The Gospel of Luke - Part 90
Living in the Light of the Last Times:
Be prepared — Luke 22;1-13

August 12, 2007
(These notes are based on lesson notes prepared by Rob Mahon for connection class leaders at Hoffmantown Church.)

 

As we open Luke Chapter 22, we are in the last week of the life of Jesus. He has been teaching in preparation for what is about to happen. In our latest lesson, He was telling the disciples about what was going to happen in both the near term and the distant future.

Be Prepared. — That's the motto of the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scout Handbook says: Be prepared for life — to live happily and without regret, knowing that you have done your best. That's what the Scouts’ motto means. Wise men have always emphasized the importance of being prepared:

Colin Powell, former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and US Secretary of State said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

Pastor Robert Schuller said: “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”  Roman philosopher Seneca (First century A.D.) said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Rev. Billy Graham wrote, “Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.”

Coach Joe Gibbs said, “A winning effort begins with preparation.” An author by the name of "Unknown" wrote: “Today's preparation determines tomorrow's achievement.”

George Washington Carver said, “There is no shortcut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation.”

Alexander Graham Bell said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Kenneth Hildebrand said, “Someone receives a promotion, gets an important assignment, makes a major discovery, or moves into the president's office. ''He's lucky',' an envious person remarks. ''He gets the breaks; they're always in his favor'.' In reality, luck or the breaks of life had little or nothing to do with it. So-called ''luck'' usually is found at the exact point where preparation meets opportunity . . . Success is not due to a fortuitous concourse of stars at our birth, but to a steady trail of sparks from the grindstone of hard work each day.”

The words “prepare” and “preparation” are found more than 180 times in the Bible, including four times in Luke 22. The American Heritage Dictionary defines preparation as “the process making ready beforehand for a specific purpose, as for an event or occasion”.

In Luke 22, we see Judas preparing to betray Jesus, Jesus preparing for the cross and the disciples unprepared for what is about to happen!

In this chapter, Luke records events that happened on Thursday before Jesus was crucified on Friday. These are Jesus' last hours with His disciples before His death and much of His attention is focused on them. You can see His love for His disciples (and for us) in His words and deeds here.

One of the themes you can trace through this chapter is preparation. Preparation is always important. Preparation is essential in order for us to do our best. Consider football — in many games the winner is the team that is best prepared. The Boy Scout motto — “Be Prepared!” — is one that Christians would do well to take to heart.

When Friday came for Jesus He was prepared. He was prepared for what faced Him and He did all He could to prepare His disciples as well.

Jesus used the Lord's Supper to help prepare the disciples for His death. He talked to them about various issues to prepare them for what was ahead. And they all went to Gethsemane to spend time with the Father in order to be prepared. In fact, it's significant to consider the difference between Jesus' time in the garden and that of the disciples (He prayed and they slept). He prepared, they didn't. The result was a marked difference between Jesus' response to Friday's events and that of the disciples (He was victorious and they were defeated).

How prepared are you — to live for Jesus this week, to face temptation, to experience hard times, to meet Jesus? With Jesus' teaching and His example, we have no excuse for being unprepared!

With 71 verses, Luke 22 is the second longest chapter in the Gospel of Luke (the longest is Chapter 1). It is nearly twice the length of chapter 21. Therefore, we will spend several weeks to cover this chapter. We will break it down into the following sections:
A.   Preparing for the Passover     (22:1-13)
B.   Preparing the Disciples (1)   (22:14-23)
C.   Preparing the Disciples (2)   (22:24-38)
D.   Preparing thru Prayer   (22:39-46)
E.   Preparing for the Cross   (22:47-71)
In the handout there is a listing of the events of Jesus’ life from Wednesday night, through Thursday and into the early hours of Friday morning. You’ll see from this listing, that there are a number of events during this time mentioned in other Gospels but omitted for some reason by Luke. So let’s dive into this event-packed chapter.

A. Preparing for the Passover (22:1-13)

The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction. Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around. Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.” “Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him. He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there. —Luke 22:1-13
What are some questions that come to mind as you read this passage?

1. What’s the significance of the Passover?

Passover was the most important Hebrew religious feast, commemorating their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Remember that if they had lamb's blood over their doors, the angel of death passed over their house and they were spared.

During New Testament times large crowds gathered in Jerusalem to observe this annual celebration. Jesus was crucified during the Passover event. (He was the true and ultimate Passover Lamb). It commemorated the final plague on Egypt when the firstborn of the Egyptians died and the Israelites were spared because of the blood of a lamb smeared on their doorposts. Passover took place on the 14th day starting at 6 PM of the first month of the Jewish calendar.

The Passover was closely connected to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. God had instructed Israel to eat unleavened bread and to celebrate this feast as a reminder that only unleavened bread was eaten during the seven days immediately following Passover. Unleavened bread reflected the fact that the people had no time to put leaven in their bread before their hurried departure from Egypt. The Life application Bible Notes say:

“The Passover commemorated the night the Israelites were freed from Egypt, when God “passed over” homes marked by the blood of a lamb while killing firstborn sons in unmarked homes. The day of Passover was followed by a seven-day festival called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This, too, recalled the Israelites’ quick escape from Egypt when they didn’t have time to let their bread rise, so they baked it without yeast. This holiday found people gathering for a special meal that included lamb, wine, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread. Eventually the whole week came to be called Passover.” [Life Application Bible Notes]
Jesus instituted the supper while He was observing the Passover with His disciples, so some reference to the details of that feast should be given. The following order of observing the Passover prevailed at the time of Christ:

New Unger’s Bible Dictionary tells us:

(1) Where the celebrants met, the head of the household, or celebrant, blessed a cup of wine, of which all partook.
(2) The hands were then washed, this act being accompanied by a benediction.
(3) The table was then set with the Paschal lamb, unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and sauce.
(4) The celebrant first, and then others, dipped a portion of the bitter herbs into the sauce and ate them.
(5) The dishes were removed and a cup of wine brought, followed by an interval for asking questions as to the meaning of this strange procedure, and then the wine was passed.
(6) The table being again set, the celebrant then repeated the commemorative words that opened what was strictly the Paschal supper — a solemn thanksgiving and reading of Psalm 103-104.
(7) Then came a second washing of hands with a short blessing, the breaking of one of the two cakes of unleavened bread, with thanks. The bread was then dipped, with the bitter herbs, into the sauce, and eaten.
(8) Meat was eaten with the bread, accompanied by another blessing, a third cup of wine known as the “cup of blessing,” and then
(9) a fourth cup, with the recital of Psalms 115-118, from which this cup was known as the cup of the Hallel, of the Song of Solomon (New Unger’s Bible Dictionary)
John recorded three Passovers that Jesus celebrated during the course of His ministry. This is one reason we estimate Jesus’ ministry as lasting between 3-4 years:
Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there. —John 4:45

(It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) —John 6:4

It was now almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, and many people from all over the country arrived in Jerusalem several days early so they could go through the purification ceremony before Passover began. —John 11:55
In First Corinthians 5:7, Paul calls Jesus our “Passover Lamb”.
Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. —1 Corinthians 5:7
In Exodus, the Jews were delivered from death, not because they were good but because they believed and obeyed God. The same is true for us today.

The lamb is a picture of Jesus, and the wooden doorposts might point to the cross. We are delivered from death and judgment because of His death, His blood shed on the cross. The Passover pointed to this event. And Jesus gave us a new illustration to reinforce this truth, what we call the Lord's Supper.

2. Why did the religious leaders oppose Jesus so strongly?

The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus... —Luke 22:2
There were many things that Jesus said that upset the religious leaders. But Jesus Himself told us the real reason they opposed Him in parables found in Luke 19-20:
He said, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’ But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’” —Luke19:12-14

Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away. ‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’ But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’” —Luke 20:9-14
This isn’t the first reference to opposition by religious leadership. Luke mentioned this same hostility in other chapters:
After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said. —Luke 19:47-48

The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them — they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction. —Luke 20:19

3. What can we learn about Judas and from Judas?
Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples... —Luke 22:3
There are many lessons to learn from Judas. More is told about Judas in the other Gospels, especially John. Up to this point, Luke has only one other reference to Judas, in 6:16. When we reject the Lord's authority over us, we leave ourselves wide open to be used by Satan. Here (in chronological order) is what we know about Judas from the Scriptures:

Here are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (also called Peter), then Andrew (Peter’s brother), James (son of Zebedee), John (James’s brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the zealot), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him). —Matthew 10:2-4

Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around. —Luke 22:3-6

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus. —Matthew 26:14-16

Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” “What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.” Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself. The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it was payment for murder.” After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood. This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says, “They took the thirty pieces of silver — the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel, and purchased the potter’s field, as the LORD directed.” —Matthew 27:1-10

But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” Luke 22:47-49

Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” —John 12:1-8

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. —John 13:1-2

Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night. —John 13:21-30

During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. —John 17:12

“Brothers,” he
[Peter] said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.” (Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines. The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”) —Acts 1:16-19

Here are the Old Testament Prophecies Concerning Judas:

Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me. —Psalm 41:9

Let his years be few; let someone else take his position. —Psalm 109:8

And I said to them, “If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to.” So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter” — this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the LORD. —Zechariah 11:12-13
What do you think are some lessons we can learn from the life of Judas Iscariot?

__________

Next week: — we will continue to see what we can learn from Judas and continue with the preparation for the Passover Feast which we know as The Lord’s supper.

Read through Luke 22 to prepare.