About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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ch. 22:1-6  ch. 22:7-39

ch. 22:39-46   ch. 22:47-53   ch. 22:54-62

ch. 22:63-65    ch. 22:66 - 23:25

Judas Agrees To Betray Jesus (ch. 22:1 -6)

Luke tells us that Passover was near. He also tells us that the Jewish leaders were getting very anxious to "get rid of Jesus". Why? Because they were "afraid of the people". The crowds were large, and they were amazed by Jesus. The Jewish leaders were in the process of loosing their followers to Jesus. They could not have this.

Luke now tells us that "satan entered" Judas. We know from John 13:2 that "satan had already "prompted" Judas in this matter. Satan just didnít suddenly take Judas over. Satan tempted Judas and there was something in Judas that caused him to sell his soul to satan . We know that Judas was a thief and could therefore be tempted with money.

Luke does not go into all the details as John does, but from Johnís account we know that satan entered Judas on the night of the last supper.

Luke goes on to tell us that Judas came in contact with a temple policeman who took him to a high priest. Judas offered his assistance to the high priest to somehow capture Jesus when there was no crowds around. This must have totally delighted the Jewish leaders, to have one of Jesusí own betray Him into their hands. They might have even been a little suspicious at first. They might have asked why would one of His own disciples betray Him? Judas must have done a good job at convincing the high priest since they actually gave him some money for his efforts.

Luke says that they "agreed to give him money", which suggests to me that Judas made a financial deal with them. That is to say, "give me some money, and I will give you Jesus". This sounds like Judas since he was a thief and heíd get money in any way possible.

Thereís lots of questions that have been asked over the years concerning Jesus and Judas. Why did Jesus choose a thief to be one of His own? How ironic that one of Jesusí own disciples would hand Him over to the Jews. Was Judas really a true disciple of Jesus? I question that he really was. Did Jesus give Judas a chance to become a true follower? He sure did. Judas willing chose to betray Jesus. He gave into satanís temptation because there was something inside of Judas that satan could use. This is how temptation of the devil works. He cannot tempt us unless there is something inside of us that will respond to his tempting.

The Last Supper (ch. 22:7 - 39)

Verse 7 says, "then came the day of the unleavened bread". This was Thursday. It was on this day that the sacrificial lamb would be killed and prepared for the meal. Jesus sent Peter and John to get these preparations under way. Jewish Law said that only 2 men could take the lamb to the Temple and kill it, thus Jesus only asked two men. Why specifically Peter and John, we donít know.

Peter and John asked Jesus where they should go to make the preparation for this meal. Jesus told them that when they enter Jerusalem theyíd see a man carrying water. This man would stand out to Peter and John, because men did not normally carry water in those days. That was a womanís job. They would carry the water in large jars on their heads.

Once seeing this man, they would then follow him to where he was going. Once finding the house, they were supposed to ask the owner of the house, not the man with the water, where the guest room was for the Teacher and His disciples to use. The owner would then tell them that there was an upper room, all furnished and ready for the meal.

We donít know how Jesus arranged this room. Were these instructions a word of knowledge on the part of Jesus? Did He know the owner of the house? Was this a miracle? Why was the owner so willing to lend this room? We donít know the answers to these questions. We can certainly guess that Jesus had His hands in this matter, and most likely the supernatural was at work.

Verse 13 tells us that Peter and John left and found everything just as Jesus told them. Were they surprised? We donít know, but such things were common place in the life of Jesus, and most likely even though they were common place, men still are surprised. I can only guess how Peter and John and the rest felt by now. Theyíd just had three years with Jesus. They saw all the miracles. They saw the crowds. Theyíve heard what Jesus had to say. They surely knew by now that this week in the life of Jesus was to be very important. But what was ahead of them in the next couple of days was probably beyond their wildest imagination.

It was now Thursday night and the time was now to eat this Passover meal which has been called the "Last Supper". Verse 14 says that "Jesus and the disciples reclined at the table". Remember, people in those days did not sit in chairs and eat at a table. They reclined on cushions on the floor.

In verse 15 Jesus said, "I have eagerly desire to eat this Passover with you before I suffer". The English does not really do these words justice. As the Greek text says, "with desire I have desired to eatÖ" This was a double desire on the part of Jesus Ė with desire I have desired.  Jesus did not only desire to eat this meal.  His desire created even more desire to eat this meal with those He loved.  This would be the last meal that Jesus would eat with His closest of friends, His closest followers. He would speak His parting words. Here the devil would enter into Judasí heart. Here, what we call the "communion service" was most likely instituted by Jesus. This meal was more than a time of filling oneís stomach. It was a time of teaching. It was a time of communion and deep fellowship, and a time of sorrow that Jesus would share. This was the beginning of the climax of three long years of ministry.  The historical significance of this meal was now at hand.  

Verse 16 is very interesting. It says, "for I will not eat (the Passover) with you again until it finds its fulfillment in the Kingdom of God". What does this mean? First of all, the Jews are the Passover as a memorial meal. They were remembering the time when Moses led them out of Egypt by the hand of God. Now Jesus is putting a new meaning to this meal. It would no longer symbolize Israelís flight from Egypt.

Jesus said that this would be the last time He ate this particular meal until it found its fulfillment in the Kingdom of God. Jesus is not saying that this would be the last meal He eat with them. He is saying that this is the last time Heíd eat the Passover with them on earth.

The killing of the lamb represented the shedding of blood Ė the blood on the door post that saved those inside the house as the angel passed by during the fleeing from Egypt. From now on thereíd be a new meaning to this meal. The blood was not the blood of a lamb, but the blood of Jesus that would soon be shed for the sins of the world. Jesus would take the place of the lamb that Peter and John killed. When the disciples ate this meal in the future, theyíd remember the shed blood of Jesus, not the blood on the door post back in Egypt.

The shedding of Jesusí blood would bring salvation to those who would put their trust in Him. That is you and I. We are now saved by His blood, yet our salvation is not complete, and will not be complete until Jesus returns to set up His Heavenly Kingdom on earth in a material sense. At that day, Jesus will then sit down with those who have given their lives to Him and eat this Passover once again. This is what I believe the book of Revelation calls the "Marriage Feast of the Lamb". At that day, the Passover meal that Jesus ate with the Twelve would find its ultimate fulfillment.

In verse 17 Jesus took the cup Ė that is cup of wine, not grape juice, and passed it around. He told the Twelve that He would not drink from the fruit of the vine again until that future day when He drank it in the Kingdom of God, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, as I interpret it.

We should note the cup of wine here.  It was normally mixed with water and was called the "cup of blessing" and was the third of the four cups of wine that were drunk during the meal.  At the Last Supper Jesus drunk and shared the first 3 cups of wine, but, as it says here, the next cup, the last cup, He would not drink until it was fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.  The third cup of wine was called "the cup of blessing" while the fourth was called "the cup of the Kingdom," which represented the day that the kingdom would be restored to Israel , which I believe is during what is called the "thousand year rule of Christ on earth."  Therefore, in one sense of the word, when we eat of the Lord's Supper, we're not just remembering His death but His return.      

I am sure that this was a very emotional time for the disciples. It was a time where the Holy Spirit, Jesus Himself, would have ministered to their hearts, even though their understanding still had its limitations.

Jesus then took some bread and did the same. He gave thanks. He passed it around to His disciples. He told them that "this is my body, given to you". What does this mean? It simply means that the bread now represented Jesusí body that was given to them. It was given to them in the sense that when Jesus died on the cross, He died as a sacrifice to God on their behalf. The life of Jesus was ultimately given to us when He hung on the cross.

Jesus then said, "do this in remembrance of me". Historically speaking, the church has taking these words to mean, "do this often", meaning, "make this a new ritual in remembering what I am doing for you".

Now we must remember that the Passover meal was full of rituals and had different aspects to it. For example the cup of wine was passed around to the participants 5 times.

Verse 20 tells us that "in the same way" Jesus took the cup again, as He did before the meal. So once again, He took the cup of wine and passed it around to His disciples. He then said, "this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you". Jesus is now clearly stating that there is a new covenant. In fact this new covenant will replace the old Mosaic Covenant. This new covenant is not based on the blood of lambs, but the blood of Jesus, that was poured out for us. His blood was poured out of His body while He hung on the cross.

Jesus now told His disciples that "the hand" of His betrayer is on the table with His hand. How shocked this must have made the Twelve. Verse 25 tells us that the betrayal of Jesus was decreed to be. A thorough reading of Is. 53 tells us that it was Godís will to crush Jesus. In fact it was God who really killed Jesus in the long run.

Then the question should be asked, "what about Judas". Did he have a say in the matter, or was it predetermined by God to use Judas to betray Jesus? I donít think it was predetermined by God that Judas would betray Jesus. Judas willingly gave into satanís temptations as we have previously mentioned. Judas did not have to betray Jesus. There were many willing parties around that wanted Jesus dead. You might even suggest that Jesus would have helped Judas not betray Him. Just living with Jesus all those three years could be seen as an attempt for Jesus to rescue Judas from the hand of satan, but Judas refused. It is my opinion that Judas betrayed Jesus willingly. He was not forced by God. God did not predetermine that Judas be the one. Yes, God foreknew heíd be the one, but that is not predetermining.

The last half of this verse says, "woe to the man who betrays Him". At the moment of this statement no one knew who this man would be except Jesus Himself. Some might ask, "did Judas repent"? I doubt that he did repent of his wrong. This verse might imply this, or else Jesus would not have said "woeÖ"

Naturally the disciples began to question among themselves who this betrayer might be. In the process of this questioning a dispute broke out among them. They were disputing who of them was the greatest. What a time for an argument. The darkest hour of Jesusí life is now at the doorstep and these men are disputing among themselves who was the greatest man among them.

You might well imagine how this argument started. One man might have said, "I love Jesus more than you. I could never betray Him". Another might have said, "well, He loves me more than you, so how could I betray Him". Then soon after others join in leading to mass confusion.

Jesus broke up the argument in verse 25 with these words. ďThe kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.  But you are not to be like that.Ē   Note that the NIV capitalizes the word "Benefactors".  I believe they do that because the Greek word that is translated as "Benefactors" is a title, like "King Henry".

We should understand what "benefactor" means.   The NIV states that the kings call themselves benefactors.  Some other translations merely state that they are called, or known as benefactors.  This means that those who submit to the kings know them as one who should benefit them, but that wasn't the case.  The kings were actually the ones who benefited from the people, something the title of benefactor suggests shouldn't be.   The kings were fierce dictators.  Jesus specifically told the disciples that they should not be such benefactors.  They were to be servants.  

As with the disciples at that last meal, there has been church leaders throughout history who did not rule as a servant, but ruled as a Gentile dictator. This should never be the case.

In verse 27 Jesus asked a question. He asked, "for who is greater, the one who is at the table, or the one who serves". Most people naturally would say that the one sitting at the table, being waited on is the important person. The one who is serving is not so important. Jesus agrees with this answer. He answered His question with an another question. He said, "is it not the one at the table"? Then Jesus added one more thought when He said, "but I am among you as one who serves". It is obvious to us that Jesus is the important one, but He is not sitting at the table. He is serving. The King of Kings has come to earth in all humility as one who has served all mankind, both in life and especially in death.

Paul goes to great lengths in Phil. 2 to tell us that this mind of servanthood that was found in Jesus should be found in us as well. To me, the mark of a mature Christian is one who is able to serve others. Serving others means that you first have to lay aside your own desires. This is what "taking up your cross daily means, as I have spoken in earlier passages.

Verse 29 tells us that Jesus conferred on the disciples a kingdom. What does this mean? You might remember in John 20:21 Ė 22 where Jesus said, "as my Father has sent me, so send I you..." Also in Matt. 28:18 where Jesus said, "all authority is given unto me, go thereforeÖ" What Jesus was doing in these instances was conferring the Kingdom of God onto these men. He was giving them the Kingdom and responsibility for the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God came in a spiritual sense in Acts 2, but will come in a material sense, in its fullness at the end of this age. Then these men will sit and rule with Jesus and judge the Twelve tribes of Israel as Jesus said here in Luke. Just what this judging is, to me is not really known.

We can note that there are Twelve tribes and Twelve apostles of Jesus, although youíd minus Judas out making eleven. Eleven apostles and Twelve tribes suggests that another apostle needs to be added. Peter thought the same and therefore in Acts 1 we see the early group of disciples choose Mathius as the replacement apostle. This has always been a question mark in church history. Was their choice of Mathius Godís will or manís will? Some would suggest that it was manís will and that Paul was Godís choice for the one to replace Judas.

Now in verse 31 Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Simon Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat". There are a few things to note here. The doubling of the name Simon tells us that Jesus is zeroing in on Peter and wants him to listen carefully to what He has to say.

It is important to note that satan had to get permission from Jesus in order to tempt Peter. Satan could not do this on his own accord. We may safely conclude then that we as Godís people cannot be attacked directly by satan unless God has given him permission to do so. And if God gives him this permission, then it is Godís will for the attack and we should act accordingly and pass the test that is in our path. We do know that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our capability . (1 Cor. 10:13)

The question could be asked, "does demons need to ask God for permission to tempt us, or does only satan need such permission"? I donít see that the Scripture clearly answers this question. James tells us that every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts. Manís worst enemy is himself. Our own lusts tempt us and therefore give demons a chance to influence our choices. It might be entirely possible that demons donít need permission from God. Yet on the other hand, demons are under satanís authority so if satan needs permission, so might demons.

The bottom line is this. If we have really given our lives to Jesus, and if He is really in charge of our lives, then if satan or demons come to bother us, then Jesus allowed them to do so, and if Jesus allow this, then it is for a reason.

Why did Jesus allow satan to tempt Peter? We can be assured that Jesusí reason would be different than satanís. Satan would want to destroy Peter. Jesus wanted Peterís faith, or trust in Him to be strengthened.

We should note that Jesus said that Heíd pray for Peter that "his faith would not fail". Jesus was not so bothered by the fact that Peter would deny Him. What Jesus was concerned about was Peterís faith, his trust in Him. The reason for this is because it is not the things we do that save us, but our faith, our trust in Him that saves us. We will fall, but the important thing is that our faith does not get laid aside in the end.

Jesus tells Peter that once he has recovered from this fall, that he should "strengthen his brothers". I interpret this as a hint to Peterís calling in leadership among the disciples and other apostles. It is clear that in the early stages of the church, as we see in Acts, that Peter was a leader, and possibly (only possibly) the main leader. We see him taking charge in Acts 1 concerning the replacement of Judas. We see him speaking on the day of Pentecost. We see him as a spokesman to the Sanhidren on behalf of the disciples. Thee list can go on.

One thing to note concerning this leadership of Peter, if that is what Jesus is referring to, is that Peter was to strengthen the others. He was not to "lord it over them". His place was to support, encourage and strengthen the others, as one who had gone through the trial, failed, but then came back stronger than ever.

The important thing for us to learn is that we do fail at times, but Jesus is more concerned about our trust in Him that He is our perfection.

Verse 33 is typical impetuous Peter. He told Jesus that heíd be ready to go to prison with Jesus, and even die with Him Sometimes Peterís tongue spoke faster than his brain could think. When the time came, Peter denied even knowing Jesus, and in verse 34 Jesus said just that. Peter would deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed the next morning.

In verse 35 Jesus reminded the apostles how they were looked after when He sent them out without money, sandals and extra clothes. Jesus asked these men if they lacked for anything during their trip. They answered, "no". They lacked for nothing.

Now in verse 36 Jesus told his followers to use their money, take a bag, and even buy a sword. If they had no money to buy a sword, then sell your cloak and buy a sword with your money.

The question is, "why buy a sword"? The next words of Jesus was from Isa. 53:12 where the prophet says that Jesus would be "numbered with the transgressors". Some interpret this prophecy to be connected with the two thieves who died with Jesus. This may be so, but why did Jesus quote this Scripture in relation to them buying a sword?

The disciples did not have to sell anything because for some reason they had, or found two swords. Jesus told them that those two swords were enough. To me, this suggest that when Jesus was arrested, those two swords in the hands of two disciples, (Peter even used one) constituted them to be transgressors. I would suggest that Isa.53:13 finds its fulfillment in the fact that Jesusí disciples had swords with them, and they appeared as if they were bad guys as a result.

Some commentaries suggest that Jesus was telling the apostles now to have money, extra clothes, and a sword in their upcoming ministry, that is after Pentecost. I find this somewhat untenable. We have no hint of any of the apostles carrying or using swords to protect them.

Jesus Prays On The Mount Of Olives (ch. 22:39 - 46)

In this section Jesus leaves the upper room to go back to the Mount of Olives. There He tells His disciples to pray that they will not fall into temptation. I believe Jesus is speaking of the immediate future here. Like Peter, the rest of His followers could have easily been tempted to deny Jesus or walk away from Him. The events of the next few days would be a major test for these people.

Luke then tells us that Jesus withdraws Himself to pray, about a stoneís throw away from His disciples. These are the well known words of Jesus. He asked His Father "if this cup" could be taken from Him. The words "this cup" is directly related to the cup of wine that was drank earlier that evening, that was symbolic of the shedding of His blood. Though Heíd prefer to have this cup of suffering removed from Him, Heíd rather have His Fatherís will done in His life than His own. His Fatherís will, as we have noted earlier from Isa. 53 was to crush His Son. It was Godís will for Jesus to die as He did, and all the praying in the world would not change that. You can see in Jesus, the conflict between His humanity and His divinity.

Luke tells us that Jesus was in great agony. He sweated profusely as He prayed. The blood vessels in His skin appeared to have ruptured thus mixed with the sweat was His blood. An angel came to strengthen Him in His time of sorrow.

Jesus got up from praying and came back to His disciples and found them sleeping. Luke tells us that they were "exhausted" from sorrow. Iím sure that they were under much stress as well, but obviously not as much stress as Jesus was under. Jesus told them to get up and pray that they donít fall into temptation, something he had just told them as they approached the Mount of Olives.

I canít see Jesus telling His disciples to get up in a nice quiet tone of voice. I believe He must have been frustrated. With all that is happening, His closest friends fall asleep on Him. Yet this was part of the pain. They were close friends, yet on the other hand, their understanding of things was so limited that Jesus could not really share the heavy things that were on His heart at this time. Then as we know, in just a few short hours Heíd be dying of the cross all alone. Even His Father turned His back on Him at that point.

Jesus Arrested (ch. 22:47 - 53)

Verse 47 tells us that while Jesus was still speaking to His disciples a crowd of men came up to them. Leading the way was Judas. Judas would know well that Jesus had been spending the last number of evenings on the Mount of Olives. He knew where to find Him to hand Him over to the Jewish soldiers.

The plan was that the one Judas would kiss was the one for the soldiers to take away. He came up to Jesus and was ready to kiss Him when Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss". First of all, Jesus calls Judas by name, as we see Jesus often do to those He is talking to. When Jesus calls someone by their name He is personalizing the conversation. It was as if it was just Judas and Jesus on that Mount.

"Are you betraying the Son of Man", Jesus asked. Jesus did not say, "are you betraying me". He asked, "are you betraying the Son of Man". It is not just a person named Jesus that Judas is betraying. It is the long awaited Messiah from God that He is betraying. And how is he betraying the Son of Man? Well, with a friendly kiss. A kiss is a jester of love. So Judas betrays Jesus with a jester of love. How ironic.

In verse 49 we see the first response of His disciples. They ask Jesus if they should strike these men with their swords, the swords Jesus just a few hours earlier told them to get. This is a natural question for these men to ask, especially in light of the fact Jesus told them to buy swords. Maybe this was the time they were supposed to use them.

Luke goes on to say that "one of them" struck the servant of the high priest with his sword and cut off his ear. Luke must have felt kind because we know that it was Peter who pulled out the sword. Peter did not give Jesus a chance to respond to the question asked Him. He just pulled out the sword instinctively and cut the ear off this man.

In verse 51 Jesus said, "no more of this". He then healed the man, restoring his ear as it was.

When Jesus stood before Pilate a few hours later He told him that He and His disciples would not fight because His kingdom was not of this world. If He had an earthly kingdom His followers would fight with the sword, but this was not the case. His Kingdom was spiritual. Swords donít work in a spiritual Kingdom. There are other weapons to use instead.

These words, and the words that Jesus spoke to Pilate are important words that many in the church have missed over the years. The church has literally gone to war, fought holy wars in the name of Jesus, using earthly swords. This should have never have been. Catholics killed Reformers by the sword. Reformers in turned killed Catholics by the sword in an attempt to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. But it was all wrong. Jesus makes that very clear right here in what He says and in His restoring the manís ear.

Jesus then approached the chief priest, elders and soldiers and said, "am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs"? Of course Jesus was not leading a rebellion, even though at least two of His followers had swords and one actually used his in a violent fashion. These words further the case for non violence when relating to the Kingdom of God.

This section ends with Jesus telling these men that He was in the Temple every day and they did not lay hands on Him, "but this is your hour Ė when darkness reigns". What did Jesus mean by these words?

The ultimate hour of darkness when sinful man comes to kill the only righteous and faultless individual ever to live. The hour of darkness begins with Jesusí arrest by hypocritical men. Those who pretend to be righteous as they wait for their Messiah come to arrest the only one who has been righteous, the Messiah they have waited for, but refuse to acknowledge. Their hearts are darkened with sin. This hour culminates with further darkness when Jesus is hanging on the cross full of the sin of all mankind from Adam to the last man to be born on the face of the earth.

Darkness reigns means that this is the time where sin is King. For a few short hours the devil and sin appear to be in charge. The universe waits to see the outcome of this dark hour, but in retrospect we know, as Jesus did then, that God had the final word. It was all His idea in the first place. It was Godís will to crush His only Son in order to bring salvation to mankind. How ironic. The Jewish leaders who thought they were doing a favour for God by killing Jesus, really were doing Him a favour in a strange sort of way.

At this point I'd like to insert an article I wrote concerning possessing guns. 

Buy A Sword - Buy A Gun


Just prior to His arrest Jesus gave this instruction to His eleven apostles.  "If you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one (Luke 22:36 NIV)."  This verse is consistently misappropriated by many Americans who defend their constitutional right to possess and use a gun.  Although I am not an American I have absolutely no problem with Americans, including American Christians, defending their right to bear arms based on their constitution.  Christians aren't Scripturally prohibited from exercising their rights as a citizen.  The Apostle Paul exercised his right of Roman citizenship when he said "I appeal to Caesar" (Acts 25:11).  I do, however, have a problem with using Jesus' statement to buy a sword in defense of gun ownership.  Once we know why Jesus instructed His apostles to buy swords we'll know if His instruction to buy swords has any relevance to the present day gun debate.

 

The very next statement Jesus uttered after telling His apostles to buy a sword was a quote from Isaiah 53:12.  "It is written: 'He (Jesus) was numbered with the transgressors,' and I (Jesus) tell you that this must be fulfilled in me (Luke 22:37)."  The insertion of this prophecy into the conversation tells me two things.  First, the prophecy itself states that its fulfillment is in Jesus.  Second, Jesus associated the prophecy with His instruction to buy swords. 

 

The prophecy predicted that Jesus would be numbered with the transgressors (NIV), or counted among the rebels as the HCSB puts it.  Knowing who the rebels are in this prophecy explains why Jesus instructed His apostles to buy swords and tells us if His instruction is relevant to us possessing guns.   

 

You might think the rebels were the two thieves who were executed with Jesus but I think the context of the Isaiah quote in Luke's account says differently.  Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be counted among the rebels which Jesus connected with His instruction for His apostles to buy swords.  The thieves executed with Jesus were not the rebels.  The eleven apostles were viewed as rebels by the Jewish leadership and the soldiers who arrested Jesus because they possessed swords and especially because Peter used his sword to cut off the high priest's servant's ear (Luke 22:50). 

 

In addition to the above, Jesus asked those arresting Him, "Am I leading a rebellion (Luke 22:52)?"  This question raises the possibility that Jesus' captors viewed Him and the apostles as rebels; one of many groups of zealots attempting to overthrow Rome 's domination of the Jews.

 

The swords Jesus instructed the apostles to buy were never intended to be used, neither in an offensive or a defensive manner.  The swords were meant to make the apostles appear to be rebels in the eyes of those arresting Jesus, thus fulfilling Isaiah 53:12.  Maybe you've never thought about it, but when Peter cut off the servant's ear he was fulfilling prophecy.  He was one rebel Jesus was counted among.   

 

Further to the above, the pronoun "you" in the phrase "if you don't have a sword, buy one" is a singular pronoun in the Greek text.  It's not a plural pronoun.  This means "any one of you who doesn't have a sword should buy one."  Grammatically speaking, Jesus was instructing each man to possess a sword, but that never happened.               

 

In Luke 22:38 the apostles told Jesus that they already had two swords.  Jesus' response to them having two swords is vital in understanding this passage's relevance to the present gun debate.  In verse 39 Jesus answered, "That is enough."   After telling each man they needed a sword Jesus said that two swords among eleven apostles plus Himself were sufficient.  I ask, "Sufficient for what?"  That makes no sense.  Two swords among twelve men who would be surrounded by an army of soldiers carrying both swords and clubs (Luke 22:52) are useless as a means of self defense.   

 

If Jesus expected His apostles to use the two swords for defensive purposes He would not have told them to put the swords away after Peter cut off the high priest's servant's ear (Luke 22:51, Matthew 26:52).  He would not have replaced the servant's ear.  He would not have allowed Judas to kiss Him.  He would not have freely handed Himself over to the soldiers.  He would not have told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world, and therefore, His servants would not fight to prevent His arrest by the Jews (John 18:36).  Clearly, these two swords were never intended to be used for any purpose but to fulfill the Isaiah prediction that Jesus would be counted among the rebels; His apostles who were considered just one of many groups of zealots.

 

Using Jesus' instruction to buy a sword in defense of owning and using guns is simply bad Biblical interpretation.  It misrepresents what Jesus said and His mission to be the Lamb of God, who through death deleted our sin from the heavenly record.  I applaud my American friends for standing firm on their second amendment right, but please, let none of us, wherever we live, misrepresent Jesus as we exercise our rights of citizenship. 

 

Peter Disowns Jesus (ch. 22:54 - 62)

We donít know what or if these men actually responded to what Jesus said. They could have easily said noting Ė not really knowing what to say. Luke simply tells us that they led Jesus away to the high priestís house.

Luke makes a special note that "Peter followed at a distance". His time of testing was upon him. Even now as they led Jesus away from the Mount of Olives Peter was beginning the denial process. He had not yet verbally denied Jesus, but he was standing his ground, which was quite a bit from Jesus. Peter was in the process of disassociating with Jesus.

While Jesus was in the house of the high priest others were outside. Peter was one of these others. Someone had started a fire to keep everyone warm and while Peter was by the fire a servant girl recognized him. She said, "this man was with Him". These would be words that most of us would like to hear from others. Just imagine someone saying of you, "you were with Jesus". That is our testimony, that weíve been with Jesus.

This was not the case with Peter at this point in his life. In verse 57 Peter said, "woman, I donít know him". I can hear Peter, in a rough frustrated voice saying, "womanÖ" The use of the word "woman" emphasizes what he is about to say, and even suggests a put down of this woman in a male dominated world.

Peter out and out lied. He said that he never knew Jesus. The girl said that heíd been with Jesus. If Peter had of answered her statement directly, he would have said, "no I wasnít with Him". But he didnít. He went one step farther by saying that he didnít even know Jesus. This was the test of faith. Peter denied knowing Jesus. If you donít know someone, you canít trust that person. By saying he didnít know Jesus, he actually laid aside his faith, his trust. This is why Jesus prayed for his faith. Yes Peter sinned by not telling the truth. But the worse sin was his rejection of Jesus, the laying aside of his faith.

The story doesnít stop here though. Another person sees Peter and said, "you also are one of His". Once again, in dramatic fashion Peter exclaimed, "man, I am not". I am sure that Peter spoke quite infaticaly. I can imagine Peter raising his voice very loudly in his denial.

Then about an hour later another person was convinced that Peter knew Jesus. He said, "certainly, this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean". Remember Galilee was well north of Jerusalem. Peterís speech gave him away. This third person was convinced that Peter knew Jesus and in no uncertain terms he was telling everyone.

In verse 60 Peter replied again, "Man, I donít know what youíre talking about". And then the rooster crowed. By this time Jesus was now outside because He turned and looked directly at Peter. Jesus said nothing. The piercing eyes of Jesus and the crowing of the rooster said it all. He had remembered what Jesus had told him.

Luke tells us that Peter went out and "wept bitterly". I can only imagine how Peterís heart must have sunk. He had denied knowing Jesus three times. Heíd been with Him for three years. Heíd laughed with Jesus. He cried with Jesus. Heíd performed miracles in His name. Peter left family to follow Jesus, and now in this hour of extreme darkness and terror He denies His Lord.

But we know Peter did not stay in this state of denial and depression. He was strengthened and he returned with more resolve to give his whole life to Jesus. We see Peter later on in Acts before some of these same men. Did Peter deny Jesus then? No. Instead of saying, "I donít know Him", he said, "who are we to obey, God or man". This was a different Peter. Yes, it was after Pentecost, but I strongly believe that Peterís recovery from this denial also played a part in his life.

The Guards Mock Jesus (ch. 22:63 - 65)

Now outside of the chief priest house, most likely standing by the fire, was Jesus. The guards who guarded Him began to mock Him. They blind folded Him and hit Him and beat Him, asking "Prophecy! Who hit you"? Along with this, Luke said that these men said many other insulting things.

You can only guess what all of these other insulting things were, but we know that men can be very crewel when they are together egging each other on in their crewelness.

Luke does not record Jesus answering them. I doubt if He did. He did not have to prove who He really was by prophesying. He never did before, so why would He start now.

The suffering and the humiliation of Jesus is now under way at this point. The soldiers were making fun of the King of this universe. I suppose if Jesus acted like a king, especially a Gentile king, theyíd not have as much reason to mock Him. Theyíd probably fear Him. But as He had just told His disciples, He came as a servant, and now secular man was treating Him as a servant, and even worse.

Jesus Before Pilate And Herod (ch. 22:66 Ė 23:25)

Luke now tells us that in the morning the Jewish leadership met with Jesus. This was Friday.

In verse 67 they asked, "if you are the Christ, tell us". Of course they wanted Jesus to say "yes" to this question, because in their minds this would be blasphemy. But as usual Jesus does not come out with a clear cut and straight forward answer.

Jesus answered, "if I tell you, you will not believe meÖ" Of course Jesus is right. If He comes right out in plain and simple words that He is the Christ, then they wonít accept that. They wonít believe Him, and they will have grounds to hold Him further. So why come out with the straight forward answer.

Jesus went on to say, "if I asked you, you would not answer". This is quite true. As we have often seen before, when Jesus asked the Jewish leaders a direct question concerning who He was, theyíd not answer. Many times they were afraid of the crowd. They could not say that Heís a false prophet or else thousands of people would come down on them, and they certainly could not admit that He was the Messiah. They had no other logical choice other than to avoid the answer.

Then Jesus added a very important phrase, one that was very upsetting to the Jewish leaders. He said, "from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Almighty God". Jesus did not come right out and clearly say that He was going to sit at the right hand of God. Of course, He and everyone who heard these words knew that Jesus thought He was the Son of Man.

The words "from now on" are interesting to note. We should ask, "when did Jesus begin to sit at the right hand of God"? Did it happen right then as He spoke these words, as His words suggest? No. He did not immediately start sitting at Godís right hand as He was before these Jewish leaders. In my thinking, this took place at the ascension. So why did He say that "from now on" He would sit at Godís right hand? Many times Jesus has said these words, "right now", or similar words. He did not mean them to be "right now" but should be interpreted as "soon". Heíd soon sit at Godís right hand.

So again, why did Jesus say "right now" if He meant "soon"? We must remember that for all of Jesusí existence He lived in a timeless setting. Only for 33 earth years did He live in time and space. When living outside of time and apace the words "right now", "soon", and other such words are irrelevant. Right now, soon, - the past, present and future are all the same. Without time and space one simply lives with no concept of time. This is why I believe that Jesus very often spoke this way.

Another thing that we should note is that the phrase "right hand of God" was understood by people in that generation to mean a place of authority with God. It did not necessarily mean that God has a right hand, and that Jesus is sitting on a chair right beside God. It means that Jesus is saying that He is in fact equal with God since He is sharing Godís authority. This is what broke the camels back so to speak. This is what finally did Jesus in. The Jewish leaders could not accept this. We see this very clearly in Johnís gospel. It was Jesusí claim to deity that led Him to the cross.

This is why the Jewish leaders asked Jesus in verse 70, "are you the Son of God". Note that Jesus called Himself the Son of Man and the Jews asked Him if He was the Son of God. Why did they ask that? When Jesus spoke of His deity, this was in fact the real question to ask. They wanted Jesus to clearly say that He was the Son of God.

Jesus replied by saying, "you are right when you say that I am". Another answer by Jesus that was not straight forward. He did not say, "yes, I am the Son of God". He said that the Jews were right when they said He was. Well, they did not say that He was the Son of God, They asked if He was the Son of God.

What Jesus was doing was using a common idiom of the day. He was saying, "what you are saying in your question about who I am is right". The Jews understood this. This was it for the Jews. They said that they didnít need any more testimony from Jesus. They heard what they wanted to hear. They heard Jesus claim deity. This was enough. They had grounds to bring Jesus to the Romans to be killed. Remember, the Jews had no legal right to kill Jesus. If they were a nation unto themselves they would have stoned Jesus on the spot, but since they were under Roman domination, the Romans had to do the killing.

Chapter 23:1 tells us that the "whole assembly" got prepared to take Jesus to Pilate. There charge against Jesus was three fold according to Luke, One was that He was subverting the Jewish nation. This might have been somewhat of a joke to the Romans because though the Jews thought they were a nation, Rome viewed them as a province and an ethnic people. Two was the He claimed to be the Messiah. Once again, this was a matter Jewish religion that did not matter much to the Gentiles. Thirdly was the charge that He promoted not paying taxes to Rome. This was a lie. We know that Jesus clearly taught to render to Caesar that which belonged to Him. But nevertheless, hopefully this charge would make their trip to Pilate legitimate.

For the whole story about what transpired between Jesus and Pilate you need to read John 18 and 19. I will only comment on what is stated here in Luke.

In verse 3 Pilate asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews. He did not address the other two charges, maybe because if Jesus claimed to be a king, then the other two charges would fall under that charge. Maybe He would think of trying to collect taxes for Himself and subvert Israel by trying to overthrow them and start a new nation.

Unlike Jesusí response to the Jews, He was quite direct in His answer, "Yes, it is as you say", Jesus responded. This is all we see Luke comment on during this part of Jesus talk with Pilate, but once again, we know there is more from what John says. Jesus explained in a little more detail what kind of a king He really was, and what kind of a kingdom He was king over.

From this discussion Pilate could not find any real grounds to continue on with the Jewish charges against Jesus. He told the Jews that he found no fault in Jesus.

In verse 5 you can see the quick response of the Jews. They did not want to hear this from Pilateís lips. They immediately accused Jesus of stirring up trouble throughout Judea and now has come to do the same in Jerusalem. They wanted Jesus dealt with immediately. They would not accept "a no fault" verdict by Pilate.

When Pilate learned that Jesus was not a native of Jerusalem but was from Galilee, a province north of Jerusalem he sent Jesus to Herod because Galilee was not part of his jurisdiction. Also Herod happened to be in town so it was convenient for Pilate to pass Jesus on to Herod.

Herod was pleased to meet Jesus for he had heard much about Jesus over the last three years. Most of all he wanted to see Jesus do some miracles, to see for himself if what he had heard about Jesus was really true.

But Jesus was silent before Herod and did not perform any miracles. He never performed miracles to prove who He was and there was no way that He was going to start now.

The Jews were furious because Jesus would not speak and defend himself. They spoke many accusing things about Jesus, most likely to get a response from Him but it didnít work. So Herod mocked Jesus. They dressed Jesus up as a king and sent him back to Pilate as a joke.

Luke tells us that Herod and Pilate were not on speaking terms prior to this occasion, but this drew them together and they became friends.

Jesus ended up back before Pilate. Pilate called in the Jewish leaders and others to tell them that Jesus had done nothing worthy of the death penalty. Pilate noted that the main charge against Jesus was inciting riots. There was no evidence of any such thing and so Pilate said heíd punish Jesus and let Him go. So both Pilate and Herod found no fault in Jesus. The Roman court found no means to keep Him.

In verse 18 we see the response of the Jews. They were very angry and with "one voice" they cried out to Pilate to release Barabbas who was a real criminal. He instigated riots and had killed people.

In this period of time there was a custom where the Romans would release a prisoner once a year. This custom seemed to go back to at least the days of the Macabees, although this is somewhat vague. And just why the Romans would agree to this is unknown to me. In the minds of the Jews this most likely symbolized the release of the Jews from Egypt.

So Pilate brought forth a bad criminal in Barabbas and had him stand beside Jesus. Pilate gave the choice to release either Jesus or Barabbas. His choice was clearly to have Jesus released, but he could not persuade the crowd who kept on yelling Ďcrucify Him, crucify Him".

Luke tells us that Pilate tried three times to talk the crowd into releasing Jesus. He explained again that Jesus had done nothing worthy of death. He said that heíd punish Jesus and then let Him go.

At this point Pilate gave into the demands of the crowd and agreed to release Barabbas, a killer and an instigator of riots. What was in the heart of Pilate is uncertain. Some have suggested that he was a weak man and gave into the crowd. Some suggest he was a tormented man, who had some feelings for Jesus and might possibly wanted to believe in him. We donít know the inner workings of Pilateís heart, but we do know that he allowed a killer to go free and the King of Kings to die as a criminal without cause.

Next Section - Chapter 23

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