Luke Chapter Twenty-Two

 

v.1  1Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.”

 

            Luke records that the feast of unleavened bread was near, Matthew and Mark both record that the Passover would be in two days.  Do we remember the feasts that were to be celebrated at this time?

            The feast of the Passover, to commemorate the “passing over” of the firstborn of Israel in Egypt by the death angel was to be celebrated on the fourteenth day of the first month:

 

Leviticus 23:55In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover.”

 

            The feast of the Unleavened Bread started on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover, continued for seven days, and was to commemorate God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt.

 

Exodus 12:17And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. “

 

v.22And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.”

 

            The chief priests and scribes, the Pharisees and Sadducees of chapter 21, are continuing to plot how they can eliminate Jesus.  They see him as a political rival, one who has come to Jerusalem to reestablish David’s kingdom.  Matthew tells us that they are gathered in the palace of the High Priest, Matthew 26:4.

 

v.3 3Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.”

 

            Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, how does that work?  Does Satan enter into the minds and hearts of people by force or by invitation?  Satan has no power over anyone who wishes to resist him:

 

James 4:7  7Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

 

So the devil, Satan, entered in to Judas Iscariot by invitation, or by Judas allowing him to enter.  Some would speculate that Judas was upset about Jesus rebuking him as is recorded in John 12:4-8.

            Judas’ activity fulfills the prophecy concerning how Jesus would be betrayed:

 

Psalms 41:9 “YEA, MINE OWN FAMILIAR FRIEND, IN WHOM I TRUSTED, WHICH DID EAT OF MY BREAD, HAST LIFTED US his HEEL AGAINST ME.”

 

v.44And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.”

 

            God’s plan for the sacrifice of his Son for the sins of mankind is coming rapidly to it’s conclusion.  The chief priests and scribes are meeting to try to figure out how they are going to be able to take Jesus when one of Jesus own disciples comes to them with a proposal to betray him.  The captains are those men who were in charge of keeping order in the temple during feasts and other activities, they were over the temple police.

 

v.55And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.”

 

            Of course, the chief priests are delighted; they have a traitor, a patsy to give them access to Jesus.  They offer him an additional incentive, money, and thereby fulfill another prophecy:

 

Zechariah 11:1212And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.”

 

Thirty pieces of silver, about $15, under Mosaic Law the value of a slave:

 

Exodus 21:3232If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.”

 

v.66And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.”

 

            Judas consented, agreed, promised, it’s translated in various ways, to the deal that was offered to him and sought or planned for an opportunity to betray Jesus at a time when there would be no multitude of people to contend with.

 

v.77Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.”

 

            The day has come when the preparation for the feast must be made.  We have already noted that the Passover was on the fourteenth day of the first month, Nisan or Abib, and corresponds to late March and early April on our current calendar.  The Jewish day began at sunset and the feast was to be observed that evening, when the sun had gone down:

 

Deuteronomy 16:66But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.”

 

            The day of preparation is called the day of unleavened bread because as part of the preparation, since the feast of unleavened bread follows the next day after the Passover, all leaven would be removed from the house to make sure that some doesn’t accidentally get into the cooking during the 7 day feast when no leaven was to be used.

 

v.88And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.”

 

            This is an important responsibility, so Jesus sends Peter and John.  The place has to hold the feast has to be obtained, inspected and cleaned of all traces of leaven.  The bitter herbs and other requirements have to be obtained.  The passover lamb has to be procured and roasted, they have a lot to do.

 

v.9-109And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.”

 

            The disciples ask a pertinent question, where should we secure the facility required for the feast?  So Jesus gives them instructions much the same as he did when they acquired the colt upon which he was to enter the city.  Go to the city where you will see a male slave, most of the time water was carried by woman of the house, not the man.  This man will carrying an earthen pitcher of water.  Whatever house he goes to, follow him and that will be the place we will use.

 

v.11-1211And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.

 

            God has provided.  When you get to this house, tell the manager, the owner or overseer that the Master has sent you and that you need his guest chamber.  This is that part of the house used to entertain.  He will show you an upper room furnished for that purpose and there you will make our preparations.

 

v.1313And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.”

 

            They went, they found everything as Jesus said that they would, so they prepared the feast for Jesus and his disciples.

 

v.1414And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.”

 

            When “THE HOUR WAS COME”, what hour.  The proper hour for the Passover feast, the hour after sundown on Thursday, the fourteenth of Abib.  Jesus and his disciples eat the feast sitting or reclining as was the custom of Roman times.  In Egypt the feast was to be eaten standing, with their loins girded prepared to go on a journey (Exodus 12:11) but no such requirement was carried over into the law given at Mount Sinai.

 

v.1515And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

 

            This was to be the last time that Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples.  He will shortly be lead to suffer and be sacrificed as our paschal lamb for the sins of all mankind.  He will not celebrate this feast again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.  What is our parallel to the Passover today?  Paul told the Corinthians:

 

I Corinthians 5:6-86Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?  7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

 

            Our parallel is our celebration of the death of Jesus, what is called the Lord’s Supper, the memorial that is about to be instituted by Jesus at this time.

 

v.17-1817And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.”

 

            He took the cup.  At these meals is was the custom for the host to take a container filled with wine or fruit of the vine.  At the passover is was diluted, two parts water to one part grape juice or what was called wine.  This cup was passed around the table and used by the others at the feast to fill the cup from which they drank.  The last cup of the meal was called the cup of blessing and Jesus uses it to set the stage for the introduction of his memorial.  He also declares that after his occasion he will not drink of fruit of the vine again until his kingdom was come, giving his disciples a sign that the kingdom is only a matter of a very short time away.

 

v.1919And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.”

 

            The original means a loaf.  He literally takes a loaf of the unleavened bread and passes it around to his disciples to break off a piece and eat of it.  We do the very same thing with the unleavened bread in the Lord’s Supper.  It signifies or represents his body.  Paul repeats these instructions to the Corinthians:

 

I Corinthians 11:2424And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”

 

v.2020Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”

 

            “LIKEWISE” he “ALSO” took “THE CUP”.  How was this done?  The container used by the host was filled and passed around the table to that each guest might fill the container from which he drank.  Today we don’t quite do the same thing.  In the case of the Lords’ Supper, the host, takes the storage container and fills each person’s cup for them, a manner of expediency.  Some of our brethren demand that a host container be passed and that each disciple sip from it but that is totally foreign to the custom of Jesus day.

            In addition we should note that Jesus declares that this fruit of the vine, this diluted, unfortified wine, signifies or seals the new testament or new covenant that God is making with mankind.  Paul calls it a “COMMUNION” or we might also use the word fellowship.

 

I Corinthians 10:1616The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”

 

v.2121But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.”

 

            The hand that would betray Jesus is on the table at the same time that his hand is on the table.  It would be one of the twelve.

 

v.22-2322And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! 23And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.”

 

            The Son of Man the Messiah was to be humiliated, beaten, suffer and ultimately be put to death as was prophesied:

 

Isaiah 53:55But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” 

 

He was to be sacrificed just like the lamb was on the Passover feast day for the sins of the people of Israel.  In this case we’re talking about spiritual Israel, the kingdom of Christ, the church that he established beginning at the Pentecost feast that followed.

            But he also pronounces a “WOE” on the man that is to betray him.  The twelve start looking at each other and are mystified regarding whether one of them would do something, even unintentionally  that would cause the Chief priests and scribes to have their way.

 

v.2424And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.”

 

            When you really think about the situation that Luke describes next, it doesn’t seem to make sense.  Jesus says he’s going to be betrayed, the disciple who was to betray him has probably left the assembly as the Apostle John records in John 13:30 and they’re having a discussion, an argument even.  They’re thinking about his kingdom, how the rulers of that age conducted their business.  They’re thinking of high positions in earthly kingdoms, the status, the rank, the prestige associated with the rule over Israel.  They’re eager for this to occur, not understanding the true nature of Christ’s kingdom.

 

v.2525And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.”

 

            The contention raised by his disciples comes to Jesus ears, either because he hears of it, or even perhaps because of his presence they are loud enough that he hears their discussion.  He reminds them that Gentiles are now the kings over them and that, as such, they exercise authority and provide them with the benefits of government and law.  All rulers like to be considered benefactors, those who provide the benefits of their rule over certain, if not all, of the followers.  In fact, our rulers today have become such good benefactors, particularly in the area of public welfare, health care, etc. that many call them and consider them “entitlements” something to which they are entitled simply by being a citizen of the current government.

            It is a display of power, an indication of the benevolence of a democratic society to be able to do this.  But Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven won’t be this way.

 

v.26-2726But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.”

 

            Jesus reminds them that his kingdom is not going to be like the physical kingdoms with whom they are familiar.  In fact the greatest among them would the one who renders the highest service.  He will be as the one who is younger and serves rather than the older who rules.  Jesus also declares himself to be the greatest because he will give the greatest service, his life.  Just as the Apostle Peter reminds the elders, the real rulers of Jesus’ kingdom:

 

I Peter 5:3 3Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”

 

v.28-2928Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;”

 

            These disciples had stayed with Jesus throughout his period of teaching and preaching here on this earth.  He wasn’t just tempted by Satan at the time recorded in Matthew 4 and Luke 4 but as the Hebrew writer explains:

 

Hebrews 4:1515For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

 

Because of their faithfulness he appointed them to be charter members of his kingdom, the kingdom that was going to be established in just a few short weeks.

 

v.3030That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 

            Jesus has told his disciples, specifically the twelve, that they will have a special place in his kingdom.  They will enjoy the blessings of being “AT MY TABLE” but then all who are faithful will enjoy those blessings.  In addition these disciples will “SIT ON THRONES JUDGING THE TWELVE TRIBES...”; what does he mean?  Is this a literal judging?  Commentators have discussed this question extensively and hold various opinions.  But it seems to me that, these disciples, through their work, through their authority given by the Holy Spirit, through their teaching, preaching and recording the sacred scriptures for our benefit will indeed judge all men by the words of their writings which they have provided us to learn and follow.

 

v.3131And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:”

 

            Luke does not record Peter’s initial declaration that he would follow Jesus even unto death as does Matthew or that he would not be offended as does Mark.  Luke concentrates instead on what Jesus says.  “SATAN” had desired to have Peter, perhaps even as he desired to have Job and challenged God that Job would turn against him if God wasn’t protecting him.  (Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6).

 

v.3232But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

 

            But Jesus had prayed for Peter and the others as well, I’m sure.  He tells Peter that when he was converted that he should establish or strengthen his brethren.  Why would he say something like this, hasn’t Peter been following Jesus for three years, isn’t he converted?  The ASV translates this word as “TURNED AGAIN”.  Peter would deny Jesus, Peter wasn’t converted to the extent that he would be after his denial or that would be required for him to continue under the persecution that would come later.  Peter would have to turn again and in this turning would be strengthened to the extent that he could strengthen others even as they went through what was to come.

 

v.3333And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.”

 

            Peter doesn’t understand that he will falter.  He claims that he’s ready to go with Jesus wherever he might go even to prison or to death.  Do we ever brag about the things that we’re going to do and then not carry through with our bragging?  Sometimes we fail, sometimes we don’t put forth the effort that we should, sometimes we allow things that we could overcome to hinder us, just like Peter allowed his fear to control his actions when he was identified as being a follower of Jesus.

 

v.3434And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.”

 

            Jesus gives Peter some very specific information about just how he would falter.  Before the rooster crows this day, this next morning, Peter would have denied him three times.

            Then he gives all of them some specific encouragement, reminding them of times past when God provided for them.

 

v.3535And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.”

 

            Do you remember when I sent you out two by two to teach and to preach?  You went without any of the things that most men would consider necessary, yet did you lack anything?  The disciples answer no, God provided all that was needful for their physical well-being and for their work.

 

v.3636Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”

 

            Jesus is now telling them that times, conditions and circumstances have changed.  They will need to prepare for the work that follows.  They will need to provide for themselves and God will not miraculously meet their every need as before.  The admonition to sell their garments to buy a sword should not be taken literally, but rather he is telling them that they should expect opposition, they will have enemies that they will have to overcome in order to do the work in his kingdom.  In their work in His kingdom they would need to provide for themselves; God would not provide for them as he had done under the limited commission.

 

v.3737For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.”

 

            He warns them again that there is still much for him to do before his kingdom is established.  The suffering is yet to come and he again turns to what “IS WRITTEN” and quotes the prophesy of Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 53:1212Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

 

v.3838And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.”

 

            Jesus disciples still do not understand the nature and purpose of his kingdom.  In response to his warning they survey the weapons among them and find two swords to defend themselves.  He simply says that’s going to be enough.

 

v.3939And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.”

 

            Jesus and his disciples have finished the Passover feast that was conducted just after sundown.  They have lingered in the upper room for some period of time and now it is probably time that most people would be retiring for the night.  They go out into the Mount of Olives or Olivet as it is called in some translations; a place that they had a practice of going to; a place that Judas would be able to find them.

 

v.40  40And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”

 

            They arrive at the place chosen.  Other records call it the Garden of Gethsemane, a place in the olive grove where the olive press used to make oil of the olives was located.  There is analogy here of Jesus undergoing an agony of spirit much like would be encountered if literally run through an olive press.  This also has a place in the symbolic language of prophesy:

 

Isaiah 63:33I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”

 

v.41-4241And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

 

            Jesus leaves most of his disciples at the place they usually stayed, took Peter, James and John with him and goes deeper into the garden.  Then he leaves them as well and goes out from them about as far as a rock can be thrown.

            He prays that this “CUP”, this measure of agony, despair and death be removed from him.  Jesus is just as human as you and I.  He feels the same pain, he feels the same mental pressures, he feels the same dread that we would feel if we knew that we were going to have to go through something like he went through.  The use of the word “CUP” is common in scripture to describe the portion that life has reserved for someone.  One example:

 

Psalms 11:6 “UPON THE WICKED HE SHALL RAIN SNARES, FIRE AND BRIMSTONE, AND AN HORRIBLE TEMPEST this shall be THE PORTION OF THEIR CUP.”

 

            At the same time he indicates that he is willing to go forward with the process that will bring about the means of our salvation.

 

v.43  43And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”

 

            Jesus receives some divine help.  This is also prophesied:

 

Psalms 91:11  “FOR HE SHALL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE OVER THEE, TO KEEP THEE IN ALL THY WAYS.”

 

            The anguish is not removed, the pain will not go away, but Jesus is strengthened to be able to handle it.

 

v.4444And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

 

            As the time grows nearer and Jesus continues to pray to God even more earnestly than before the angel came the physician records that sweat like great drops of blood fall from him.  The language would indicate that this isn’t blood but sweat, however, instances are known to medical history where mental agony has been so severe that people sweated blood.

 

v.45-4645And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”

 

            Matthew and Mark record that Jesus prayed three times but Luke does not.  But in addition, Luke the physician, states that they are “SLEEPING FOR SORROW”, sleep that apparently can be brought on by extreme grief.  Jesus hour of trial is at hand and they needed to both watch and pray.

 

v.4747And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.”

 

            Luke calls those that came for Jesus a multitude.  Have we really thought about just how many people that might have been?  First of all the Roman band of 3-600 soldiers was housed in the tower of Antonio to keep order in that part of the city.  The temple captains and their men who kept order in the Jewish temple, some of the chief priests and elders were present along with some of their servants.  All this was needed to take one man who had a handful of followers with only two swords?  Judas led them, and prepares to identify Jesus as planned.

 

v.4848But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”

 

            Jesus has opportunity to rebuke Judas again.  Do you betray the Son of Man with a gesture of love and affection?  This rebuke is found only in Luke’s record but brings even greater emphasis on the hypocrisy of those who profess to be friends of Jesus and his church but who in truth are their enemies.

 

v.49-5049When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? 50And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.”

 

            Jesus disciples now seem to understand the danger they’re in.  They ask if they should resist all of these men, with just two swords, and apparently before Jesus could answer, Peter draws one of the swords and cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant.

 

v.5151And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.”

 

            Jesus controls his disciples.  This could have turned into a real donnybrook that would have served no purpose and would have been contrary to what God has planned.  He tells his disciples to “SUFFER YE”, endure the situation, permit these men to do what they have come to do.  He reached out and healed the ear that Peter had removed.

 

v.5252Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?”

 

            Then Jesus turns to the chief priests and temple captains and rebukes them for their actions.  They had come under the cover of darkness with a small army to take one meek and gentle man who would provide no resistance.  This is another indication of the type of kingdom that men thought Jesus would establish; a physical kingdom by force to rule in Jerusalem.

 

v.5353When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

 

            Jesus had just spent the better part of a week teaching, preaching and answering questions in the temple.  Because they feared the people, they refused to arrest him in that setting but rather waited until late at night when everyone else was asleep and there were no crowds around to take him.  He is treated as a desperate criminal, much like the imposters that claimed to be the Messiah that would rule the new Israel that we read about in secular Jewish history of the period.

 

v. 5454Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.”

 

            We find parallel accounts in Matthew 26:57-75, Mark 14:53-72 and John 18:15-27.  Jesus was arrested in the garden on the Mount of Olives and taken to the city, to the “THE HIGH PRIEST’S HOUSE”.  Some debate which high priest of the two but most will agree that they took him to Annas first, the legitimate high priest according to the Mosaic Law and then to Caiaphas, the high priest appointed by Rome.

            Peter follows but “AFAR OFF”.  He and John seemed to have more courage than the rest of the twelve as only he and John are mentioned.  Peter seems to have lost himself in the crowd of soldiers, temple guards and servants.  He is close enough to see Jesus but far enough away that he’s on the fringe of the crowd.

 

v.5555And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.”

 

            The details recorded by the four gospel writers are somewhat different but should be considered contradictions.  All of the things recorded happened but some were included in one account and others in other accounts.  Luke goes from the garden directly to the denial by Peter.

            The house of the high priest was between the upper city and the temple.  The meeting hall for the Sanhedrin was in a court of the temple but in emergencies and when secrecy was required they met in the house of the high priest.  Peter is sitting with the servants and soldiers and is recognized.

 

v.56-5756But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. 57And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.”

 

             A certain maid, someone waiting on this group of men, sees Peter and knows who he is.  Perhaps she had even followed Jesus, heard his teaching and knew the twelve by sight.  By studying other accounts, John 18:17, Mark 14:66 we know that she was a servant of the high priest and the keeping of the door where they came in.  When confronted by this woman, Peter denies that he was a follower of Jesus.

 

v.5858And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.”

 

            After a little while another servant recognizes Peter, a man this time and again Peter denies knowing our Lord.

 

v.59-6059And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. 60And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.”

 

            After about an hour another servant recognizes Peter.  John tells us that it was a kinsman, a relative of the man whose ear Peter cut off (John 18:26).  Peter denies Jesus even more vehemently than before, this time cursing and swearing (Mark 14:71).

            While Peter is yet speaking, before he could finish we have the first rooster crow to greet the morning.  Everything is just as Jesus prophesied.

 

v.61-6261And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 62And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

 

            Peter is reacting out of fear for his very life but he is denying the very promise that he had made to the Son of God.  When Jesus hears the rooster crow, he turns his head and looks at Peter.  Can you imagine the thoughts going through Peter’s mind at this moment?  He has done exactly what he swore to Jesus that he would not do, in his presence and when he was being punished as a common criminal by the Roman soldiers.  How should we react when we realize when we have denied Jesus today?  Peter went out and wept bitterly and we know from further study of scripture that Peter repented but I doubt that Peter ever forgot that look.

 

v.6363And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.”

 

            The Roman soldiers who are holding Jesus know no more than what they have been told about Jesus, if they have been told anything.  They treat him as they would a common slave, a criminal guilty of some major crime.  They beat him with their fists and other things just because they could.  They allowed others to participate.  A good parallel that comes to mind is the way Americans shot down and caught by the North Vietnamese might have been treated and we haven’t gotten to the serious beatings yet.  Meanwhile his disciples are scattered, except Peter and John and Peter has denied him.

 

v.64-6564And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? 65And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.”

 

            Their sport, if one would call it that, continues.  They play a game of blindman’s bluff, blindfolding him, hitting him and then asking him to identify his tormentor.  The great prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled:

 

Isaiah 53:77He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

 

v.6666And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,”

 

            Now when morning was come, as soon as it was day the elders and chief priests take Jesus to the Sanhedrin.  The Sanhedrin council did not meet at night nor did it ever settle legal issues in any kind of a night meeting.  The trials before Annas and Caiaphas conducted that night had no legal sanction so some sort of formal proceedings are required.  The Sanhedrin could pass sentence but could not execute anyone without the specific approval of the Roman governor.

 

v.67-6867Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: 68And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.”

 

            They have already made up their minds what they are going to do, Jesus knows that without question.  Their false witnesses are prepared and waiting but they would prefer to have something from him to use to condemn him.  They are still in a political situation and there are still a lot of people who may object to what they are doing.  Jesus finally answers them, he knew they wouldn’t believe, that wasn’t their purpose, nor did they intend to let him go under any circumstances.

 

v.69  69Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.”

 

            He’s ready to bring this farce of justice to a conclusion and take his rightful place at the right hand of the father.  The prophesy concerning the Messiah is well known:

 

Psalms 110:1 “THE LORD SAID UNTO MY LORD, SIT THOU AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES THY FOOTSTOOL.”

 

It is given here by Jesus to verify that, yes he is the Messiah.  After the resurrection he would be returning to his Father just as the Hebrew writer confirms:

 

Hebrews 1:33Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

 

Hebrews 8:11Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;”

 

v.70-7170Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. 71And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.”

 

            The expression “Son of man” means the same as the expression “Son of God” and Jesus has just declared himself to be the Son of man.  It would appear that the council asks this question to confirm what they had just heard.  “ART THOU THEN THE SON OF GOD?”  Jesus answers them with “YE SAY THAT I AM” but contrary to the way we might interpret the English version, scholars say that this is a Jewish idiom that is in fact a confirmation of what they had just asked.  Consequently they now have what they want, an admission from Jesus own lips that he is indeed the Messiah, the Son of Man, the Son of God.