The Gospel of Luke - Part 91
Preparing for Passover  — Luke 22:1-13

August 19, 2007
(These notes are based on lesson notes prepared by Rob Mahon for connection class leaders at Hoffmantown Church.)

Review:

Last week, we cracked open Luke Chapter 22 which we subtitled: Be Prepared

After he told the disciples what was going to happen in the near future and also at the end times in Chapter 21, he starts to get close and personal as He prepares for the Passover Supper here in Chapter 22.

We outlined chapter 22 as:
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)

Last week we got a little way into the preparation for the Passover Supper. We got a better understanding of what the feast was about and how it was conducted. Of course we discussed why it was celebrated in the first place.

We also reviewed why the religious leaders there in Jerusalem were so intent on getting rid of Jesus; He was a challenge to their power and authority, He was a challenge to their religious system.

Then we reviewed what the Bible tells us about Judas. Of course he was one of the Twelve Disciples, but the most telling thing we learned about him, that helps us understand why he betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders, is recorded by John and is included in the story of Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, washing the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume:

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. —John 12:1-6
Preparing for the Passover:
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. —Luke 22:1-6
What do you think are some lessons we can learn from the life of Judas Iscariot?

Verse 3 tells us: Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples.

The Bible makes it very clear that there is a spiritual battle going on for the souls of people. We see it also in John’s record of the Passover Supper.

It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. —John 13:2

When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” —John 13:27

Notice two references to Satan working on the heart of Judas. The Bible repeatedly warns us of the devil’s work:
...for anger gives a foothold to the devil. —Ephesians 4:27

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. —James 4:7

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. —1 Peter 5:8
It’s sobering, scary even, to realize that one of the Twelve allowed Satan to enter his heart. Judas heard Jesus teach, saw Jesus minister to people, even ministered himself. But that didn’t make him immune to temptation. Paul warned:
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. —1 Corinthians 10:12
When we see what Judas did and why...
...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. —Luke 22:4-5
...then we see the terrible danger of greed. This seems to be the gateway that Satan used to get into Judas’ heart. We see it in John’s record at the house of Lazarus as well:
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. —John 12:6
We’ve always got to be careful that we don’t let money and materialism become the driving desires of our lives.

S.D. Gordon writes: It is startling to think that Satan can actually come into the heart of a man in such close touch with Jesus as Judas was. And more--he is cunningly trying to do it today. Yet he can get in only through a door opened from the inside. "Every man controls the door of his own life." Satan can't get in without our help.

When the Disciples wanted to know who was going to betray Jesus, later in this chapter, Jesus says:

“But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me." —Luke 22:21

Another lesson here is that we can fool people but we can never fool God. When Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray Him, they had no idea who it might be. Apparently, Judas’ betrayal came as a complete surprise to them. But it was no surprise to Jesus; He knows what is going on in our heart.

Now let’s go on the section where Jesus sent Peter and John to prepare for the Passover Supper.

The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. ... 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. Luke22:1,7-13
As we talked about last week, this incident is reminiscent of the account in Luke 19 of how Jesus sent the disciples to get a donkey for Him to ride into Jerusalem. Jesus again demonstrates divine knowledge and authority. Think of these two situations in terms of theme of preparation. Both situations should have been a great encouragement to the disciples later on in life to trust the Lord to provide in all circumstances. Every detail was planned and prepared.

The same is true for us today. God is in control. It is we who refuse to follow His plan and His instructions. Everything is already planned and prepared for our spiritual success, it is just up to us to follow the directions. Some of us are not very good at reading or following the instructions.

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Next Two Weeks: We will focus on Jesus' last Passover meal with the Twelve, and how he seeks to prepare them for what's coming.