|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-6 Christ knew all men, and had wise and holy ends in taking Judas to be a disciple. How he who knew Christ so well, came to betray him, we are here told; Satan entered into Judas. It is hard to say whether more mischief is done to Christ's kingdom, by the power of its open enemies, or by the treachery of its pretended friends; but without the latter, its enemies could not do so much evil as they do.
Verse 2. - And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. The determination, long maturing, had, during the last few days of public teaching, been come to on the part of the Sanhedrin. They had determined to put the dangerous public Teacher to death. The bitter hatred on the part of the Jewish rulers had been gradually growing in intensity during the two years and a half of the public ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. The raising of Lazarus seems to have finally decided the governing body with as little delay as possible to compass the Reformer's death. The temporary withdrawal of the Lord after the great miracle deferred their purpose for a season; after, however, a retirement for a few weeks, Jesus appeared again, shortly before the Passover, and taught publicly in the temple, at a season when Jerusalem was crowded with pilgrims arriving for the great feast. Never had his teaching excited such interest, never had it stirred up such burning opposition as at this juncture. This decided the Jewish rulers to carry out their design on the life of the Galilaean Teacher with as little delay as possible. The only thing that perplexed them was how this could safely be accomplished, owing to the favor in which he was held by the people, especially by the crowds of pilgrims from the provinces then in Jerusalem.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the chief priests and Scribes,.... Matthew adds, "and the elders of the people"; which made up the great sanhedrim and council of the nation; these met together, not in their usual place the temple, but at the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest; see Matthew 24:3.
And sought how they might kill him; that is, "Jesus", as the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions read; they had determined before, upon the advice of Caiaphas, to put him to death, and very likely had fixed what kind of death he should die; see John 11:49 and now they consult together, of the manner of bringing it about, and at what time; and the majority were not for doing it on a feast day, when there was a great concourse of people, but with more privacy:
for they feared the people: which were now in great multitudes with him, who came along with him, from Galilee, and other parts; and had hosanna'd him into the city, and still abode with him, and their numbers were increasing; and the sanhedrim were aware, that at the passover there would be still a greater company of people from all parts of the land; and they might conclude, that he would have a large number of his friends come out of Galilee, where he had been for the most part teaching, and working miracles; and they were afraid, should they lay hold on him publicly, the people would rise and stone them; at least would rescue him out of their hands, and disappoint them of their designs.
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