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Bible Commentaries
Luke 22

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Verses 1-6

Luk 22:1-6

Commentary On Luke 22:1-6

Galen Doughty

Luke 22:1-6 - The Passover or Feast of Unleavened Bread was only a few days away. The two feasts by Jesus’ day had been combined into one celebration with the Passover meal marking the beginning of the week long feast. The chief priests and rabbis were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus because they were afraid of the people and what they would do. Jesus earlier in his ministry according to John’s gospel had used the setting of the Feast of Tabernacles to openly declare his Messiahship. It is quite possible that the Jewish leaders were very concerned Jesus would do the same thing here and there would be no stopping him or the people and the Romans would get involved. In that case they had a major crisis on their hands. They knew they needed to arrest him in secret without the crowds. As long as Jesus was in the temple and in public they dared not move against him. Any attempt to do so would cause a riot and who knew what reaction from the Roman authorities.

Luke says it was at this point that Satan entered Judas. Judas allowed himself to be used by Satan even though he was one of the twelve apostles Jesus had chosen and he had been with Jesus for three years during his ministry. He had eaten with him and been sent out by him to do ministry and had seen what God could do through the name of Jesus. Apparently at those times Satan had not filled him as yet, but here he does. Jesus knew from the beginning Judas would betray him but he picked him anyway. Was Jesus hoping Judas would change his mind and someone outside the twelve would betray him? It is impossible to say. Jesus did know that prophecy had to be fulfilled and he would be betrayed.

Judas goes to the chief priests and the temple guards to discuss how he might betray Jesus. What reason would Judas have given for such an act? Scholars, books and movies have all speculated about his reasons but it is impossible to know. Perhaps as the movie Jesus of Nazareth suggests Judas was trying to force Jesus’ hand and take up his Messianic reign rather than continue to talk about dying and rising again. The fact is even if we knew the reason would it make any difference? Judas betrayed Jesus and there is no way to make him a sympathetic figure. Yet, even his allowing Satan to fill him and his betrayal of Jesus worked out the plan of God to save us. Ultimately even though Judas was doing Satan’s bidding he ended up doing God’s!

The chief priests cannot believe their luck in finding one of Jesus’ inner circle who would agree to turn him in when the crowds weren’t around. I wonder if they considered Judas an answer to their prayers to rid the Jews of a false Messiah? They pay him money, perhaps to soothe their own consciences and to placate Judas. Judas for his part watches for a time when Jesus will be away from the crowds so they can capture him. The die is cast.

Verses 7-23

Luke 22:7-23

Commentary On Luke 22:7-23

Galen Doughty

Luke 22:7 - The day came when the Passover lambs were sacrificed at the temple in preparation for the thousands of pilgrims who had swollen Jerusalem to eat the Passover meal. It was a time of great anticipation and Messianic hopes as well as a reminder to the Jews of who they were and what God had done for them.

Luke notes the timing of the Last Supper and the sacrifice of the lambs. The next day the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world would be sacrificed for us. Historical and prophetic threads were converging on Jesus and Jerusalem at this moment. In so many ways Jesus stepped into the prophecies and let them carry him along and yet he never once was out of control. This was what he had come to do, die for the human race to ensure our eternal life and forgiveness. Even though Satan thought he had captured Judas and would use him to destroy Jesus yet God was in total control and everything happened just as he had planned and all according to what the prophets had written. Jesus knew it too and did not run away. He let prophecy take its course. This time in Jesus’ life presents the age old tension between Jesus’ free will and God’s sovereign control of the events of history. The bottom line is both are true and Jesus submitted himself to the Father’s plan and will. That is what Gethsemane is ultimately about.

Luke 22:8-13 - Jesus asked Peter and John to go and make preparations for the Passover Feast. Those would include roasting the lamb and getting the other food ready. Presumably some of the women who traveled with them would also help with the preparations. Jesus would play host to his Kingdom family for this was a time when the Jewish people gathered as families to celebrate the feast. Was Mary already in Jerusalem? She was at the cross. Was she with Jesus that night? Were his brothers? James came to believe in Jesus later because Jesus appeared to him after the resurrection. It is impossible to know for certain but it seems likely that the family was in Jerusalem but perhaps not there in the Upper Room. How difficult would that have been for them? Here was Jesus once again showing everyone that Kingdom relationships trump earthly family relationships!

Jesus has arranged for a room where he and the disciples can celebrate the Passover out of the public eye. Tradition says it was at the home of Mary (another Mary) and John Mark, the author of the gospel and a companion of Peter, Paul and Barnabas, who was his cousin. Jesus had even arranged a signal for the disciples. Carrying a water jar was done by the women. A man carrying a water jar would have been unusual. Whether Jesus had talked to Mark’s family or sent someone else from his circle of disciples we do not know. It is clear it was not Peter or John and it is likely none of the twelve knew either because if they had surely they would have gone and prepared the meal. Jesus knows his time is short and he both wants and needs to celebrate the Passover with his disciples. That is the reason for secrecy and the need to keep Judas from giving away his position so that the temple guards don’t interrupt the feast. He is going to give the disciples the New Covenant meal, his Supper, and he does not want to be disturbed.

Peter and John go into the city. Presumably the man with the water jar is watching for them and when he spots them entering the city he goes into action. They follow him to the house and when they enter ask him where the Teacher and his disciples may celebrate the feast. He shows them the large upper room. There Peter and John make preparations. Everything is just as Jesus had said. Was the lamb already delivered? If so who went to the temple and stood in the long lines in order for it to be sacrificed in the prescribed way? We don’t know. Luke gives us tantalizing details but also leaves out much of the story. His focus will not be so much on the actual Passover Feast but on the new feast Jesus will institute that night after sundown. The first day according to Jewish reckoning of the three day countdown to Jesus’ resurrection has started!

Luke 22:14-18 - Jesus is eating the Passover feast with his disciples on Thursday night, or Friday evening by Jewish reckoning. They are all reclining at the table. Jesus is functioning as the host of the meal and would have played the part of the father in a Jewish home.

While they are eating Jesus tells them he has eagerly desired to eat this Passover with them before he suffers. Then he says he will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. It is unclear to what Jesus is referring to here. He did not eat the Passover again while he was on this earth up through his ascension. Is he referring to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb? The problem with that is the wedding feast is not a Passover Seder. It is a wedding feast. Is he talking about the Lord’s Supper? If he is it is possible he is referring to Easter evening and breaking bread with the Emmaus disciples but that is stretching things quite a bit. Another problem is Passover is a specifically Jewish holiday celebrating God’s rescue of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Its symbolism points to Jesus’ sacrifice and Paul notes that our Paschal lamb has been sacrificed, namely Jesus. The most likely meaning of Jesus’ statement here is he is relating the Passover feast to the Lord’s Supper and the Wedding Feast which will fulfill the Passover and complete it. By Jesus’ day there were Messianic elements in the Passover ritual, not the least of which was the empty chair for Elijah and the statement of next year in Jerusalem, meaning maybe the Messiah will come next year. The Messiah was here now that night in Jerusalem. Nothing else makes sense other than Jesus is expressing some sort of prophetic fulfillment of Passover in the Kingdom which would mean after his crucifixion and resurrection.

Why did he desire to eat it before he suffered? I think it is because of the fulfillment he would bring by his death and he had purposed to give his disciples, including us today, his new covenant meal, the Lord’s Supper. The setting for communion needed to be the Passover and the specific time of the night he was betrayed. Jesus had gone to great lengths to set up this Passover meal including a secret signal and arrangements beforehand with John Mark’s family for the use of the Upper Room. This was all part of his plan to show the disciples that everything that was to occur was supposed to take place. Jesus was in lock step with his Father’s will and God was completely in control even though it would appear the Jewish leaders and the Romans were in charge of Jesus. He had told them many times before they came to Jerusalem that he would be handed over to the Gentiles and they would mock him, scourge him and kill him. Then on the third day he would rise again.

His saying about the cup of wine can relate directly to after the resurrection. The gospels do not directly say Jesus drank some wine but he did eat with them and it is highly likely that he had something to drink with the meals he shared with them after the resurrection. Watered down wine would have been the most likely drink because it was the normal drink of a Jewish meal. Thus Jesus is telling them that when he next drinks wine the Kingdom of God will come. It did come after the resurrection. It did not come completely but it did come!

The reference to taking the cup here was probably to the first cup of the Passover meal. There were at least four.

Luke 22:19 - Jesus acting as the host for the feast, takes the unleavened bread of Passover and gives thanks for it. The traditional prayer would have been, blessed are you, oh Lord our God, king of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. He broke it, or tore it in two or more pieces and gave it to his disciples. Jesus as the host would then have spoken the traditional Passover words about this bread being the bread of haste that we ate in Egypt but he changes the words. Those words had been said for 1300 years whenever the Jews had celebrated Passover and Jesus changes them! He says, this is my body, Greek my soma, given for you; do this in remembrance of me, or do this remembering me. The Greek word for given is the present passive participle of didomi, to give, grant or bestow. It often carries with it the sense of giving a gift to someone. Jesus is not talking about his body as a sacrifice and he does not say this is my body broken for you. That interpretation was a late textual variant that crept into the Textus Receptus that some versions of the King James Bible used. Unfortunately the language stuck and many preachers today who introduce the Lord’s Supper use this is my body which is broken for you. That is not what Jesus said and it is not the meaning of what he was trying to teach the disciples! Bread was the sign of fellowship among the Jews and many Middle Eastern peoples. Jesus is saying his body symbolized in the bread is a gift from God. Jesus the Son of God is offering himself as THE way of fellowship with him and with the Father in heaven.

Jesus ends the bread saying with the command in the present imperative, keep on doing this as a remembrance, a recollection of me. In other words the very language Jesus uses leads the disciples to understand that this act of sharing bread together and remembering Jesus and what he did and who he was is something that the disciples need to keep on doing. By telling them this at the moment he would have shared the unleavened bread of the Passover meal and changing the words he reinforces the lesson so they do not forget it.

Luke 22:20 - After the feast Jesus takes the cup of wine for the fourth and final shared cup of the Passover ritual. Luke says in the same way, meaning he took it and gave thanks for it. Mark and Matthew report he gave thanks for it before he gave it to the disciples. Luke simply says in the same way, implying the giving of thanks. The traditional prayer would have been, blessed are you, oh Lord our God, king of the universe, who brings forth the fruit of the vine. This final cup of the Passover meal centered on the praise of God for God saving Israel from slavery, but once again Jesus changes the words! Rather than praise God for the Old Covenant that he made with his people Israel, Jesus says this cup is the New Covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Paul adds the words, do this in remembrance of me to the Corinthians in his instructions to them about the Lord’s Supper.

The significance of Jesus’ words here is monumental. He is recalling the words of Jeremiah 31 where the prophet says God will make a new covenant with the house of Israel in the last days where he will write his Law or will on their hearts and remember their sins no more. This will be a covenant that his people will not break because it will be the Lord’s doing and by his power rather than an obligation that we must keep on our own power. Thus our sins will be forgiven. Jesus links the wine with God’s new covenant but also links it to his death. The wine represents the new covenant in my blood poured out for you. The words mean death. The cup Jesus clearly links to his death and the shedding of his blood to ratify the new covenant of God with his people. In Jewish thought no covenant was made without a sacrifice and the shedding of blood. Jesus is saying he will be the sacrifice himself. Further the word for poured out is a present passive participle, implying that Jesus will be sacrificed but someone will kill him he will not kill himself. This would agree with his prophecies of his death which he spoke to the disciples before he came to Jerusalem in which he stated he would be arrested, scourged and put to death, or crucified.

Jesus’ words would also be jarring to the disciples in another way. The Jews were forbidden to drink blood by the Law because it was associated with pagan rituals. Here Jesus gives them a new ritual to do, related to the new covenant of God, where the wine symbolizes his poured out, sacrificed blood. Jesus said drink the wine not the blood, but the symbolism of the wine is clearly his blood. Did it make the disciples nervous? Did they wonder what he meant? Did some recoil at drinking the cup because Jesus directly linked it with drinking his blood? A few decades later Roman critics of Christians would claim they were cannibals that ate flesh and drank blood in their rituals because of the Lord’s Supper. At any rate because of the jarring nature of Jesus’ words, the link with the New Covenant of Jeremiah, and the fact Jesus changes the words of the last cup of the Passover meal the disciples remembered Jesus’ words, linked them with the words about the bread and very early in the church’s life began to celebrate what they called the Lord’s Supper or Lord’s Table. Later, probably because of the symbol of the bread for fellowship it became known as communion. Finally because of the prayer of thanks for both the bread and the cup the simple ritual meal became known as the Eucharist because of the Greek word for thanks, eucharisteo. Luke adds one more title to the meal based off of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearance to the disciples in Emmaus on Easter evening, the breaking of the bread.

Luke 22:21-23 - Jesus has just finished giving the disciples the cup when he announces one of them will betray him. He tells them this has been prophesied but woe or judgment is coming to the one who does it. Jesus knows this must be fulfilled but what must have been going through his mind at that moment? This was the Passover! These were his best friends! How could one of them do this?! The prophecy to which he is referring is probably Zechariah 11:12-17 or it could be more general and refer to his cross in which case Isaiah 53 is most probable. The point is right as Jesus is giving them the Lord’s Supper and telling them how much he has longed to celebrate this Passover with them he must tell them news that must have broken his heart. No wonder Gethsemane was so difficult. The full implication of human sin was coming upon the Lord that night but for Jesus it wasn’t just a spiritual reality it was personal. Judas, one of his own was going to betray him!

Verses 23-30

Luk 22:23-30

Commentary On Luke 22:24-30

Galen Doughty

Luke 22:24-27 - Luke tells us that at some point during the meal a dispute arose among them about who was greatest. The verb is an aorist of ginomai which means it "began to happen." The word for dispute is a contention. They had an argument during the Passover meal! Luke does not specifically say this immediately followed Jesus’ announcement of his betrayal which could mean the argument happened at another point in the meal. That means their argument is probably the setting for Jesus washing the disciples feet in John 13. It is possible the argument arose because they were trying to determine who was the least among them because then he would have been obligated to wash everyone’s feet. Jesus short circuits their debate by humbling himself and setting the example of service for all of them. John reports that Judas was going to betray him but had not yet left. That means that Jesus washed Judas’ feet too!

Jesus summarizes the lesson about service for the disciples by reiterating what he told them during another argument about who was the greatest earlier in his ministry. The Gentiles lord it over their subjects and call themselves Benefactors but I am among you as one who serves. Theophilus is probably Luke’s patron or benefactor. One wonders what Theophilus thought of Jesus’ words here? Jesus then asks them who is greater, the servant or the ruler? Jesus says the servant is greater because that is what he came to do and he is the Messiah! Follow my example. If you couple this with him washing their feet this was a powerful moment during the Passover meal. However, how disappointing it must have been for Jesus that he had to stop them from arguing about position and face. It was one more sign that sin was rampant in the human race and that without the cross there was absolutely no hope that people would change. Jesus’ mission was the only way! The Holy Spirit’s presence was the only hope for God’s character to grow in people and overcome sin. It would have brought him back to the lesson of the Supper he had just given them. I think he knew that over time in the months and years ahead with the Supper to help them remember they would begin to change and begin to live as Jesus had modeled for them and called them to live. It must have been a bittersweet moment for him.

Luke 22:28-30 - Given the bittersweet nature of the moment I think this is why Jesus now says what he says. The disciples have demonstrated how broken and sinful they are and yet to them Jesus says he will give the Kingdom. He says they have stood by him in his trials. That is true at least up to a point. There will come a time that night that they will all desert him. But the disciples have been with Jesus through all the hardships of his three year ministry and now this week in Jerusalem. It is to them, his friends, despite all their flaws, that he will give the Kingdom. The Father has given Jesus rule over all things and now Jesus will give them a share in his Kingdom to rule with him. It is a statement of grace because who among them deserves that Kingdom? Who among them is fit to rule with him? The dialogue with Peter that immediately follows this and Peter’s blustering about not denying Jesus is especially poignant in its timing. Even Peter does not deserve what Jesus is saying here. But the New Covenant will change them and make them fit. That is what Jesus has given them through the sign of his Supper. When he returns and takes up his reign they will rule with him and judge all Israel itself!

Luke is very purposeful in juxtapositioning these sayings and incidents during the Passover meal. There is such a contrast between what Jesus will give them and his sacrifice for them and the disciples’ behavior and petty squabblings. Jesus is going to die for them and the need for his death, resurrection and giving of the Spirit is never more apparent than here, the night he is betrayed. If he does not complete his mission sin wins, and the human race will never change. The disciples had been with Jesus for three years, eaten with him, ministered with him, shared everything with him and been sent out in his name and seen and done great things in his name. Even more so than Israel itself in the wilderness they had seen God at work in those three years. Now at the end of all of that the best they can do is argue and squabble about who is the greatest, deny him and even betray him. The disciples at the Passover feast are exhibit A for the need for internal change in the human heart and for God to something by his grace and power. Nothing else will work. We have no hope without Christ, his cross and resurrection!

Verses 24-30

Luk 22:24-30

3. STRIFE ABOUT RANK

Luke 22:24-30

24 And there arose also a contention—It is strange that this contention should be renewed at this time; it had frequently been raised among the apostles as to who should be the greatest in the kingdom. (Matthew 18:1-4; Matthew 20:20-28; Luke 9:46-48.) They were still at the Passover supper; Jesus had an-nounced that one of them should betray him; yet at this late hour the apostles raised the question and argued among themselves as to who would be the greatest. Jesus had mentioned his kingdom in connection with the institution of the Lord’s Supper; this mention of the kingdom gave the occasion for the old question to be raised. It shows that the disciples were still laboring under an erroneous conception of the kingdom; they thought that it would be an earthly kingdom, and there were still ambitious for positions of honor in that earthly kingdom. They were thinking of royalty, high positions, worldly states, and ranks in an earthly kingdom. At the supper John appears to have had a place next to Jesus Peter was not very far from him we do not know how the others were arranged. Possibly the arrangement at the supper renewed the old question and gave rise to the contention among them.

25 And he said unto them,—It seems that their contention was in the presence of Jesus; he gives them further instructions as to the nature of his kingdom. He calls attention to the fact that "the kings of the Gentiles have lordship over them"; this is the spirit of all human governments. Those who exercise the lordship over their subjects are puffed up by flattering titles such as "Benefactors." Jesus had given a sim-ilar rebuke in Matthew 20:25-26. The title "Benefactor" as used here means a "doer of good," or one who had brought a blessing to them. Rulers like for the people to think that they are "benefactors" to them.

26, 27 But ye shall not be so:—The "shall" is not in the original, and Jesus simply says: You are not to be as these Gentile kings; though they are distinguished by grace, yet they are not to love and seek superiority. On the contrary, the "greater among" them is the one who renders the greatest service to them. They should avoid the appearance of lordship; each one should he ready to do anything that will ac-commodate and serve a disciple. Jesus illustrates this principle by simply calling their attention to a common custom and courtesy among them. The one that sits at the table is honored by the one who serves; and since greatness is to be determined by service, the one who serves the most is greatest among them. He further emphasized this truth by stating: "I am in the midst of you as he that serveth." Evidently they ascribed greatness to Jesus; he was greater, in their own conception, than all the others;yet he was serving them in a way that others had not served them.

28, 29 But ye are they that have continued—His disciples had now been following him for many months; they had witnessed his many temptations, and had continued with him in his temptation. "Continued" here means "have remained through" his temptation. The life of Jesus was full of temptation. His temptation had begun soon after his baptism, and he was never free from temptation he was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15.) When Satan tempted Jesus, "he departed from him for a season" only. (Luke 4:13.) "I appoint unto you a kingdom" means that they should come into possession of the kingdom from the Father; they should attain through trials and service, even as Jesus had experienced, unto his kingdom. Jesus bequeathed as by will or testament to them the kingdom that he came to establish. This shows that they were not at this time in his kingdom, neither were they in full possession of the blessings of that kingdom; but they should through trials and sufferings attain unto it. The new dispensation was inaugurated on the first Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus; at that time the kingdom was established and these apostles became the charter members of it.

30 that ye may eat and drink at my table—Jesus has said to his disciples that since they had been with him through all of his earthly toils he would give to them high places in his kingdom of service. In the blessings and blessedness of such service, they would be preeminent, sitting upon thrones, as it were, and administering judgment. This seems to be the same thought as expressed in Matthew 19:28. Eating and drinking "at my table" in this kingdom does not merely refer to the Lord’s Supper, but the promise is that they may partake of the kingly feast upon the merits of the Redeemer, and enjoy the pleasures of the table prepared for the supply of all spiritual blessings in Christ. They should "sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." There have been various inter-pretations given to this. Some think that it means that all would be judged by the teachings of the apostles; others think that the apostles will condemn the Jews, as the Ninevites and the queen of Sheba did in former days (Luke 11:31-32);again others think that it means that the apostles should be cojudges with Christ in the judgment; still others think that it means that the apostles should be preeminent after the second coming of Christ. Paul expressed a similar thought "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?" And "angels?" (1 Corinthians 6:2-3.) There may be some truth in all of these positions; the apostles were invested with authority over the true spiritual Israel, and by their teachings all will be judged; through their teachings they continue to exercise their authority. In the final judgment they will virtually judge, for all are to be judged by the will of God expressed through the writers of the New Testament.

Verses 31-34

Luk 22:31-34

Commentary On Luke 22:31-34

Galen Doughty

Luke 22:31-34 - Jesus now tells Peter as the leader that he has prayed for Simon and for all of them. The you, of this verse is plural in Greek. He addresses Peter as Simon, his given name. I think he does this on purpose, trying to show him that he cannot be Peter on his own; he will need the Lord’s power and strength but that will only come after his cross and resurrection when the Spirit comes. Peter resists the idea and still believes he can be Peter, the rock, on his own.

Jesus tells Simon that Satan has asked to sift all of them like wheat. He desires to put them through a spiritual sieve to test them in order to destroy them. Satan wants to expose the disciples’ weaknesses. In so doing he will fulfill Zechariah’s prophecy that when the shepherd is struck the sheep will be scattered. All of what happens this night, the next day and on into Sunday will be a fulfillment of prophecy! Jesus has compassion on Peter here. He tells them Satan has asked to hurt you all, but Simon I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back strengthen your brothers. Jesus knows the disciples look to Simon as their leader and they will need him in the end to rally them and to strengthen them for what is to come. Jesus is both warning Simon here and encouraging him. He knows they will all run away in fear before this night is out.

There is something else here too. Satan has asked to sift you all like wheat. God is in charge. Jesus protects us. No trial that comes to us gets to us unless God allows it for our good in order to strengthen us and make us more like him. Sometimes those trials are awful, just as they were for Simon. Sometimes we fail, just like Simon did. Sometimes we succeed. Remember Simon did not yet have the Holy Spirit in him. Later after Pentecost when he did, he was able to meet new trials that were even harder than what he faced the night Jesus was betrayed and conquer them, including the manner in which he died. Simon became Peter because of what Jesus had done for him. All this implies there are some trials that Jesus does not allow Satan to test us with. If that is the case, then whatever we face the Lord knows we can endure it and things that will absolutely destroy us he protects us from.

Peter is not ready to accept that idea or the idea that he will fail the Lord Jesus in his hour of need. Remember Jesus has already told them one of them will betray him. They know something bad is coming. Simon in his blustery way exclaims that he is ready to go to prison and death with Jesus! Jesus’ answer speaks volumes about the real struggle going on here. He says, will you Peter, Rock? Before the rooster crows today you will deny three times that you even know me! Since it is now after sunset it is Friday by the Jewish reckoning. The rooster will crow near sunrise Friday, which is already today. Simon tries to state his courage to Jesus and tell him he will never deny him. He is the Rock! He is Peter! Jesus scolds him and warns him that if he tries to be Peter, Rock, on his own strength he will deny even knowing Jesus at all! It is even worse. He won’t even be able to acknowledge Jesus before the servant girl at Caiaphas’ house! Simon cannot be Peter in his own strength, even though he wanted to more than anything! I think he desperately wanted to prove Jesus’ choice of him as leader to Jesus and to all the disciples, but he didn’t have the strength and character on his own and in his pride he sets himself up for failure. Jesus knew this and tries to gently tell Simon that he knows he will fail as they all will. But Jesus has prayed for him and when he turns back, meaning when he comes back to Jesus and repents of his cowardice, his brothers will need his leadership and strength. This test will humble Peter as few things in his life would but he will be the stronger for it and in the end it will prepare him to receive the Holy Spirit and become the Rock that Jesus had prophesied he would be. Simon would be the Rock upon whom Jesus would found his church.

Verses 35-38

Luk 22:35-38

Commentary On Luke 22:35-38

Galen Doughty

Luke 22:35-38 - Jesus now asks them if when he sent them out two by two in mission for him did they lack anything? They say, no Lord. Now Jesus warns them that if they have a bag or a purse, take it. If they don’t have a sword, sell something and buy one. It seems such a contradiction to his earlier teachings! Jesus knows however that the time of fulfillment is at hand that is so different than the time of his mission of declaring the Kingdom with them and teaching them. He quotes Isaiah 53 that he will numbered among the transgressors and whatever is written about him will now all be fulfilled. Jesus has purposely stepped into the stream of prophecy about him. He is not manipulating events to suit his own ends, which is impossible; he is allowing them to unfold as God has prophesied to his people centuries before. He will not resist them. He will embrace the events and fulfill them. Now here he counsels the disciples to protect themselves because events must take their course. He is not saying don’t trust God but be prepared for the worst because the worst is at hand. Of course the disciples will misinterpret his words, take at least two swords, and Peter or one of the others will cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave trying to protect Jesus. Jesus does not need protecting, the disciples do. The swords are for them, not him.

The disciples say here are two swords and Jesus replies it is enough. They don’t all need to arm themselves but what they have they need to be prepared to use. He is concerned for their well-being not his own. Jesus knows nothing the disciples do or don’t do can stop his suffering and death now. Events will take place as it is written about him. This is why he came into the world, for this very moment. Jesus’ concern here is for his friends because he knows that they will be swept up into the chaos of the next few hours and he wants them to be as safe as they can be. He is not interested in taking the Kingdom of God by force. He knows it will not come that way. It will come as he submits himself to the Father’s will that he suffer and die for the sins of humanity. The disciples will misinterpret his meaning but Jesus at least tries to tell them because he loves them and has pity on them.

This is very good counsel as we near Jesus’ return. We need to continue to trust God yet protect ourselves and be prepared for the worst that might come. That means financially, physically, spiritually, emotionally and relationally we need to be prepared. I don’t think Jesus’ counsel here means I need to buy a gun, but I need to think through what might be the legal and moral challenges that lie ahead and how I can be ready for them. The truth is things are going to get much worse before they get better and the Lord returns!

Verses 39-46

Luk 22:39-46

Commentary On Luke 22:39-46

Galen Doughty

Luke 22:39-46 - Luke says Jesus went out to the Mt. of Olives and the disciples followed him. Luke and Matthew identify the place as Gethsemane, where there was an olive grove on the lower slopes of the mountain, just up from the Kidron Valley opposite the Golden Gate on the east side of the temple mount. Luke mentions the disciples are following him. The only one who isn’t is Judas who has gone to the high priests to tell them that Jesus is alone and in a place that is not public. Now is there time to arrest him.

When they reach Gethsemane Jesus asks them to pray, the Greek is in the imperative mood, in order that they not fall into temptation. Jesus knows his trial is coming and he wants the disciples to be protected. Even though he knows they will all fall away he still calls them to pray. There is always a chance that they will choose differently. We too should give people a chance to change even when we are certain they will not. This is similar to the Lord’s Prayer and lead us not into temptation.

Jesus goes about a stone’s throw away and kneels down to pray. Mark notes he took Peter, James and John with him a little farther and threw himself to the ground in prayer. Luke leaves those details out, presumably because Mark included them and here is one of those places where Luke did not feel the need to repeat what the other gospel writers had already written, especially since he was probably using Mark’s account as one of his chief sources. Jesus does not pray if it be your will, but if you are willing. In the end his prayer is focused on not my will but yours be done. Luke adds the details that an angel from heaven comes to strengthen him at this moment. He does not tell us what the angel did. He also adds that Jesus was in anguish, meaning agony of spirit. He prayed all the more earnestly or fervently. The word can mean stretched out. Now Jesus goes beyond the normal posture of prayer, kneeling, and throws himself on the ground in pain and grief over what has already happened with Judas’ betrayal and what is to come, his trial and the cross. The cup from the Father’s hand filled with the wrath of God for human sin he is about to take. His prayer in Gethsemane is one last attempt to see if there is any other way. He knows there is not, but the awful weight of what is about to occur is crushing him. Luke says his prayer is so intense that he sweats great drops of sweat like blood. Some ancient manuscripts do not have the verses about the angel and Jesus’ intense prayer, vv.43-44. The best manuscripts do.

Jesus’ wrestling in prayer with his Father over the final steps needed to save the human race, the cross, is strengthened and made ready for his trial and crucifixion. Isaiah says like a lamb before its shearers is dumb so Jesus will not speak out and defend himself. The gospels report it just that way. He speaks a few words but makes no defense before either the Sanhedrin or Pilate. Before the high priest he will even admit he is the Messiah, which condemns him to death. He does not rail against the Romans for the injustice of it all and on the cross he forgives his executioners. Whence came the strength to bear such injustice and pain? Here, in prayer, at Gethsemane; Jesus wins the battle of his soul and submits himself to his Father’s will. We need to also remember that the spiritual battles we face are most often won or lost on our knees before God before the battle is actually joined. Prayer is the key to victory just as it was for Jesus.

When he has finished praying he returns to the disciples who are fast asleep from a large meal, a late night and grief over the events of the evening. Who of them will betray Jesus? He has told Peter he will deny him three times before morning. Jesus has specifically spoken of his death again. He washed our feet as we were arguing over who was the greatest! How could we have done such a thing? What should have been a happy time of reflecting on the celebration is now tainted by sorrow, questions and grief over what they had done and their Master’s mood.

Jesus comes and asks them why are they sleeping. He commands them to pray again that they not fall into temptation, but it is too late. Judas has come with the temple guards. Jesus has submitted himself to the Father’s will and Isaiah says it was the will of the Lord to crush him and sacrifice his One and Only Son for us. Events will now play out just as God has planned them, and the Son of Man will be crucified for you and me. It will appear for a time that Satan has won, but Jesus is the true victor. His battle has been fought and won in prayer.

Verses 47-53

Luk 22:47-53

Commentary On Luke 22:47-53

Galen Doughty

Luke 22:47-53 - While Jesus is exhorting the disciples to wake up and keep praying so they don’t fall into temptation Judas arrives with a contingent of temple guards along with some of the chief priests and Sanhedrin. He approaches Jesus to give him the kiss of greeting and Jesus challenges him, asking him if he is betraying the Son of Man with a kiss. It is as if Jesus is giving Judas one last chance to turn back rather than betray him. Judas’ betrayal was prophesied and must be fulfilled but our actions are never determined; we always have a free choice. God does not remove that from us. Satan is the one who tries to control us and remove our freedom. Judas seals his fate by kissing Jesus and handing him over to the guards.

The disciples see what is going on and ask Jesus if they should defend him and fight. One of them doesn’t wait for the Lord’s answer but strikes the high priest’s slave, cutting off his ear. John’s gospel reports that it was Peter and the high priest’s slave was named Malchus. Jesus takes control of the moment before it gets out of hand and stops it. He is trying to protect the disciples and even the guards who have come to arrest him. He heals the slave’s ear and questions the guards and religious leaders who have come in the night to arrest him. He asks them if he is leading a rebellion that they have come with swords and clubs. He points out their cowardice in noting that every day he had been teaching in the temple courts and they have had ample opportunity to take him. Then he adds, this is your hour, when darkness reigns. The Greek word translated reigns is exousia, which means power or authority. Literally the sentence reads, but this is your hour and the power of darkness. The New Living translates it: but this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns. Jesus’ implication is God has handed over authority of his Son to the power of darkness, to Satan and the forces of spiritual evil represented in Gethsemane by Judas, the guards and the religious officials. This is all part of God’s plan and Jesus has done the best he could in protecting his friends and minimizing violence during his arrest. The swords Jesus had spoken about had been to protect the disciples from harm. They had unfortunately tried to protect Jesus and had wounded the high priest’s slave. Once again the disciples do not understand what is going on and they misinterpret Jesus’ instructions to them.

For Jesus this was a long anticipated moment but it must have been incredibly sad and disappointing. Judas had actually betrayed him. The disciples had misunderstood him again and almost gotten someone killed. The leaders of the Jewish faith had shown their ultimate allegiance and sided with the devil himself, willing to do anything to get rid of Jesus and preserve their power. They had displayed their cowardice and Jesus had exposed them. Now Jesus submits himself to their power and control. It appears on the surface that he is helpless and bereft of freedom and the power to do anything to stop them. Yet, if one probes deeper into Luke’s narrative it is Jesus who is in complete control and the Jewish leaders are the ones being manipulated and controlled by outside forces, namely the powers of darkness. Who was truly free that night, the Jewish leaders or Jesus? Luke’s answer is Jesus. He goes willingly to his suffering and death.

Verses 54-62

Luk 22:54-62

Commentary On Luke 22:54-62

Galen Doughty

Luke 22:54-55 - The soldiers, meaning the temple guards, along with the high priests and officials take Jesus to Caiaphas’ house, the villa of the high priest. It is to the south above the Kidron Valley looking somewhat northeast to the Mt. of Olives. It is in the old city or City of David. The ancient road runs the length of the Kidron Valley from Gethsemane south down the valley to some steps that turn west and lead up out of the valley to Caiaphas’ house. Those steps still exist today and would have been the very steps the soldiers took to lead Jesus to the high priest’s residence. In the lower levels under the modern church is a dungeon where prisoners were kept for interrogation. It is likely Jesus was held there for a time as the rest of the Sanhedrin was hastily called together for a trial. There are holes in the stone in that dungeon that the chains for prisoners would be attached through in order to hold them. Jesus was probably attached to these chains and kept there. The Son of God was chained like a common criminal in the dungeon of the house of the high priest of Israel!

Peter follows the whole procession at a distance. It was dark and he probably hung back in the shadows far enough so that he was not seen. John’s gospel says another disciple also went with Peter. Some believe that was John although he does not identify that disciple as the one Jesus loved which is his normal saying. John reports that this disciple knew the high priest. It is highly unlikely that John, a young fisherman from Galilee, knew the high priest and his family. It is unclear therefore which disciple went with Peter. Peter joins the guards around a fire in the courtyard of Caiaphas’ house. The gospels don’t tell us what he hoped to do in following Jesus. However, it is probable that he was holding himself to his statement that he would never deny Jesus and would even go to prison or death for him. As we shall see Peter could not hold to his promise and in all likelihood he was very afraid in that courtyard sitting around the fire with the very guards who had arrested Jesus and took him away.

Luke 22:56-60 - A servant girl comes through the courtyard, perhaps offering water or wine to the guards or even food, it is unclear. She sees Peter, stares at him and exclaims this man was with Jesus. How did she know that? Had she seen Peter with Jesus in the temple? It is almost certain that she was not with the guards and the priests in Gethsemane a few hours earlier. It was late Friday night and a lone woman would not be out after dark with a group of men. It is most likely she had seen Jesus at the temple teaching and recognized Peter as one of his disciples. Her identifying Peter must have caused him to panic, because when she points him out to the guards he says, woman I don’t know him! The disciple who had sworn he would even die with Jesus now in his panic and fear cannot even declare his loyalty to his Lord to a servant girl. What must have been going through his head after those words came out of his mouth? Perhaps at this point Peter began to think coming into the courtyard sitting with the guards may not have been such a good idea.

A little later a man, perhaps a guard, but someone in the courtyard says you were also one of them. Again Peter denies it. Man I am not! About an hour later another asserted that Peter was with Jesus because he is a Galilean. Peter vehemently responds with, I don’t know what you are talking about! At least one other gospel reports Peter cursing at this point. How did the man know Peter was a Galilean? Perhaps there was something in his dress or smell or more likely accent to his speech. There was some identifying mark that led the man to identify Peter as from Galilee. Notice also that Luke says at least an hour had passed from the second denial to the third. All that time Jesus is being held below in the dungeon and Peter is in the courtyard with the guards. Is he talking? Is he being silent? My guess is he was talking because the man says he is from Galilee and I think Peter’s speech gave him away. Peter has now denied his Lord three times in fear and panic. Just as he finishes denying the Lord for the third time the rooster crows. Jesus’ prophecy has come true. Peter has been unable to stand firm for his Lord.

Luke 22:61-62 - The rooster crows and only Luke adds the detail that Jesus looked straight at Peter. What does that mean and how did that happen? The only reasonable explanation is that the Sanhedrin had finally gathered inside the house and the guards were moving Jesus from the dungeon below the house up into the area where the high priests and the elders would hear Jesus’ case. They must have chosen to take Jesus through the courtyard or perhaps that was the normal route from the dungeon to the upper levels of Caiaphas’ home. We don’t know. But Luke tells us that just at that moment when the rooster crowed Jesus was being led bound through the courtyard and he happens to spot Peter and look at him. What was communicated in that look? Disgust, anger, I told you so; or compassion, love and forgiveness? I think it is the latter because that is the character of Jesus. I think Jesus’ look communicated his love to Peter, his disappointment that he had fallen, because Jesus knows. And I think by his look he is trying to help Peter remember his words to him that after he has fallen, keep faith and strengthen his brothers. They still need him.

For Peter, Jesus’ look must have slain him because Luke tells us it is at that moment that Peter remembers Jesus’ words that before the rooster crows he will deny Jesus three times. Peter had said no Lord I will go to prison and even die for you! But he had not. Peter, the Rock, had failed. Jesus was right, he was only Simon after all and he would never be Peter on his own. Despite his protestations to the contrary he was a coward, not even able to affirm his love and friendship to Jesus to a servant girl. He was not the Rock and the amazing destiny Jesus had given him that day at Caesarea Philippi, telling him that Jesus’ church would be founded on Peter and his faith, was never going to happen. They had arrested his Lord and he couldn’t stop it. I think at that moment Peter knows the Sanhedrin are going to kill Jesus; they will find a way to execute him. He has lost his courage, his honor, his destiny and his Lord. Everything was lost. Peter flees out into the night and breaks down weeping. My guess is he had never felt lower in his life than at that moment. And Jesus is now utterly alone.

Verses 63-71

Luk 22:63-71

Commentary On Luke 22:63-71

Galen Doughty

Luke 22:63-65 - Jesus’ Jewish guards ridicule him and strike him. They beat him and mistreat him, which should not have been allowed. It appears that this took place while he was in the dungeon of Caiaphas’ house awaiting trial before the whole Sanhedrin. The guards blindfolded him then demanded that he tell them who hit him. They mocked his being a prophet. This was the beginning of Jesus’ harsh treatment and sufferings.

By the time Jesus is led before the council he has been up all night, beaten about the face, and mocked mercilessly. Isaiah 53 is beginning to be fulfilled in Jesus’ sufferings.

Luke 22:66-71 - At daybreak or dawn the Sanhedrin has hastily assembled at Caiaphas’ house. This was not the normal place of meeting nor was it the normal time. This is obviously a special meeting called just for the purpose of trying and condemning Jesus. Many of the Sanhedrin’s leaders had been plotting to get rid of Jesus for some time and my guess is this emergency plan had already been thought through and procedures were in place to call the meeting if they could succeed in arresting Jesus and holding him. Based on later tradition and what we learn from Josephus about the procedures in the Sanhedrin Jesus’ trial before them violated their own rules. It was an illegal trial and meeting by the Sanhedrin’s own standards!

They lead Jesus before them and move right to the salient question: is Jesus the Messiah? They demand an answer from him. The curious thing is they have heard his claims already many times. Earlier in his ministry John records two times during the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles when Jesus claimed to be the Messiah right in the temple! Now however in their sham trial they want Jesus to declare it in his testimony so they can condemn him. Jesus refuses to directly tell them. Luke records his words, which must have come from Joseph, Nicodemus or someone else who was there. Jesus basically says you won’t believe me no matter what I say, meaning you have rejected me as Messiah so why answer your question. Then he adds a Messianic statement using his favorite title, Son of Man, referring back to the picture of the Son of Man in Daniel 7:13-14 . There the Son of Man is led to the throne of God and given an everlasting dominion, the Kingdom of God. Jesus doesn’t directly say I am the Messiah, but then says you will see me as Messiah and Son of Man at the right hand of God. The questioners ask him directly if he is the Son of God, which would mean Jesus is God and he answers you are right in saying I am. In Greek the “I am” is ego eimi, I AM, the Greek words for Yahweh. Jesus claims to be God before the Sanhedrin!

The chief priests and other elders present shout out that they need no more witnesses because Jesus has condemned himself out of his own mouth! He is guilty of the worst sort of blasphemy by claiming to be God and Messiah!

Luke’s version of the trial is somewhat different than the other gospels. Mark and Matthew add the testimony of false witnesses that were brought against Jesus, especially the charge that he would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. Also they have Jesus being struck by some in the Sanhedrin and not the temple guards as Luke does. Luke’s version is somewhat shorter and this may again be one of those places where Luke felt he didn’t need to add all the details the other gospels did because Theophilus could read Mark or Matthew. The bottom line is Jesus is condemned and led off to Pilate because the Sanhedrin wants him executed and the Roman governor still held the authority to do that. Plus if the Romans execute Jesus the Sanhedrin can say they didn’t do it the Romans did it.

Questions by E.M. Zerr For Luke Chapter Twenty-Two

1. What feast was drawing nigh?

2. Tell what the priests and scribes sought to do.

3. By what were they kept back from their plans ?

4. Who conspired with Satan at this time?

5. On what consideration did he promise to act?

6. Under what circumstances did he wish to act?

7. What was to be killed about this time ?

8. On what errand did Peter and John go?

9. What directions did Jesus give them?

10. For what room were they to inquire?

11. Did they make all preparations?

12. How many were present at this feast?

13. What desire did Jesus express to them?

14. Did Jesus eat of this passover?

15. What form of drink was used with this feast?

16. Did Jesus partake of this drink?

17. It was his last to eat and drink till when?

18. After saying this what did he take again ?

19. Tell what he called it.

20. Who ate of it ?

21. For what purpose was it to be eaten?

22. What was taken next?

23. Tell what he called it.

24. What evil hand did he then announce ?

25. What had been determined?

26. But upon whom would woe descend ?

27. What inquiry did they make?

28. About what did the disciples strive?

29. What people were they thus imitating?

30. Tell how they should be different.

31. How was the humility of Jesus here shown?

32. In what had the disciples continued?

33. For this what was to be appointed for them?

34. Where were they to eat?

35. What authority was to be given them?

36. Tell the announcement Jesus made to Peter.

37. What had Jesus done on behalf of Peter’s faith?

38. What was he exhorted to do afterward?

39. Tell the rash declaration Peter made.

40. And the prediction Jesus made to this.

41. What acknowledgment of providence did they make?

42. Tell what change is now necessary.

43. Why was this so?

44. What things must have their end or purpose ?

45. Why were two swords enough ?

46. From here where did they go?

47. Was this his first to come here ?

48. When here what did he exhort them to do?

49. Withdrawing a short distance what did he do?

50. State the subject of his prayer.

51. On what condition did he place it?

52. Who administered to him now ?

53. What caused the increase of earnestness?

54. Had his body been attacked yet ?

55. Where could the agony be located, in body or mind ?

56. Did Jesus sweat blood?

57. What fell to the ground?

58. Tell what it was compared to.

59. Coming back what did he find them doing?

60. What caused them to do this?

61. Repeat his exhortation.

62. At this moment who came?

63. By whom were they led?

64. For what purpose did he come near Jesus ?

65. What remark did Jesus then make?

66. Tell what defense was offered to him.

67. What did he do and say about this?

68. What did he say to the priests and elders?

69. With what was the multitude armed?

70. Had necessity for such been indicated?

71. Tell what previous opportunities they had.

72. What makes the difference ?

73. Where did they then take Jesus?

74. Tell what Peter did.

75. Describe the weather condition at this time.

76. Where did Peter take his seat?

77. What was said to him?

78. How did he answer?

79. What prediction did Peter then fulfill ?

80. And what fowl fulfilled a prediction?

81. How was Peter reminded of this ?

82. What did he then do?

83. Tell what they next did to Jesus.

84. How did they test his knowledge ?

85. In what manner did they speak many things

86. Where did they take him in the morning?

87. What question did they here ask him?

88. Did he answer direct?

89. Of what did he accuse them ?

90. What announcement did he then make?

91. To their next question how did he answer?

92. At this, what did they accuse him ?

Luke Chapter Twenty-Two

By Ralph L. Starling

The Priests & Scribes were making plans to kill Him

When Judas appeared and bargained to betray Him

Peter and John were preparing the Passover feast

They found an upper room where they could eat.

When all was ready He sat down with the twelve

He would not eat again until the Kingdom was fulfilled

He took the bread to represent His body

And then the cup of wine representing His blood

After giving thanks for the cup and the bread

“Do this in memory of me after I’m dead”

The hand of my betrayer is here at the table

The disciples looked at each other, “Who could be able?”

Later, an argument, “Who is the greatest?”

Jesus said, “He that would be a servant.”

Turning to Peter, “The Devil will sift you like wheat”

Peter said, “I’ll go with you even to death”

He reminded them how He had sent them away

Taking no shoes, clothes, or money to pay

He asked how did they do, They said, “Just fine!”

“Now get together all you need for the next time”

“The time is com that I’ll not be around”

He retired to Mt. Olives and there kneeled down

He prayed to His Father to spare him the “cup”

But the Father’s will, not His, must be done up

Judas appeared and betrayed Him with a kiss

One of the disciples couldn’t resist

He took his sword and cut off a servant’s ear

Jesus touched him and healed him right there

They took Him to the Priest’s house, Peter with them

A maid seeing Peter said, “This man was with Him”

Peter denied and later denied Him again twice

The 3rd time Jesus eyed him, “See, I was right!”

After torturing him He was taken to the council

They quizzed Him demanding that He answer

He said, “If I answer, you will not believe

Nor will you answer me or let me leave”

With that they asked, “Are you God’s Son?”

He said, “That’s what you say I am”

They quickly said, “We need no further to plead

Out of His own mouth we heard what we need”

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Luke 22". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/luke-22.html.
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