Luke Chapter 22 Continued
Luke 22:24 “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.”
“A strife” (9:46; Matthew 20:20-24). This dispute may have prompted the episode where Christ washed their feet (John 13:1-20). It reveals how large an issue this was in the minds of the disciples, and how far they were from grasping all that He had taught them.
It is such a shame there is a power struggle even in God’s church. These disciples were no different; they wanted to be the greatest in Jesus’ sight.
Luke 22:25 “And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.”
“Benefactors” (Matthew 20:25). This title was used by the heathen rulers of both Egypt and Syria, though it was rarely a fitting description. The intent was to portray themselves as champions of their people, but it had a very condescending ring to it, especially when so many “benefactors” were actual ruthless tyrants.
These benefactors (workers of good), were demanding and ruled hard over their people. They held themselves in high esteem.
Luke 22:26 “But 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.”
“Chief, as he that doth serve” (Matthew 20:26-28). This is an apparent reference to the washing of their feet. Christ Himself had modeled such servitude throughout His ministry (verse 27; Phil. 2:5-8).
Jesus is trying to teach them humility, and also trying to teach them to not regard themselves higher than others. Don’t try to rule, be willing to be ruled over.
Luke 22:27 “For 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 is showing them here that even though He is their leader, He is serving them at tables. Jesus’ followers are actually His servants, and yet, the Master is serving them.
Luke 22:28 “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.”
“My temptations”: Christ’s entire life and ministry were filled with temptations (4:1-13); hardships (9:58); sorrows (19:41); and agonies (verse 44). Not to mention the sufferings of the cross which He knew were yet to come.
Jesus is explaining how dear they are to Him. They know Him better than anyone else on earth. They have seen the enemy come against Him so much, and yet He is without sin.
Luke 22:29 “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;”
“A kingdom … hath appointed”: Christ confirmed the disciples’ expectation of an earthly kingdom yet to come. It would not come in the timing or the manner that they hoped, but He affirmed the promise that such a kingdom would indeed be established, and that they would have a principal role in it (verse 30; Matt. 19:28).
The Lord here is telling the apostles that He is turning the followers of Jesus (Himself), over to them. Jesus started the church; they must take the reins and keep it going.
Luke 22:30 “That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
“Judging the twelve tribes of Israel”: The language identifies this as a millennial promise.
This is a promise Jesus is making the apostles for their rewards in heaven and His 1000 year reign upon the earth. He is saying, when we get to Heaven, you may sit at My table with Me. What a wonderful promise. He goes even further and says, I am putting you ruler over the twelve tribes of Israel.
Luke 22:31 “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat:”
“Simon, Simon”: The repetition of the name (10:41; Acts 9:4), implied an earnest and somber tone of warning. Christ Himself had given Simon the name Peter (6:14), but here He reverted to his old name, perhaps to intensify His rebuke about Peter’s fleshly over confidence.
The context also suggests that Peter may have been one of the more vocal participants in the dispute of (verse 24).
“Satan hath desired to have you”: Though addressed specifically to Peter, this warning embraced the other disciples as well.
“Sift you as wheat”: The imagery is apt. It suggests that such trials, though unsetting and undesirable, have a necessary refining effect.
Jesus loved Simon Peter. Satan undoubtedly got permission from God to tempt the disciples, like he got permission to try Job. These disciples did not remain with Jesus when it appeared they might be crucified with Him, they ran. Peter was possibly more severely tried, because he was the rock Jesus said He would build His church on.
Trials come to make us strong, and that is what happened eventually to Peter also. Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith not to fail. Peter would be powerful in helping the others.
Luke 22:32 “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
“I have prayed for thee”: The pronoun thee (you), is singular. Although it is clear that Jesus prayed for all of them (John 17:6-19), He personally assured Peter of His prayers and of Peter’s ultimate victory. Even encouraging Peter to be an encourager to the others.
“That thy faith fail not”: Peter himself failed miserably, but his faith was never overthrown (John 21:18-19).
Luke 22:33 “And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.”
Peter felt at this moment as if he would never leave the Lord. Peter was ready to fight to the death, if necessary. Remember, he had his sword which he cut the soldier’s ear off with. Peter would not understand Jesus seemingly letting them win.
Luke 22:34 “And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.”
“Thou shalt thrice deny”: This prediction of Peter’s denial evidently took place in the upper room (John 13:38).
(Matthew 26:34 and Mark 14:30), recorded a second, nearly identical incident, which took place of the Mt. of Olives on the way to Gethsemane (Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26).
This had to come as a blow to Peter. He did not believe, that under any circumstances, he would deny Jesus. Nevertheless, the Master said it. He even said he would deny Jesus three times. We say we would not have denied Him. We have never been put to that hard a test. We do not know what we would do.
Luke 22:35 “And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.”
“When I sent you” (9:3; 10:4).
When Jesus had sent them out before, it was during His popularity on earth. The disciples were anointed to cast out demons, heal the sick and preach the Word. They were well respected and had need of nothing.
Luke 22:36 “Then 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.”
“But now”: When Christ sent them out before, He had sovereignly arranged for their needs to be met. Henceforth they were to use normal means to provide for their own support and protection. The money bag, knapsack and sword were figurative expressions for such means (the sword being emblematic of protection, not aggression).
But they mistakenly took His words literally (verse 38).
Times have changed. They must prepare to minister without Jesus. Persecution of Jesus’ followers was as certain as His death on the cross. Jesus is saying to them that there will be hard times. Whatever they can do for themselves, do it. They would be persecuted for being His followers.
Luke 22:37 “For 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.”
Quoted from (Isaiah 53:12).
It had been prophesied about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, and God does not lie. The Scriptures must be fulfilled. He was reckoned a transgressor for our sins. He took on the sins of the world (chapter 53 of Isaiah 1-12), predicts just that. Jesus explains to the apostles one more time that now is that time.
Luke 22:38 “And they said, Lord, behold, here [are] two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.”
“Two swords”: These were short, dagger-like instruments, more like knives than swords. There was nothing unusual about the carrying of such weapons in that culture. They had many practical uses besides violence against other people.
“It is enough”: I.e. enough of such talk (verse 51).
Luke 22:39 “And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.”
The “Mount of Olives (Olivet)” is a small range of several summits (highest elevation 2,723 feet), running north-south for two and one half miles. The range overlooks Jerusalem from the east, across the Kidron Valley. Jesus often went to the Mount of Olives to teach (Matt. 24:3), to pray (Luke 23:39-40), and to rest (Luke 21:37).
Jesus loved to go to the Mount of Olives to pray.
“His disciples also followed him” (Matthew 26:36-37 and Mark 14:32-33), give more details. He left most of the disciples at the entrance to Gethsemane, and took Peter, James and John inside with Him to pray.
Luke 22:40 “And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”
“The place”: Gethsemane.
“Pray”: He had already warned them, and Peter in particular, that an egregious trial was imminent (verse 31). Sadly, that warning, as well as His imploring them to pray, went unheeded.
Jesus knew the disciples would be sorely tested before this was over. There is strength in prayer, and that is what Jesus told them to do. Prayer changes things.
Luke 22:41 “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,”
“A stone’s cast”: I.e. within earshot. His prayer was partly for their benefit (John 11:41-42).
Even though this is God the Son, He is housed in flesh which suffers pain the same as we do. Jesus found it necessary to pray. This should show us the importance of prayer in our lives.
Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
“This cup”: I.e., the cup of divine wrath (Isa. 51:17, 22; Jer. 25:15-17, 27-29; Lam. 4:21-22; “Ezek. 23:31-34; Hab. 2:16).
“Not my will” (Matthew 26:39; John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:29). This does not imply that there was any conflict between the will of the Father and the will of the Son. It was a perfectly normal expression of His humanity that He shrank from the cup of divine wrath. But even though the cup was abhorrent to Him, He willingly took it, because it was the will of the Father.
In this prayer He was consciously, deliberately and voluntarily subjugating all His human desires to the Father’s perfect will. Thus, there was neither conflict between Father and Son, nor between the deity of Christ and His human desire.
Until we too can say not my will, but thine Lord, we are not where we need to be. Jesus wants to be our Savior, but He must be our Lord, as well. Jesus’ flesh was weak, but his Spirit was willing.
Verses 43-44: The facts in these verses are related only by Luke, the physician.
Luke 22:43 “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”
This is a terrible fate awaiting Jesus in the flesh. This angel (ministering spirit), has come to strengthen Jesus in the flesh, so His flesh will be in harmony with His Spirit.
Luke 22:44 “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
“Great drops of blood”: This suggests a dangerous condition known as hematidrosis, the effusion of blood in one’s perspiration. It can be caused by extreme anguish or physical strain. Subcutaneous capillaries dilate and burst, mingling blood with sweat. Christ Himself stated that His distress had brought Him to the threshold of death.
The fate of the whole world lay upon Him. Worse perhaps, than the pain was the knowing that He would take on His body the sin of the entire world, and that the Father would turn His head from Him. The dread is so terrible is why the sweat was like drops of blood.
Luke 22:45 “And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,”
“Sleeping for sorrow” (9:32). The emotional strain was wearing on the disciples as well as Christ. Their response, however was to capitulate to fleshly cravings. Thus, they gratified their immediate desire for sleep, rather than staying awake to pray for strength, as Christ had commanded them (verse 40).
All the reasons for their subsequent failure are found in their behavior in the garden.
This sleep seems to be to keep them from praying. They were sorrowful, and perhaps, at a loss for what to do. Sleep can sometimes be an escape from problems we don’t know how to solve.
Luke 22:46 “And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”
“Rise and pray”: A tender appeal to the disciples, who in their weakness were disobeying Him at a critical moment. He may have been summoning them to a standing posture, to help overcome their drowsiness. (Matthew 26:43 and Mark 14:40), reveal that He again found them sleeping at least one more time.
The disciples just did not understand the severity of the situation. Sometimes when we need to pray, we are the sleepiest. Could it be that Satan caused them to sleep?
Luke Chapter 22 Continued Questions
1. What strife was among the apostles?
2. What are the Gentile lords sometimes called?
3. In verse 26, Jesus said the greatest should do what?
4. What is Jesus trying to teach them?
5. Who is greater, the one who is served, or the one serving?
6. In verse 28, Jesus said they had continued with Him in what?
7. What did Jesus appoint to His disciples?
8. What would they do at Jesus’ table in His kingdom?
9. Who would the disciples reign over?
10. What did Jesus say Satan wanted to do to Peter?
11. Jesus prayed for Peter to do what?
12. What did Peter say he was ready to do for Jesus?
13. How many times did Jesus say Peter would deny Him?
14. When the disciples went out without provisions, lacked they anything?
15. What did Jesus tell them to take with them now?
16. Where did Jesus use a Scripture from in the Old Testament in verse 37?
17. How many swords were brought to Jesus?
18. Where did Jesus go to pray?
19. What did he tell the disciples to pray?
20. Jesus _______ and prayed.
21. What did Jesus ask the Father in prayer?
22. Who ministered to Jesus in His agony?
23. What was Jesus sweat compared to?
24. How did Jesus find the disciples when he got up from prayer?
25. In verse 46, what did Jesus ask them?