a choice He made in eternity past – 1 Pet. 1:18-20.

        a)        Jesus was not forced to die (Jno. 10:17-18).

        b)        Before creation, Christ willingly submitted to the plan of human redemption, including His death (2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-8).

        c)     Eph. 1:4-12 – The entire plan of God is summed up in Christ – From its inception, the Son of God yielded Himself in order to fulfill it.

    b.     It was also a choice Jesus made in the garden at the moment of suffering – Matt. 20:22; Jno. 18:11.

    c.     With this choice, Jesus was choosing to fulfill the will of God – Matt. 26:54.

2.     The power to resist & defeat all enemies was at His disposal - Matt. 26:53.

    -But this would be against the purposes & prophecies of God – Matt. 26:54, 56.


#1b:  “How does Matt. 26:53 harmonize with Matt. 26:39?”


1.     The harmony of these two passages is found in at least two things:

    a.     The unity of the Father & the Son in all things – Jno. 10:30.

        1)    cf. Eternal life  & security in Christ:  Son (10:27-28) & Father (10:29).

        2)    cf. Work of redemption:

            a)    Given to the Son by the Father – Jno. 17:4.

            b)    Obeyed by the Son – Jno. 10:18.

    b.     The Son’s voluntary submission & choice to lay down His life – Jno. 10:17-18.

2.     Jesus knew all that would happen to Him – Jno. 18:4.

    a.     So, He prayed in Gethsemane for relief from the coming pain & suffering (Matt. 26:39).

    b.     Normal & understandable human expressions of a person facing torturous death.

3.     Willing submission when arrested (rather than fight) – Matt. 26:53.

    a.     Prophecies would be fulfilled by His voluntary yielding (Matt. 26:54, 56).

    b.     Freely accepted the cup of suffering given to Him by the Father (Jno. 18:11).


#2:  Matthew 3:11 – What did John the Baptist mean when he said, “He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”?


1.     Context:   Baptism & preaching of John – Matt. 3:1-12.

    a.     3:1-3 – John preached a “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (word of God, Lk. 3:2-3) as the forerunner of Messiah (Isa. 40:3).

    b.     3:4-6 – To many, John was an oddity, novelty, the “fad of the day” – Matt. 11:7-10.

    c.     3:7-9 – John challenged the Pharisees & Sadducees:

        (1)   3:7 - To examine why they were being baptized.

        (2)   3:8 – Only with fruits of repentance would their baptism be valid (life changing event)!

        (3)   3:9 – Reliance on heritage would not override lack of repentance in their lives.

2.     3:10-12 – Work the Messiah would accomplish:  Save & Punish (Prune, purify, purge & punish)

    a.     3:10 – Divine judgment:

        (1)   Person bearing good fruit -- Into the barn (3:12).  (Salvation)

        (2)   Person bearing bad fruit – cut down & thrown into the fire (3:10, 12; Matt. 7:19).  (Punishment)

    b.     3:11 – Christ mightier than John (both to save & to punish).

    c.     He will baptize (immerse) you:

        (1)   Baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

            (a)    Announced by prophets – Joel 2:28-29 (cf. Isa. 44:3).

            (b)    Pentecost & beyond – Acts 1:5, 8; 2:16-18.

            (c)   By sending the Holy Spirit, salvation was be preached & provided to the world!  (cf. Acts 1:8)

        (2)   Baptize you with fire.

            (a)   Fire in v. 10 & v. 12 clearly speaks of punishment.

            (b)   Fire in v. 11 is different from “baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”   (Fire was not present in Acts 2:3 – Tongues which separates the way fire separates!!)

            (c)   The fire of punishment to the unfruitful, unrepentant Jew (and Gentile) – cf. Matt. 13:41-42 (43).

    d.    3:12 - Separation of the righteous & wicked – cf. Matt. 13:49-50; 25:32-33