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Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
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CHAPTER 22

Lu 22:1-6. Conspiracy of the Jewish Authorities to Put Jesus to DeathCompact with Judas.

1, 2. (See on Mt 26:1-5.)

3. Then entered Satan, &c.—but not yet in the full sense. The awful stages of it were these: (1) Covetousness being his master—passion, the Lord let it reveal itself and gather strength by entrusting him with "the bag" (Joh 12:6), as treasurer to Himself and the Twelve. (2) In the discharge of that most sacred trust he became "a thief," appropriating its contents from time to time to his own use. Satan, seeing this door into his heart standing wide open, determines to enter by it, but cautiously (2Co 2:11); first merely "putting it into his heart to betray Him" (Joh 13:2), suggesting the thought to him that by this means he might enrich himself. (3) This thought was probably converted into a settled purpose by what took place in Simon's house at Bethany. (See Mt 26:6, and see on Joh 12:4-8.) (4) Starting back, perhaps, or mercifully held back, for some time, the determination to carry it into immediate effect was not consummated till, sitting at the paschal supper, "Satan entered into him" (see on Joh 13:27), and conscience, effectually stifled, only rose again to be his tormentor. What lessons in all this for every one (Eph 4:27; Jas 4:7; 1Pe 5:8, 9)!

5. money—"thirty pieces of silver" (Mt 26:15); thirty shekels, the fine payable for man- or maid-servant accidentally killed (Ex 21:32), and equal to between four and five pounds of our money—"a goodly price that I was priced at of them" (Zec 11:13). (See on Joh 19:16.)

6. in the absence, &c.—(See Mt 26:5).

Lu 22:7-38. Last PassoverInstitution of the SupperDiscourse at the Table.

7. the day of unleavened bread—strictly the fifteenth Nisan (part of our March and April) after the paschal lamb was killed; but here, the fourteenth (Thursday). Into the difficult questions raised on this we cannot here enter.

10-13. when ye are entered the city—He Himself probably stayed at Bethany during the day.

there shall a man, &c.—(See on Lu 19:29-32).

14-18. the hour—about six P.M. Between three and this hour the lamb was killed (Ex 12:6, Margin)

15. With desire … desired—"earnestly have I longed" (as Ge 31:30, "sore longedst"). Why? It was to be His last "before He suffered"—and so became "Christ our Passover sacrificed for us" (1Co 5:7), when it was "fulfilled in the Kingdom of God," the typical ordinance thenceforth disappearing.

17. took the cup—the first of several partaken of in this service.

divide it among, &c.—that is, It is to be your last as well as Mine, "until the Kingdom of God come," or as it is beautifully given in Mt 26:29, "until that day when I shall drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." It was the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals, the one about to close for ever, the other immediately to open and run its majestic career until from earth it be transferred to heaven.

21, 22. (See on Joh 13:21, &c.).

24-30. there was—or "had been," referring probably to some symptoms of the former strife which had reappeared, perhaps on seeing the whole paschal arrangements committed to two of the Twelve. (See on Mr 10:42-45.)

25. benefactors—a title which the vanity of princes eagerly coveted.

26. But ye … not—Of how little avail has this condemnation of "lordship" and vain titles been against the vanity of Christian ecclesiastics?

28. continued, &c.—affecting evidence of Christ's tender susceptibility to human sympathy and support! (See on Joh 6:66, 67; see Joh 16:32.)

29. I appoint, &c.—Who is this that dispenses kingdoms, nay, the Kingdom of kingdoms, within an hour or two of His apprehension, and less than a day of His shameful death? These sublime contrasts, however, perpetually meet and entrance us in this matchless history.

30. eat and drink, &c.—(See Lu 22:16 and see on Lu 18:28, &c.).

31-34. Simon, Simon—(See on Lu 10:41).

desired to have—rather, "hath obtained you," properly "asked and obtained"; alluding to Job (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6), whom he solicited and obtained that he might sift him as wheat, insinuating as "the accuser of the brethren" (Re 12:10), that he would find chaff enough in his religion, if indeed there was any wheat at all.

you—not Peter only, but them all.

32. But I have prayed—have been doing it already.

for thee—as most in danger. (See on Lu 22:61, 62.)

fail not—that is, entirely; for partially it did fail.

converted—brought back afresh as a penitent disciple.

strengthen, &c.—that is, make use of thy bitter experience for the fortifying of thy tempted brethren.

33. I am ready, &c.—honest-hearted, warmly-attached disciple, thinking thy present feelings immovable as a rock, thou shalt find them in the hour of temptation unstable as water: "I have been praying for thee," therefore thy faith shall not perish; but thinking this superfluous, thou shalt find that "he that trusteth in his own heart is a fool" (Pr 28:26).

34. cock … crow—"twice" (Mr 14:30).

35-38. But now—that you are going forth not as before on a temporary mission, provided for without purse or scrip, but into scenes of continued and severe trial, your methods must be different; for purse and scrip will now be needed for support, and the usual means of defense.

37. the things concerning me—decreed and written.

have an end—are rapidly drawing to a close.

38. two swords … enough—they thinking He referred to present defense, while His answer showed He meant something else.

Lu 22:39-46. Agony in the Garden.

39. as … wont—(See Joh 18:2).

40. the place—the Garden of Gethsemane, on the west or city side of the mount. Comparing all the accounts of this mysterious scene, the facts appear to be these: (1) He bade nine of the Twelve remain "here" while He went and prayed "yonder." (2) He "took the other three, Peter, James, and John, and began to be sore amazed [appalled], sorrowful, and very heavy [oppressed], and said, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death"—"I feel as if nature would sink under this load, as if life were ebbing out, and death coming before its time"—"tarry ye here, and watch with Me"; not, "Witness for Me," but, "Bear Me company." It did Him good, it seems, to have them beside Him. (3) But soon even they were too much for Him: He must be alone. "He was withdrawn from them about a stone's-cast"—though near enough for them to be competent witnesses and kneeled down, uttering that most affecting prayer (Mr 14:36), that if possible "the cup," of His approaching death, "might pass from Him, but if not, His Father's will be done": implying that in itself it was so purely revolting that only its being the Father's will would induce Him to taste it, but that in that view of it He was perfectly prepared to drink it. It is no struggle between a reluctant and a compliant will, but between two views of one event—an abstract and a relative view of it, in the one of which it was revolting, in the other welcome. By signifying how it felt in the one view, He shows His beautiful oneness with ourselves in nature and feeling; by expressing how He regarded it in the other light, He reveals His absolute obediential subjection to His Father. (4) On this, having a momentary relief, for it came upon Him, we imagine, by surges, He returns to the three, and finding them sleeping, He addresses them affectingly, particularly Peter, as in Mr 14:37, 38. He then (5) goes back, not now to kneel, but fell on His face on the ground, saying the same words, but with this turn, "If this cup may not pass," &c. (Mt 26:42)—that is, 'Yes, I understand this mysterious silence (Ps 22:1-6); it may not pass; I am to drink it, and I will'—"Thy will be done!" (6) Again, for a moment relieved, He returns and finds them "sleeping for sorrow," warns them as before, but puts a loving construction upon it, separating between the "willing spirit" and the "weak flesh." (7) Once more, returning to His solitary spot, the surges rise higher, beat more tempestuously, and seem ready to overwhelm Him. To fortify Him for this, "there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven strengthening Him"—not to minister light or comfort (He was to have none of that, and they were not needed nor fitted to convey it), but purely to sustain and brace up sinking nature for a yet hotter and fiercer struggle. And now, He is "in an agony, and prays more earnestly"—even Christ's prayer, it seems, admitted of and now demanded such increase—"and His sweat was as it were great drops [literally, 'clots'] of blood falling down to the ground." What was this? Not His proper sacrificial offering, though essential to it. It was just the internal struggle, apparently hushing itself before, but now swelling up again, convulsing His whole inner man, and this so affecting His animal nature that the sweat oozed out from every pore in thick drops of blood, falling to the ground. It was just shuddering nature and indomitable will struggling together. But again the cry, If it must be, Thy will be done, issues from His lips, and all is over. "The bitterness of death is past." He has anticipated and rehearsed His final conflict, and won the victory—now on the theater of an invincible will, as then on the arena of the Cross. "I will suffer," is the grand result of Gethsemane: "It is finished" is the shout that bursts from the Cross. The Will without the Deed had been all in vain; but His work was consummated when He carried the now manifested Will into the palpable Deed, "by the which WILL we are sanctified THROUGH THE OFFERING OF THE BODY OF Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb 10:10). (8) At the close of the whole scene, finding them still sleeping (worn out with continued sorrow and racking anxiety), He bids them, with an irony of deep emotion, "sleep on now and take their rest, the hour is come, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners, rise, let us be going, the traitor is at hand." And while He spoke, Judas approached with his armed band. Thus they proved "miserable comforters," broken reeds; and thus in His whole work He was alone, and "of the people there was none with Him."

Lu 22:47-54. Betrayal and Apprehension of JesusFlight of His Disciples.

Lu 22:55-62. Jesus before CaiaphasFall of Peter.

The particulars of these two sections require a combination of all the narratives, for which see on Joh 18:1-27.

61. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter—(Also see on Mr 14:72.)

62. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly—(Also see on Mr 14:72.)

Lu 22:63-71. Jesus Condemned to Die and Shamefully Entreated.

(See on Mr 14:53-63; Joh 18:19, &c.; and Lu 22:55-62.)

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