“Rabbi” vs. “Lord” from the Mouth of Judas

In the two places where Judas addresses Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, Judas calls him “Rabbi.” 26:25, Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” 26:49-50, And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said […]

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A Miracle in the Garden of Gethsemane

On the night Jesus was arrested, Gethsemane was a place of intimidation. A sword-and-club-wielding crowd entered the garden with Judas leading the way. Then Judas gave the kiss of betrayal, cuing the arresting party to make their move. But when they seized Jesus, things took a violent turn. Peter drew his sword and swung at […]

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The Words of Judas in the Gospel of Matthew

While each Gospel reports that Jesus had twelve disciples, we only know a few of the things they said. In Matthew we hear the voice of Judas four times, in 26:15; 26:25; 26:49; 27:4. “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” (26:15) “Is it I, Rabbi?” (26:25) “Greetings, Rabbi!” (26:49) […]

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Does Matthew 26:52 Teach Pacifism?

When the arresting party seized Jesus at Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword. In close proximity was the high priest’s servant, Malchus, who lost an ear as Peter swung it (Matt. 26:51; John 18:10). Jesus responded immediately: “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matt. […]

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“Friend, Do What You Came to Do”: Jesus In Control at Gethsemane

One foot in front of the other, the betrayer walked up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi” (Matt. 26:49), and kissed him. This mark of friendship and affection was the prearranged signal for the arresting party to seize Jesus (26:48). In the literal and spiritual darkness of Gethsemane, Jesus looked at Judas and said, “Friend, […]

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“Rise, Let Us Be Going”: The Resolve of Jesus at Gethsemane

Three times at Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to the Father (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44). He struggled against temptation and prayed for the Father’s will to be done (26:39, 42). Jesus’ resolve is evident when he returns to the disciples and says, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of […]

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The Glory of the Transfiguration and the Agony at Gethsemane

Scholars have noted important connections between the episode of the transfiguration (in Matthew 17) and the episode at Gethsemane (in Matthew 26). There are at least seven points of contact. Both events are associated with a mountain. In Matthew 17 the mountain is unnamed (17:1), while in Matthew 26 the mountain is the Mount of Olives […]

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Weak Flesh and the Need for Prayer

The episode of Jesus at Gethsemane teaches us, among other things, about prayer. First, Jesus, the one and only Son of God, prayed. And if Jesus prayed, why should we not? If Jesus prioritized prayer, should we not view the practice with supreme importance and devotion and perseverance? If prayer mattered to Jesus, let it […]

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