Matthew 26:31-56

Talks for Growing Christians

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Matthew 26:31-56

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Lesson Number 73

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God rebukes the spiritual sleep of believers.
  2. God uses the sinful acts of unbelievers.

Practical Application

  1. Are we willing to pray, “Not my will, but Thine be done”?


  1. Trace the Lord’s path immediately following the Last Supper.
  2. How was Matthew 26:32 an exhortation to the disciples?
  3. What “cup” did the Lord pray would pass from Him?
  4. Was there any other way than the Lord’s death for the problem of sin to be dealt with?
  5. The disciples were rebuked for sleeping when they should have been praying. How can we avoid this problem?


  1. The Lord would have led His disciples from the house where they celebrated the Passover meal, down through the Kidron Valley, and up to the Garden of Gethsemane, on the slope of the Mount of Olives.
  2. The Lord predicted His resurrection and promised that, although the disciples would betray Him, they would be restored to Him when He arose.
  3. The “cup” was the cup of suffering that the Lord would endure as the sin-bearer for mankind. This cup would include the wrath of God against sin, the shame of the cross, and the temporary separation from the Father.
  4. No, His death was the only way.
  5. Choose private prayer times when your mind and body will be alert. Get enough sleep before public prayer meetings. “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41


  1. The Lord predicted Peter’s denial; He knew what he would do and what he would not do. The same is true for us today. The Lord knows everything about us – all our strengths and all our weakness. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Recall a time when you knew exactly what you wanted, but God had a better plan in store. His will is good, acceptable, and perfect (Romans 12:2). This is yet another reason for us to pray, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”
  2. Discuss “God uses the sinful acts of unbelievers.” Refer to Acts 2:23 and Acts 4:27-28. Is this still true today?


  1. Are you guilty of spiritual sleep? Too many Christians are spiritually asleep, not involved in regular prayer time or in-depth Bible study. This study on Matthew is a great place for you to start. Remain spiritually alert.

Key Verses

  • “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Matthew 26:42
  • “But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Matthew 26:56

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