Matthew 26:18
And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
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(18) To such a man.—The Greek word is that used when the writer knows, but does not care to mention, the name of the man referred to. St. Mark and St. Luke relate the sign that was given them. They were to meet a man “bearing a pitcher of water” and follow him. and were to see in the house into which he entered that in which they were to make their preparations. The master of the house was probably a disciple, but secretly, like many others, “for fear of the Jews” (John 12:42), and this may explain the suppression of his name. He was, at any rate, one who would acknowledge the authority of the Master in whose name the disciples spoke. In the other two Gospels our Lord describes the large upper room furnished which the disciples would find on entering. The signal may have been agreed upon before, or may have been the result of a supernatural prescience. Scripture is silent, and either supposition is legitimate.

My time is at hand.—For the disciples, the “time” may have seemed the long-expected season of His manifesting Himself as King, and the memory of such words as those of John 7:8 (“My time is not yet full come”) may have seemed to strengthen the impression. We read, as it were, between the lines, and see that it was the “time” of the suffering and death which were the conditions of His true glory (John 12:23; John 13:32).

26:17-25 Observe, the place for their eating the passover was pointed out by Christ to the disciples. He knows those hidden ones who favour his cause, and will graciously visit all who are willing to receive him. The disciples did as Jesus had appointed. Those who would have Christ's presence in the gospel passover, must do what he says. It well becomes the disciples of Christ always to be jealous over themselves, especially in trying times. We know not how strongly we may be tempted, nor how far God may leave us to ourselves, therefore we have reason not to be high-minded, but to fear. Heart-searching examination and fervent prayer are especially proper before the Lord's supper, that, as Christ our Passover is now sacrificed for us, we may keep this feast, renewing our repentance, our faith in his blood, and surrendering ourselves to his service.Go into the city to such a man - That is, Jerusalem, called the city by way of eminence.

Luke says that the disciples whom he sent were Peter and John. The man to whom they were to go he did not mention by name, but he told them that when they came into the city, a man would meet them bearing a pitcher of water. See Mark and Luke. Him they were to follow, and in the house which he entered they would find a room prepared. The name of the man was not mentioned. The "house" in which they were to keep the Passover was not mentioned. The reason of this probably was, that Christ was desirous of concealing from "Judas" the place where they would keep the Passover. He was acquainted with the design of Judas to betray him. He knew that if Judas was acquainted with the place "beforehand," he could easily give information to the chief priests, and it would give them a favorable opportunity to surprise them, and apprehend "him" without making a tumult. Though it was certain that he would not be delivered up before the time appointed by the Father, yet it was proper "to use the means" to prevent it. There can be little doubt that Jesus was acquainted with this man, and that he was a disciple. The direction which he gave his disciples most clearly proves that he was omniscient. Amid so great a multitude going at that time into the city, it was impossible to know that "a particular man would be met" - a man bearing a pitcher of water - unless Jesus had all knowledge, and was therefore divine.

The Master saith - This was the name by which Jesus was probably known among the disciples, and one which he directed them to give him. See Matthew 23:8, Matthew 23:10. It means, literally, "the teacher," as opposed to "the disciple," or learner; not the "master," as opposed to the "servant or slave." The fact that they used this name as if the man would know whom they meant, and the fact that the man understood them and made no further inquiries, shows that he was acquainted with Jesus, and was probably himself a disciple.

My time is at hand - That is, "is near." By "his time," here, may be meant either his time to eat the Passover, or the time of his death. It has been supposed by many that Jesus, in accordance with a part of the Jews who rejected traditions, anticipated the usual observance of the Passover, or kept it one day sooner. The Pharisees had devised many forms of ascertaining when the month commenced. They placed witnesses around the heights of the temple to observe the first appearance of the new moon; they examined the witnesses with much formality, and endeavored also to obtain the exact time by astronomical calculations. Others held that the month properly commenced when the moon was visible. Thus, it is said a difference arose between them about the time of the Passover, and that Jesus kept it one day sooner than most of the people. The foundation of the opinion that he anticipated the usual time of keeping the Passover is the following:

1. In John 18:28, it is said that on the day on which our Lord was crucified, and of course the day after he had eaten the Passover, the chief priests would not go into the judgment-hall lest they should be defiled, "but that they might eat the passover," evidently meaning that it was to be eaten that day.

2. In John 19:14, the day on which he was crucified is called "the preparation of the passover" - that is, the day on which it was prepared to be eaten in the evening.

3. In John 19:31, the day in which our Lord lay in the grave was called the great day of the Sabbath - "a high day;" that is, the day after the Passover was killed, the Sabbath occurring on the first day of the feast properly, and therefore a day of special solemnity; yet our Saviour had partaken of it two days before, and therefore the day before the body of the people. If this opinion be true, then the phrase "my time is at hand means my time for keeping the Passover is near. Whether this opinion be true or not, there may be a reference also to his death. The man with whom they were to go was probably a disciple of his, though perhaps a secret one. Jesus might purpose to keep the Passover at his house, that he might inform him more particularly respecting his death, and prepare him for it. He sent, therefore, to him and said, "I will keep the passover 'at thy house.'"

Mark and Luke add that he would show them "a large upper room, furnished and prepared." Ancient writers remark that, at the time of the great feasts, the houses in Jerusalem were all open to receive guests - that they were in a manner common to the people of Judea; and there is no doubt, therefore, that the master of a house would have it ready on such occasions for company. It is possible, also, that there might have been an agreement between this man and our Lord that he would prepare his house for him, though this was unknown to the disciples. The word rendered "furnished" means, literally, "spread;" that is, "spread" with carpets, and with "couches" on which to recline at the table, after the manner of the East. See the notes at Matthew 23:6.

Mt 26:17-30. Preparation for and Last Celebration of the Passover Announcement of the Traitor, and Institution of the Supper. ( = Mr 14:12-26; Lu 22:7-23; Joh 13:1-3, 10, 11, 18-30).

For the exposition, see on [1362]Lu 22:7-23.

See Poole on "Matthew 26:19".

And he said, go into the city to such a man,.... That is, to such a man in the city of Jerusalem, for, as yet, they were in Bethany, or at the Mount of Olives however, without the city; he does not mention the man's name, but describes him, as Mark and Luke say, and tells them, "there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house, where he entereth in", Mark 14:13; who seems to be not the master of the house, but a servant, that was sent on such an errand. This is a very considerable instance of our Lord's prescience of future contingencies; he knew beforehand, that exactly at the time that the disciples would enter Jerusalem, such a man, belonging to such a house, would be returning with a pitcher of water in his hand; and they should meet him; and follow him, where he went, which would be a direction to them what house to prepare the passover in;

and say unto him; not to the man bearing the pitcher of water; but, as the other Evangelists say, to the good man of the house, the owner of it, who probably might be one of Christ's disciples secretly; for many of the chief rulers in Jerusalem believed on Christ, though they did not openly confess him, for fear of the Pharisees, as Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea; and this man might be one of them, or some other man of note and wealth; since they were to find, as they did, a large upper room furnished and prepared. For, it seems, that without mentioning his name, the man would know him by their language, he dictates to them in the following clause, who they meant;

the master saith; the Syriac and Persic versions read, our master; thine and ours, the great master in Israel, the teacher sent from God:

my time is at hand; not of eating the passover, as if it was distinct from that of the Jews, and peculiar to himself, for he ate it at the usual time, and when the Jews ate theirs; and which time was fixed and known by everybody, and could be no reason to move the master of the house to receive him: but he means the time of his death, that he had but a little while to live; and that this instance of respect would be the last he would have an opportunity of showing him whilst living, and the last time Christ would have an opportunity of seeing him; and he might say this to prepare him to meet the news of his death with less surprise:

I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples; not with him and his family, but with his disciples, who were a family, and a society of themselves, and a sufficient number to eat the passover together; for there might be two companies eating their distinct passovers in one house, and even in one room: concerning which is the following rule,

, "two societies that eat in one house"; the one turn their faces this way and eat, and the other turn their faces that way and eat, and an heating vessel (in which they heat the water to mix with the wine) in the middle; and when the servant stands to mix, he shuts his mouth, and turns his face till he comes to his company, and eats; and the bride turns her face and eats (o).''

(o) Misn. Pesachim, c. 7. sect. 13.

And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
Matthew 26:18. Εἰς τὴν πόλιν] to Jerusalem. According to Matthew 26:6 ff., they were still at Bethany.

πρὸς τὸν δεῖνα] as we say when we either cannot or will not mention the name of the person intended: to so and so. See Wetstein and Hermann, ad Vig. p. 704. But it was not Jesus Himself who omitted to mention the name (“ut discipulus ex diuturna consuetudine notissimum,” Fritzsche), for, after the question of the disciples, Matthew 26:17, He could not assume that it was quite well understood who it was that He referred to; but it has been omitted by the evangelist in his narrative (comp. even Augustine, de cons, ev. ii. 80), either because it had not been preserved as part of the tradition, or for some other reason, to us unknown.

ὁ διδάσκ.] the Teacher κατʼ ἐξοχήν. Doubtless the unknown person here referred to was also a believer. Comp. Matthew 21:3.

ὁ καιρός μου] i.e. the time of my death (John 13:1), not: for my observing the Passover (Kuinoel), which would render the words singularly meaningless; for this time was, in fact, the same for all There is nothing whatever to justify the very old hypothesis, invented with a view to reconcile the synoptic writers with John, that Jesus partook of His last Passover meal a day earlier than that on which it was wont to be eaten by the Jews. See on John 18:28. Further, this preliminary preparation implies a pious regard for Jesus on the part of the δεῖνα, who was thus singled out; this Passover observance, for which preparations are being made, was destined, in fact, to be a farewell feast! According to Ewald, ὁ καιρός μου denotes the time when the Messianic phenomena would appear in the heavens (comp. Matthew 24:34), which, however, is at variance with the text, where the death of Jesus is the all-pervading thought (see Matthew 26:2; Matthew 26:4; Matthew 26:11 f., 21). Comp. ἐλήλυθεν ἡ ὥρα, John 17:1.

ποιῶ] is not the Attic future (Fritzsche, Bleek), but the present, representing what is future as now going on, and suited to the idea of a distinct friendly arrangement beforehand: at thy house I observe the Passover. Comp. Exodus 12:48; Joshua 5:10; Deuteronomy 15:1; Deuteronomy 3 Esdr. Matthew 1:6. Similarly classical writers frequently use ποιεῖν in the sense of to observe a feast.

Matthew’s account presupposes nothing miraculous here, as Theophylact and Calvin would have us believe, but simply an arrangement, of which nothing further is known, which Jesus had come to with the person in question, and in consequence of which this latter not only understood what was meant by the ὁ καιρός μου, but was also keeping a room in reserve for Jesus in which to celebrate the Passover. It is probable that Jesus, during His stay in Jerusalem after the triumphal entry, had come to some understanding or other with him, so that all that now required to be done was to complete the preparations. It was reserved for the later tradition, embodied in Mark and Luke, to ascribe a miraculous character to these preparations, in which respect they seem to have shared the fate of the incident mentioned at Matthew 21:2 f. This being the case, the claim of originality must be decided in favour of what is still the very simple narrative of Matthew (Strauss, Bleek, Keim), in preference to that of Mark and Luke (Schulz, Schleiermacher, Weisse, Ewald, Weiss). As represented, therefore, by Matthew (who, according to Ebrard and Holtzmann, seems to have regarded the circumstance about the man bearing a pitcher of water as only “an unnecessary detail,” and whose narrative here is, according to Ewald, “somewhat winnowed”), this incident is a natural one, though the same cannot be said of the account given by Mark and Luke (in opposition to Olshausen and Neander).

Who that unknown person above referred to might be, is a point which cannot be determined.

Matthew 26:18. ὑπάγετε, go ye into the city, i.e., Jerusalem.—πρὸς τὸν δεῖνα, to such a one, evidently no sufficient direction. Mk. and Lk. are more explicit. Mt. here, as often, abbreviates. Doubtless a previous understanding had been come to between Jesus and an unknown friend in Jerusalem. Euthy. suggests that a roundabout direction was given to keep Judas in ignorance as to the rendezvous.—ὁ καιρός μου., my time (of death). Some (Grotius, Speaker’s Com., Carr, Camb. N.T.) find in the words a reason for anticipating the time of the Paschal Feast, and so one of the indications, even in the Synoptics, that John’s date of the Passion is the true one.—ποιῶ τ. π., I make or keep (present, not future), a usual expression in such a connection. Examples in Raphel.—μετὰ τ. μ.: making thirteen with the Master, a suitable number (justa φρατρία, Grotius), between the prescribed limits of ten and twenty. The lamb had to be entirely consumed (Exodus 12:4; Exodus 12:43). Did Jesus and the Twelve eat the Paschal lamb?

18. to such a man] “To a certain man” (one who is known, but not named), with whom the arrangements had been previously made. He was doubtless a follower of Jesus. It was usual for the inhabitants of Jerusalem to lend guestchambers to the strangers who came to the feast.

Matthew 26:18. Τὸν δεῖνα, a certain man) This word is put instead of a proper name.[1122]—ὁ Διδάσκαλος, the Master) Therefore the host in question was a disciple, but not one of the Twelve.—ὁ καιρός Μου, My time) which I have long foreseen and foretold, when I shall suffer.—ποιῶ τὸ πάσχα, κ.τ.λ., I celebrate the Passover, etc.) A courteous mode of announcing the fact to that ready disciple at whose house the Master was about to celebrate the Passover. It is astonishing that some learned men should have called in question, or denied the fact, of our Lord’s having then celebrated the Passover; see Matthew 26:17-19, the commencement of Matthew 26:30, and Luke 22:7-8; Luke 22:12; Luke 22:14-15.

[1122] i.e. Our Lord mentioned the man’s name, though St Matthew has omitted it.—(I. B.)

Verse 18. - The city. Jerusalem. Jesus was at Bethany. St. Luke says that he sent Peter and John, now first joined together without James. To such a man (πρὸς τὸν δεῖνα). The other synoptists mention certain signs by which they were to recognize the man. At the entrance of the city they would meet a man bearing a pitcher of water; they were to follow him to the house whither he went, and then give their message to the master of the house. There is a great similarity between this mission and that concerning the ass before the triumphal entry. The foreknowledge and the precision in directions are quite analogous. The "good man" was doubtless a disciple, though at this festival all strangers were freely received by any householder who had accommodation. Dr. Edersheim supposes that he was father of Mark, who was the "young man" arrested by the company that took Jesus (Mark 14:51). The secrecy observed in the above-mentioned arrangement was intended to keep the knowledge from Judas, and thus to secure immunity from interruption at the solemn meal. The traitor seems to have sneaked out from the last Supper, and disclosed Christ's retreat to the Jewish authorities, and conducted them to the house; but, finding that Jesus had left the room, he led them to Gethsemane, whither he knew that Jesus often resorted (John 18:1, 2). The Master. A disciple would know who was meant by this title (comp. Matthew 23:8, 10; John 11:28). Whether any previous arrangement had been made with him, we cannot tell; most probably Christ speaks from prevision and his providential ordering of events. My time is at hand. The time of my suffering and death. This fact would make the request more imperative. But the expression was mysterious and indefinite. I will keep (ποιῶ, I keep) the Passover at thy house. The Passover which the Lord was to keep was not the usual Paschal meal, as the lamb could not be legally killed till the 14th, but a commemorative anticipatory feast in which he himself was the Lamb - "the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." Of that Lamb the apostles did mystically eat when Christ gave them the bread and wine with the words, "This is my body;" "This is my blood." This Supper, which was virtually the new Passover, seems traditionally to have become confounded with the usual Paschal solemnity; hence the language of the synoptists assumes a form which is applicable to the regular Jewish feast. This explanation, if it seems to derogate somewhat from the precise verbal accuracy of the evangelists, would probably be confirmed if we were better acquainted with the customs then prevalent, and with the current meaning of the language employed. The ambiguity in the accounts may be divinely intended to call attention to the fact that the last Supper was not the Jewish Passover, but the Christian Passover - not the sacrifice on the cross, but an anticipation thereof. We may observe in passing that there is no mention of the lamb in the celebration; Peter and John were not enjoined to provide one, nor are they said to have visited the temple - which, indeed, on the 13th would have been useless: and yet to obtain the lamb in any other way would have been a breach of the Law, which we cannot suppose Christ would sanction. We may also notice that the word "feast" (ἑορτή) is nowhere applied to the last Supper, though it is always employed in reference to the Jewish solemnity. St. Paul, in his account of the institution of the Holy Communion (1 Corinthians 11.) makes no mention of any Paschal solemnities or associations, but merely states that it was appointed on the night in which Jesus was betrayed. With my disciples; i.e. the twelve apostles; none but these, not even the master of the house, were present at this solemn scene. Matthew 26:18Such a man (τὸν δεῖνα)

The indefiniteness is the Evangelist's, not our Lord's. He, doubtless, described the per- son and where to find him.

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