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LUKE - Chapter 22

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Luke 22

Supplemental Commentary:

Note.  Only those parts of the Third Gospel that are peculiar to it are commented on here.  For all other parts the reader should consult the Commentaries on the parallel passages in the other Gospels.


1.  The Last Supper  22, 1-38

22, 1-6:  The Council and the Betrayal.    1 f.  The Council: parallels in Matt. 26, 1-5 and Mark 14, 1 f.    3-6.  The Betrayal: parallels in Matt. 26, 14-16 and Mark 14, 10 f.

22, 7-13:  Preparation.  Parallels in Matt. 26, 17-19 and Mark 14, 12-16.

22, 14-20:  The Holy Eucharist.  Luke's account here is somewhat different from that of the other two Synoptics; cf. Matt. 26, 26-29; Mark 14, 22-25.    15.  Despite the chronological difficulties, the words this passover seem to prove conclusively that the Last Supper was the Jewish Passover meal.  But some interpreters understand our Lord to mean by this passover simply the Holy Eucharist which is the true paschal meal of the New Testament.  These authors then consider that in 15-18 Luke is referring in an obscure way, because of the "discipline of the secret," to the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, 15 f referring to the consecration of the bread and 17 f to the consecration of the chalice.  It is indeed rather remarkable that the words of 18b, for I say to you that I will not drink, etc., occur in Matthew and Mark as spoken by our Lord after the consecration of the Eucharistic cup of wine.  But Luke seems to distinguish clearly between the cup before the Eucharist (17) and the Eucharist cup (20).  To this objection these authors answer that 19 f are of uncertain authenticity in Luke, since they are missing in the manuscripts of the so-called "Western Family" of the text (at least beginning with the words, which is being given for you).  Nevertheless, the vast majority of the manuscripts, including the best and oldest, have these words in Luke; they are certainly authentic here.  According to the much more common and more probable opinion the cup of 17 refer to one of the cups of wine drunk during the Passover supper before our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist at the end of this meal.

19 f.  The words of consecration as recorded by St. Luke are almost identical with St. Paul's account in 1 Cor. 11, 23-25.    20.  Two metonomies are used here: This cup, i.e., the wine contained in this cup (the metonomy of the container for the thing contained); is the new covenant, i.e., the inauguration or cause of the New Covenant (the metonomy of the effect for the cause); in my blood, i.e., through the instrumentality of my Blood, which shall be (in Greek, "which is now being") shed for you.

22, 21-23:  The Betrayer.  Parallels in Matt. 26, 21-25; Mark 14, 18-21; John 13, 21-30.  In Matthew and Mark this incident occurs before the institution of the Holy Eucharist.  Those who hold that Luke is always strictly chronological, consider that Judas was present at this Mystery and received Holy Communion.  Many other scholars, however, prefer to follow the order in Matthew and Mark.

22, 24-30:  Contention among the Apostles.  The incident itself in peculiar to Luke in this place, but cf. 9, 46 and parallels.  The same words of Christ are recorded in Matthew and Mark in another context.  This contention at the Last Supper seems to have risen in regard to the places at table, for the greatest among them would have the most honorable place at table.  That this contention took place at the beginning of the Last Supper and not after the institution of the Holy Eucharist seems, according to some scholars, implied in Christ's action at the beginning of the meal whereby He gave them a lesson in humility (cf. John 13, 1-15).    25-27.  Almost exactly the same words of Christ are recorded in Matt. 20, 25-28 and Mark 10, 42-45 in regard to the contention of the Apostles after the request of the sons of Zebedee.    28-30.  Cf. the very similar words of our Lord in Matt. 19, 28.

22, 31-38:  Peter's Denials Predicted.    31-34.  Jesus foretells the three denials of Peter.  Matt. 26, 30-35 and Mark 14, 26-31 place these words of Jesus as spoken on the way to Gethsemani, whereas John 13, 36-38 agrees with Luke in placing them at the Last Supper.  The latter order seems more probable, unless one prefers to consider these words as spoken twice by our Lord.    31 f.  Peculiar to Luke.    31.  Satan sought to destroy the work of Jesus by making the Apostles waver in their faith and fall away.  This is illustrated by the metaphor of the sieve which is shaken so violently that the grains of wheat are lost with the chaff.  In the providence of God, however, the actual result will be their complete cleansing and purification from evil.    32.  Christ shows His particular solicitude for St. Peter because of his singular position as head of the Apostles.  When once thou hast turned again: i.e., when thou art repentant after thy fall.  St. Peter really never lost faith in Jesus even for a moment.  His denials were due merely to thoughtless cowardice, begotten of human respect.  Strengthen thy brethren, since I have made thee their leader.    34.  This is the only instance in the Gospels, apart from the bestowal of this title (Matt. 16, 18) where Jesus addresses Simon as Peter.

34b-38.  Peculiar to Luke    35.  Cf. 9, 3; 10, 4.    36.  It seems fairly certain that Jesus meant these words here in a figurative sense.  Hitherto the Apostles had lived in peace and were without want, but now they will soon be confronted with all sorts of hardships and trials.  To meet these dangers they must be prepared and armed with spiritual weapons.    37.  Cf. Isa. 53, 12.    38.  Understanding the words of 36 in the literal sense, the Apostles missed the point completely.  Jesus replied, "Enough," i.e., let us drop the subject.  The Apostles' misunderstanding of our Lord's words about the sword is shown in Matt. 26, 51 f and parallels.

2.  The Passion and Death of Jesus  22, 39 -- 23, 56

22, 39-46:  The Agony in the Garden.    39-42.45 f.  Parallels in Matt. 26, 36-46; Mark 14, 32-42; John 18, 1.    43 f.  Peculiar to Luke.  A few manuscripts, some of them of first-rate authority, omit these two verses.  But it is easier to explain why some early copyist may have omitted these words intentionally out of a mistaken reverence for our Lord rather than to explain why someone should have added them to Luke's Gospel.  Hence there is no good reason to doubt their authenticity.    43a.  Cf. Matt. 4, 11b; Mark 1, 13b.  Not knowing the full nature of Christ's agony, we are not sure what this strengthening by the angel consisted in.  Possibly the angel reminded our Lord of the effect of His sufferings and death; that it would be for the glory of God, for the exaltation of His own human nature, and for the salvation of mankind.    44.  As drops of blood: our Lord's agony was so intense that it forced His very blood to flow from the pores of His body.  Such a phenomenon is not unknown to medical science.

22, 47-53:  Jesus Arrested.  Parallels in Matt. 26, 47-55; Mark 14, 43-49; John 18, 2-11.    49.  Luke alone records this question.  Peter does not wait for an answer.    53b.  Peculiar to Luke.  This is your hour: i.e., the time when, according to the will of the Father, you are allowed to enjoy an apparent triumph.  Power of darkness: i.e., this is being done through the efforts of Satan.

22, 54-62:  Peter's Denial.    54-57.  The first denial: parallels in Matt. 26, 58.69 f; Mark 14, 54.66-68; John 18, 15-17.    58.  The second denial: parallels in Matt. 26, 71 f; Mark 14, 69-70a; John 18, 18.25.  Someone else, in the masculine, hence a man; there were apparently several denials on this second occasion, since Peter was standing in a group of people.    59-62.  The third denial: parallels in Matt. 26, 73-75; Mark 14, 70b-72; John 18, 26 f.  All three Synoptics refer to the same incident here, but John apparently refers to a somewhat different denial on the same occasion.    61a.  Luke alone mentions that the Lord turned and looked upon Peter.  Jesus was probably being led at the time from one part of the High Priest's house to another part of it and thus passed through the courtyard where Peter was standing.

22, 63-71:  Jesus before the Sanhedrin.    63-65.  Jesus is mocked by the Jews: parallels in Matt. 26, 67 f and Mark 14, 65.    66a.  The morning session: parallels in Matt. 27, 1 and Mark 15, 1a.    66b-71.  The Jewish trial.  Almost the same account is given in Matt. 26, 59-66 and Mark 14, 55-64 as happening during the night.  At this morning session (66) the Sanhedrin met to give their proceedings the semblance of legality, since Jewish law forbade trials at night.  According to other scholars all three Synoptics combine the preliminary investigation which took place at night with the formal trial which took place at dawn, Matthew and Mark giving the combined account of what occurred at night, whereas Luke gives the combined account of what happened in the morning.

Confraternity Bible:

The Council and the Betrayal  1 Now the feast of the Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was drawing near; 2 and the chief priests and the Scribes were seeking how they might put him to death, for they feared the people.

3 But Satan entered into Judas, surnamed Iscariot, one of the Twelve.  4 And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and the captains, how he might betray him to them.  5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.  6 He accordingly promised, and sought out an opportunity to betray him without a disturbance.

Preparation  7 Now the day of the Unleavened Bread came, on which the passover had to be sacrificed.  8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare for us the passover that we may eat it."  9 But they said, "Where dost thou want us to prepare it?"  10 And he said to them, "Behold, on your entering the city, there will meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house into which he goes.  11 And you shall say to the master of the house, 'The Master says to thee, "Where is the guest chamber, that I may eat the passover there with my disciples?"'  12 And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready?"  13 And they went, and found just as he had told them; and they prepared the passover.

The Holy Eucharist  14 And when the hour had come, he reclined at table, and the twelve apostles with him.  15 And he said to them, "I have greatly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; 16* for I say to you that I will eat of it no more, until it has been fulfilled in the kingdom of God."  17* And having taken a cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and share it among you; 18* for I say to you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God comes."

19 And having taken bread, he gave thanks and broke, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of me."  20* In like manner he took also the cup after the supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which shall be shed for you.

The Betrayer  21 "But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table.  22 For the Son of Man indeed goes his way, as it has been determined; yet woe to that man by whom he will be betrayed."  23 And they began to inquire among themselves which of them it might be that was about to do this.

Contention among the Apostles  24 Now there arose also a dispute among them, which of them was reputed to be the greatest.  25 But he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and they who exercise authority over them are called Benefactors.  26 But not so with you.  On the contrary, let him who is greatest among you become as the youngest, and he who is the chief as the servant.  27 For which is the greater, he who reclined at table, or he who serves?  Is it not he who reclines?  But I am in your midst as he who serves.  28 But you are they who have continued with me in my trials.  29 And I appoint to you a kingdom, even as my Father has appointed to me, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you shall sit upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Peter's Denials Predicted  31 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.  32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren."  33 But he said to him, "Lord, with thee I am ready to go both to prison and to death!"  34 But he said, "I tell thee, Peter, a cock will not crow this day, until thou hast denied three times that thou knowest me."

And he said to them, 35 "When I sent you forth without purse or wallet or sandals, did you lack anything?"  36* And they said, "Nothing."  Then he said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a wallet; and let him who has no sword sell his tunic and buy one.  37* For I say to you that this which is written must yet be fulfilled in me,
'And he was reckoned among the wicked.'  
For that which concerns me is at its end."  38 And they said, "Lord, behold, here are two swords."  And he said to them, "Enough."

The Agony in the Garden  39 And he came out and went, according to his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples also followed him.  40 But when he was at the place, he said to them, "Pray, that you may not enter into temptation."  41 And he himself withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and kneeling down, he began to pray, 42 saying, "Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will but thine be done."  43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven to strengthen him.  And falling into an agony he prayed the more earnestly.

44 And his sweat became as drops of blood running down upon the ground.  45 And rising from prayer he came to the disciples, and found them sleeping for sorrow.  46 And he said to them, "Why do you sleep?  Rise and pray, that you may not enter into temptation."

Jesus Arrested  47 And while he was yet speaking, behold, a crowd came; and he who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was going before them, and he drew near to Jesus to  kiss him.  48 But Jesus said to him, "Judas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"

49 But when they who were about him saw what would follow, they said to him, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?"  50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off  his right ear.  51 But Jesus answered and said, "Bear with them thus far."  And he touched his ear and healed him.  52 But Jesus said to the chief priests and captains of the temple and elders, who had come against him, "As against a robber have you come out, with swords and clubs.  53 When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against me.  But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."

Peter's Denial  54 Now having seized him, they led him away to the high priest's house; but Peter was following at a distance.  55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard, and were seated together, Peter was in their midst.  56 But a certain maidservant saw him sitting at the blaze, and after gazing upon him she said, "This man too was with him."  57 But he denied him, saying, "Woman, I do not know him."  58 And after a little while someone else saw him and said, "Thou, too, art one of them."  But Peter said, "Man, I am not."  59 And about an hour later another insisted, saying, "Surely this man, too, was with him, for he also is a Galilean."  60 But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what thou sayest."  And at that moment, while he was yet speaking, a cock crowed.  61 And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter.  And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, "Before a cock crows, thou wilt deny me three times."  62 And Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus before the Sanhedrin  63 And the men who had him in custody began to mock him and beat him.  64 And they blindfolded him, and kept striking his face and asking him, saying, "Prophesy, who is it that struck thee?"  65 And many other things they kept saying against him, reviling him.

66 And as soon as day broke, the elders of the people and the chief priests and Scribes gathered together; and they led him away into their Sanhedrin, saying, "If thou art the Christ, tell us."  67 And he said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe me; 68 and if I question you, you will not answer me, or let me go.  69 But henceforth, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."

70 And they all said, "Art thou, then, the Son of God?"  He answered, "You yourselves say that I am."  71 And they said, "What further need have we of witness?  For we have heard it ourselves from his own mouth."


16-18: Jesus twice asserts that this is His last Passover with them on earth, and points out that it will have its perfect fulfillment in the Church triumphant in heaven.

20: In regard to the words of the consecration of the cup, Matthew and Mark follow one formula, whereas Luke and Paul follow another.  The meaning, however, is substantially the same.  Which shall be shed for you: in the Vulgate, whereas "Which is being shed for you," is found in the Greek.

36: The Apostles must be prepared through spiritual weapons to meet all sorts of dangers, trials and hardships.

37: Isa. 53, 12.