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Wednesday, July 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 23

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

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Verse 1

2 See Mat 27:1-2.

Verse 3

3 Thou sayest it is the "good confession" referred to by Paul in 1Ti 6:13, showing there is no set form in making the confession.

Verse 4

4 I find no fault in this man. This is virtually the same thought that is worded in Mat 27:23.

Verse 5

5 According to Thayer, Jewry means "all Palestine."

Verse 6

7 This was Herod Anti-pas, who was governor over the territory of Galilee, but was in Jerusalem at this time because of the Passover. If he could turn Jesus over to him, Pilate thought he might get rid of the problem that was worrying him, which was that of disposing of the case against Jesus. He did not believe that Jesus was guilty of any wrong, yet was hesitating about declaring him free because of political reasons (Joh 19:12).

Verse 8

8 The desire of Herod to see Jesus was prompted largely by curiosity about His miraculous works; in chapter 9:9 this desire is mentioned the first time.

Verse 9

9 Jesus knew that Herod had no just reason for his curiosity, hence He maintained the same silence before him that Pilate had received.

Verse 10

0 The chief priests and scribes had followed Jesus as he was escorted into the presence of Herod. But their clamor against Jesus did not have much effect on Herod, at least it did not induce him to attach any legal charge against Him.

Verse 11

1 The actions listed in this verse were for the purpose of belittling Jesus, not to constitute any formal accusation against Him. (See verse 15.)

Verse 12

2 The usual interpretation of this passage is that Pilate and Herod dropped their personal differences, in order to unite against Christ. They did not unite because of any common enmity against Christ, for neither of them had any such a feeling. But Herod wanted to see Jesus, and Pilate granted the courtesy of a personal interview with his noted prisoner. It was this judicial recognition that broke down the long-standing feud between the two political rulers.

Verse 13

3 This group which Pilate called together was composed of all the persons who were interested in the case. The chief priests were the ones to get Jesus into the courts (Mar 15:10), and the people were those who had the voice about what prisoner was to be released under the custom (Mat 27:15), hence it was a representative audience to which Pilate was preparing to speak.

Verse 14

5 A brief reference is made to this paragraph at verse 12. Here were two court rulers, former personal enemies, but agreeing on the innocence of Jesus.

Verse 16

6 It was customary to chastise all prisbners before being released, regardless of whether they were considered "guilty as charged," or not.

Verse 17

7 Of 'necessity denotes it was an established custom to release a prisoner at that time (Mat 27:15), and Pilate thought it would furnish him a way out of his problem of guarding his political interests, without directly upholding Christ.

Verse 18

8 They cried out means the people, for they alone had the legal right to speak on that subject. However, their choice was influenced by the priests and elders and scribes (Mat 27:20).

Verse 19

9 Sedition is from the same word as "insurrection" in Mar 15:7. The meaning is an uprising against a legal government, of which Barabbas had been guilty.

Verse 20

0 Willing to release Jesus means his personal feelings were favorable to Jesus. He wished the people would call for His release, so that Caesar would not blame him as a dis loyal officer in the Roman government.

Verse 21

1 This cry was the demand of a mob.

Verse 22

2 It is an established rule of justice that no man should be punished who is not guilty of doing wrong. Pilate realized that nothing could truly be charged against Jesus, hence his personal conclusion was that he should be discharged, after the customary chastisement, which means the scourging mentioned in other places.

Verse 23

3 The two classes in the audience (priests and people), united in the demand for the crucifixion of Jesus. The inspired writer says their voices prevailed. There was no addi tional evidence produced; just the pressure of public sentiment.

Verse 24

4 It is bad enough to punish a person when a court is only doubtful of his guilt; but Pilate never expressed a single doubt as to the innocence of Jesus. Not only that, but three attempts to get an expression from the audience as to His guilt had failed. So this unworthy judge condemned Jesus to the cross on the sole motive that it was as they required.

Verse 25

5 A seditious murderer was released on the same motive that Jesus was condemned, namely, he was the one whom they desired.

Verse 26

6 After is from OPISTHEN, and Thayer defines it, "Adverb of place, from behind, on the back, behind after." It is clear, therefore, that. Simon and Jesus carried the cross together, Simon bearing one end of the instrument but walking after Jesus. See the notes at Mat 16:24.

Verse 27

7 These persons following toward the place of crucifixion were genuine sympathizers. They were not ashamed to be seen showing deep sentiments on behalf of Him, even to the extent of going with him to the place of shame. (See Heb 13:13.)

Verse 28

9 This shows a case of misplaced grief. Jesus was going to suffer the ordeal of the cross, which would be the last of all his sufferings. These people were destined to meet with distress unequaled by any case in history (Mat 24:21). Blessed are the barren, etc. When parents are forced to see the suffering imposed upon their children, they will wish that no children had been born to them.

Verse 30

0 Mountains, fall on us. This is figurative, meaning it would be a milder fate to be crushed by a mountain, than suffer the distress caused by the Romans.

Verse 31

1 Green and dry are used figuratively, meaning trees that are alive or dead. In the application, they represent a righteous and an unrighteous person. If such distress will be imposed upon a righteous person (Christ), what may be expected to be done to a wicked nation, and its helpless citizens were destined to share in the general calamity, brought about by the wicked leaders.

Verse 32

2 These malefactors (criminals) were thieves (Mat 27:38).

Verse 33

3 Calvary is explained at length at Mat 27:33.

Verse 34

4 This ignorance of which Jesus speaks, applies to the Jews as well as the Gentiles (Act 3:17). Such ignorance, therefore, does not mean they were to be excused at that time regardless of any repentance on their part. In Act 2:23, Peter still held the murder of Jesus against this same people. But no forgiven sin is ever "remembered against" a person who has been forgiven. The meaning of the prayer of Jesus, therefore, is that even His murderers were to be given the same access to the benefits of His death that the rest of the world would have. That prayer was answered on the day of Pentecost when hundreds of them were promised "remission of sins" upon repentance and baptism (Act 2:38). Parted his raiment. (See Mat 27:35.)

Verse 35

5 Had it been a matter of power or strength only, Jesus could have even prevented their nailing him to the cross. But the deed had to be performed in order to fulfill the scripture predictions (Mat 26:54).

Verse 36

7 The soldiers were the executioners for the government; four of them (Joh 19:23).

Verse 38

8 Superscription is explained at Mat 27:37.

Verse 39

9 One of the malefactors. This is more definite than the account in Mat 27:44, and it should be used as a guide in interpreting that one.

Verse 40

0 The fact that the one thief rebuked the other indicates he had not joined in the reproaching of Jesus. However, we can be certain that one of them took the right view of the situation at the last.

Verse 41

1 This man hath, done nothing amiss. The thief who spoke the above words knew that truth when he was first placed on the cross, as well as he knew it when he made the statement. That is one of my reasons for believing he was not partaking in the reproachful language against Jesus at all.

Verse 42

2 This man had been leading a sinful life, yet all the circumstances indicate he had known something of the work and plans of Jesus. They both were on the cross and soon were to die, yet he believed that both would live again. The request he made of Jesus was based on his faith of a resurrection. The wish was to be granted at some date farther in the future than the one at hand.

Verse 43

3 Jesus granted the penitent a promise to be fulfilled sooner than the favor he requested. Paradise is from PARADEISOS and Thayer's general definition is, "A garden, pleasure ground; grove, park." In our passage he defines it, "That part of Hades which was thought by the later Jews to be the abode of the souls of the pious until the resurrection." Robinson, Groves and Hickie define it virtually in the same way. We have previously learned (notes at chapter 16:26) that persons who are assigned to this place will always be among those who are "comforted" or saved. The conclusion is, then, that the thief was saved on the cross. That does not affect the subject of baptism or any other of the specific requirements of the Gospel. The Jewish Dispensation was still in force, hence the things that are now required through the apostles were not then binding. While Jesus was living, he had the right to forgive and save people on any terms He saw fit, or without any terms at all as far as the sinner was concerned. He forgave the woman of chapter 7:47 because of her great love, and we have no evidence that the palsied man of Mat 9:1-2 even had any faith, yet the Lord forgave him. But after the church was set up in Acts 2, no case is recorded where anyone was saved except upon obedience to the Gospel.

Verse 44

5 The sixth hour is the same as our noon, which was the hour that darkness settled over the land. The event was prophesied in Joe 2:30-31.

Verse 46

6 See the comments on Mat 27:50.

Verse 47

7 In this account the centurion describes Jesus as a righteous man. The account in Mat 27:54 describes him as the Son of God; both statements are true.

Verse 48

8 Smiting the breast was an ancient custom in times of mourning or humble anxiety. (See chapter 18:13.)

Verse 49

9 The women were faithful to the last, but with feminine timidity they stood some distance away watching. They had come from the same district were Jesus was brought up, Galilee, and had served Him on various occasions.

Verse 50

3 The notes on Mat 27:57-60 are pretty full, covering the subject matter of the present paragraph. To conserve space, I request the reader to see them.

Verse 54

4 The preparation is ex. plained at Mat 27:62.

Verse 55

5 These women saw the manner of burying for the body of Jesus, including the rolling of a "great stone" up to the entrance (Mat 27:60). That explains their concern about the stone as they were going to the sepulchre (Mar 16:3).

Verse 56

6 Returned and prepared spices. That is, they made such preparation that same day, for the next day was a sabbath or holy day, it being the regular Passover day (Lev 23:4-5), which explains the statement about resting the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Luke 23". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/luke-23.html. 1952.
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