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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Luke 22

 

 

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Verse 1-2

Luke 22:1 f. The Decision of the Chief Priests (Mark 14:1 f.*, Matthew 26:1-5*).

Luke 22:1. The feast of unleavened bread (Nisan 15-21) was really distinct from the Passover (Nisan 14), though the close association of the two led them to be spoken of as one, and even identified by Gentiles like Luke. Cf. p. 103.


Verses 3-6

Luke 22:3-6. The Betrayal of Jesus (Mark 14:10 f.*, Matthew 26:14-16*).—Lk. omits the anointing of Jesus, having recorded a similar incident in Luke 7:36-50. Special points in Lk.'s narrative here are the Satanic possession of Judas (cf. John 13:2), the mention of the captains (officers of the Temple guard), and the explanation of the convenient season.


Verses 7-13

Luke 22:7-13. Preparation for the Last Supper (Mark 14:12-16*, Matthew 26:17-19*).—Lk. follows Mk. more fully than Mt. does. The names of the two disciples are given.


Verses 14-20

Luke 22:14-20. The Last Supper (Mark 14:22-25*, Matthew 26:26-29*).—Henceforth Lk. seems to be using another source in addition to (and in preference to) Mk. The revelation of the treachery of Judas is deferred till after the bread and the cup. Luke 22:15-18 seems to describe the Passover meal (but see below); the eating of unleavened bread is implied in Luke 22:16, as the drinking of the Passover cup is expressed in Luke 22:17. Then in Luke 22:19 (after Jesus' last Passover) we have the institution of the new rite in words closely resembling 1 Corinthians 11:24 f. Of this bread and cup Jesus does not partake. Note that Mk. separates the Passover from the Last Meal by inserting the prediction of the betrayal between them.

Codex Bez omits the latter part of Luke 22:19 (after "body"; cf. Mk.) and all of Luke 22:20. With this reading, Luke 22:16 is introductory, and Luke 22:17 begins the institution of the new rite, which is not separated from the old Passover meal. The bread follows the cup as in 1 Corinthians 10:16. The bread is the body of Jesus, but nothing is said of the cup being His blood. Wellhausen goes further and excises the whole of Luke 22:19 (and Luke 22:20). In his view Luke 22:15 f., apparently referring to the Passover, really refers to the bread, and corresponds with Mark 14:22, just as Luke 22:17 f. (the cup) = Mark 14:25. There is a parallelism between Luke 22:16 and Luke 22:18 which should be preserved, and the suggestion is that both refer to the Last Supper, which is assimilated by Lk. to the Passover. There is no institution of a new rite; Luke 22:19 f., which alone deals with this, is a subsequent insertion due to a feeling that the rite must have originated with Jesus. The reading of Codex Bez in Luke 22:19 a is just an attempt (from 1 Corinthians 11:24, like the fuller text in Lk.) to mention the bread, omitted in Luke 22:15-18. If we accept it we must accept the rest of Luke 22:19 and Luke 22:20. The difficulty of the view is that Luke 22:16 is hardly a good substitute for Mark 14:22, and that according to it Jesus makes no reference to His own body or His blood.

Luke 22:15. With desire I have desired, etc. This may mean, "I have earnestly desired, but am not able," etc. (JThS ix. 569). "My next Passover meal will be the Messianic banquet." If we can so interpret the words, they confirm the Fourth Gospel's contention that Jesus suffered on the 14th of Nisan, about the time when the Paschal lambs were slain for the Passover meal in the evening, which began the 15th of Nisan. Jesus' meal was therefore not a Passover, but took place on the preceding evening (beginning of 14th Nisan; cf. p. 653).

Luke 22:20. the new covenant in my blood: cf. Jeremiah 31:31, Exodus 24:8. The wine symbolises the self-sacrifice of Jesus, which effects and seals the new covenant.


Verses 21-23

Luke 22:21-23. Jesus Reveals the Treachery (Mark 14:18-21*, Matthew 26:21-25*).

Luke 22:21. The word translated "but" is one frequently used by Lk. as a transition particle; there is no close connexion with the preceding verse.

Luke 22:22. Cf. Mark 14:21; the change from "as it. is written" to "as it hath been determined" is perhaps due to Lk.'s inability to find an OT prediction.


Verses 24-30

Luke 22:24-30. The Christian Standard of Greatness (Mark 10:42-45*, Matthew 20:25-28*, Matthew 19:28*. Cf. also Luke 9:46).—Lk. here goes back to a discussion recorded much earlier by Mk., who connects it with the request of James and John for precedence in the Messianic Kingdom. The connexion in Lk. is probably with reference to the apparently near advent of the Kingdom in Luke 22:16; Luke 22:18.

Luke 22:25. benefactors: there is irony in the use of this term, a title that had been borne by Antiochus VII of Syria, Ptolemy III, and Ptolemy VII. The last-named (145-117 B.C.) was a particularly cruel despot.

Luke 22:26. This form of Jesus' saying (e.g. "is" instead of "would be") seems to assume the existence of the early Church. Christ recognises degrees of greatness, but they are based on the measure of humble service rendered. "The younger" answers to "he that doth serve" (cf. Acts 5:6; Acts 5:10). Instead of "the younger," Codex Bez has "the less," and Syr. Sin. "the little."

Luke 22:27 is peculiar to Lk., and takes the place of Mark 10:45. It finds apt illustration in John 13:4-17; there could be no dispute that Jesus was the greater and the chief, yet He waits on the others like a servant.

Luke 22:28-30. This promise of special honour to the Twelve looks like Matthew 19:28, adapted to connect with Luke 22:24-27

Luke 22:28. they which have continued: the Gr. connotes unswerving loyalty.; temptations: in the general sense of trials and troubles.

Luke 22:29. I appoint: or I assign; the word is used of making (a) a covenant, (b) a will.—a kingdom: better kingship, sovereignty, dominion.—Perhaps we should translate Luke 22:29 f., "And as my Father assigned me sovereignty, so I assign you (the right) to eat and drink," etc. The promise as it stands includes Judas, which shows that Lk. has got the wrong setting; this is why he writes "thrones" instead of "twelve thrones." Cf. Exp. Ap. and May 1918.


Verses 31-34

Luke 22:31-34. Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial (Mark 14:27-31*, Matthew 26:31-35*).—Contrast Luke 22:31 f. with Mk. and Mt. ("All ye shall be offended," etc.).

Luke 22:31. Satan asked: the verb implies that the request (which was for all the disciples) was successful, ("Satan has procured to bew given up to him"—Field): the case is similar to that of Job. But on the other hand Jesus has prayed (synchronously with Satan's request) that Peter at least should not utterly fail. He will fall, but he will rise again, and must then strengthen the others. The passage may be compared with Matthew 16:17-19; both show how Simon becomes Peter.


Verses 35-38

Luke 22:35-38. In these verses (Lk. only) Jesus announces a change of method from that advocated in Luke 9:3, Luke 10:4. Montefiore soundly says Luke 22:35 f. must be considered apart from Luke 22:37 and especially from Luke 22:38. It is not a counsel to resist the coming arrest of Jesus, but to prepare for the new missionary experiences awaiting them after His death, when, instead of the welcome accorded them on their first tour, they will have to make their way in the face of opposition and hostility. The sword is thus probably metaphorical. This seems preferable to J. Weiss's idea that Jesus is thinking of the fire He is going to kindle at Jerusalem (Luke 12:49); it will be fatal to Himself, but He hopes the others will be able to hack their way through. Luke 22:37 means that the curtain is about to be rung down on Jesus' life. The connexion with Luke 22:35 f. is that thus a new (and dangerous) chapter is to open for His followers.—hath fulfilment: better "hath an end." Luke 22:38 has to do with immediate events. It may be the genesis of the whole paragraph. Jesus may have feared a secret attack from assassins (so Pfleiderer) which He would resist, and when the disciples say they have two swords in readiness He says they will be enough. When the real danger disclosed itself as a formal arrest (Luke 22:47 ff.), He would not use the sword. Luke 22:35 f. may have been inserted because of the mention of swords, and to explain Jesus' approval of the weapon. Or (with Burkitt, Gospel Hist., 140) we may connect Luke 22:38 with Luke 22:36 by supposing that the disciples misunderstand Jesus' counsel for the future. They produce their two swords, and He, disappointed with their obtuseness, dismisses the subject with the sadly ironical words "Enough, enough." As it was forbidden to carry a sword on feast days we have an indication that the Passover had not begun; cf. Luke 22:15 ff.*


Verses 39-47

Luke 22:39-46. Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42*, Matthew 26:36-46*).—Lk. does not mention the name of the place, and gives only one prayer of Jesus. He is evidently following some source other than Mk.

Luke 22:40. The Gr. lends some colour to the suggestion that the original words were "Pray that I come not into temptation."

Luke 22:43-44 would be more natural in the reverse order. They are not found in the best MSS., but are very early (Justin Martyr, A.D. 150, knew their contents), and probably a fragment of genuine Gospel tradition.

Luke 22:46. for sorrow: contrast Mk. "for their eyes were very heavy."


Verses 47-53

Luke 22:47-53. The Arrest (Mark 14:43-52*, Matthew 26:47-56*).—In Lk.'s account Jesus prevents Judas from giving the kiss. The resistance precedes the arrest (contrast Mk., Mt.).

Luke 22:51. Suffer ye thus far: if spoken to the officers, "Excuse this act of resistance; it will not be repeated," or "Allow me to heal the wounded man:" if to the disciples, "Let them go on with the arrest," or "Let what you have done suffice."

Luke 22:52. Lk. makes the chief priests and elders themselves present.

Luke 22:53. this is your hour, etc. A Johannine thought—cf. John 3:19-21; John 12:35. The hour is predestined; you are children of the night and under cover of darkness do the works of darkness, i.e. of evil. Lk. is not following Mk., hence the omission of the disciples' flight and the incident of the young man.


Verses 53-67

Luke 22:53-67. The Trial before the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:53-65*, Matthew 26:56-68*).—There are several differences from Mk. Jesus is not taken into the hall at first, but remains in the courtyard, and is present while Peter denies Him, so that when the cock crowed "the Lord turned and looked on Peter" (Luke 22:61). The denial scene thus precedes the trial. The second challenge (Luke 22:58) is not from the first maid (Mk.), or another maid (Mt.), but from a man. Peter does not curse and swear. The ill-treatment of Jesus (by the guard, not by the court) also precedes the trial. There is no nocturnal trial; what Mk. and Mt. put immediately on the arrival of Jesus at the high priest's house Lk. puts "as soon as it was day" (cf. Mark 15:1, Matthew 27:1). No thing is said about the destruction of the Temple or the false witness. But the questioning goes on from "Art thou the Messiah?" to "Art thou the Son of God?" apparently a greater (and more presumptuous) title. The answer of Jesus to the first question is that argument is useless since the minds of the judges are made up. In Mk. He says "I am." In Lk. again the judges are not to see the coming of the Son of Man (Mk., Mt.); by the time Luke wrote they were dead and had not seen the Advent. The judges say that the Son of Man who sits at the right hand of (the power of) God is the Son of God; Jesus has after all more than answered their question about the Messiah. His answer to the second question may be interpreted as "Have it so if you like." Lk. does not mention blasphemy, but it is implied as the object of "We have heard." The court does not pronounce any formal verdict. "Council" = the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish authority. Its members were drawn from elders, chief priests, and scribes.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 22:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/luke-22.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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