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Bible Commentaries
Luke 23

Gray's Concise Bible CommentaryGray's Concise Commentary

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Verses 1-56


Here we meet the momentous events recorded in Matthew 26-27 and Mark 14-15, and there treated as fully as space permitted.

The incidents peculiar to Luke are first, the explanation of Judas’ conduct that Satan entered into him (Luke 22:3 ). Satan can enter into no man without his own consent, but the only safeguard against that is the new birth, (John 3:0 ); second, the information that Peter and John were the two disciples sent to make ready the passover (Luke 22:8 ); third, the report of the strife among the disciples at that feast (Luke 22:24-30 ); fourth, the prediction of Peter’s fall as the direct result of the work of Satan upon him (Luke 22:31-34 ). Satan’s desire here should be understood as comprehending all the twelve, although it is Peter only for whom the Lord would pray as the one in danger. We cannot fail to contrast the sin of Peter with that of Judas, the former being forgiven while the latter was not. Peter a child of God was ensnared by Satan, Judas, a child of the devil was his tool. That is the great difference which faith produces; fifth, the story of Gethsemane is enriched by Luke in the mention of the angel from heaven strengthening Jesus, the drops of blood He sweat, and the circumstance that it was “for sorrow,” the disciples slept (Luke 22:39-46 ); sixth, in the arrest, Luke alone reports the words of Jesus to the betrayer, “Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss”? The request of the disciples whether they should smite with the sword?” and the healing of Malcus’ ear (Luke 22:47-53 ). Last, but not least, so far as Chapter 22 is in mind, it is Luke who tells us that “Peter remembered the word of the Lord” about his denial of Him, after the latter had “turned and looked upon Peter” (Luke 22:61-62 ).

Coming to the next chapter, Luke tells us the nature of the indictment against Jesus before Pilate, and perhaps the very form of it (Luke 23:2 ); and he alone gives us the hearing before Herod (Luke 23:6-12 ). On the way to Golgotha, he describes with detail the procession. Simon the Cyrenian is bearing the cross “after Jesus” (Luke 23:26 ); that is, as some think, Jesus Himself is bearing the cross, but the other is carrying “the lighter end of it behind Him.” A great multitude are following, and lamenting women among them (Luke 23:27 ). To these Jesus addresses the warning of verses 28-31 not recorded elsewhere. Luke also gives the correct meaning of Golgotha (Aramaic) and Calvary (Latin) as “the Skull” (Luke 23:33 ).

Luke’s account of the crucifixion is different from the others. Matthew and Mark bring out men’s hatred of Christ in the fullest way, John presents Him as a Divine Person in Whom is the calmness of One who knew whence He was, but Luke shows us “the Man Christ Jesus, suffering, but showing grace even on the cross.” Of the seven sayings on the cross three are found only in Luke, one when interceding for His murderers, one when about to breathe out His life, and the third when His reply to the penitent thief.

The story of the thief is original with Luke, who presents Him as a witness to Christ little expected at that moment and in that place. But what a miracle of grace is he a malefactor saved, blessed, and received into Paradise!


1. What chapters of Matthew and Mark parallel the events of this lesson?

2. Name the incidents in chapter 22 peculiar to Luke.

3. Do the same with chapter 23.

4. Contrast the sin of Peter with that of Judas.

5. Give the Aramaic sayings of Jesus on the cross as recorded only by Luke.

6. Give the Aramaic and Latin words for “the place of a skull.”

Bibliographical Information
Gray, James. "Commentary on Luke 23". Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jgc/luke-23.html. 1897-1910.
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