Matthew 26:67

ESV Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him,
NIV Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him
NASB Then they spit in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,
CSB Then they spat in his face and beat him; others slapped him
NLT Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him,
KJV Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,

What does Matthew 26:67 mean?

The high priest and the council have achieved what they had long since set out to do (John 11:48–53). They have crossed the legal barrier they could not previously overcome (Matthew 26:57–60). Based on His own words—true though they are—Jesus has been proclaimed guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death (Matthew 26:61–66). The trial itself has not been legal in several ways. It has taken place in the middle of the night in the home of the high priest instead of during the daytime in the temple, and its outcome was decided before the trial even began. False witnesses were used.

None of that really matters, though, because what was needed has been accomplished. Jesus has revealed Himself as the Christ to Israel's religious leaders and has been officially rejected and condemned (Matthew 16:21). They have been given the opportunity to receive God's Son, and they have decided instead to kill Him (John 5:39–40).

At this point, abuse of Jesus begins to get more serious. Either the members of the Sanhedrin themselves or their servants or guards begin to spit in Jesus' face and strike Him. The word "struck" here is from a Greek term which is often translated as "beat," and often refers to use of fists. Christ is now being beaten and mocked. According to the Jewish leaders, He is a false Messiah who will soon die.

While Scripture does not say so directly, this abuse may also serve another purpose. Jesus' enemies may feel that their ability to mock and mistreat Him is more evidence that He is not really the Son of God. In their minds, the real Messiah would immediately put an end to such things. He would lash out and strike down all who strike Him. They do not know that He is choosing not to resist, not to defend Himself, so He can carry out the will of His Father (Matthew 26:42).

Jesus flattened a group of soldiers with a mere word earlier that evening (John 18:4–7); if any of them were there, one can only imagine what they thought of this moment.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: