“…drink of the cup that I shall drink … baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” Matthew 20:17-23 KJV

“Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” Matthew 20:22 NASB (see also Mark 10:38)

Since the Lord says the disciples will indeed drink of that cup and be baptized with the baptism He will undergo, He may have something other than His sufferings for sin in mind. It is probably the thought of His sufferings from the hand of men. As a cup, it would enter into Him. In a baptism, He would be engulfed in it.

He felt, in the innermost part of His being, the sufferings from the hands of men (the cup He drank); He felt totally immersed in the sufferings from men (the baptism). As a man immersed in water can see only water on every side, so too, which ever direction He looked, there was only suffering. He never was hardened by sin and was the most sensitive and tender Man Who ever lived. While His sufferings from men were not redemptive, they were real and unmeasurable.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the background of this announcement and how does it add to the irony of the situation?
  2. Can you find anything in vs 17-19 which might explain His cup and His baptism?
  3. What is added in vv 17-19 as compared to the first announcement in Matthew 16:21? Why would it make His suffering so much greater?