Not just the betrayal (Mt 26:14-16,21-25,45-46). Not just the falling away (31-35). Not just the combination of those elements with the elements of companionship with Jesus in the events right up to that (36-46). This section is significant because of those things certainly, but more significant in those words of Jesus about how He went about handling this time (38-44).
Our gospel since 9:15 had been predicting this time and aspects of it. For seventeen chapters we have witnessed the closer and closer approach of this time -- and beyond it! The disciples had gone beyond it with Him too, talking themselves about His "coming" (24:3), and heard even more: chapters 24-25 are an extended and intense depiction of His coming. The depiction takes many forms: prophecies, parables, direct advice, indirect advice. Yet the time just ahead is not ignored; just previous to our section it is there again: "you do not always have Me" (26:11).
Here in our section for today we have what the disciples did (26:19,36) and denied that they would do (35); what the betrayer, one of them (14), did (14-16,23), and could not hide that he would do (25); what Jesus did (26-30), and would not do until a farther future (29); and finally, what He would do in a nearer future regarding them: they'll be going to Galilee, and He will go before them, almost like old times! Jesus speaks of His resurrection in passing, using that moment to help the disciples with an immediate consequence of it that they could understand, a trip to Galilee (32).
Then we see and hear the internal side of all these things: something only He was bearing, or could bear, or could hardly bear (38).
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