Luke 22:47-53 Betrayal And Arrest In Gethsemane.
This begins a bitter chapter in the life of Jesus, and also that of His disciples. He had just prayed earnestly that what was about to transpire might be avoided, but it was the Father’s will that what was written would now find fulfillment, namely that His Servant would be “numbered with the transgressors” (v. 37 Cf. Is. 53:12; Jn. 12:27). The multitudes still gathered to hear Jesus speak, but now there was a turning point (Cf. Lk. 19:47-48), hinging on the betrayal of one of Jesus’ closest disciples-Judas, who Jesus knew would betray Him with a kiss (vv. 47-48 Cf. Pr. 27:6; Jn. 18:1-11; Acts 1:16-17). “When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, ‘Lord, shall we strike with the sword’” (v. 49)?
Remember, before they began their journey to the Mt. of Olives, he told His disciples that two swords were enough. Jesus wanted them to simply have enough to defend themselves, it was never His intention to extend His kingdom with the sword. Now we see a test for them, and one of them failed by striking the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. However, Jesus healed this servant, even as he was part of the crowd who sought His arrest (vv. 50-51 Cf. Mt. 26:51-54). Ultimately the crowd and Judas himself, were led by the apostate Jewish leadership (v. 52 Cf. Mt. 26:55). What Jesus says to them is that they could only do what they were then about to do, because God alone chose the time (v. 53).
Luke 22:39-46 Praying For Strength And The Father’s Will.
As was His custom, Jesus went to Mt of Olives, and He said to his disciples that they should pray that they would not enter into temptation (vv. 39-40, 46). Meanwhile Jesus prayed to be spared the cross, but ultimately that the Father’s will would be done (vv. 41-42 Cf. Jn. 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:29). This required great earnestness on His part, even to sweating “like great drops of blood” (v. 44 Cf. Heb. 5:7). We can see echoes of the model prayer which the Lord gave earlier. Prayer was to the Father (Lk. 11:2), that His kingdom would come and His will would be done (11:3a), as Jesus prayed, while His disciples were to pray that they would not succumb to temptation (v. 4). We read that the Father sent an angel to strengthen Jesus, but the disciples could not even stay awake (vv. 45-46 Cf. Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42). Like these disciples, we need to go from falling asleep to awakening to the need to avoid temptation and seeking the Father’s will.
Luke 22:35-38 He Supplies.
The Lord reminded His disciples, that despite not taking supplies for their journeys, that they did not lack in any need (v. 35). They were workers who were worthy of having their needs supplied (Mt. 10:9-10). However, He also warned them that there were some who would not so regard them, and in this case they needed to take care of their own needs, because they would not treat them any better than they treated Him (vv. 36-37). They were also encouraged to defend themselves with two swords, but two swords was enough. He wasn’t calling upon His followers to raise up an army to fight a literal war (v. 38). Many things still needed to be fulfilled, and there would be an end to the then present ministry. The central focus of what needed to be fulfilled, was that he be “numbered with the transgressors” (Is. 53:12), and this would be the core of the gospel message, which some would receive and support, and some would not.
Luke 22:31-34 Standing Up Under Satanic Trials.
Peter serves as a perfect example of what sometimes occurs in the lives of the saints. The Lord, surely wanting to get his attention, uses Peter’s original name of Simon or Simeon, which meant “he has heard,” and He certainly wanted him to hear and pay attention for He said it twice. The Lord wanted to let Peter in on a secret-Satan had asked to sift him as wheat, much like Job of old (v. 31 Cf. Amos 9:9; I Pet. 5:8). As in the case of Job, so also with Peter the rock, the Lord does not refuse Satan’s request. Instead we read that the Lord assures Peter that He has prayed for him that his faith would remain through the trial (v. 32). Furthermore, one of the purposes of this was that Peter might go on to strengthen his brethren (Cf. Jn. 21:15-17). As was typical, Peter was brimming with self-confidence (v. 33). However, Jesus made clear that the trial would result in a “return” of sorts for Peter, suggesting as it does a turning away from His Lord. This is in fact what the Lord would predict-that a rooster would crow after Peter denied Him three times (v. 34 Cf. Jn. 13:37-38).
As with Peter, so with all of us, we often pray that a particular cup might pass from us, but the Lord is already praying not that we escape the trial, but that our faith endure through it, often so that we may strengthen our fellow believers thereby. We should never forget that the Lord continually makes intercession for His own (Heb. 7:25 Cf. Jn. 17:9, 11, 15). However, we so often are like Peter and think that we are just fine and are prepared for any trial that might come our way. Yet here we are reminded that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). This is why we must “put on the whole armor of God” that we “may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (v. 11). This was and remains in fact Jesus’ prayer, that we “take up the whole armor of God,” that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand” (v. 13). Let us not forget that He is praying for us that our faith will stand the test.
Luke 22:24-30 Greatness.
It looks like the disciples finally figured that their leader and their cause was gaining steam. If things kept going as they were they were all going to be famous. It really went to their heads. They started disputing among themselves who would be the greatest among them, next to Jesus of course (v. 24 Cf. Mk. 9:33-37). From Jesus’ response we can see that they needed to learn that His kingdom would not be like that of the Gentiles-they needed a Christian view of leadership. The former take great pains to enforce their leadership-their “lordship” over others, and to have those whom they lord over to see them as “benefactors” (v. 25 Cf. Mk.10:41-45). Christ’s view of leadership was the very opposite.
Like the younger person’s deference to their elders, or the servant’s duty to their governor, the Christian is one whose leadership is to be one of service (v. 26 Cf. Lk. 9:48; I Pet. 5:3). Christ presents Himself as the example for all His disciples to follow. He came as one who serves, like a waiter serving those seated at the table (v. 27 Cf. Lk. 12:37; Phil. 2:7). His closest disciples were those who continued with Him in all His trials (v. 28 Cf. Heb. 2:18; 4:15). They had a living example of the kind of leadership that He had in view. It is this kind of kingdom which the Father “bestowed” on Him and which He has bestowed on His disciples (v. 29 Cf. Mt. 24:47).
However, He says of the twelve in particular, that they will sit on thrones at His table, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (v. 30 Cf. Mt. 8:11; Rev. 3:21). So as they sojourned in this world, their leadership was to be one of service. Our call is to exalt Christ. Like John the Baptist, we must decrease and he must increase. We also must not lose sight of Jesus’ reference to eating and drinking at His table in the kingdom, for this is the Christian Passover which he has just celebrated with them-the Lord’s supper (vv. 7-23). It is this new covenant meal which Jesus would not celebrate again until it was “fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (v. 16), “the marriage supper of the lamb” (Rev. 19:9).
Luke 22:7-23 The Lord’s Supper-The Christian Passover.
The Day of unleavened bread was the day when the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed (vv. 7-8). This is what Jesus came to fulfill. This also speaks to the conditions surrounding the practice of this celebration and who may or may not participate (Cf. Ex. 12). Paul reiterated this point. “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast…with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Cor. 5:7-8; 10:16; 11:23-26). This was the supper Jesus would share with His disciples (vv. 9-13 Cf. Mt. 26:17-19). Just as we now call the Sabbath ‘the Lord’s Day’, what we call ‘the Lord’s Supper’ is the Christian Passover. Not only were they partaking of the Passover at this time, but Jesus said that He would eat of it again when “it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (v. 16 Cf. Mk. 14:25). Jesus did not abolish the Passover, He fulfilled it and continues it in His kingdom (Cf. Rev. 19:9).
The unleavened Passover bread, that is, without sin, found fulfillment in the body of Christ offered once for all, which we also partake of in remembrance of Him (v. 19 Cf. Heb. 9:25-28; I Pet. 2:24). The cup which Jesus took was the cup of the Passover, this is what He gave thanks for and had distributed among the twelve (v. 17). Again, He would not drink of it again “until the kingdom of God comes” (v. 18). This was now the meal of the new covenant fulfilled. “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (v. 20). Yet not all those who partook of this outward administration of the covenant were children of promise (vv. 21-22 Cf. Mt. 26:23-24; Jn. 13:21). Judas had made his promise to another (v. 6 Cf. Mk. 14:17-18). Nevertheless, this was according to God’s sovereign will and purpose (Cf. Acts 2:23). Apparently Satan’s possession of him was not obvious to the rest (vv. 3, 23 Cf. Jn. 13:26-27).
Luke 22:1-6 Leadership, Satan, Judas, And Promises Made.
It was no coincidence that Luke places this plot to kill Jesus at the time that the Passover was approaching. Matthew said that this was something which was meant to come to pass. “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified” (26:2). His death, and the shedding of His blood, would be the reason why death would not rule over His people. The chief priests and scribes were looking for an opportune time to have Him killed, but they feared the people (v. 2). The people knew that unlike their leaders with their selfish agenda, Jesus spoke with authority and came to serve.
This was ultimately a spiritual war, just like the one we wage. “Satan entered Judas” (v. 3a). This was no typical demon possession. Satan himself entered Judas. This was one of their own, “numbered among the twelve” (v. 3b). It was not only with Judas that the apostate Jewish leadership worked, but it was with Satan himself (v. 4). Note this well-they were glad to receive His word and support his plan-the exact opposite of their response to Christ. They “agreed to give him money” (v. 5). They promised money, Judas promised betrayal (v. 6 Cf. Mk. 14:10-11; Ps. 41:9; Zech. 11:12). Judas broke whatever promise he made to follow Jesus.
Luke 21:29-38 The Fig Tree And The Day Of Judgment.
Everything Jesus said about the last days of the old covenant era, also spoke to the vengeance of covenant lawsuit judgment on apostate Israel who rejected their Messiah. This is the fig tree of this parable (vv. 29-31). Everything that preceded, Jesus made clear would come upon that generation (v. 32). He also made clear that His words were as secure as the rest of the scriptures (v. 33). The fact is that these events did indeed take place with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD., in fulfillment also of the words of the prophet Daniel (9:26-27). Those whom Jesus addressed directly were to take heed, that they might endure to the end and escape the ultimate punishment (vv. 34-36). Given what follows in the next chapter, and what He has just taught concerning the apostate Jewish leadership, it would appear that He was not safe anywhere near the temple precincts at night (vv. 37-38).
Luke 21:5-28 The Last Days.
The immediately preceding teaching was taking place in the temple precincts. Some drew attention to the temple itself, how it was “adorned with beautiful stones and donations” (v. 5). This was also the context of what Jesus had said concerning the rich giving to the treasury (21:1), and the widow’s two mites (vv. 2-4). What follows now is Jesus teaching concerning the temple’s future. As impressive as it no doubt looked, there were some standing in its precincts who would see its destruction (Cf. Mt. 24:33-34). What comes in largely prophetic apocalyptic language in Matthew, comes in more straight forward historical descriptives in Luke.
Before the destruction of the temple there would arise false Christs (vv. 8-9), wars (v. 10), natural upheavals (vv. 11, 25-26), persecution of His disciples (v. 12), all of which will occasion the opportunity for witness bearing to the gospel of the kingdom (vv. 13-17). Yet, in the midst of this persecution, Jesus promises them that if they are patient they will lose nothing (vv. 18-19). What Matthew called “ ‘the abomination of desolation’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet,” Luke informs us is “Jerusalem surrounded by armies” (v. 20 Cf. Mt. 24:15). These were signs which those present could and should indeed look for as their cue to flee the area of Judea (v. 21). It will be harder for those who are pregnant (v. 23).
This desolation, “are the days of vengeance that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (v. 22). “Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles,” which indeed happened when the armies of Rome overtook the city (v. 24). This all describes what Jesus called “the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (v. 27). “He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering” (Dan 9:27). “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself” (Dan. 9:26). This would bring to a close the last days of the old covenant era when Messiah would “make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy” (Dan. 9:24).
Luke 20:45-21:4 Contrasting Devotion.
Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, and contrasted them with a humble giving widow. He warned the disciples, in the hearing of all the people, that the pompous arrogant pride of the scribes was something to be avoided. They loved receiving the adulation of the people, wearing the best clothes, and taking the best places at feasts and in the synagogues. They thought that their long prayers was a reflection of their sincerity. They also devoured widow’s houses, extracting what little resources the widow would have, in order to support their lavish lifestyle (Cf. 11:43; Mt. 23:1-7, 14; Mk. 12:38-40). This contrasted directly with the widow who gave her two mites, two small copper coins. She gave out of her poverty, what amounted to a huge part of what she needed to live, unlike those who gave out of their riches (Mk. 12:41-44).