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Bible Commentaries

Godet's Commentary on Selected Books

Luke 22

Introduction

Conclusion regarding the Day of Jesus' Death.

It follows from the exegesis of chap. 22 and 23, that according to the Syn., as well as according to John, the day of Jesus' death was not the first and great day of the paschal Feast (15th Nisan), but the day before (or preparation), the 14th Nisan, which that year was a Friday, and so, at the same time, the preparation for the Sabbath. Hence it follows also that the last Feast of Jesus took place on the evening between the 13th and 14th, and not on the evening between the 14th and 15th, when the whole people celebrated the paschal Feast. Such is the result to which we are brought by all the passages examined.: Luke 22:7-42.22.15; Luke 22:66, Luke 23:26; Luke 23:53-42.23.56; Matthew 26:5; Matthew 26:18; Matthew 27:62; Mark 14:2; Mark 15:42; Mark 15:46; so that, on the main question, it appears to us that exegetically there can be no doubt, seeing that our four Gospel accounts present no real disagreement. The fact, therefore, stands as follows: On the 13th, toward evening, Jesus sent the two disciples most worthy of His confidence to prepare the paschal Feast; in the opinion of all the rest, this was with a view to the following evening, when the national Feast was to be celebrated. But Jesus knew that by that time the hour would be past for His celebrating this last Passover. This same evening, therefore, some hours after having sent the two disciples, He seated Himself at the table prepared by them and by the master of the house. There was in this a surprise for the apostles, which is probably referred to by Luke 22:15: “ With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer. ” Above all, it was a surprise to Judas, who had resolved to give Him up this same evening. This anticipation on the part of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath and of the whole law ( Luk 6:5 ), involved nothing less than the abrogation of the paschal Feast and of the ancient covenant.

This exegetical result agrees fully with Jewish tradition. In Bab. Sanhedr. 43. 1, it is expressly said (Caspari, p. 156): “Jesus was executed on the eve of the Passover. A public crier had proclaimed for 70 days that a man was to be stoned for having bewitched Israel and seduced it into schism; that he who had anything to say for his justification should present himself and testify for him; but no one appeared to justify him. Then they crucified him on the evening [the eve] of the Passover ( בְּעֶרֶבפֶּסַח ).” This last expression can denote nothing but the evening preceding the Passover, as עֶרֶבהַשּׁבָת , evening of the Sabbath, never denotes anything but Friday evening.

This view seems also to be that which prevailed in the Church in the most ancient times, as we see from Clement of Alexandria, who lived when primitive tradition was not yet effaced, and who professes without hesitation the same opinion.

It is, moreover, in keeping with the admirable symbolism which is the character of all God's works. Jesus dies on the afternoon of the 14th, at the very moment when the paschal lamb was slain in the temple. He rests in the tomb on the 15th Nisan, a day doubly Sabbatic that year, as being Saturday and the first day of the Feast. This day of rest, so exceptionally solemn, divides the first creation, which is terminating, from the second, which is beginning. Jesus rises on the morrow, 16th Nisan, the very day on which there was offered in the temple the first sheaf cut in the year, the first fruits of the harvest.

Is it not to this symbolism that St. Paul himself alludes in the two passages: “Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us” ( 1Co 5:7 ); and: “Every one in his own order; Christ, the first fruits; afterwards they that are His, at His coming” ( 1Co 15:23 )? It is probable, also, that if St. Paul had regarded the night on which Jesus instituted the Holy Supper as the same on which Israel celebrated the Passover, he would not have designated it simply ( 1Co 11:23 ) as that on which our Lord was betrayed.

The only further question which may yet appear doubtful, is whether the compilers of our three synoptic narratives had a clear view of the real course of events. They have faithfully preserved to us the facts and sayings which help us to make it out; but is there not some confusion in their minds? Was not this last feast of Christ, which had all the features of an ordinary paschal Feast, and in which He had instituted the Supper as the counterpart of the Israelitish rite, confounded in the traditional accounts with the national paschal Feast? And has not this confusion exercised a certain influence on the account of the Syn.? This, at least, is the difference which exists between them and John: they relate simply, without concerning themselves about the difference between this last Supper and the Israelitish paschal Feast; while John, who sees this confusion gaining ground, expressly emphasizes the distinction between the two.

As to the bearing of this question on the paschal controversy of the second century, and on the authenticity of the Gospel of John, it may be explained in two ways: Either the event celebrated by the Asiatics was, as is natural, the death of Christ (Steitz), and not the fact of the institution of the Supper (Baur), and hence it would follow, in entire harmony with the fourth Gospel, that they regarded the 14th, and not the 15th, as the day of the crucifixion (this is the explanation which we have advocated in the Comment. sur Jean); or it may be maintained, as is done by M. E. Schürer (whose dissertation on this question leaves little to be desired), that the Asiatic rite was determined neither by the day on which the Holy Supper was instituted, nor even by that on which Christ died, but solely by the desire of keeping up in the churches of Asia, for the Holy Easter Supper, the day on which the Law ordained the paschal Feast to be celebrated. In this case, the Asiatic rite neither contradicted nor confirmed John's narrative; it had no connection with it.

From this determination of the day of the month on which Jesus died, it remains for us to draw a conclusion regarding the year of that event. The result obtained is, that in that year the 13th Nisan, the preparation for the Passover and the day of the crucifixion, fell on a Friday, and the day of the Passover, 14th Nisan, on a Saturday. Now, it follows from the calculations of Wurm (Bengel's Archiv. 1816, ii.), and of Oudemann, Professor of Astronomy at Utrecht ( Revue de théol. 1863, p. 221), whose results differ only by a few minutes, that in the years from 28 to 36 of our era, in one of which the death of Jesus must have fallen, the day of the Passover, 15th Nisan, was a Saturday only in 30 and 34 (783 and 787 A.U.C.). If, then, Jesus was born (vol. i. p. 126) at the end of 749 or the beginning of 750 A.U.C., 3-4 years before our era; if He was baptized in the course of His 30th year ( Luk 3:23 ); if His ministry lasted about 2 1/2 years (John); if, finally, His death took place, as all the evangelists attest, at the feast of Passover: this Passover must have been that of the year 30 of our era (783 A.U.C.). The result of astronomical calculation thus confirms the gospel statements, especially those of John. And we can fix the date of Christ's death on Friday the 14th Nisan (7th April) of the year 30.

Verses 1-6

First Cycle: The Preparation for the Passion, Luke 22:1-42.22.46 .

This cycle comprehends the three following events:

Judas preparing for the Passion by selling Jesus; Jesus preparing His disciples for it at His last supper; His preparing Himself for it by prayer in Gethsemane.

I. The Treachery of Judas: 22:1-6.

Vers. 1-6. The resolution of the Sanhedrim was taken. The only question for it henceforth was that of the how ( τὸ πῶς , Luk 22:2 ). Its perplexity arose from the extraordinary favour which Jesus enjoyed with the people, particularly with the crowds who had come from Galilee and from abroad; the rulers feared a popular rising on the part of those numerous friends who had come from a distance with Him, and of whom they did not feel themselves the masters, as they did of the population of Jerusalem. So, according to Matthew and Mark, they said in their conclaves, “ Not during the feast,” which may signify either before, ere the multitudes are fully assembled, or after, when they shall have departed, and they shall be again masters of the field. But it was in exact keeping with the divine plan that Jesus should die during the feast ( ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ ); and the perfidy of Judas, the means which the rulers thought they could use to attain their end, was that of which God made use to attain His.

It appears from Mat 26:2 and Mar 14:1 that it was Wednesday when the negotiation between Judas and the Sanhedrim took place. Luke and Mark omit the words of Jesus (Matthew), “ In two days is the Passover...” But those two days appear in Mark in the form of the narrative.

The word Passover, τὸ πάσχα , from ֶפּסַח , H7175, in Aramaic פִּסְחָא , signifies a passing, and commemorates the manner in which the Israelites were spared in Egypt when the Almighty passed over their houses, sprinkled with the blood of the lamb, without slaying their first-born. This name, which originally denoted the lamb, was applied later to the Supper itself, then to the entire feast. The Passover was celebrated in the first month, called Nisan, from the 15th of the month, the day of full moon, to the 21st. This season corresponds to the end of March and beginning of April. The feast opened on the evening which closed the 14th and began the 15th, with the Paschal Supper. Originally every father, in virtue of the priesthood belonging to every Israelite, sacrificed his lamb himself at his own house. But since the Passover celebrated by Josiah, the lambs were sacrificed in the temple, and with the help of the priests. This act took place on the afternoon of the 14th, from three to six o'clock. Some hours after the Supper began, which was prolonged far into the night. This Supper opened the feast of unleavened bread ( ἑορτὴ τῶν ἀζύμων , Luk 22:1 ), which, according to the law, lasted the seven following days. The first and last (15th and 21st) were sabbatic. The intermediate days were not hallowed by acts of worship and sacrifices; work was lawful. As Josephus expressly says that the feast of unleavened bread lasted eight days, agreeing with our Syn., who make it begin on the 14th (Luke 22:7; Matthew 26:17; Mar 14:12 ), and not on the 15th, we must conclude that in practice the use of unleavened bread had been gradually extended to the 14th. To the present day, it is on the night between the 13th and 14th that all leaven is removed from Israelitish houses.

Luke, Luke 22:3, ascribes the conduct of Judas to a Satanic influence. He goes the length of saying that Satan entered into him. He means to remark here, in a general way, the intervention of that superior agent in this extraordinary crime; while John, seeking to characterize its various degrees, more exactly distinguishes the time when Satan put into the heart of Judas the first thought of it (comp. Luk 13:2 ), and the moment when he entered into him so as to take entire possession of his will ( Luk 13:27 ). According to the biblical view, this intervention of Satan did not at all exclude the liberty of Judas. This disciple, in joining the service of Jesus, had not taken care to deny his own life, as Jesus so often urged His own to do. Jesus, instead of becoming the end to his heart, had remained the means. And now, when he saw things terminating in a result entirely opposed to that with which he had ambitiously flattered himself, he wished at least to try to benefit by the false position into which he had put himself with his nation, and to use his advantages as a disciple in order to regain the favour of the rulers with whom he had broken. The thirty pieces of silver certainly played only a secondary part in his treachery, although this part was real notwithstanding; for the epithet thief ( Joh 12:6 ) is given to him with the view of putting his habitual conduct in connection with this final act.

Matthew and Mark insert here the narrative of the feast at Bethany, though it must have taken place some days before (John). The reason for this insertion is an association of ideas arising from the moral relation between these two particulars in which the avarice of Judas showed itself.

The στρατηγοί , captains ( Luk 22:4 ), are the heads of the soldiery charged with keeping guard over the temple ( Act 4:1 ). There was a positive contract ( they covenanted, he promised). ῎Ατερ , not at a distance from the multitude, but without a multitude; that is to say, without any flocking together produced by the occasion. This wholly unexpected offer determined the Sanhedrim to act before rather than after the feast. But in order to that, it was necessary to make haste; the last moment had come.

Verses 7-13

The narrative of Luke embraces: 1. The preparation for the feast ( Luk 22:7-13 ); 2. The feast itself ( Luk 22:14-23 ); 3. The conversations which followed the feast ( Luk 22:24-38 ).

1. The Preparations: Luke 22:7-42.22.13. There is a marked difference between the ἦλθε , came, of Luke 22:7, and the ἤγγιζε , drew nigh, of Luke 22:1. The word drew nigh placed us one or two days before the Passover; the word came denotes the beginning of the day on which the lamb was killed, the 14th. Is this time, as is ordinarily supposed, the morning of the 14th? But after the Jewish mode of reckoning, the 14th began at even, about six o'clock. The whole night between the 13th and 14th, in our language, belonged to the 14th. How, then, could the word came apply to a time when the entire first half of the day was already past? The came of Luk 22:7 seems to us, therefore, to denote what in our language we should call the evening of the 13th (among the Jews the time of transition from the 13th to the 14th, from four to six o'clock). The expressions of Matthew and Mark, without being so precise, do not necessarily lead to a different meaning. Indeed, the expression of Mark, Luke 22:12, does not signify, “ at the time when they killed...,” but “ the day when they...” But may we place on the 13th, in the evening, the command of Jesus to His two disciples to prepare the feast for the morrow? That is not only possible, but necessary. On the morning of the 14th, it would have been too late to think of procuring an apartment for that very evening. Strauss fully acknowledges this: “In consequence of the flocking of pilgrims from a distance, it was of course difficult, and even impossible, to find on the morning of the first day of the feast (the 14th), for the very evening, a room not yet taken up.” Places were then taken at least a day in advance. Clement of Alexandria, on this account, gives the 13th the name of προετοιμασία , pro-preparation. The 14th was the preparation, because on that day the lamb was killed; the 13th, the pro-preparation, because, as Clement says, on that day they consecrated the unleavened bread, and took all the other steps necessary for the Paschal feast. Hence it follows, that the question put by Matthew and Mark into the mouth of the disciples, “ Where wilt Thou that we prepare the Passover? must likewise be placed on the evening of the 13th, which for the Jews was already passing into the 14th. It matters little, therefore, so far as this question is concerned, whether the initiative be ascribed to Jesus (Luke) or to the disciples (Matthew and Mark). As to the rest, on this point the narrative of Luke is evidently the most precise and exact, for he also, Luke 22:9, relates the question of the disciples, but replacing it in its true position. Luke alone mentions the names of the two apostles chosen. He must have borrowed this detail from a private source at least if he did not invent it! In any case, the fact would not agree very well with his alleged habitual animosity against St. Peter. Jesus must have had an object in specially choosing those two disciples. We shall see, in fact, that this was a confidential mission, which could be trusted to none but His surest and most intimate friends. If it was between four and six o'clock in the evening, the apostles had yet time to execute their commission before night, whether they had passed the day in the city, and Jesus left them to do it when He Himself was starting for Bethany with the purpose of returning later to Jerusalem, or whether He had passed the whole of this last day at Bethany, and sent them from the latter place.

Why does Jesus not describe to them more plainly ( Luk 22:10-12 ) the host whom He has in view? There is but one answer: He wishes the house where He reckons on celebrating the feast to remain unknown to those who surround Him at the time when He gives this order. This is why, instead of describing it, He gives the sign indicated. Jesus knew the projects of Judas; the whole narrative of the feast which follows proves this; and He wished, by acting in this way, to escape from the hindrances which the treachery of His disciple might have put in His way in the use which He desired to make of this last evening.

The sign indicated, a man drawing water from a fountain, is not so accidental as it appears. On the evening of the 13th, before the stars appeared in the heavens, every father, according to Jewish custom, had to repair to the fountain to draw pure water with which to knead the unleavened bread. It was, in fact, a rite which was carried through to the words: “This is the water of unleavened bread.” Then a torch was lighted, and during some following part of the night the house was visited, and searched in every corner, to put away the smallest vestige of leaven. There is thus a closer relation than appears between the sign and its meaning.

Here is a new proof of the supernatural knowledge of Jesus. The fact is omitted in Matthew. As usual, this evangelist abridges the narrative of facts. Probably Jesus knew the master of the house mentioned Luke 22:11, and had already asked this service of him conditionally ( Luk 22:12 ). ᾿Ανάγαιον (in the Attic form, ἀνώγεων ), the upper room, which sometimes occupies a part of the terrace of the house. All furnished: provided with the necessary divans and tables (the triclinium, in the shape of a horse-shoe).

Matthew ( Mat 26:18 ) has preserved to us, in the message of Jesus to the master of the house, a saying which deserves to be weighed: “ My time is at hand; let me keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples. ” How does the first of those two propositions form a ground for the request implied in the second? Commentators have seen in the first an appeal to the owner's sensibilities: I am about to die; grant me this last service. Ewald somewhat differently: Soon I shall be in my glory, and I shall be able to requite thee for this service. These explanations are far-fetched. We can explain the thought of Jesus, if those words express the necessity under which He finds Himself laid, by the nearness of His death, to anticipate the celebration of the Passover: “My death is near; to-morrow it will be too late for me to keep the Passover; let me celebrate it at thy house [this evening] with my disciples.” Ποιῶ is not the att. fut. (Bleek), but the present (Winer): “Let me keep it immediately. ” It was a call to the owner instantly to prepare the room, and everything which was necessary for the feast. The two disciples were to make those preparations in conjunction with the host. No doubt the lamb could not be slain in the temple; but could Jesus, being excommunicated with all His adherents, and already even laid under sentence of arrest by the Sanhedrim ( Joh 11:53-57 ), have had His lamb slain on the morrow in the legal form? That is far from probable. Jesus is about to substitute the new Passover for the old. How should He not have the right to free Himself from the letter of the ordinance? all the more that, according to the original institution, every father was required himself to slay the Paschal lamb in his dwelling. He freed Himself in like manner from the law as to the day. He is forced, indeed, to do so, if He wishes Himself to substitute the new feast for the old. The decision of the Sanhedrim to put Him to death before the feast ( Mat 26:5 ), leaves Him no choice. This entire state of things agrees with the expression which John uses: δείπνου γενομένου , a supper having taken place ( Luk 13:2 ).

Verses 7-38

II. The Last Supper: Luke 22:7-42.22.38.

We find ourselves here face to face with a difficulty which, since the second century of the Church, has arrested the attentive readers of the Scriptures. As it was on the 14th Nisan, in the afternoon, that the Paschal lamb was sacrificed, that it might be eaten the evening of the same day, it has been customary to take the time designated by the words, Luke 22:7, Then came the day of unleavened bread when the Passover must be killed (comp. Matthew and Mark), as falling on the morning of that 14th day; from which it would follow that the Supper, related Luk 22:14 et seq., took place the evening between the 14th and 15th. This view seems to be confirmed by the parallels Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, where the disciples (not Jesus, as in Luke) take the initiative in the steps needed for the Supper. If such was the fact, it appeared that the apostles could not have been occupied with the matter till the morning of the 14th. But thereby the explanation came into conflict with John, who seems to say in a considerable number of passages that Jesus was crucified on the afternoon of the 14th, at the time when they were slaying the lamb in the temple, which necessarily supposes that the last Supper of Jesus with His disciples took place the evening between the 13th and 14th, the eve before that on which Israel celebrated the Paschal Supper, and not the evening between the 14th and 15th. This seeming contradiction does not bear on the day of the week on which Jesus was crucified. According to our four Gospels, this day was indisputably Friday. The difference relates merely to the day of the month, but on that very account, also, to the relation between the last Supper of Jesus at which He instituted the Eucharist, and the Paschal feast of that year. Many commentators

Wieseler, Hofmann, Lichtenstein, Tholuck, Riggenbach think that they can identify the meaning of John's passages with the idea which at first sight appears to be that of the synoptical narrative; Jesus, according to John as according to the Syn., celebrated His last Supper on the evening of the 14th, and instituted the Holy Supper while celebrating the Passover conjointly with the whole people. We have explained in our Commentaire sur l'évangile de Jean the reasons which appear to us to render this solution impossible. The arguments advanced since then by the learned Catholic theologian Langen, and by the eminent philologist Bäumlein, have not changed our conviction. The meaning which presents itself first to the mind on reading John's Gospel, is and remains the only possible one, exegetically speaking. But it may and should be asked in return, What is the true meaning of the synoptical narrative, and its relation to John's account thus understood? Such is the point which we proceed to examine as we study more closely the text of Luke.

Verses 14-18

1 st. Luke 22:14-42.22.18. Jesus opens the feast by communicating to the disciples His present impressions. This first step corresponds to the first of the Paschal feast. The hour ( Luk 22:14 ) is that which He had indicated to His disciples, and which probably coincided with the usual hour of the sacred feast. According to the law ( Exo 12:17 ), the Passover should have been eaten standing. But custom had introduced a change in this particular. Some Rabbins pretend to justify this deviation, by saying that to stand is the posture of a slave; that, once restored to liberty by the going forth from Egypt, Israel was called to eat sitting. The explanation is ingenious, but devised after the fact. The real reason was, that the feast had gradually taken larger proportions.

There is in the first saying of Jesus, which Luke alone has preserved ( Luk 22:15 ), a mixture of profound joy and sorrow. Jesus is glad that He can celebrate this holy feast once more, which He has determined by His own instrumentality to transform into a permanent memorial of His person and work; but on the other hand, it is His last Passover here below. ᾿Επιθυμίᾳ ἐπεθύμησα , a frequent form in the LXX., corresponding to the Hebrew construction of the inf. absolute with the finite verb. It is a sort of reduplication of the verbal idea. Jesus, no doubt, alludes to all the measures which He has required to take to secure the joy of those quiet hours despite the treachery of His disciple.

Could the expression this Passover possibly denote a feast at which the Paschal lamb was wanting, and which was only distinguished from ordinary suppers by unleavened bread? Such is the view of Caspari and Andreae, and the view which I myself maintained ( Comment. sur Jean, t. ii. p. 634). Indeed, the number of lambs or kids might turn out to be insufficient, and strangers find themselves in the dilemma either of celebrating the feast without a lamb, or not celebrating the Passover at all. Thus in Mischnah Pesachim 10 there is express mention of a Paschal Supper without a lamb, and at which the unleavened bread is alone indispensable. Nevertheless, there is nothing to prevent us from holding that, as we have said, the two disciples prepared the lamb in a strictly private manner. It would be difficult to explain Luke's expression, to eat this Passover, without the smallest reference to the lamb at this feast.

By the future Passover in the kingdom of God ( Luk 22:16 ) might be understood the Holy Supper as it is celebrated in the Church. But the expression, “ I will not any more eat thereof until...,” and the parall. Luke 22:18, do not admit of this spiritualistic interpretation. Jesus means to speak of a new banquet which shall take place after the consummation of all things. The Holy Supper is the bond of union between the Israelitish and typical Passover, which was reaching its goal, and the heavenly and divine feast, which was yet in the distant future. Does not the spiritual salvation, of which the Supper is the memorial, form in reality the transition from the external deliverance of Israel to that salvation at once spiritual and external which awaits the glorified Church?

After this simple and touching introduction, Jesus, in conformity with the received custom, passed the first cup ( Luk 22:17 ), accompanying it with a thanksgiving, in which He no doubt paraphrased freely the invocation uttered at the opening of the feast by the father of the house, and which we have quoted above. Δεξάμενος , receiving, seems to indicate that He took the cup from the hands of one of the attendants who held it out to Him (after having filled it). The distribution ( διαμερίσατε ) may have taken place in two ways, either by each drinking from the common cup, or by their all emptying the wine of that cup into their own. The Greek term would suit better this second view. Did Jesus Himself drink? The pron. ἑαυτοῖς , among yourselves, might seem unfavourable to this idea; yet the words, I will not drink until..., speak in favour of the affirmative. Was it not, besides, a sign of communion from which Jesus could hardly think of refraining on such an occasion? The expression fruit of the vine, Luke 22:18, was an echo of the terms of the ritual Paschal prayer. In the mouth of Jesus, it expressed the feeling of contrast between the present terrestrial system, and the glorified creation which was to spring from the palingenesia (Matthew 19:28; comp. Rom 8:31 et seq.). The phrase, I will not drink, corresponds to the I will not any more eat of Luke 22:16. But there is a gradation. Luk 22:16 means, This is my last Passover, the last year of my life; Luke 22:18, This is my last Supper, my last day. These words are the text from which Paul has taken the commentary, till He come ( 1Co 11:26 ). They are probably also the ground into which was wrought the famous tradition of Papias regarding the fabulous vines of the millennial reign. In this example, the difference becomes palpable between the sobriety of the tradition preserved in our Gospels, and the legendary exuberance of that of the times which followed. Luk 22:29 of Matthew , 25 of Mark reproduce Luke's saying in a somewhat different form, and one which lends itself still better to the amplification which we find in Papias.

Verses 14-23

2. The Supper: Luke 22:14-42.22.23.

There are three elements which form the material of this narrative in the three Syn.: 1 st. The expression of the personal feelings of Jesus. With this Luke begins, and Matthew and Mark close. 2 d. The institution of the Holy Supper. It forms the centre of the narrative in the three Syn. 3 d. The disclosure of the betrayal, and the indication of the traitor. With this Luke ends, and Matthew and Mark begin. It is easy to see how deeply the facts themselves were impressed on the memory of the witnesses, but how secondary the interest was which tradition attached to chronological order. The myth, on the contrary, would have created the whole of a piece, and the result would be wholly different. Luke's order appears preferable. It is natural for Jesus to begin by giving utterance to His personal impressions, Luke 22:15-42.22.18. With the painful feeling of approaching separation there is connected, by an easily understood bond, the institution of the Holy Supper, that sign which is in a way to perpetuate Christ's visible presence in the midst of His own after His departure, Luke 22:19-42.22.20. Finally, the view of the close communion contracted by this solemn act between the disciples, causes the feeling of the contrast between them and Judas, so agonizing to Him, to break forth into expression. Such is the connection of the third part. It is far from probable, as it seems to us, that Jesus began by speaking of this last subject (Matthew and Mark). John omits the first two elements. The first was not essential to his narrative. The second, the institution of the Holy Supper, was sufficiently well known from tradition. We have, in our Commentaire sur l'évangile de Jean, placed this latter event at the time indicated by Luk 13:2 in that Gospel ( δείπνου γενομένου ). The feet-washing which followed necessarily coincides with the indication of the traitor in Luke, and with the subsequent conversation, Luk 22:24 et seq.; and the two accounts thus meet in the common point, the prediction of Peter's denial (Luke, Luke 22:31; John, Luk 22:38 ).

As in what follows there are repeated allusions to the rites of the Paschal Supper, we must rapidly trace the outlines of that Supper as it was celebrated in our Saviour's time. First step: After prayer, the father of the house sent round a cup full of wine (according to others, each one had his cup), with this invocation: “Blessed be Thou, O Lord our God, King of the world, who hast created the fruit of the vine!” Next there were passed from one to another the bitter herbs (a sort of salad), which recalled to mind the sufferings of the Egyptian bondage. These were eaten after being dipped in a reddish sweet sauce ( Charoseth), made of almonds, nuts, figs, and other fruits; commemorating, it is said, by its colour the hard labour of brick-making imposed on the Israelites, and by its taste, the divine alleviations which Jehovah mingles with the miseries of His people.

Second step: The father circulates a second cup, and then explains, probably in a more or less fixed liturgical form, the meaning of the feast, and of the rites by which it is distinguished.

Third step: The father takes two unleavened loaves (cakes), breaks one of them, and places the pieces of it on the other. Then, uttering a thanksgiving, he takes one of the pieces, dips it in the sauce, and eats it, taking with it a piece of the Paschal lamb, along with bitter herbs. Each one follows his example. This is the feast properly so called. The lamb forms the principal dish. The conversation is free. It closes with the distribution of a third cup, called the cup of blessing, because it was accompanied with the giving of thanks by the father of the house.

Fourth step: The father distributes a fourth cup; then the Hallel is sung (Psalms 113-118). Sometimes the father added a fifth cup, which was accompanied with the singing of the great Hallel (Psalms 120-127; according to others, 135-137; according to Delitzsch, Psa 130:6 ).

Must it be held, with Langen, that Jesus began by celebrating the entire Jewish ceremony, in order to connect with it thereafter the Christian Holy Supper; or did He transform, as He went along, the Jewish Supper in such a way as to convert it into the sacred Supper of the N. T.? This second view seems to us the only tenable one. For, 1. It was during the course of the feast, ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν (Matthew and Mark), and not after the feast (as Luke says in speaking of the only cup), that the bread of the Holy Supper must have been distributed. 2. The singing of the hymn spoken of by Mark and Matthew can only be that of the Hallel, and it followed the institution of the Holy Supper.

Verses 19-20

2 d. Luke 22:19-42.22.20. The time when the Holy Supper was instituted seems to us to correspond to the second and third steps of the Paschal feast taken together. With the explanation which the head of the house gave of the meaning of the ceremony, Jesus connected that which He had to give regarding the substitution of His person for the Paschal lamb as the means of salvation, and regarding the difference between the two deliverances. And when the time came at which the father took the unleavened cakes and consecrated them by thanksgiving, to make them, along with the lamb, the memorial of the deliverance from Egypt, Jesus also took the bread, and by a similar consecration, made it the memorial of that salvation which He was about to procure for us. In the expression, This is my body, the supposed relation between the body and the bread should not be sought in their substance. The appendix: given for you, in Luke; broken for you, in Paul ( 1Co 11:24 ), indicates the true point of correspondence. No doubt, in Paul, this participle might be a gloss. But an interpolation would have been taken from Luke; they would not have invented this Hapax-legomenon κλώμενον . Are we not accustomed to the arbitrary or purely negligent omissions of the Alex. text? I think, therefore, that this participle of Paul, as well as the given of Luke, are in the Greek text the necessary paraphrase of the literal Aramaic form, This is my body for you, a form which the Greek ear could as little bear as ours. The idea of this κλώμενον is, in any case, taken from the preceding ἔκλασε , and determines the meaning of the formula, This is my body. As to the word is, which has been so much insisted on, it was not uttered by Jesus, who must have said in Aramaic, Haggouschmi, “ This here [behold] my body! ” The exact meaning of the notion of being, which logically connects this subject with this attribute, can only be determined by the context. Is the point in question an identity of substance, physical or spiritual, or a relation purely symbolical? From the exegetical point of view, if what we have said above about the real point of comparison is well founded, it would be difficult to avoid the latter conclusion. It is confirmed by the meaning of the τοῦτο which follows: “Do this in remembrance of me.” This pron. can denote nothing but the act of breaking, and thus precisely the point which appeared to us the natural link of connection between the bread and the body.

The last words, which contain the institution properly so called of a permanent rite, are wanting in Matthew and Mark. But the certified fact of the regular celebration of the Holy Supper as a feast commemorating the death of Jesus from the most primitive times of the Church, supposes a command of Jesus to this effect, and fully confirms the formula of Paul and Luke. Jesus meant to preserve the Passover, but by renewing its meaning. Matthew and Mark preserved of the words of institution only that which referred to the new meaning given to the ceremony. As to the command of Jesus, it had not been preserved in the liturgical formula, because it was implied in the very act of celebrating the rite.

A certain interval must have separated the second act of the institution from the first; for Luke says: After they had supped ( Luk 22:20 ), exactly as Paul. Jesus, according to custom, let conversation take free course for some time. After this free interval, He resumed the solemn attitude which He had taken in breaking the bread. So we explain the ὡσαύτως , likewise.

The word τὸ ποτήριον , the cup, is the object of the two verbs λαβών ... ἔδωκεν at the beginning of Luke 22:19. The art. τό is here added, because the cup is already known ( Luk 22:17 ). This cup certainly corresponded to the third of the Paschal Feast, which bore the name of cup of blessing. So St. Paul calls it ( 1Co 10:16 ): the cup of blessing ( εὐλογίας ) which we bless. In this expression of the apostle the word bless is repeated, because it is taken in two different senses. In the first instance, it refers to God, whom the Church, like the Israelitish family of old, blesses and adores; in the second, to the cup which the Church consecrates, and which by this religious act becomes to the conscience of believers the memorial of the blood of Jesus Christ. What this cup represents, according to the terms of Paul and Luke, is the new covenant between God and man, founded on the shedding of Jesus' blood. In Matthew and Mark, it is the blood itself. Jesus can hardly have placed the two forms in juxtaposition, as Langen supposes, who thinks that He said: “Drink ye all of this cup; for it is the cup which contains my blood, the blood of the new covenant.” Such a periphrasis is incompatible with the style proper to the institution of a rite, which has always something concise and monumental. There is thus room to choose between the form of Matthew and Mark and that of Paul and Luke. Now, is it not probable that oral tradition and ecclesiastical custom would tend to make the second formula, relative to the wine, uniform with the first, which refers to the bread, rather than to diversify them? Hence it follows, that the greatest historical probability is in favour of the form in which the two sayings of Jesus least resemble one another, that is to say, in favour of that of Paul and Luke.

Every covenant among the ancients was sealed by some symbolic act. The new covenant, which on God's side rests on the free gift of salvation, and on man's side on its acceptance by faith, has henceforth, as its permanent symbol in the Church, this cup which Jesus holds out to His own, and which each of them freely takes and brings to his lips. The O. T. had also been founded on blood ( Gen 15:8 et seq.). It had been renewed in Egypt by the same means (Exodus 12:22-2.12.23; Exo 24:8 ). The participle understood between διαθήκη and ἐν τῷ αἵματι is the verbal idea taken from the subst. διαθήκη ( διατιθεμένη ): the covenant [covenanted] in my blood. Baur, Volkmar, and Keim think that it is Paul who has here introduced the idea of the new covenant. For it would never have entered into the thought of Judeo-Christianity thus to repudiate the old covenant, and proclaim a new one. Mark, even while copying Paul, designedly weakened this expression, they say, by rejecting the too offensive epithet new. Luke, a bolder Paulinist, restored it, thus reproducing Paul's complete formula. And how, we must ask, did Jesus express Himself? Was He incapable, He also, of rising to the idea of a new covenant thenceforth substituted for the old? He, incapable of doing what had already been done so grandly six centuries before by a simple prophet ( Jer 31:31 et seq.)! And when we think of it, is not Mark's formula (which is probably also the text in Matthew) far from being weaker than that of Paul is it not even more forcible? If the expression of Mark is translated: “ This is my blood, that of the covenant,” is not the very name covenant thereby refused to the old? And if it is translated: “ This is the blood of my covenant,” does not this saying contrast the two covenants with one another as profoundly as is done by the epithet new in Paul and Luke?

The nom. abs. τὸ ἐκχυνόμενον , by rendering the idea of the shedding of the blood grammatically independent, serves to bring it more strongly into relief. This appendix, which is wanting in Paul, connects Luke's formula with that of the other two evangelists. Instead of for you, the latter say, for many. It is the בּים × &#רַ ִ many, of Isaiah 53:12, the ים רְִַבּים § &#גּוֹ ִ f Isaiah 52:15, those many nations which are to be sprinkled with the blood of the slain Messiah. Jesus contemplates them in spirit, those myriads of Jewish and Gentile believers who in future ages shall press to the banquet which He is instituting.

Paul here repeats the command: Do this..., on which rests the permanent celebration of the rite. In this point, too, Luke's formula corresponds more nearly to that of the Syn. than to his.

If there is a passage in respect to which it is morally impossible to assert that the narrators if they be regarded ever so little as seriously believing arbitrarily modified the tenor of the sayings of Jesus, it is this. How, then, are we to account for the differences which exist between the four forms? There must have existed from the beginning, in the Judeo-Christian Churches, a generally received liturgical formula for the celebration of the Holy Supper. This is certainly what has been preserved to us by Matthew and Mark. Only, the differences which exist between them prove that they have not used a written document, and that as little has the one copied the other; thus the command of Jesus: “ Drink ye all of it ” (Matthew), which appears in Mark in the form of a positive fact: “ And they all drank of it; ” thus, again, in Mark, the omission of the appendix: “ for the remission of sins ” (Matthew). We therefore find in them what is substantially one and the same tradition, but slightly modified by oral transmission.

The very different form of Paul and Luke obliges us to seek another original. This source is indicated by Paul himself: “ I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you ” ( 1Co 11:23 ). The expression: I have received, admits of no view but that of a communication which is personal to him; and the words: of the Lord, only of an immediate revelation from Jesus Himself (a true philologist will not object to the use of ἀπό instead of παρά ). If Paul had had no other authority to allege than oral tradition emanating from the apostles, and known universally in the Church, the form used by him: “ I have received ( ἐγὼ γάρ ) of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you...,” could not be exonerated from the charge of deception. This circumstance, as well as the difference between the two formulae, decides in favour of the form of Paul and Luke. In the slight differences which exist between them, we can, besides, trace the influence exercised on Luke by the traditional-liturgical form as it has been preserved to us by Matthew and Mark.

As to St. John, the deliberate omission which is imputed to him would have been useless at the time when he wrote; still more in the second century, for the ceremony of the Holy Supper was then celebrated in all the churches of the world. A forger would have taken care not to overthrow the authority of his narrative in the minds of his readers by such an omission.

About the meaning of the Holy Supper, we shall say only a few words. This ceremony seems to us to represent the totality of salvation; the bread, the communication of the life of Christ; the wine, the gift of pardon; in other words, according to Paul's language, sanctification and justification. In instituting the rite, Jesus naturally began with the bread; for the shedding of the blood supposes the breaking of the vessel which contains it, the body. But as in the believer's obtaining of salvation it is by justification that we come into possession of the life of Christ, St. Paul, 1Co 10:16 et seq., follows the opposite order, and begins with the cup, which represents the first grace which faith lays hold of, that of pardon.

In the act itself there are represented the two aspects of the work the divine offer, and human acceptance. The side of human acceptance is clear to the consciousness of the partaker. His business is simply, as Paul says, “ to show the Lord's death,” 1 Corinthians 11:26. It is not so with the divine side; it is unfathomable and mysterious: “ The communion of the blood, and of the body of Christ!1 Corinthians 10:16. Here, therefore, we are called to apply the saying: “ The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law,” Deuteronomy 29:29. We know already what we have to do to celebrate a true communion. We may leave to God the secret of what He gives us in a right communion. Is it necessary to go further in search of the formula of union?

Verses 21-23

3 d. Luke 22:21-42.22.23. “ Only, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: But woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed! 23. And they began to inquire among themselves which of them it was that should do this thing.

As He follows the cup circulating among the disciples, the attention of Jesus is fixed on Judas. In the midst of those hearts, henceforth united by so close a bond, there is one who remains outside of the common salvation, and rushes upon destruction. This contrast wounds the heart of Jesus. Πλήν , excepting, announces precisely the exception Judas forms in this circle; ἰδού , behold, points to the surprise which so unexpected a disclosure must produce in the disciples. If this form used by Luke is historically trustworthy, there can be no doubt that Judas took part in celebrating the Holy Supper. No doubt the narratives of Matthew and Mark do not favour this view; but they do not expressly contradict it, and we have already shown that the order in which Luke gives the three facts composing the narrative of the feast, is much more natural than theirs. Besides, John's order confirms that of Luke, if, as we think we have demonstrated ( Comment. sur Jean, t. ii. p. 540 et seq.), the Holy Supper was instituted at the time indicated in Luke 13:1-42.13.2. Moreover, John's narrative shows that Jesus returned again and again during the feast to the treachery of Judas. As usual, tradition had combined those sayings uttered on the same subject at different points of time, and it is in this summary form that they have passed into our Syn.

The expression of Matthew: “ dipping the hand into the dish with me,” signifies in a general way (like that of Luke: “ being with me on the table,” and the parallels): “being my guest.” Jesus does not distress Himself about what is in store for Him; He is not the sport of this traitor; everything, so far as He is concerned, is divinely decreed ( Luk 22:22 ). His life is not in the hands of a Judas. The Messiah ought to die. But He grieves over the crime and lot of him who uses his liberty to betray Him.

The reading ὅτι is less simple than καί , and is hardly compatible with the μέν . The πλήν , only ( Luk 22:21 ), is contrasted with the idea of the divine decree in ὡρισμένον . It serves the end of reserving the liberty and responsibility of Judas.

The fact that every disciple, on hearing this saying, turned his thoughts upon himself, proves the consummate ability with which Judas had succeeded in concealing his feelings and plans. The μήτι ἐγώ , Is it I? of the disciples in Matthew and Mark, finds its natural place here. It has been thought improbable that Judas also put the question ( Mat 5:25 ). But when all the others were doing it, could he have avoided it without betraying himself? The thou hast said of Jesus denotes absolutely the same fact as John 13:26: “ And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot. ” This act itself was the reply which Matthew translates into the words: Thou hast said.

Verses 24-38

3. The Conversations after the Supper: Luke 22:24-42.22.38.

The conversations which follow refer: 1 st. To a dispute which arises at this moment between the apostles ( Luk 22:24-30 ); 2 d. To the danger which awaits them at the close of this hour of peace ( Luk 22:31-38 ). The washing of the feet in John corresponds to the first piece. The prediction of St. Peter's denial follows in his Gospel, as it does in Luke. According to Matthew and Mark, it was uttered a little later, after the singing of the hymn. It is quite evident that Luke is not dependent on the other Syn., but that he has sources of his own, the trustworthiness of which appears on comparison with John's narrative.

Verse 30

1 st. Luke 22:24-42.22.30. The cause of the dispute, mentioned by Luke only, cannot have been the question of precedence, as Langen thinks. The strife would have broken out sooner. The mention of the kingdom of God, Luke 22:16; Luke 22:18, might have given rise to it; but the καί , also, of Luke, suggests another view. By this word he connects the question: Which is the greatest? with that which the disciples had just been putting to themselves, Luke 22:23: Which among us is he who shall betray Him? The question which was the worst among them led easily to the other, which was the best of all. The one was the counterpart of the other. Whatever else may be true, we see by this new example that Luke does not allow himself to mention a situation at his own hand of which he finds no indication in his documents. The δοκεῖ , appears [should be accounted], refers to the judgment of men, till the time when God will settle the question. Comp. a similar dispute, Luk 9:46 et seq. and parall. We are amazed at a disposition so opposed to humility at such a time. But Jesus is no more irritated than He is discouraged. It is enough for Him to know that He has succeeded in planting in the heart of the apostles a pure principle which will finally carry the day over all forms of sin: “ Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you,” He says to them Himself, John 15:3. He therefore calmly continues the work which He has begun. In human society, men reign by physical or intellectual force; and εὐεργέτης , benefactor, is the flattering title by which men do not blush to honour the harshest tyrants. In the new society which Jesus is instituting, he who has most is not to make his superiority felt in any other way than by the superabundance of his services toward the weakest and the most destitute. The example of Jesus in this respect is to remain as the rule. The term ὁ νεώτερος , the younger ( Luk 22:26 ), is parallel to ὁ διακονῶν , he that doth serve, because among the Jews the humblest and hardest labour was committed to the youngest members of the society (Acts 5:6; Act 5:10 ). If the saying of Luk 22:27 is not referred to the act of the feetwashing related John 13:0, we must apply the words: I am among you as He that serveth, to the life of Jesus in general, or perhaps to the sacrifice which He is now making of Himself ( Luk 22:19-20 ). But in this way there is no accounting for the antithesis between: “he that sitteth at meat,” and: “he that serveth. ” These expressions leave no doubt that the fact of the feet-washing was the occasion of this saying. Luke did not know it; and he has confined himself to transmitting the discourse of Jesus as it was furnished to him by his document.

After having thus contrasted the ideal of an altogether new greatness with the so different tendency of the natural heart, Jesus proceeds to satisfy what of truth there was in the aspiration of the disciples ( Luk 22:28-30 ). The ὑμεῖς δέ , but ye, alludes to Judas, who had not persevered, and who, by his defection, deprived himself of the magnificent privilege promised Luke 22:29-42.22.30. Perhaps the traitor had not yet gone out, and Jesus wished hereby to tell upon his heart.

The πειρασμοί , temptations, of which Jesus speaks, are summed up in His rejection by His fellow-citizens. It was no small thing, on the part of the Eleven, to have persevered in their attachment to Jesus, despite the hatred and contempt of which He was the object, and the curses heaped upon Him by those rulers whom they were accustomed to respect. There is something like a feeling of gratitude expressed in the saying of Jesus. Hence the fulness with which He displays the riches of the promised reward. Luk 22:29 refers to the approaching dispensation on the earth; Luke 22:30, to the heavenly future in which it shall issue. ᾿Εγώ , I ( Luk 22:29 ), is in opposition to ὑμεῖς , ye: “That is what ye have done for me; this is what I do in my turn ( καί ) for you.” The verb διατιθέναι , to dispose, is applied to testamentary dispositions. Bleek takes the object of this verb to be the phrase which follows, that ye may eat...( Luk 22:30 ); but there is too close a correspondence between appoint and hath appointed unto me, to admit of those two verbs having any but the same object, βασιλείαν , the kingdom: I appoint unto you the kingdom, as my Father hath appointed it unto me. ” This kingdom is here the power exercised by man on man by means of divine life and divine truth. The truth and life which Jesus possessed shall come to dwell in them, and thereby they shall reign over all, as He Himself has reigned over them. Are not Peter, John, and Paul, at the present day, the rulers of the world? In substance, it is only another form of the thought expressed in John 13:20: “ Verily I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me. ” Is this an example of the way in which certain sayings of Jesus are transformed and spiritualized, as it were, in the memory of John, without being altered from their original sense? At least the obscure connection of this saying in John with what precedes is fully explained by Luke's context.

Ver. 30 might apply solely to the part played by the apostles in the government of the primitive Church, and in the moral judgment of Israel then exercised by them. But the expression, to eat and drink at my table, passes beyond this meaning. For we cannot apply this expression to the Holy Supper, which was no special privilege of the apostles. The phrase, in my kingdom, should therefore be taken in the same sense as in Luke 22:16; Luke 22:18. With the table where He is now presiding, Jesus contrasts the royal banquet, the emblem of complete joy in the perfected kingdom of God. He likewise contrasts, in the words following, with the judgments which He and His shall soon undergo on the part of Israel, that which Israel shall one day undergo on the part of the Twelve. According to 1Co 6:1 et seq., the Church shall judge the world, men and angels. In this judgment of the world by the representatives of Jesus Christ, the part allotted to the Twelve shall be Israel.

Judgment here includes government, as so often in the O. T. Thrones are the emblem of power, as the table is of joy.

If the traitor was yet present, must not such a promise made to his colleagues have been like the stroke of a dagger to his ambitious heart! Here, as we think, should be placed the final scene which led to his departure ( Joh 13:21-27 ).

It seems to us that the Twelve are not very disadvantageously treated in this discourse of Jesus reported by Luke! A saying entirely similar is found in Matthew 19:28, in a different context. That of Luke is its own justification.

Verses 31-34

Vers. 31-34. “ And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 33, 34.”

The warning Luk 22:31 might be connected with Luke 22:28: “ Ye are they which have continued with me. ” There would be a contrast: “Here is a temptation in which ye shall not continue.” But the mention of Satan's part, in respect of the disciples, seems to be suggested by the abrupt departure of Judas, in which Satan had played a decisive part (John 13:27: “ And after the sop, Satan entered into him ”). The tempter is present; he has gained the mastery of Judas; he threatens the other disciples also; he is preparing to attack Jesus Himself. “ The prince of this world cometh,” says Jesus in John ( Joh 14:30 ). And the danger to each is in proportion to the greater or less amount of alloy which his heart contains. This is the reason why Jesus more directly addresses Peter. By the address: Simon, twice repeated, He alludes to his natural character, and puts him on his guard against that presumption which is its dominant characteristic. The ἐξ in ἐξτήσατο includes the notion: of getting him drawn out of the hands of God into his own. Wheat is purified by means of the sieve or fan; σινιάζω may apply to either. Satan asks the right of putting the Twelve to the proof; and he takes upon himself, over against God, as formerly in relation to Job, to prove that at bottom the best among the disciples is but a Judas. Jesus by no means says ( Luk 22:32 ) that his prayer has been refused. Rather it appears from the intercession of Jesus that it has been granted. Jesus only seeks to parry the consequences of the fall which threatens them all, and which shall be especially perilous to Peter. Comp. Matthew and Mark: “ All ye shall be offended because of me this night. ” The faithlessness of which they are about to be guilty, might have absolutely broken the bond formed between them and Him. That of Peter, in particular, might have cast him into the same despair which ruined Judas. But while the enemy was spying out the weak side of the disciples to destroy them, Jesus was watching and praying to parry the blow, or at least to prevent it from being mortal to any of them. Langen explains ἐπιστρέψας in the sense of שׁוּב , H8740: “strengthen thy brethren anew. ” But this meaning of ἐπιστρέφειν is unknown in Greek, and the πότε distinguishes the notion of the participle precisely from that of the principal verb. This saying of Jesus is one of those which lift the curtain which covers the invisible world from our view. Although it has been preserved to us only by Luke, Holtzmann acknowledges its authenticity. He ascribes it to a special tradition. That does not prevent him, however, from deriving this whole account from the common source, the proto-Mark. But Luk 22:35-38 are also peculiar to Luke, and show clearly that his source was different.

Peter believes in his fidelity more than in the word of Jesus. Jesus then announces to him his approaching fall. The name Peter reminds him of the height to which Jesus had raised him. Three crowings of the cock were distinguished; the first between midnight and one o'clock, the second about three, the third between five and six. The third watch (from midnight to three o'clock), embraced between the first two, was also called ἀλεκτοροφωνία , cock-crow ( Mar 13:35 ). The saying of Jesus in Luke, Matthew, and John would therefore signify: “To-day, before the second watch from nine o'clock to midnight have passed, thou shalt have denied me thrice.” But Mark says, certainly in a way at once more detailed and exact: “ Before the cock have crowed twice, thou shalt have denied me thrice. ” That is to say: before the end of the third watch, before three o'clock in the morning. The mention of those two crowings, the first of which should have already been a warning to Peter, perhaps makes the gravity of his sin the more conspicuous.

Matthew and Mark place the prediction of the denial on the way to Gethsemane. But John confirms the account of Luke, who places it in the supper room. We need not refute the opinion of Langen, who thinks that the denial was predicted twice.

Verses 31-38

2 d. Luke 22:31-42.22.38. Jesus announces to His disciples, first the moral danger which threatens them ( Luk 22:31-34 ); then the end of the time of temporal well-being and security which they had enjoyed under His protection ( Luk 22:35-38 ).

Verses 35-38

Vers. 35-38. “ And He said unto them, When I sent you without purse and scrip and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing. 36. Then He said unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip. And he that hath no [sword], let him sell his garment, and buy one. 37. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me are coming to an end....38.”

Till then, the apostles, protected by the favour which Jesus enjoyed with the people, had led a comparatively easy life. But the last conflict between Him and the Jewish authorities was about to break out, and how could the apostles, during all the rest of their career, escape the hostile blows? This is the thought which occupies our Lord's mind: He gives it a concrete form in the following figures. In Luk 22:35 He recalls to mind their first mission ( Luk 9:1 et seq.). We learn on this occasion the favourable issue which had been the result of that first proof of their faith. The historian had told us nothing of it, Luke 9:6.

The object of μὴ ἔχων is evidently μαχαίραν (not πήραν or βαλαντίον ): “ Let him who hath not [a sword], buy one. ” It heightens the previous warning. Not only can they no longer reckon on the kind hospitality which they enjoyed during the time of their Master's popularity, and not only must they prepare to be treated henceforth like ordinary travellers, paying their way, etc.; but they shall even meet with open hostility. Disciples of a man treated as a malefactor, they shall be themselves regarded as dangerous men; they shall see themselves at war with their fellow-countrymen and the whole world. Comp. John 15:18-43.15.25, the piece of which this is, as it were, the summary and parallel. The sword is here, as in Matthew 10:34, the emblem of avowed hostility. It is clear that in the mind of Him who said: “I send you forth as lambs among wolves,” this weapon represents the power of holiness in conflict with the sin of the world, that sword of the Spirit spoken of by Paul ( Eph 6:17 ).

The καὶ γάρ , and in truth, at the end of the verse, announces a second fact analogous to the former ( and), and which at the same time serves to explain it ( in truth). The tragical end of the ministry of Jesus is also approaching, and consequently no features of the prophetic description can be slow in being realized.

The disciples seem to take literally the recommendation of Jesus, and even to be proud of their prudence. The words, It is enough, have been understood in this sense: “Let us say no more; let us now break up; events will explain to you my mind, which you do not understand.” But is it not more natural to give to ἱκανόν ἐστι this mournfully ironic sense: “Yes, for the use which you shall have to make of arms of this kind, those two swords are enough.”

Here we must place the last words of John 14:0: “ Rise; let us go hence. ” The Syn. have preserved only a few hints of the last discourses of Jesus (John 14-17). These were treasures which could not be transmitted to the Church in the way of oral tradition, and which, assuming hearers already formed in the school of Jesus like the apostles, were not fitted to form the matter of popular evangelization.

Verses 39-46

III. Gethsemane: Luke 22:39-42.22.46.

The Lamb of God must be distinguished from typical victims by His free acceptance of death as the punishment of sin; and hence there required to be in His life a decisive moment, when, in the fulness of His consciousness and liberty, He should accept the punishment which He was to undergo. At Gethsemane Jesus did not drink the cup; He consented to drink it. This point of time corresponds to that in which, with the same fulness and liberty, He refused in the wilderness universal sovereignty. There He rejected dominion over us without God; here He accepts death for God and for us. Each evangelist has some special detail which attests the independence of his sources. Matthew exhibits specially the gradation of the agony and the progress toward acceptance. Mark has preserved to us this saying of primary importance: “ Abba! Father! all things are possible unto Thee. ” Luke describes more specially the extraordinary physical effects of this moral agony. His account is, besides, very much abridged. John omits the whole scene, but not without expressly indicating its place ( Luk 18:1 ). In the remarkable piece, Luke 12:23-42.12.28, this evangelist had already unveiled the essence of the struggle which was beginning in the heart of Jesus; and the passage proves sufficiently, in spite of Keim's peremptory assertions, that there is no dogmatic intention in the omission of the agony of Gethsemane. When the facts are sufficiently known, John confines himself to communicating some saying of Jesus which enables us to understand their spirit. Thus it is that chap. 3 sheds light on the ordinance of Baptism, and chap. 6 on that of the Holy Supper.

Heb 5:7-9 contains a very evident allusion to the account of Gethsemane, a fact the more remarkable, as that epistle is one of those which, at the same time, most forcibly exhibit the divinity of Jesus.

Vers. 39-46. The word came out ( Luk 22:39 ) includes His leaving the room and the city. The name, the Mount of Olives, which is used here by our three Syn., may designate in a wide sense the slope and even the foot of the mount which begins immediately beyond the Cedron. This is the sense to which we are led by John's account, Luke 18:1. The north-west angle of the enclosure, which is now pointed out as the garden of Gethsemane, is fifty paces from the bed of the torrent.

Ver. 40. Jesus invites His disciples to prepare by prayer for the trial which threatens their fidelity, and of which He has already forewarned them ( Luk 22:31 ). The use of the word εἰσελθεῖν , enter into, to signify to yield to, is easily understood, if we contrast this verb in thought with διελθεῖν , to pass through.

In Matthew and Mark, Jesus has no sooner arrived than He announces to His disciples His intention to pray Himself. Then, withdrawing a little with Peter, James, and John, He tells them of the agony with which His soul is all at once seized, and leaves them, that He may pray alone. These successive moments are all united in Luke in the ἀπεσπάσθη , He was withdrawn ( Luk 22:41 ). There is in this term, notwithstanding Bleek's opinion, the idea of some violence to which He is subject; He is dragged far from the disciples by anguish ( Act 21:1 ). The expression, to the distance of about a stone's cast, is peculiar to Luke.

Instead of kneeling down, Matthew says, He fell upon His face; Mark, upon the ground.

The terms of Jesus' prayer, Luke 22:42, differ in the three narratives, and in such a way that it is impossible the evangelists could have so modified them at their own hand. But the figure of the cup is common to all three; it was indelibly impressed on tradition. This cup which Jesus entreats God to cause to pass from before ( παρά ) His lips, is the symbol of that terrible punishment the dreadful and mournful picture of which is traced before Him at this moment by a skilful painter with extraordinary vividness. The painter is the same who in the wilderness, using a like illusion, passed before His view the magical scene of the glories belonging to the Messianic kingdom.

Mark's formula is distinguished by the invocation, “ Abba! Father! all things are possible unto Thee,” in which the translation ὁ πατήρ , Father, has been added by the evangelist for his Greek readers. It is a last appeal at once to the fatherly love and omnipotence of God. Jesus does not for a moment give up the work of human salvation; He asks only if the cross is really the indispensable means of gaining this end. Cannot God in His unlimited power find another way of reconciliation? Jesus thus required, even He, to obey without understanding, to walk by faith. Hence the expressions, Hebrews 5:8, He learned obedience, and Luke 12:2, ἀρχηγὸτῆς πίστεως , He who leads the way (the initiator) of faith. Yet this prayer does not imply the least feeling of revolt; for Jesus is ready to accept the Father's answer, whatever it may be. What if nature rises within Him against this punishment? this repugnance is legitimate. It was not with the view of suffering thus that man received from God a body and a soul. This resistance of natural instinct to the will of the Spirit, that is to say, to the consciousness of a mission, is exactly what makes it possible for nature to become a real victim, an offering in earnest. So long as the voice of nature is at one with that of God, it may be asked, Where is the victim for the burnt-offering? Sacrifice begins where conflict begins. But, at the same time, the holiness of Jesus emerges pure and even perfected from this struggle. Under the most violent pressure, the will of nature did not for a single moment escape from the law of the Spirit, and ended after a time of struggle in being entirely absorbed in it. Luke, like Mark, gives only the first prayer, and confines himself to indicating the others summarily, while Matthew introduces us more profoundly to the progressive steps in the submission of Jesus ( Luk 22:42 ). How much more really human do out Gospels make Jesus than our ordinary dogmatics! It is not thus that the work of invention would have been carried out by a tradition which aimed at deifying Jesus.

The appearance of the angel, Luke 22:43, is mentioned only by Luke. No doubt this verse is wanting in some Alex. But it is found in 13 Mjj. and in the two oldest translations ( Itala and Peschito), and this particular is cited so early as the second century by Justin and Irenaeus. It is not very probable that it would have been added. It is more so that, under the influence of the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity, it was omitted on the pretext that it was not found either in Matthew or Mark. Bleek, while fully acknowledging the authenticity of the verse, thinks that this particular was wanting in the primitive Gospel, and that it was introduced by Luke on the faith of a later tradition. Schleiermacher supposes the existence of a poetical writing in which the moral suffering of the Saviour was celebrated, and from which the two Luk 22:43-44 were taken. But tradition, poetry, and myths tend rather to glorify their hero than to impair his honour. The difficulty which orthodoxy finds in accounting for such particulars makes it hard to suppose that it was their inventor.

This appearance was not only intended to bring spiritual consolation to Jesus, but physical assistance still more, as in the wilderness. The saying uttered by Him an instant before was no figure of rhetoric: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death. ” As when in the wilderness under the pressure of famine, He felt Himself dying. The presence of this heavenly being sends a vivifying breath over Him. A divine refreshing pervades Him, body and soul; and it is thus only that He receives strength to continue to the last the struggle to the physical violence of which He was on the very point of giving way. Luk 22:44 shows to what physical prostration Jesus was reduced. This verse is omitted on the one hand, and supported on the other, by the same authorities as the preceding. Is this omission the result of the preceding, or perhaps the consequence of confounding the two καί at the beginning of Luk 22:44-45 ? In either case, there appears to have been here again omission rather than interpolation.

The intensity of the struggle becomes so great, that it issues in a sort of beginning of physical dissolution. The words, as it were drops, express more than a simple comparison between the density of the sweat and that of blood. The words denote that the sweat itself resembled blood. Phenomena of frequent occurrence demonstrate how immediately the blood, the seat of life, is under the empire of moral impressions. Does not a feeling of shame cause the blood to rise to the face? Cases are known in which the blood, violently agitated by grief, ends by penetrating through the vessels which enclose it, and driven outwards, escapes with the sweat through the transpiratory glands. The reading καταβαίνοντος , in א and some documents of the Itala, though admitted by Tischendorf, has no internal probability. The participle ought to qualify the principal substantive rather than the complement.

The disciples themselves might easily remark this appearance when Jesus awoke them, for the full moon was lighting up the garden. They might also hear the first words of Jesus' prayer, for they did not fall asleep immediately, but only, as at the transfiguration ( Luk 9:32 ), when His prayer was prolonged.

Jesus had previously experienced some symptoms precursive of a struggle like to this (Luke 12:49-42.12.50; Joh 12:27 ). But this time the anguish is such that it is impossible not to recognise the intervention of a supernatural agent. Satan had just invaded the circle of the Twelve by taking possession of the heart of Judas. He was about to sift all the other disciples. Jesus Himself at this time was subjected to his action: “ This is the power of darkness,” says He, Luke 22:53. In the words which close his account of the temptation ( Luk 4:13 ), Luke had expressly declared: “He departed from Him till a favourable season,” the return of the tempter at a fixed conjuncture.

Vers. 45 and 46. Luke unites the three awakings in one. Then he seeks to explain this mysterious slumber which masters the disciples, and he does so in the way most favourable to them. The cause was not indifference, but rather the prostration of grief. It is well known that deep grief, especially after a period of long and keen tension, disposes to slumber through sheer exhaustion. Nothing could be more opposed than this explanation to the hostile feelings toward the disciples which are ascribed to Luke, and all the more that this particular is entirely peculiar to him. Luke 22:46. Jesus rises from this struggle delivered from His fear, as says the Epistle to the Hebrews; that is to say, in possession of the profound calm which perfect submission gives to the soul. The punishment has not changed its nature, it is true; but the impression which the expectation of the cross produces on Jesus is no longer the same. He has given Himself up wholly; He has done what He Himself proclaimed before passing the Cedron: “ For their sakes I sanctify myself ” ( Joh 17:19 ). The acceptance of the sacrifice enables Him to feel beforehand the rest belonging to the completion of the sacrifice. Henceforth He walks with a firm step to meet that cross the sight of which an instant before made Him stagger.

Verses 47-53

1. The Arrest of Jesus: Luke 22:47-42.22.53.

Three things are included in this piece: 1 st. The kiss of Judas ( Luk 22:47-48 ); 2 d. The disciples' attempt at defence ( Luk 22:49-51 ); 3 d. The rebuke which Jesus administers to those who come to take Him ( Luk 22:52-53 ).

Vers. 47 and 48. The sign which Judas had arranged with the band had for its object to prevent Jesus from escaping should one of His disciples be seized in His stead. In the choice of the sign in itself, as Langen remarks, there was no refinement of hypocrisy. The kiss was the usual form of salutation, especially between disciples and their master. The object of this salutation is not mentioned by Luke; it was understood. We see from John that the fearless attitude of Jesus, who advanced spontaneously in front of the band, rendered this signal superfluous and almost ridiculous.

The saying of Jesus to Judas, Luke 22:48, is somewhat differently reproduced in Matthew; it is omitted in Mark. In memory of this kiss, the primitive Church suppressed the ceremony of the brotherly kiss on Good Friday. The sole object of the scene which follows in John (the I am He of Jesus, with its consequences) was to prevent a disciple from being arrested at the same time.

Vers. 49-51. The Syn. name neither the disciple who strikes, nor the servant struck. John gives the names of both. So long as the Sanhedrim yet enjoyed its authority, prudence forbade the giving of Peter's name here in the oral narrative. But after his death and the destruction of Jerusalem, John was no longer restrained by the same fears. As to the name of Malchus, it was only preserved in the memory of that disciple who, well known in the house of the high priest, knew the man personally. What are we to think of the author of the fourth Gospel, if these proper names were mere fictions?

According to Luke 22:49, the disciple who struck acted in the name of all ( ἰδόντες ... εἶπον , shall we smite?). This particular, peculiar to Luke, extenuates Peter's guilt.

John says, with Luke: “the right ear.” This minute coincidence shows that the details peculiar to Luke are neither legendary nor the inventions of his own imagination.

The words ἐᾶτε ἕως τούτου supply in Luke the place of a long and important answer of Jesus in Matthew. Should this command be applied to the officers: “Let me go to this man ” (Paulus); or “to the spot where this man is”? But this would have required ἐᾶτε με , “let me go.” Or should we understand it, with De Wette, Riggenbach: “ Leave me yet for a moment ”? The ἕως , till, does not lead very naturally to this sense. Besides, the ἀποκριθείς , answering, shows that the words of Jesus are connected with the act of the disciple rather than with the arrival of the officers. It is not till Luk 22:52 that Jesus turns to those who have arrived ( πρὸς τοὺς παραγενομένους ). Here He is addressing the apostles. The meaning is therefore either, “Let these men (the officers) go thus far (the length of seizing me),” or (which is more natural), “ Stop there; strike no such second below; this one is quite enough.” This act of violence, indeed, not only compromised the safety of Peter, but even the Lord's cause. Jesus was all but hindered thereby from addressing Pilate in the words so important for His defence against the crime with which the Jews charged Him ( Joh 18:36 ): “ My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews. ” Nothing less was needed than the immediate cure of Malchus to restore the moral situation which had been injured by this trespass, and to enable Jesus to express Himself without the risk of being confounded by facts.

This cure is related only by Luke; Meyer therefore relegates it to the domain of myth. But if it had not taken place, it would be impossible to understand how Peter and Jesus Himself had escaped from this complaint.

Luke 22:52-42.22.53. Among those who came out, Luke numbers some of the chief priests. Whatever Meyer and Bleek may say, such men may surely, out of hatred or curiosity, have accompanied the band charged with the arrest. Besides, is not the rebuke which follows addressed rather to rulers than to subordinates? As to the captains of the temple, see Luke 22:4. As to the officers, comp. John 7:45; Acts 5:22-44.5.26. John speaks, besides, of the cohort, Luke 18:3; Luke 18:12; this word, especially when accompanied by the term χιλίαρχος , tribune ( Luk 22:12 ), and with the antithesis τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων , can only, in spite of all Bäumlein's objections, designate a detachment of the Roman cohort; it was, as Langen remarks, an article of provincial legislation, that no arrest should take place without the intervention of the Romans.

The meaning of the rebuke of Jesus is this: “It was from cowardice that you did not arrest me in the full light of day.” The other two Syn. carry forward their narrative, like Luke, with a but; only this but is with them the necessity for the fulfilment of the prophecies, while with Luke it is the harmony between the character of the deed and that of the nocturnal hour. Darkness is favourable to crime; for man needs to be concealed not only from others, but from himself, in order to sin. For this reason, night is the time when Satan puts forth all his power over humanity; it is his hour. And hence, adds Jesus, it is also yours, for you are his instruments in the work which you are doing; comp. John 8:44; John 14:30.

Luke omits the fact of the apostles' flight which is related here by Matthew and Mark. Where is the malevolence which is ascribed to him against the Twelve?

Mark also relates, with great circumstantiality, the case of the young man who fled stripped of the linen cloth in which he was wrapped. As, according to Acts 12:0, the mother of Mark possessed a house in Jerusalem, as this house was the place where the Church gathered in times of persecution, and as it was therefore probably situated in a by-place, it is not impossible that it stood in the vale of Gethsemane, and that this young man was (as has long been supposed) Mark himself, drawn by the noise of the band, and who has thus put his signature as modestly as possible in the corner of the evangelical narrative which he composed.

Verses 47-71

Second Cycle: The Passion, Luk 22:47 to Luke 23:46 .

The death of Jesus is not simply, in the eyes of the evangelists, and according to the sayings which they put into His mouth, the historical result of the conflict which arose between Him and the theocratic authorities. What happens to Him is that which has been determined ( Luk 22:22 ). Thus it must be ( Mat 26:54 ). He Himself sought for a time to struggle against this mysterious necessity by having recourse to that infinite possibility which is inseparable from divine liberty ( Mar 14:36 ). But the burden has fallen on Him with all its weight, and He is now charged with it. He dies for the remission of the sins of the world ( Mat 26:28 ). The dogmatic system of the apostles contains substantially nothing more. Only it is natural that in the Epistles the divine plan should be more prominent; in the Gospels, the action of the human factors. The two points of view complete one another: God acts by means of history, and history is the realization of the divine thought.

This cycle embraces the accounts of the arrest of Jesus ( Luk 22:47-53 ); of His twofold trial, ecclesiastical and civil ( Luk 22:54 to Luk 23:25 ); of His crucifixion ( Luk 23:26-46 ).

Verses 54-62

(1.) Luke 22:54-42.22.62. Peter's Denial. The account of the evangelists presents insoluble difficulties, if Annas and Caiaphas dwelt in different houses. Indeed, according to Matthew and Mark, who do not mention the examination before Annas, it is at the house of Caiaphas that the denial must have taken place; while according to John, who does not relate the sitting at the house of Caiaphas, it is at the house of Annas that this scene must have occurred. But is it impossible, or even improbable, that Annas and Caiaphas his son-in-law occupied the sacerdotal palace in common? Annas and Caiaphas, high priests, the one till the year 14, the other from the year 17, were so identified in popular opinion, that Luke ( Luk 3:2 ) mentions them as exercising one and the same pontificate in common, the one as titulary high priest, the other as high priest de facto. So Acts 4:6: Annas the high priest and Caiaphas. But there is more than a possibility or a probability. There is a fact: in John 18:15, the entrance of Peter into the palace where the denial took place is explained on the ground that John was known to the high priest, a title which in this context (Luke 22:13; Luk 22:24 ) can designate no other than Caiaphas; and yet, according to Luke 22:12, it is the house of Annas which is in question. How are we to explain this account, if Annas and Caiaphas did not inhabit the same house? There is caution in the way in which Luke expresses himself: “They led Him into the high priest's house; ” he does not say, to the house of Caiaphas (Matthew), or to the presence of the high priest (Mark), but to the sacerdotal palace, where dwelt the two high priests closely united and related.

A covered gateway ( πυλών ) led from without into the court where the fire was lighted ( αὐλή ).

The first denial is related by John in a way to show that it took place during the appearance before Annas. Comp. the repetition Luke 18:18; Luke 18:25, which is indirectly intended to show that the denial was simultaneous with that first sitting. The other two denials being placed by John after the sitting, took place consequently between the appearance at the house of Annas and the sitting of the Sanhedrim at the house of Caiaphas.

After his first sin, Peter, humbled, and, as it were, afraid of himself, had withdrawn to the gateway ( πυλών , Matthew), or to the outer court ( προαύλιον , Mark), situated before the gateway. There, though more secluded, he is the object of petty persecution on the part of the porteress who had let him in (Mark), of another female servant (Matthew), of another individual ( ἕτερος , Luke), of the bystanders in general ( εἶπον , they said, John). The accusation began probably with the porteress, who knew his intimate connection with John; she betrayed him to another servant; and the latter pointed him out to the domestics. Finally, about an hour later (Luke), a kinsman of Malchus (John) recognises him, and engages him in a conversation. Peter's answer makes him known as a Galilean, and consequently as a disciple of Jesus. And the third denial takes place; the cock crows (Matthew, Luke, John) for the second time (Mark). Then Peter, awaking as from a dream, at the moment when he lifts his head, meets the eye of Jesus (Luke). How could the Lord be there? It was the time when, after the examination before Annas, they were leading Him to the sitting of the Sanhedrim before Caiaphas. He was just crossing the court which divided the two sets of apartments; and this is what John means to express by introducing here the remark, Luke 18:24: “ Now Annas had sent Him bound to Caiaphas.

We can understand the profound effect produced upon the disciple by the sight of his Master bound, and the look which He gave him in passing. Mark omits this particular, Peter was not likely to relate it in his preaching. Mark merely says: ἐπιβαλὼν ἔκλαιε (the imperfect), hurrying forth, he wept, went on weeping without ceasing. The other Gospels simply use the aor. he wept. Then it was that he was preserved from despair and its consequences by the intercession of his Master: “ I have prayed for thee...” The answer to the prayer of Jesus was given partly by this look, a look of pardon as well as of rebuke, which raised the poor disciple, while breaking his heart with contrition. It was thereby that God sustained his faith, and prevented him from falling into a state similar to that of Judas.

We recognise in the three Syn. accounts the characteristic of traditional narrative in their combining the three denials in a single description; it was the ἀπομνημόνευμα , the recital, of the denial. John, as an eye-witness, has given the historical fact its natural divisions.

But notwithstanding their common type, each Syn. account has also its delicate shades and special features, rendering it impossible to derive it from the same written source as the other two. Matthew is the writer who best exhibits the gradation of the three denials (as in Gethsemane that of the three prayers of Jesus).

Verses 54-71

2. The Judgment of Jesus: Luk 22:54 to Luke 23:25.

1 st. The Ecclesiastical Trial: Luke 22:54-42.22.71.

This account contains three things: (1) St. Peter's denial ( Luk 22:54-62 ); (2) The evil treatment practised by the Jews ( Luk 22:63-65 ); (3) The sentence of death pronounced by the Sanhedrim ( Luk 22:66-71 ).

Luke places the sitting of the Sanhedrim at which Jesus was condemned in the morning, when the day dawned ( Luk 22:66 ). This morning sitting is also mentioned by Matthew (Matthew 27:1, the morning was come) and Mark (Mark 15:1, straightway in the morning). But, according to those two evangelists, a previous sitting had taken place at the house of Caiaphas during the night, of which they give a detailed description (Matthew 26:57-40.26.66; Mar 14:53-64 ). And this even, according to John, had been preceded by a preparatory sitting at the house of Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas. John does not relate either the second or the third sitting, though he expressly indicates the place of the latter by the πρῶτον , Luke 18:13, and the notice, Luke 18:24. This, then, is the order of events: Immediately on His arrest, between one and three o'clock, Jesus was led to the house of Annas, where a preliminary inquiry took place, intended to extract beforehand some saying which would serve as a text for His condemnation ( Joh 18:19-23 ). This sitting having terminated without any positive result, had not been taken up by tradition, and was omitted by the Syn. But John relates it to complete the view of the trial of Jesus, and with regard to the account of Peter's denial, which he wishes to restore to its true light. During this examination, the members of the Sanhedrim had been called together in haste, in as large numbers as possible, to the house of the high priest. The sitting of this body which followed was that at which Jesus was condemned to death for having declared Himself to be the Son of God. It must have taken place about three o'clock in the morning. Matthew ( Mat 26:59 et seq.) and Mark ( Mar 14:55 et seq.) have minutely described it. John has omitted it as sufficiently known through them. In the morning, at daybreak, the Sanhedrim assembled anew, this time in full muster, and in their official hall near the temple. This is the sitting described by Luke, and briefly indicated, as we have seen, by Matthew and Mark. Two things rendered it necessary: (1) According to a Rabbinical law, no sentence of death passed during the night was valid. To this formal reason there was probably added the circumstance that the sentence had not been passed in the official place. But especially (2) it was necessary to deliberate seriously on the ways and means by which to obtain from the Roman governor the confirmation and execution of their sentence. The whole negotiation with Pilate which follows shows that the thing was far from easy, and betrays on the part of the Jews, as we have seen in our Comment. sur l'évang. de Jean, a strategical plan completely marked out beforehand. It was no doubt at this morning sitting that the plan was discussed and adopted. Matthew also says, in speaking of this last sitting ( Mat 27:1 ), that they took counsel ὥστε θανατῶσαι αὐτόν , about the way of getting Him put to death. Then it was that Judas came to restore his money to the Sanhedrim in the temple ( ἐν τῷ ναῷ , Mat 27:5 ).

Bleek admits only two sittings in all, the one preliminary, which was held at the house of Annas (John), and during which Peter's denial took place; the other official, decisive, in which the whole Sanhedrim took part, related by the Syn., who erroneously connect Peter's denial with it, and which is divided also erroneously by Matthew and Mark into two distinct sittings. Langen, on the contrary, with many commentators, identifies the examination before Annas (John 18:13; Joh 18:19-23 ) with the nocturnal sitting which is described in detail by Matthew and Mark. Against this explanation there are: 1. The entire difference between the matter of the two sittings: in John, a simple examination without judgment; in Matthew and Mark, the express pronouncing of a capital sentence; 2. Luk 22:24 of John, “ Annas sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas,” a verse which, whatever may be made of it, implies two sittings, the one at the house of Annas, the other at the house of Caiaphas, in the same night. The opinion of Bleek would be more allowable. But we should be authorized in ascribing to the first two Syn. the serious confusion, and then the false division, which Bleek imputes to them, only if the two sittings of the night and morning could not be sufficiently accounted for. Now, we have just seen that it is quite otherwise. A minute particular which distinguishes them confirms their historical reality; in the night sitting there had been unanimity ( Mar 14:64 ). Now, if Luke is not mistaken in declaring, Luke 23:51, that Joseph of Arimathea did not vote with the majority, we must conclude that he was not present at the night sitting at the house of Caiaphas, but that he took part only in that of the morning in the temple, which agrees with the fact that Matthew ( Mat 27:1 ) expressly distinguishes the morning assembly as a plenary court, by the adjective πάντες , all. The two sittings are thus really distinct. Luke has mentioned only the last, that of the morning, perhaps because it was only the sentence pronounced then for the second time which had legal force, and which therefore was the only one mentioned by his sources.

Verses 63-65

(2.) Luke 22:63-42.22.65.

The evil treatment mentioned here is the same as that related by Matthew and Mark, and placed by them after the sitting of the Sanhedrim at the house of Caiaphas. It is the parody of the prophetic knowledge of Jesus, the ridicule of the Jews. We shall afterwards see the derision of the Gentiles.

Verses 66-71

(3.) Luke 22:66-42.22.71. The Morning Sitting.

It is impossible to determine to what extent the Sanhedrim required to repeat in their morning sitting what had passed in the night one. But we are justified in allowing that some details of the one were applied to the other by tradition and by our evangelists. There was nothing in itself blasphemous in one calling himself the Christ. This claim, even if it was false, was not an outrage on the honour of God. If the assertions of Jesus regarding His person appeared in the judgment of the Jews to be blasphemy, it was because in His mouth the title Son of God always signified something else and something more than that of Messiah, and because the latter was in His lips only a corollary from the former. In proportion to the care with which Jesus in His ministry had avoided making His Messiahship the subject of His public declarations, He had pointedly designated Himself as the Son of God. Hence, in the sitting described by Matthew and Mark, the high priest, when putting to Him the question: “Art thou the Christ? ” takes care to add: “ the Son of God? ” well knowing that the first assertion cannot be the foundation of a capital charge, unless it be again completed and explained as it had always been in the teaching of Jesus by the second. The question of Luke 22:67, in Luke, was simply, on the part of the high priest, the introduction to the examination (comp. Luk 22:70 ). But Jesus, wishing to hasten a decision which He knew to be already taken, boldly and spontaneously passes in His answer beyond the strict contents of the question, and declares Himself not only the Messiah, but at the same time the Son of man sharing the divine glory. The particle εἰ ( Luk 22:67 ) may be taken interrogatively: “ Art thou the Christ? Tell us so in that case.” But it is more natural to make it directly dependent on εἶπε : “Tell us if thou art...”

De Wette has criticised the answer here ascribed to Jesus ( Luk 22:67-68 ). The second alternative: If I ask you, appears to him out of place in the mouth of an accused person. It is not so. Here is the position, as brought out by the answer of Jesus: “I cannot address you either as judges whom I am seeking to convince, for you are already determined to put no faith in my declarations, nor as disciples whom I am endeavouring to instruct, for you would not enter into a fair discussion with me.” Had he not questioned them once and again previously on the origin of John's baptism, and on the meaning of Psalms 110:0? And they had steadily maintained a prudent silence! Jesus foresees the same result, if He should now enter into discussion with them.

The last words: ἢ ἀπολύσητε , nor let me go, are perplexing, because, while grammatically connected with the second alternative, they refer in sense to both. Either, with the Alex., they must be rejected, or they must be taken as a climax: “Nor far less still will ye let me go.”

Ver. 69. Jesus Himself thus furnishes the Jews with the hold which they seek. The name Son of man, which He uses as most directly connected with that of Christ ( Luk 22:67 ), is qualified by a description implying that He who bears this title participates in the divine state.

Thereby the trial became singularly shortened. There was no occasion searchingly to examine the right of Jesus to the title of Christ. The claim to divine glory contained in this assertion of Jesus is immediately formulated by the tribunal in the title Son of God. It only remains to have the blasphemy articulately stated by the culprit Himself. Hence the collective question, Luke 22:70.

The form: ye say that I am, thou sayest it, is not used in Greek; but it is frequently used in Rabbinical language. By such an answer the party accepts, as His own affirmation, the whole contents of the question put to Him.

So far, therefore, from this question proving, as is persistently affirmed, that the name Son of God is equivalent in the view of the Jews, or in that of Jesus, to the name Christ, the evident progress from the question of Luk 22:67 to that of Luke 22:70, brought about by the decided answer of Jesus, Luke 22:69, clearly proves the difference between the two terms. As to the difference between the night sitting and that of the morning, it was not considerable. In the second, the steps were only more summary, and led more quickly to the end. All that was necessary was to ratify officially what had been done during the night. As Keim says, “the Sanhedrim had not to discuss; they had merely to approve and confirm the decision come to overnight.”

In the opinion of those who allege that Jesus was crucified on the afternoon of the 15th, and not of the 14th, the arrest of Jesus, and the three judicial sessions which followed, took place in the night between the 14th and 15th, and so on the sabbatic holy day. Is that admissible? Langen remarks that on the 15th Nisan food might be prepared, which was forbidden on a Sabbath ( Exo 12:16 ). But there is no proof that this exception extended to other acts of ordinary life (arrests, judgments, punishments, etc.). He seeks, further, to prove that what was forbidden on a sabbatic day was not to pronounce a sentence, but merely to write and execute it. Now, he says, there is no proof that the sentence of Jesus was written; and it was Roman soldiers, not subject to the law, by whom it was executed. These replies are ingenious; but after all, the objection taken from the general sabbatic character of the 15th Nisan remains in all its force.

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Bibliographical Information
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on Luke 22". "Godet's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gsc/luke-22.html.