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But they were saying, “Not during the feast, lest a riot occur among the People.” Bible

“Not during the feast.” The Feast of Passover was attended by hundreds of thousands of Jews from around the world, and there was great nationalistic fervor that accompanied it because of its historic roots associated with deliverance from Egypt. The Jews of Jesus’ day would have loved nothing better than deliverance from Rome, and would welcome a Messiah to do that for them. The Jews knew this and, as much as they wanted to arrest Jesus, did not want to risk a riot, but preferred to wait until after the feast when the crowds went home. Their plans were altered when one of Jesus’ closest men, Judas, offered to hand him over to them. Jesus himself, knowing that he was to die at the same time the Passover lamb was killed, prodded Judas to make his move quickly to turn Jesus over to the authorities (John 13:27).


Commentary for: Matthew 26:5