- What lessons concerning the inevitable judgment upon sin are to be found in the account of the death of Judas?
Can you see any sense in which we may be tempted to act like Judas in our situation, or is he unique?
- Consider the silence of Jesus in these last hours of his life.
Cf. Luke 23:9. In the light of this, read 1 Pet. 2:21-23 and note the lessons for our own life and witness.
- The trials of Jesus and Peter were running concurrently, but with such different results.
What was Peter’s failure, and what was the reason for it?
Do you see any difference between this and the failure of Judas?
- Verses 59-68. In what ways was the trial of Jesus unworthy of the name of justice?
In contrast note the majesty of Jesus at this point.
What would you consider the salient characteristics of his witness here?
Note. Verse 64. ‘Yes, it is as you say’ is more than the equivalent of ‘Yes’. It indicates that Christ’s Kingship was real, but different from the concept in Caiaphas’ mind.
- How do these verses indicate the strength to do God’s will that Christ found through his knowledge of Scripture?
Consider how frequently during these last hours our Lord quoted the Old Testament.
What ought we to learn from this concerning the way to face the demands of Christ’s service?
- Wherein lay the particular agony to Jesus of the experience in the garden?
Why did he shrink so much from the cross?
Consider this section in the light of Heb. 5:7-9; 10:4-10; 1 Pet. 2:24.
- What does our Lord pinpoint as the reason for the disciples’ failure in the garden?
Consider in how many ways they did fail that night, and how relevant this is to our situation.
Cf. what Peter wrote in 1 Pet. 5:8, 9.
- What does the phrase in verse 18, ‘My time is at hand’, teach us of Christ’s understanding and control of the situation even at this moment?
Notice the repetition of this reference to ‘the hour’ (verse 45). Cf. John 12:23, 27; 13:1. Note also in verse 24 the combined recognition of God’s foreordained purpose and man’s personal responsibility.
- In the institution of the Lord’s Supper, Matthew notes the idea of a covenant in verse 28.
In what way does this link with Exod. 24:6-8 and with Jer. 31:31-34?
What ought drinking from such a cup to mean to us?
- Note the difference between the prophecy of Christ in verses 1, 2 and the plans of the Jewish religious leaders in verses 3-5.
Whose word, in fact, prevailed, and why?
Cf. Acts 2:23; Ps. 33:10, 11.
- In verses 6-16 consider the contrast between the action of Mary, anointing Christ, and Judas sealing Him.
How does this demonstrate the truth of Luke 2:35b?
What were the motives behind these different actions?
- Verses 14-30. Compare this parable with that in Luke 19:11-27.
What is the message underlying both parables?
Can you distinguish the particular emphasis of each parable?
- Verses 31-46. What claims does Christ make here concerning himself?
How is men’s final destiny determined?
- What does this passage teach about the gravity of the sin of omission?
What does the absence of good works prove?
- Verse 34. This is the only place in the gospels where Christ speaks of the son of man as king. No doubt there was too great a danger of the popular misunderstanding of that title for its frequent use to be possible.
- Verse 46. ‘Eternal’: this speaks primarily not of endless duration but of that which in quality is characteristic of the age to come.
- What truths concerning our Lord’s return are unmistakably certain, and what matters are left uncertain?
What, in consequence, ought the Christian’s attitude to be?
- The parable of the ten virgins (25:1-13) teaches a final division.
What is the basis of that division?
How can we join the company of the wise? Cf. Matt. 7:21-27.