The Gospel of Luke - Part 97
Preparing for the Cross — Luke 22:47-71
October 28, 2007
(These notes are based on lesson notes prepared by Rob Mahon for connection class leaders at Hoffmantown Church.)
Last week, we left Jesus and the Disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. The crowd, led by Judas had just arrived. We saw that just prior to that, Jesus had asked The Father if there was any other way, but if it was God’s Will, let’s go. He did not say it quite that way, He said
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:41-42That needs to be how we pray also, "If it is your will".
Preparing for the Cross:
Then Jesus returned to the Disciples, who, of course were asleep again. Then Luke tells us:
While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Then they seized him and led him away. Luke22:47-54
The crowd was led by Judas. Last week we looked at the process by which Judas became the traitor. Our conclusion was: Don’t tolerate “little” sin habits you never know what they may grow up to become. That is sort of what opened Judas up to Satan. His greed, his love for money, was the open door through which Satan entered. But of course, Jesus was not surprised. He addressed Judas with the question:
“Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:48Then we see the Disciples swing into action, the wrong kind of action, but nevertheless, action.
And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:49-53Here again Luke’s account of Jesus’ arrest is the shortest. Luke uses just five verses; the other three Gospels take about ten verses each.
"Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" v.49This incident shows the disciples reacting the world's way responding to force with force. John gives us some detail that Luke does not.
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) John 18:10So it was Peter who wielded the sword and it was Malchus who lost the ear, temporarily. But violence wasn't Jesus' way He rebukes the disciples and heals Malchus.
Luke (the physician) is the only writer who includes the fact that Jesus healed the man whose ear was cut off. It makes sense that he would record the medical aspects of the event.
Matthew tells us the other action taken by the disciples.
Then all the disciples left him and fled. Matthew 26:56Matthew and Mark both include this additional information about the disciples' response to Jesus' arrest: Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter will deny Him and all the rest abandon Him. Jesus told the disciples earlier that evening that this would happen:
Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. John 16:32Jesus was abandoned by disciples but not by His Father. That's an important truth for us to remember as well. People will let us down but God will never abandon us. No matter how dark the circumstances He is always with us:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10Matthew also recorded the words of Jesus that emphasize the fact that He was going to the cross voluntarily:
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20
...for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” Matthew 26:52-54They abandoned Jesus, then He was denied.
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:54-62Charles Ryrie suggests that we can see steps that Peter followed that led to his denying the Lord:
At the Last supper the writers recorded:
Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Luke 22:33We need to be careful in thinking that we are somehow immune to some sin or temptation. Peter refused to listen to Jesus when He warned him. Paul warns us:
Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same. Mark 14:29-31
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12
The Living Bible says:
So be careful. If you are thinking, “Oh, I would never behave like that” let this be a warning to you. For you too may fall into sin.The Message says:
Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless.
And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow. Luke 22:45Remember that when Jesus was praying in the garden, He went back to where He had left the disciples and found them all sleeping. Notice that Mark adds that Jesus specifically addressed his admonition to stay awake and pray to Peter.
And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:37-38
And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Luke 22:55The "they" were the people who had arrested Jesus. Here’s Peter sitting with the very people who arrested Jesus! There’s a sense that he was sitting among them, trying to fit in and not wanting anyone to know he was a disciple of Jesus. This wasn’t where Peter needed to be at that time. The Bible warns of the influence of others on us:
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33The TEV says:
Don’t be fooled: bad companions ruin good character.
But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Luke 22:60Mark’s account states how strongly Peter denied the Lord. The “curse and swear” here is the idea of making an oath that what you’re saying is true.
But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” Mark 14:71
The Life Application Notes on this verse state: “He was saying, in effect, ‘May God strike me dead if I’m lying.’”
Peter, after all his great promises to follow Jesus “to prison and to death” now denies he even knew Jesus. Peter denies Jesus three times, each time with increasing intensity.
Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. Matthew 26:74Luke is the only writer to record the look that Jesus gave Peter at that point.
And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Luke 22:61Maybe Peter told Luke about this.
I wonder if this wasn't a pivotal event in Peter's life. After this, we no longer see the self-confident, “I've got all the answers” kind of man. In Acts we see a more humble Peter. I believe God used this event to humble Peter and help him have a more realistic view of himself. And Peter's response to his sin is good. He doesn't try here or anywhere else to justify or cover up his actions. Instead, he sheds the tears of true repentance:
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10Peter and Judas illustrate the two different kinds of sorrow mentioned in this verse. Judas later feels great remorse for what he has done. He returns the 30 pieces of silver to the priests and goes out and hangs himself. He felt badly for what he has done but he never truly repented. He never turned back to the Lord seeking forgiveness and reconciliation.
Peter's sorrow was the “godly sorrow” spoken of in 2 Corinthians 7:10 that led to true repentance.
Let's make the effort and prepare ourselves so that we are more like Jesus than like the disciples in this chapter. In Romans 1:16, Paul said,
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16Let's ask God for a humble and godly boldness. Let's be willing to take a stand for Jesus. Let's be willing to share Him with others. It's tragic that some people today are more outspoken in advocating false teaching and perversion than Christians are about telling others about Jesus! Let's pray and prepare and be like Jesus!
The last few verses of Luke Chapter 22 fit best with Chapter 23, so we will cover them at the beginning of the next lesson.