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Bible Commentaries

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament
Luke 22

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1-2

Luke 22:1-2. THE PLOT OF THE RULERS Which if called the Passover. Explanation for Gentile readers.

How they might put him to death; for they feared the people, who had been hearing Him so attentively (chap. Luke 21:38); hence the question was how they could carry into effect a purpose already determined. ‘Not on the feast-day’ (Matthew, Mark) is implied here, and also in Luke 22:6.


Verses 1-6

Comp. Matthew 26:1-16; Mark 14:1-11. ‘Luke omits our Lord’s prediction of His passion, made at the close of His discourses, (Matthew), and also the supper at Bethany. The latter omission cannot be due to the fact that he has recorded a similar anointing at an earlier period (Luke 7:36-50). The two occurrences cannot be confounded.


Verses 3-6

Luke 22:3-6. THE AGREEMENT WITH JUDAS. The successive steps are stated in the same order by all three Evangelists. He went to them with his proposal; they joyfully agreed to pay him; he sought to betray Jesus. Luke, however, says: And Satan entered (Luke 22:3). Comparing this with John 13:27, we conclude that Luke speaks of a preparatory influence, and John of a later decisive possession. While the plan was Satanic, the actual betrayal was more so.

And captains (Luke 22:4), i.e. the officers of the temple-guard, composed of Levites. Their help would be necessary, and doubtless they had been incensed by our Lord’s words in the temple.

Money (Luke 22:5). The amount is named by Matthew alone.

Without tumult (Luke 22:6), lit. ‘without a multitude,’ without attracting a multitude together. Cowardice is implied in this plan of wickedness. The inference from the words ‘covenanted and consented,’ is, that the money was not paid at this time.


Verse 7

Luke 22:7. The passover (paschal lamb) must be sacrificed. This expression does not favor the theory that our Lord celebrated the Passover a day earlier than the usual time. See chronological note on Matthew 26, 27


Verses 7-13

Luke 22:7-13. THE PREPARATION FOR THE PASSOVER FEAST see on Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16.


Verses 7-38

Luke presents a number of new details: Luke 22:7-13 narrate the preparation with greatest fulness, mentioning the names of the two disciples who were sent for this purpose; the affecting words (Luke 22:15) with which our Lord opens the meal are peculiar to Luke. He alone of the Synoptists mentions the disciples’ dispute as to rank (Luke 22:24-27), which was probably the occasion for the foot-washing as well as also the remarkable utterance of Luke 22:28-30. We consider the admonition given to Peter (Luke 22:31-34). as identical with that mentioned by John (John 13:36-38), and as distinct from that mentioned by Matthew and Mark. The latter took place on the way to Gethsemane, the former in the room. Luke deviates from the chronological order, which we think was as follows: (1) The expression of desire in connection with the first cup (Luke 22:14-18); (2) The strife about who should be greatest (Luke 22:24-30), followed by the washing of the disciples’ feet; (3) The announcement of the betrayer (Luke 22:21-23); (4) The actual institution (Luke 22:19-20); (5) The prediction respecting Peter (Luke 22:31, etc.); (6) The incident of the swords (Luke 22:35-38). In regard to the other events, see on Matthew 26:31, etc.; John 13 etc.


Verses 8-10

Luke 22:8. And he sent. It is doubtful whether the question of Luke 22:9 is identical with that mentioned by the other evangelists, or whether the disciples had made a previous inquiry omitted here. The simplest solution is that they came for the purpose of inquiring, were then bidden as here, and then actually inquired.

Peter and John. Named here only. The chief Apostles were sent; hence the message was a solemn one.

Luke 22:10. There shall meet you. The original implies coming together, so that both go the same way. In other respects the account agrees closely with that of Mark.


Verse 14

Luke 22:14-18. THE OPENING EXPRESSION OF DESIRE. Peculiar to Luke.

Luke 22:14. The hour. The regular hour of eating the Passover, in the ‘evening,’ see Matthew 26:20.


Verse 15

Luke 22:15. With desire I have desired. A Hebrew form of expression, denoting strong desire.

To eat this Passover. This refers to this Passover itself, not to the ‘Lord’s Supper,’ which it introduced. One ground of the strong desire was the certainty that it would be the last one, hence peculiarly solemn and important.

With you. Emphatic, it was the eating with them which He so strongly desired.

Before I suffer. The expression occurs in this absolute sense only here in the Gospels. The certainty that this was the last Passover with them rested on the certainty of His sufferings for them; hence the affectionateness of His desire, that before His Passion He might have this privilege. The feast at its very beginning takes on a farewell character.


Verse 16

Luke 22:16. I shall not eat it. Some authorities read: ‘no more,’ a correct explanation. He would eat of it now, but never again. Yet He passes beyond this, and introduces a thought of the future, which was doubtless the deeper reason of His strong desire: until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. This points to His return; rather than to ‘the Christian dispensation.’ Lange refers it ‘to the eternal coronation-feast of His glorified Church, the shining image of the eternal Supper, the anticipatory celebration of which in the New Testament covenant meal, He is now about to establish.’ It must be granted that the Lord is here speaking of the Passover itself, not of the Lord’s Supper which followed.—In a very proper sense the Jewish Passover itself, as a feast of deliverance, will be fulfilled in the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb,’ but our Lord
is speaking of
this Passover particularly, which introduced the Lord’s Supper. That Passover could only be fulfilled in the Messianic feast of the future, alluded to in Luke 22:30, and in Matthew 27:29.


Verse 17

Luke 22:17. Took, or ‘received,’ as the leader in the Passover feast.

A cup. The first cup, of the Passover.

And when he had given thanks. This was usual with the first cup (see on Matthew 26:17, etc.). The form of the blessing was: ‘Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, who hast created the fruit of the vine.’ Of this form there seems to be an echo in Luke 22:18.

Take this and divide it among yourselves. Our Lord Himself seems to have partaken of this cup. As He had eaten before He uttered the words of Luke 22:15-16, so He had drunk before saying this. This was a part of the regular Passover celebration; the institution of the Lord’s Supper was distinct from the act here mentioned.


Verse 18

Luke 22:18. I shall not drink, etc. From this we infer that our Lord did not partake in the Supper He afterwards instituted. The verse points to the same event in the future as Luke 22:16. The old rite was thus formally abrogated, the new one about to be instituted. This view at once suggests a reason for the order adopted by Luke; it contrasts the two rites more fully.


Verse 19

Luke 22:19. Given. Given to death, as the sequel shows, and as Luke 22:20 involves.

For you. This may mean in behalf of you, but such a surrender to death had necessarily a vicarious character.

This do in remembrance of me. Peculiar to Luke and Paul, and pointing to the establishment of a permanent feast. Whatever else the Lord’s Supper may be, this passage proves that it is a memorial service, commemorating the atoning death of our Master.


Verse 19-20

Luke 22:19-20. THE INSTITUTION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER. See on Matthew 26:26-29; comp. Mark 14:22-24; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25. Luke’s account, as might be expected, agrees most closely with the words of the institution, as given by Paul, who distinctly asserts that his account was ‘received of the Lord.’


Verse 20

Luke 22:20. The cup. The one standing before Him.

After supper. The paschal lamb had been eaten, and the feast was about to conclude with the third cup (‘the cup of blessing’), since according to Matthew and Mark, our Lord gave, or, as we would say, returned thanks with this cup. A fourth cup usually followed, but of this no mention is made.

The new covenant in my blood. This means: the new covenant which is ratified or established in my blood. The form here used agrees with that of Paul (1 Corinthians 11:25). Some paraphrase thus: ‘This cup is the new covenant because it contains my blood; ‘but even this view gives no countenance to the literal rendering of the Roman Catholics, since the ‘cup’ could only represent the ‘covenant.’

That which is poured out for you. This is spoken of the ‘blood,’ although the form of the original admits of a reference to the word ‘cup.’ More exactly it points to the fruit of the vine poured out from the grapes and representing the blood of Christ. Otherwise the sign would not include a ‘pouring out,’ which is essential here, especially in view of the ‘breaking’ of the bread.


Verses 21-23

Luke 22:21-23. THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A BETRAYER. But (Luke 22:21); this is not the word usually rendered thus, but one meaning ‘nevertheless.’ The sense would then seem to be, ‘although I pour out my blood for you, yet the hand,’ etc. But to insist that these words were uttered immediately after the institution, involves a serious difficulty, since according to Matthew and Mark, the betrayer had already been pointed out. This, too, is less definite than the other accounts, which is scarcely conceivable if it referred to a second announcement. We therefore suppose that Luke departs from the chronological order; in this view ‘but’ introduces an additional, but not a connected, thought.

The hand of him, etc. Luke does not mention Judas by name, as Matthew and John do.

With me. Emphatic.

On the table. Probably an allusion to the dipping into the dish mentioned by the other Evangelists. The rest of the account presents no new features.

Began to question (Luke 22:23) directly opposes the view that this took place after the Lord’s Supper as a second announcement.


Verse 24

Luke 22:24. And there arose also a contention among them. More than a discussion, a contention, a quarrel. Hence the improbability of its occurring after the Lord’s Supper. Some suppose that it was occasioned by a dispute about their places at the table. No names are mentioned.


Verses 24-30

Luke 22:24-30. THE CONTENTION. Peculiar to Luke, although something similar is recorded by Matthew (Matthew 18:1, etc.; Matthew 20:20, etc.) and Mark. Luke cannot refer to one of these previous occurrences. We place it before the Lord’s Supper, since ‘it is scarce possible that, after the discovery of the treason of Judas, and with the solemn impression which the Lord’s words respecting the traitor must have made upon them, and after they had eaten His supper, any such strife could have occurred. And the improbability is increased if, before this, He had taught them humility by washing their feet’ (Andrews). Luke 22:27 seems to contain an allusion to the foot-washing; yet if this be insisted upon we may still suppose that a part of our Lord’s reply took place before, and a part after, that symbolical act called forth by this contention. There is nothing in the account which opposes our placing this incident at the beginning of the Passover meal.


Verse 25

Luke 22:25. The kings of the Gentiles, etc. The thought is similar to that found in Matthew 20:25-28, but the form is new, and adapted to the circumstances. ‘The Gentiles’ are mentioned to indicate that the temper which called forth their strife was a heathen one.

Have authority. This refers to rulers below kings.

Benefactors. The Greek word here used was the actual title of many emperors and princes. It expresses the same idea conveyed by the phrase ‘deserved well of the Republic,’ so common in republican France, and is analogous to the title Excellency.


Verse 26

Luke 22:26. But not so ye. They shall be ‘kings,’ but after a different fashion. The aristocracy our Lord here establishes is one of humility.


Verse 27

Luke 22:27. But I am in the midst of you as he that serveth. This clause gains in force by supposing that our Lord at this point washed His disciples’ feet. He, the ‘chief,’ was serving. We may also connect this with Luke 22:25 : ‘the benefactors among the Gentiles are rulers and potentates; I, your benefactor, am among you as a servant.’

Luke 22:28-30 may belong here chronologically, or, as is far more likely, they followed the washing of the disciples’ feet, which may be appropriately placed at Luke 22:27.


Verse 28

Luke 22:28. Continued with me in my temptations, or ‘trials.’ Our Lord does not reproach them, but praises their steadfastness. He speaks of His whole life as one of ‘temptations,’ in accordance with the Scriptural portrayal of His work on earth.


Verse 29

Luke 22:29. I appoint unto you a kingdom, even as my Father appointed unto me. The word ‘kingdom’ belongs to both clauses. ‘Appoint’ signifies not only a bestowal or assurance, but such a disposition as a dying man makes in his

will. This underlying thought is, of course, inapplicable to God, but all the more to Christ


Verse 30

Luke 22:30. That ye may eat, etc. The enjoyments of their reign, with Him in the kingdom appointed by His father, are thus set forth. Comp. Luke 22:16.

And ye shall lit. A direct promise.

On thrones, etc. Not ‘twelve thrones,’ as Matthew 19:28, possibly on account of Judas. Notice the appropriateness of this verse, first in view of the feast before them; second, in view of the greatness which they anticipated, though so blind as to its character.


Verse 31

Luke 22:31. Simon, Simon. Earnestness and affection are indicated by the repetition. The apostle is addressed by his old name, not the new and significant one. The sudden call (‘And the Lord said’ is to be omitted) may have been occasioned by his part in the strife. There is too a connection of thought with what precedes. The way to these thrones was His way, through temptations, trials, siftings of Satan.

Satan asked to have you, or ‘obtained you by asking,’ as in the case of Job. ‘You’ refers to all the Apostles: all must pass to the throne through trial, since the purpose of this asking and obtaining was in order that ha might sift you as wheat. As wheat is shaken in the sieve, so Satan would try their faithfulness. If ‘you’ includes Judas (who had probably gone out before this), then the sifting process had begun and the chaff partially removed.


Verses 31-34

Luke 22:31-34. THE PREDICTION OF PETER’S DENIAL. This we regard as identical with the prediction recorded by John (John 13:36-38), and distinct from and prior to that mentioned by Matthew and Mark. It was very natural that the disciples on the way to Gethsemane should revert to the words spoken at this time, and indications of this are not lacking. See notes on Matthew 26:31, etc. We place it after the Lord’s Supper and the concluding hymn, and join with it the incident about the swords (Luke 22:35-38), after which came the discourse and prayer recorded by John 14-17


Verse 32

Luke 22:32. But I. Emphatic. In the consciousness of greater power than that of Satan and greater faithfulness than that of Peter.

For thee. Peter is now spoken of alone, as in the greatest danger.

That thy faith fail not, i.e., cease altogether. Our Lord prays, not that Peter be not tried, but that his faith should not utterly fail. It was only through this prayer that Peter’s faith did not fail altogether. An Apostle’s faith would become extinct, did not Christ intercede for His own.

When once thou hast turned again. Peter’s sin and repentance are both implied here. ‘Converted’(so E. V.) is unfortunate; there is no reference to the experience with which Christian life usually begins. Peter had been ‘converted,’ in that sense.

Stablish thy brethren. The others were his brethren in weakness; hence the form chosen. Peter’s prominence is recognized, and the part he should take in the establishment of the Church prophetically intimated.

This is the one and only proof text for the Vatican dogma of papal infallibility (1870), on the assumption that the promise given to Peter applies to all the popes as his successors. But (1) this assumption can never be proved; (2) ‘faith’ here as usual means personal trust in our Lord, not a system of doctrine to be believed; (3) if the passage proves anything for the popes, it would prove also that they deny their Lord, need conversion, and must strengthen their brethren—which is much more than history warrants and papal infallibilists would be willing to admit.


Verse 33

Luke 22:33. Lord, with thee I am ready, etc. ‘In his sense of strength, Peter casts doubt upon the necessity of our Lord’s petition for him. This conversation differs sufficiently from that mentioned by Matthew and Mark, which occurred later, as we think. ‘With thee,’ is specially emphatic, and shows that Peter regards the Lord as the source of his feeling of strength. But when the trial came, he followed only afar off, away from the source of strength.


Verse 34

Luke 22:34. Peter. Not Simon. The name significant of steadfastness is contrasted with his conduct.


Verse 35

Luke 22:35. And he said unto them. ‘Not without reason have I spoken of what is so momentous (Luke 22:31-34); for now, when I am no longer with you, your situation will be quite otherwise than before; there now comes for you a time of care for yourselves and of conflict’ (Meyer).

When I sent you forth, etc. See chap. Luke 9:1-6; Luke 10:4; Matthew 10:9. Parting friends are wont to dwell on the pleasures of the past; so our Lord points them to the time of their first preaching in Galilee, when the least care was superfluous. It would be different now.


Verses 35-38

Luke 22:35-38. WARNING IN REGARD TO OUTWARD DANGERS, leading to the incident of the two swords. Peculiar to Luke. We join this chronologically with what precedes. No order is more probable, and there is an appropriate connection of thought; to the description of inward danger just made, our Lord adds that of impending outward danger.


Verse 36

Luke 22:36. Therefore, i.e., in consequence of their reply.

Let him take it. The precise word used in the prohibition of chap. Luke 9:3.

He that hath not, i.e., purse or wallet, let him sell his cloke (‘outer garment’), necessary as that is, and buy a sword, which is now more indispensable than clothing. One who had not a sword, might still have a purse, and thus not be obliged to sell his garment; a point overlooked by the rendering of the E. V. This is not to be taken literally, nor yet allegorically, as though the purse, wallet, and sword had each a spiritual signification; but the whole is a figurative setting forth of the fact that henceforth self-defence would be their chief necessity, in view of the outward perils which would come upon them. This opposes the non-resistant theory of the Quakers, and also the view, that force can be used aggressively in the cause of Christ; self-defence alone is in question.


Verse 37

Luke 22:37. For I say to you, etc. The course of reasoning is: If the Master is to be reckoned among the transgressors, and this will be the case, since this prophecy of Isaiah must be fulfilled, then you, my disciples, may well expect such perils. Notice, our Lord speaks of His position among malefactors as something which must be. That the sinless one was thus reckoned was no accident. The allusion to the ‘sword’ had no reference to defending Him from what was coming upon Him; that must come: for that which concerneth me, i.e., written or determined concerning me, hath a fufilment, or ‘end.’ Everything written of the Messiah must be completely fulfilled, and this completion is approaching. The coming of this end proves that the prophecy cited (which our Lord expressly applies to Himself), will be speedily fulfilled.


Verse 38

Luke 22:38. Lord, behold here are two swords. Swords, not knives used at the feast, probably belonging to the disciples. The Galileans often travelled armed, and possibly two of the disciples had thus provided themselves because they expected danger that night

It is enough. The reference is not to the sufficiency of the weapons, but a mild turning away from further explanation in view of their failure to understand. ‘Two swords’ were of no avail in the spiritual conflict before Him; of this He had just spoken, but they failed to recognize His meaning.—The discourse recorded by John (14-17), probably followed; then on the way to Gethsemane, the second prediction of the unfaithfulness of Peter and the other disciples, repelled by them all. See on Matthew 26:31. These are passed over by Luke.


Verse 39

Luke 22:39. At he was wont (comp. Luke 21:37).. Peculiar to Luke, hinting that He went to a place where Judas could find Him.


Verses 39-46

Luke 22:39-46. THE AGONY IN GETHSEMANE. See on Matthew 26:31-46. We notice here only what is peculiar to Luke’s narrative.


Verses 39-53

Luke’s account presents here new and striking details, although it is briefer than those of Matthew and Mark. In telling of our Lord’s agony, Luke alone mentions the distance to which He withdrew, the angelic assistance and the physical results. In the account of the betrayal there are interesting peculiarities.

Luke 22:43-44 are omitted in some old and important manuscripts and by some of the fathers. But they are well supported and now received by nearly all scholars. Over-zealous Orthodoxy failed to understand them and hence expunged them in some copies.


Verse 40

Luke 22:40. At the place. A well-known place; perhaps already known.by name to readers of the Gospel. Hence the omission of the name.


Verse 41

Luke 22:41. Withdrew himself, lit, ‘was himself withdrawn.’ Drawn by internal anguish, some suppose.

About a stone’s east. Not so far as to be out of hearing. This was probably the distance from the three disciples (Matthew, Mark), not from the main body, since the next clause refers to what took place in His solitude, and Luke 22:45-46, to the three disciples.

He kneeled down. Peculiar to Luke.


Verse 42

Luke 22:42. Father, etc. Godet: ‘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.’


Verse 43

Luke 22:43. Appeared unto him an angel. An actual coming of an angel, not merely a spiritual accession of strength. Angels had thus ministered to Him at His previous temptation, according to Matthew and Mark, so that it cannot be said that the notion is peculiar to Luke. How He was strengthened is not so clear. Some think it was a physical strengthening, the imparting to His body, so overwhelmed in this conflict, new power to endure, to drink the cup which would not be removed. This is favored by the fact that the previous ministration was to His physical wants. Others again prefer that the holy soul of our Lord, now seized by the intensest feeling of suffering, was strengthened by the brightening prospect of future joy, presented to Him in some way more vividly by the coming of the angel. Neither of these is inconsistent with proper views of the Person of Christ. In fact it is simplest to suppose that both body and soul received direct supplies of strength in this hour of deepest trial.—We think it most natural to place this strengthening between the first and second prayer, since there are indications in the fuller accounts of Matthew and Mark that the intensest conflict was
passed when the second and third prayers were uttered.


Verse 44

Luke 22:44. And being in an agony. This was after the coming of the angel. Our Lord was strengthened for this agony or conflict. The first result of the strengthening was that He prayed more earnestly, the final result was complete resignation and victorious waiting for the betrayer.

And his sweat became as it were, etc. The easy and natural explanation is, that as the result of the agony His sweat became colored with blood (not pure blood, hence ‘as it were’), and fell in great clots to the ground. No other sense accords so well with the language used. Instances of bloody sweat have occurred since. Every other view fails to give a sufficient climax to Luke’s description and seems to fall below the dignity of the conflict there endured for us. See notes on Matthew.


Verse 45-46

Luke 22:45-46. Luke is very brief in these verses, and we must supplement his account from those of Matthew and Mark. We learn from these that our Lord came once and again to the three disciples, and found them asleep.

For sorrow. This was the cause of their sleep. Luke is not seeking to excuse them. See on Matthew 26:40-41.


Verses 47-53

Luke 22:47-53. THE BETRAYAL. See on Matthew 26:47-56; comp. Mark 14:43-52; John 18:3-11. We notice only the new and striking details.


Verse 48

Luke 22:48. Judas, betrayest then, etc. This probably followed the question recorded by Matthew. It is addressed to Judas by name, and is emphatic throughout, setting before the traitor the full enormity of his purpose. The form used coincides with that used in predicting the betrayal (Matthew 17:22; Matthew 20:18; Matthew 26:2; Matthew 26:45).


Verse 49

Luke 22:49. Saw what would follow. They not only wake up, but wake to an understanding of the case.

Lord, shall we smite with the sword? In the same spirit as the occurrence of Luke 22:38.


Verse 50

Luke 22:50. A certain one of them. Luke too omits Peter’s name.

Right ear. Luke and John alone mention which ear it was.


Verse 51

Luke 22:51. Suffer ye thus far. Probably addressed to the disciples: Let them go on and fulfil this their design of taking me. Ft is a mild reproof of the hasty use of the sword, and thus agrees with Matthew 26:52; John 18:11. Were the sense: Let them go thus far (and no further), we would find a different expression here. Others suppose the soldiers were addressed, and that the sense is: Let me go, until I have healed this man, or Let me go as far as this man. This is grammatically probable, but opposed by the phrase ‘answered.’

Touched his ear, etc. Luke, the physician, alone mentions this. The passage does not clearly indicate how the healing took place: Whether at our Lord’s touch the ear was wholly restored, or merely the wound healed, or whether the piece cut off was taken up and restored to its place in the body. The last is least likely, as the passage contains no hint of picking up. The first seems more in keeping with the occasion, representing our Lord as making good the loss occasioned by the hasty zeal of Peter.


Verse 52

Luke 22:52. Chief-priests... elders. Luke alone speaks of these, and it was very natural that some of them should accompany the band. Some infer from the fact of their being first mentioned at this point, that they entered the garden after the band of Judas.


Verse 53

Luke 22:53. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness. An allusion to the fact that it was midnight, contrasting this with His appearance by day in the temple. Darkness was appropriate to such a deed, hence it was the hour which suited them. The parallel passages speak of this as a fulfilment of Scripture. We therefore explain it, as the hour appointed to them for carrying out this work. Its fitness as an hour of midnight darkness was but a part of this appointment. (Observe, however, that they freely chose it.) ‘Power of darkness’ therefore points to the kingdom of darkness. They were doing the work of the Evil One, and the power over Him was the power of darkness. This clause suggests mysterious, and as yet unexplained, facts in regard to the relation of God’s purpose, man’s agency, and Satanic power.—Luke passes over the flight of the disciples and that of the naked young man (Mark 14:48-52).


Verse 54

Luke 22:54. The high-priest’s home. Undoubtedly Caiaphas is meant, since the other Evangelists agree in making his house the scene of Peter’s denial.


Verses 54-65

Luke passes over the examination by Annas (John 18:19-24), the subsequent examination before Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57-66; Mark 14:53-64), giving immediately his account of Peter’s denial, then mentioning the mocking which occurred at the close of the night examination before Caiaphas. This order indicates that the denials occurred between the first examination and the close of the second. Accepting this new, we find no difficulty in regarding Luke’s account (Luke 22:63-65) as referring to the same occurrence narrated by Matthew (Matthew 26:67-68) and Mark (Mark 14:65). On the three hearings, see Matthew 26:57, and the next section.


Verse 55

Luke 22:55. Kindled. Lit., ‘kindled around;’ a large bright fire was made, we infer. All of the Evangelists but Matthew mention the fire, but Mark does not speak of its being kindled.

Sat down. So Matthew and Mark; out John speaks of his standing. During the night hours, Peter was no doubt restless.


Verses 55-62

Luke 22:55-62. PETER’S DENIAL OF OUR LORD. For a comparison of the various accounts and a general view of the occurrence, see notes on Matthew 26:69-75; comp. Mark 14:66-72; John 18:16-18; John 18:25-27.


Verse 56-57

Luke 22:56-57. FIRST DENIAL. A certain maid. Probably the porteress who had followed Peter into the court; the different answers suggest that she kept up a bantering accusation of this kind to which he responded in different words, but to the same effect. Luke brings out the fact of her earnestly looking upon him.


Verse 58

Luke 22:58. SECOND DENIAL. The account is brief. A general accusation probably began at the fire, was kept up as Peter withdrew to the porch, where he was questioned both by a maid (Matthew, Mark) and a man.


Verse 59-60

Luke 22:59-60. THIRD DENIAL. Luke is particular as to the interval: after about the space of one hour. The recognition became very general, as we might expect, but this Evangelist brings out the one who was prominent in the matter.


Verse 61

Luke 22:61. And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter. This detail, so interesting and touching, may be explained by supposing, that even during the trial our Lord could think on Peter and be aware of what he was doing, though at some distance. But probably the first examination before Caiaphas was now over, and the officers were leading Him away to prison to await the more formal morning examination, or possibly keeping Him in custody in the court.

And Peter remembered. His memory was assisted by the cockcrow, but doubtless the Lord’s look of pity, love, and consolation was the chief cause of his penitence. After the first burst of penitence, he probably remembered our Lord’s prayer for him and his own boast, yet the look was designed to recall these also.


Verses 63-65

Luke 22:63-65. THE MOCKERY AT NIGHT. See on Matthew 26:67-68; Mark 14:65. (John 18:22 refers to a different occurrence.) Matthew and Mark place this mockery in a different position. This suggests that it began at the close of the hearing, continuing for some time, thus both preceding and following our Lord’s look on Peter. Luke here moreover gives substantially the same facts in a manner peculiar to himself. He tells us more particularly who were the chief actors in the mockery: the men that held Jesus (Luke 22:63); details how they covered His face (Mark), blindfolded Him (Luke 22:64); and sums up the whole in the significant words of Luke 22:65 : and many other things spake they against him, reviling him, literally, ‘blaspheming him’ See on Matthew 26:68.


Verse 66

Luke 22:66. And when it was day. Roman law forbade a final condemnation before dawn, and Jewish usage forbade even the investigation of capital crime at night.

The assembly of the elders, lit, ‘the eldership’ (presbyterion); a formal assembly of the Sanhedrin, at the usual place of holding the council.


Verses 66-71

THE MORNING EXAMINATION. Luke here gives an account of another hearing than that detailed by Matthew and Mark. Luke 22:63-65 tacitly presuppose some sort of condemnation, which encouraged the servants to commit such outrages. Both Matthew (Matthew 27:1) and Mark (Mark 15:1) hint at such a morning meeting of the Sanhedrin. The account too has its peculiar coloring, characterizing this as an official and decisive council. This would then be a ratification, in proper form and numbers and at a legal hour, of the resolution already taken by the enemies of our Lord.


Verse 67

Luke 22:67. If thou art the Christ, tell us. An abrupt beginning, presupposing testimony that He made this claim. The hearing is resumed at the point broken off, according to Matthew’s account. The force of the passage is: If as you claim, thou art the Christ, tell us all so, in plain words.

If I tell you, ye will not believe, i.e., you do not ask to know the truth, but to make me condemn myself.


Verse 68

Luke 22:68. And if I ask you, put questions to you about my arrest, its legality, and the way you have forced me into my present position.

Ye will not answer, because you would involve yourselves in great perplexities. The case was prejudged. The rest of the verse is to be omitted.


Verse 69

Luke 22:69. But. This indicates the connection of thought: you have prejudged my case, but, as the time has come to speak, in order that through suffering I may pass to glory, I tell you of that glory and thus confess myself the Christ: From henceforth, etc. Comp. Matthew 26:64. A repetition of this declaration is not at all improbable.


Verse 70

Luke 22:70. The next question shows that they understood Him aright. His answer may be rendered: Ye say that I am, or, ‘ye say (correctly), for I am.’


Verse 71

Luke 22:71. What further need, etc. As far as the death of Christ had a human judicial ground, that ground was His own claim to be the Son of God. Either His claim was correct, or the Jews were right in putting Him to death. To ignore His claim is to side with His murderers. On the plan for procuring Pilate’s consent, see Matthew 27:1.

 


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Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 22:4". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-22.html. 1879-90.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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