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A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 92 Preparations for Betrayal (Lk 22:1-6)

Jesus has entered Jerusalem and taught in the temple for the better part of a week. The Sanhedrin has
tried to trap Jesus; they are looking for anything they can find against him. Every attempt has failed
miserably. Now the Passover is drawing near and they continue to try and do away with Jesus.
See detailed structure. Luke begins with a short introduction, which gives as a time reference the
Passover. In chiastic form, Luke tells of Judas betrayal of Jesus (22:3-5). Framing the betrayal is the
seeking of the Jewish leaders and Judas to betray and kill Jesus, but in a setting that was away from the
people (22:2, 6).
1. Luke begins with a time notice in 22:1: Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover,
was approaching. From this point on, Luke will track the chronology carefully to show the three day
sequence of events: the day of preparation for the Sabbath (from sundown Thursday to sundown
Friday; 22:14-23:56a); the Sabbath (from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday; 23:56b), and
the first day of the week (from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday; 24:1-35).
Lukes continued time references throughout the rest of the gospel help the hearer discover
significant aspects of the events that occurred over the three day period. In a very high level way,
skim over 22:7-23:56a and tell what major events happened on the day of preparation.

The Last Supper.

Jesus prayers at the Mount of Olives.

Jesus is arrested.

Peter disowns Jesus.

Jesus trials before Pilate and Herod.

Jesus crucifixion.

Jesus burial.

What events happened on the Sabbath (23:56b)?

No events happened on the Sabbath. The women (and Jesus) rested according to the

What major events happened on the first day of the week (24:1-35)?

Jesus resurrection.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

The journey to Emmaus, the Emmaus meal, and the return to Jerusalem by the Emmaus

2. What were the chief priests and teachers of the law looking to do (22:2)?

The chief priests and teachers of the law were looking to get rid of (NIV) or do away with (CC)

What was Judas looking to do (22:6)?

Judas was looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

What were they both looking to avoid and why (22:2b, 6b)?

They both wanted to avoid the people because they were afraid of what the people would do if
they had Jesus arrested.

In looking at the top and bottom parts of the frame, who is the focus on in the beginning and to whom
does it shift to at the end (22:2, 6)?

The focus shifts from the chief priests and teachers of the law to Judas.

3. In the center of this passage (22:3-5) are the details of the betrayal. How did the betrayal take place?

1) Satan entered Judas.

2) Judas made an offer to the Jewish leaders to betray Jesus.

3) The Jewish leaders rejoiced and offered financial compensation.

So who is it that is the real instigator of this plot against Jesus (22:3a)? And who is this really a battle

Satan is the real instigator. This is really a battle between God and Satan. This is a battle of
eschatological proportions. Satan sees this as his opportune time. This is later called the hour of
darkness (22:53).

Since Jesus came to save humankind, and since God, who is ultimately in control, was going to allow
this to happen, what does this mean in terms of salvation?

Since God is going to let this happen, it must be part of his plan of salvation. As in the story of
Joseph in Genesis, God will use evil to bring about something good-the salvation of humanity.

The entire passion narrative (22:1-23:56a) is framed by preparations, the preparations of evil here,
the preparation of the disciples for the Passover next, and the preparations to anoint Jesus body by


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

the women (23:50-56a). While these human participants are in the foreground, it is actually God who
is governing the sequence of events according to his own timetable in order to accomplish his plan of


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 93 Preparations for the Passover (Lk 22:7-13)

Luke had said in the previous passage that the day of Unleavened Bread was drawing near. In this
passage he says the day has come, marking it as one episode in a sequence of events that leads to
Jesus crucifixion. The narrative is a dialog between Jesus and two of his disciples. It records Jesus
instructions with some detail, while recording their execution of them very briefly.
See detailed structure. This passage is framed by the Passover. Frame A gives a broad reference to
Gods mandate that Israel annually celebrate his redemption of them (22:7). Frame A is a reference to
this specific Passover and the preparation for it by the disciples. Two words dominate this passage and
highlight its theme: Passover (22:7, 8,11, 13) and prepare (22:8, 9, 13). Since the Passover day
preceded the Sabbath, it was also called the Day of Preparation.
1. The theological meaning of the entire passion account is announced by the simple words on which
the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed (22:7b). The narrative concerns two distinct yet related and
parallel events that are taking place simultaneously: a celebration of the Passover according to the
old covenant (Ex 12) and the institution of a new covenant to be commemorated by a new Meal
(22:20) of a new covenant.
At this point how would Jesus disciples see this Passover and Jesus words about it?

From the disciples point of view, this is just another Passover like previous ones. The feast has
arrived (22:1), the lamb must be slain (22:7), the preparations to eat it must be made and it must
be eaten by Gods faithful people (22:8-13).

So this is the way that the disciples would have approached the three days, the three days that would
change the world forever. The disciples would be approaching this Passover in terms of the old
But Lukes deeper and more important message of this narrative is that it points to Jesus as the
sacrificial Passover lamb who fulfills and renders obsolete the sacrifices of the OT. Jesus is the Lamb
of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29).The disciples prepare for a normal Passover
meal, but instead the old meal becomes a new meal. Jesus redefines the meal in terms of himself; he
gives it a Christological meaning. Jesus is now the Passover Lamb that people eat in, with, and under
the bread and wine! After this Passover, Jesus Passover, there will no longer be a need to celebrate
the Passover because Jesus is the Passover Lamb for which all previous Passovers prepared and
anticipated. His slain body is continually offered in this new Meal of his body and blood. This is the
Passover that will be remembered and sung for all eternity: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
(Rev 5:12).
2. In giving his disciples instructions, how does Jesus show his omniscience (all-knowing) (22:10-12)?

Jesus tells Peter and John exactly what will happen. They will see a man carrying a water jar.
They are to follow him and ask him where the room is that the Teacher will use to eat the


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Passover with his disciples. The man will show them the room and it will have couches there for
them to use.

By doing this Jesus shows that he is in control of this meal. In fact, he is the host of this meal; they
are setting it up at his command. As these events unfold, we see them happening with divine
foreknowledge in order that, through these means, Gods eschatological kingdom will come.
3. According to 22:13, what did the two disciples do?

They went and found it exactly as Jesus had said and they prepared the meal.

In summary, Jesus had prepared for this meal with divine forethought and had given instructions on
how to prepare it. The disciples simply followed Jesus instructions, trusting his words. Throughout the
centuries, faithful pastors have done the same, as they simply do what Jesus instructs them to do:
make disciples by baptizing and teaching and celebrate the Lords Supper often in remembrance of
him. They and we simply trust Jesus words and do what he commands, believing that God will use
these means to bring his eschatological kingdom into this broken world. As the disciples prepared for
Jesus Passover Meal, the final Passover meal, which would be a perpetual meal, so pastors, all
around the world, also prepare for the same meal in which Jesus, the Passover Lamb, gives himself
to all who eat and drink.
The Day of Preparation began with two disciples preparing the Passover meal. The Day of
Preparation will end with Joseph of Arimathea preparing Jesus body for burial, and the women
preparing spices and myrrh with which to anoint him after the Sabbath (Lk 23:50-56a).


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 94 The Passover of Jesus (Lk 22:14-20)

The Passover has been prepared for (22:7-13) and the hour has come to eat it (22:14). Lukes narrative
of the institution of the Lords Supper is arranged as a testament (cf. Heb 9:16-28). It is a new covenant,
but covenants can be instituted in many ways. In this case, it is instituted by means of a last will and
testament. Jacob and Moses are examples of leaders who gave blessings that were also their last will
and testament for those who would be the new leaders of Israel (Ge 49; Deut 33). Jesus institution fulfills
the OT promises of a new covenant, a new exodus redemption, and eschatological blessings.
See detailed structure. The structure is a simple series of sayings by Jesus, which are introduced by a
reference to the hour of the meal.
1. Luke is the only evangelist who preserves in his account two distinct cups of wine. This points to the
fuller Passover meal. A reconstruction of the meal along with a summary of Lukes account appears
The Passover Meal
The Lukan Last Supper
A. Preliminary Course
Word of sanctification (the qiddush or blessing) 22:14 The hour for the Passover observance
spoken by the head of the family or host
begins with the disciples reclining at the
over the first cup (the quiddush cup).
table with Jesus.
Preliminary dish, including green herbs, bitter
herbs, and a sauce made of fruit puree.
The meal proper (see C) is served but not yet
22:15 Jesus announces his great desire to eat
eaten; the second cup of wine is mixed and
the Passover that is now set before
poured but not yet drunk.
B. Passover Liturgy
The Passover Haggadah (narrative teaching)
spoken by the host.

22:16 In Jesus explanation, he announces

that he will not eat the Passover again
until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

First part of the Passover Hallel (praise psalms).

Drinking of the second cup (cup of redemption). 22:17-18 The first cup mentioned by Luke is
Probably the second cup of the
Passover, also called the cup of
C. Main Meal
Grace spoken by the host over the
22:19 Jesus speaks the Words of Institution
unleavened bread.
over the unleavened bread; the breaking
Meal, consisting of Passover lamb, unleavened
of the bread begins the meal.
bread, bitter herbs (Ex 12:8), with
22:20 likewise, after eating of the meal.
fruit puree and wine.
Grace (birkat hammason) over the third cup
22:20 Jesus speaks the Word of Institution
(cup of blessing).
over the cup after the meal (This is the
second time a cup is mentioned by


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

D. Conclusion
Second part of the Passover Hallel (praise psalms).
Praise over the fourth cup (Hallel cup).
2. Notice how Luke narrows the time reference as he focuses in on the beginning of Jesus passion.
Write the phrases Luke uses, from most general to most specific (see 22:1a, 7a, 14a).

22:1a, Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called Passover, was approaching.

22:7a, Then came the day of Unleavened Bread.

22:14a, When the hour came.

Jesus had been resolutely journeying toward Jerusalem, knowing he would suffer and die there. And
now, at this hour, the goal of his journey has been reached. All the preparations have been made,
both by Judas and the religious leaders (22:1-6, for his betrayal) and by Jesus disciples (22:7-13, for
the Passover meal). At this hour, Jesus passion begins. With what words does Luke specifically
tie his version of the Lords Supper with Jesus passion (22:15)?

He said to them, I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.

And Luke will use the same wording (this hour) at the end of Jesus passion, the end of the third
day, when he writes about the Emmaus disciples: And after rising up in that very hour, they returned
to Jerusalem (CC, 24:33a). And so Luke, as he does in many other instances, provides a frame,
this time for the whole passion/resurrection account.
At the beginning of the three days, the disciples do not understand what was about to happen. On
Easter morning, they still do not understand; they are perplexed (24:4a, 11, 12b). But finally, after
Jesus taught the Emmaus disciples on the road and revealed himself in the breaking of the bread
(24:13-30), in that very hour their hearts burned within them and their eyes were opened to
recognize Jesus as their crucified and risen Savior (24:31-35). And so the movement in the rest of
Lukes gospel is from darkness to light, from misunderstanding to comprehension. When the three
days are over the new age will have dawned, the eschatological kingdom will have arrived.
3. The view that the Lords Supper is a testament emphasizes the relationship between Jesus and his
disciples. Far from ending when he dies, the relationship continues. By his words and actions in this
meal, Jesus will remain among his disciples in a special way (his true crucified and risen body and
blood in, with, and under the bread and wine). Although present in a different way, Jesus will remain
really present with his disciples after his earthly ministry has ended.
4. In 22:16 and 22:18, what does Luke connect this meal to?

Luke connects this meal with the kingdom of God.

So Luke connects Jesus suffering (and death) to this (last) Passover meal and this meal to the
kingdom of God. When is it that the kingdom of God comes? As we have seen, it comes now and not
yet. The Last Supper of Jesus certainly looks forward to the eschatological banquet at the end of
time. Jesus has described this feast as one that is like a marriage feast (Lk 5, 7, and 14). Gods
kingdom will come in all its fullness at that time.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

But it can also be said that Gods kingdom comes when Jesus has conquered all his foes - sin, death,
and the devil. And Jesus did that through his death and resurrection. This meal will be fulfilled and
Gods kingdom will come after the three days when he defeats his enemies. Then Jesus will once
again celebrate at the table with his disciples at the Lords Supper. It is through the crucified and
risen body of Christ that salvation was won. It is through the crucified and risen body of Christ
that salvation is given (in the Supper). Jesus presence in the Supper assures us that the final
Passover, the Passover of Jesus, has been fulfilled and through it Gods kingdom has come.
5. When Lukes hearers hear that Jesus took the bread, broke it and gave it to them, the words of 22:19,
what might this bring to mind?

It might bring to mind the feeding of the 5000 and all the many meals in which Jesus ate with all
kinds of people, including sinners and tax collectors. It might bring to mind the Lords prayer
where we pray for daily bread or the beatitude of 14:15 where a man will be blessed if he eats at
the feast in the kingdom of God. Or it may remind one of the Emmaus meal where Jesus broke
bread with two of his disciples after his resurrection.

Yet the most important meal of Jesus and the most important breaking of bread was the Last Supper.
Why? What made this meal different?

This was the only meal where Jesus identified the bread as his very body and (the contents of)
the cup as his very blood. It is also the only meal that Jesus directed his disciples to repeat.

Bread provides physical nourishment, which is good for the body, but this meal provides spiritual
benefits as well. In the OT, some passages use bread and wine as metaphors for Gods salvation
(e.g., Is 55:1-5; Prov 9:1-6). But in this meal the real body and blood of Christ are in the bread and
wine and it is through the crucified and risen body of Christ that salvation was won and given.
6. The bread used for the Passover meal (and therefore the Last Supper) was unleavened bread. God
had told Israel to use unleavened bread when they exited Egypt, the greatest OT act of redemption
for Israel. Paul speaks of unleavened bread and the Passover in 1 Cor 5:6-8. What does the
unleavened bread of the OT foreshadow for Christians?

The bread without yeast foreshadowed the purity of the Christian church. Yeast here represents
malice and wickedness. Since the Passover Lamb has been sacrificed, the old yeast (sin) filled
bread (life) was be thrown out and the feast must be celebrated with new bread (new life) that is
without yeast (sin).

7. After Israel was redeemed by the blood of the Passover lamb and saved through the water of the Red
Sea, God provided for them in the desert. There he provided bread from heaven (called manna) and
water from a rock. In 1 Cor 10:1-4, St. Paul uses these figures and interprets them Christologically for
Christians. As God saved and fed his OT people, so he saves and feeds his NT people with
Christ. God in Christ provides all that is necessary to begin a new life and to sustain that life.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

8. Of great importance in the gospel of Luke has been Lukes prophet Christology. If you will remember
there are two phases to Lukes prophet Christology. (1) Jesus, like all true prophets from God, taught
and performed miracles. And (2) Jesus, like all true prophets, was rejected and persecuted. This
prophet Christology continues in the Last Supper. With the words, This is my body given for you
(22:19), Jesus continues to teach and perform miracles. What does Jesus teach that the bread is?

Jesus teaches that the bread is his body. Here we maintain that is means is. The body given
with the bread is just as real and the same body that was given into death on the cross, buried
and raised from the dead.

How can this be? It can only be a miracle. Through the bread and the wine Jesus gives himself to his
disciples. He also fulfills the second phase of prophet Christology as he is rejected and killed. He
gave up his life for the benefit of the world.
So prophetically in the Supper, Jesus foretells what is about to happen. Jesus is about to complete
his prophetic task. He foretells the continuing presence of his body for salvation, accomplished
through offering his body in substitutionary death for the life of all, in the Sacrament of the Altar.
The exodus Passover meal was a picture of exodus deliverance carried out by Christ. Like those
who ate the first Passover, those who eat the continual last Passover, the Lords Supper,
receive deliverance from divine wrath, freedom from bondage to evil, and safe passage to the
new promised land.
9. Luke is the only evangelist to include the words, do this in remembrance of me. The meaning of
remembrance can be filled out in two ways. The vital question is whether it is God who remembers us
for Christs sake or we who remember God because of his grace in Christ. Certainly both are true, but
which come first?

It is God who remembers us first and his remembrance is what prompts our response of
remembering in faith. Gods grace always precedes our response. Whenever God showers us
with gifts (daily), he remembers his promises in Christ to save us.

[Surprisingly to me, the commentator does not mention the covenant God made with Noah to back up
his claim that it is God who remembers. Read Ge 9:8-17. What was the sign of the covenant (Ge

The rainbow was a sign of the covenant.

What would God do when the rainbow appears in the clouds (Ge 9:14-16)?

When the rainbow appeared in the clouds, God would see it and remember his covenant with


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

So the rainbow is a sign of Gods covenant with Noah, but its purpose was not so that man would
remember, but so that God would remember his promises to Noah. Similarly, when the Supper is
celebrated God remembers his promises to us in Christ.]
10. It is also true that Jesus disciples are called to remember him. In the commandments, what are Gods
people called to remember (Ex 20:8-11; Deut 5:12-15)? And what are they to remember?

Gods people are called to remember the Sabbath day. They are to remember Gods work of
creating and his work of redemption.

In worship God reminds the church of Christs work of redemption (the Lamb of God who takes away
the sins of the world) and re-creation when we hear the Word read and preached and when the Lords
Supper is eaten and we hear the words, this is my body given for you and this is my blood shed for
11. In this Last Supper, which was the Passover meal, there were many important elements (as we saw
in point #1 above). When Jesus said, This do, which of these elements was he referring to?

Jesus wanted his disciples to recount his Words of Institution over the bread and wine, to believe
those words, and to eat the bread and drink the wine.

Therefore the churchs celebration of the Lords Supper retains and highlights these most important
features of the Last Supper.
12. In addition to remembering the Last Supper, the Lords Supper is a reminder of the table fellowship
that Jesus engaged in throughout his ministry. Jesus had table fellowship with sinners. In the Lords
Supper then God remembers his new covenant promises for sinners and continues his practice of
having fellowship with them through this meal.
13. Ex 24 narrates the ratification of the old/first covenant. What role did blood play in this ratification (Ex
24:6-8)? What was its significance?

The blood was from the sacrifices that were made on the altar. Half the blood was sprinkled on
the altar and the other half was sprinkled on the people. On the altar sacrifices were made to
God. Sacrifices were substitutes for the people. The altar represented God and the blood
sprinkled on it symbolized Gods acceptance of sacrifices made on behalf of the people. The
sprinkling of blood on the people symbolized that the people were protected from Gods righteous
wrath by the blood of the sacrifices. The blood of the covenant then brought God and man
together because of the vicarious atonement it made.

In Ex 24:9-11, what happened next (see especially 24:11b)?


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Representatives of the people came face to face with God and ate and drank with him. Because
of the blood of atonement, they could come into Gods presence without fear of Gods wrath. The
sacred meal, which they ate with God, sealed the covenant. It was then an official covenant that
both sides agreed to.

What parallels do you see in the sacrifices, the sprinkling of blood and the covenant meal of the old
covenant with the new covenant (Lk 22:20)?

The sacrifice of the new covenant is Jesus. He sacrificed himself in place of sinful humankind. It
is his blood that makes atonement for humanitys sin. When the cup, which contains the blood of
Christ, is drunk, it is like the sprinkling of the people, in this manner the blood of the covenant is
applied to those who drink of it. Through his atoning blood, they are brought into the covenant
and no longer need worry about Gods wrath. Since Jesus is God incarnate, the new meal is
eaten in Gods presence. Having come face to face with God without incurring his wrath, those
communing are assured that God has accepted Christs sacrifice on their behalf.

14. In the four gospels, Luke is the only one to use the word new (new covenant or new testament). It
reminds us of the promise of a new covenant in the OT. Take a look at the following verses: Is 42:910; 43:18-21; 55:3; 61:8; and Jer 31:31-34.
The promised new covenant was now going to being put into effect through the blood of Christ and
sealed by this new sacred meal. What benefits are promised in the new covenant (Jer 31:34b)?

In the new covenant God promises to forgive their wickedness and [to] remember their sins no
more. This is possible because the penalty of death for sin was paid by Jesus in our place.

15. In Lukes gospel, the cup is accented. There is one cup from which all the disciples drink from. In
stressing the cup then Luke may be stressing the unity of those who partake of the (one) cup. In 1
Cor 10:16-17, St. Paul does the same with regard to the one loaf. Also in Luke, Jesus words over the
cup include the same phrase as he used over the bread. The phrase, for you, is the substitutionary
language of vicarious atonement. In our place, Jesus poured out his blood for you.
16. Lk 22:20 also emphasizes the pouring out of Jesus blood. Gods plan demanded that Gods righteous
Messiah shed his innocent blood, as Jesus explained to the Emmaus disciples on the basis of the OT
(24:25-27). The pouring out of Jesus blood fulfilled all the bloody sacrifices of the OT, including the
blood of the [first] covenant. Like the blood of the first covenant was sprinkled on the people, so in
the new covenant, the blood of the Suffering Servant will sprinkle many nations (cf. Is 52:12).
To accept the cup and drink it is to recognize and accept Jesus suffering and death as the atoning
sacrifice for ones sins. To drink of the cup is to share in Christs suffering and death. And to share in
Christs suffering and death is the only means to glory (24:26). The words over the cup focus on the


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

shedding of Jesus blood, that is, his death, which is the very topic of the following five dialogs of
Jesus with his disciples (22:21-38).
17. Jesus had a great desire to celebrate this Passover with his disciples. In doing so he provides a
greater deliverance through a new exodus (9:31). He reinterprets the Passover events in terms of
himself, the new Passover Lamb. He establishes a new covenant for the forgiveness of sins. With a
new covenant, Jesus establishes a new meal to confirm it and seal it. The institution of this new meal,
the Lords Supper, along with the Last Supper and the Passover, all look to strengthen and preserve
Gods people until they eat of the eternal feast (Rev 19:6-9; Is 25:6-8). This new meal is different
though. In it the body and blood of Christ are given and through his body and blood comes
forgiveness of sins and new life with God. This new meal, the new Passover, is celebrated by the
unified community of believers in remembrance of his death and resurrection and in anticipation of
return. The Last Supper is the climax of all of Jesus meals. It is the most important meal from
the fall in Eden to parousia. Its greatest significance lies in what it bestows: the real presence
of Christ, his very body and blood, offered up in death on a cross and now given with the
bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins and life eternal.

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A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 95 The Present Condition and Future Calling of the Disciples

(Lk 22:21-38)
The five dialogs in Lk 22:21-38 follow the Words of Institution and may be classified as Jesus final
teaching to his disciples. These dialogs take place while Jesus and the disciples are still at the meal in the
upper room (on the table; 22:21).
See detailed structure.
1. Immediately after the Words of Institution, which promise forgiveness and life, Jesus speaks of his
betrayal (22:21-23). Jesus words show that he has knowledge of the plot to betray him. What kind of
knowledge does he have?

Jesus knows that there is a plot to betray him. He knows who will betray him, one of the Twelve.
The betrayal will happen as the plotters planned, but also in the way and within the plan that God

The name of the betrayer is not given, even though Luke provides the fullest account of the betrayal.
From 22:1-6, which of the Twelve betrayed Jesus? Who did he betray him to? What would they give
him for betraying Jesus? When was the betrayal to take place?

Judas was the disciple that would betray Jesus to the chief priests and officers of the temple
guard. In return they would give Judas some money. Judas was to hand Jesus over when no
crowd was present.

2. Who was it that Jesus regularly ate with during his ministry?

Jesus regularly ate with tax collectors and sinners.

Lukes use of betrayal immediately after the Lords Supper reinforces that Jesus has table fellowship
with sinners. (Whether these words were spoken after the Supper as Luke presents it or before the
meal as Matthew and Mark present it is up for debate. Most likely Jesus spoke these words before
the meal. Luke may have included them here because it fit in with the other four dialogs. In either
case, the words were spoken at the table.) Some of the other dialogs make this point as well.
The woe spoken to Judas is similar to the woes spoken earlier. Who did Jesus speak woes to in

In 11:37-54, Jesus spoke woes to the Pharisees and lawyers. This puts Judas into the same
category as the religious establishment, his co-conspirators (22:1-6).


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

3. Which word in 22:22 indicates that Jesus betrayal was part of Gods plan?

The word decreed (NIV) or destined (CC) or ordain all mean that it had been predetermined
by God that this will happen. This is how salvation will be won.

Jesus had been journeying to Jerusalem. The whole purpose for the journey was so that he could be
betrayed, suffer, and die. It is a divine necessity that these things happen. These things have been
preordained by God to happen and therefore they will happen. Jesus will do his Fathers will.
How does Ps 41:9 and Jn 13:18 relate to Gods plan of salvation and the divine necessity of Jesus

In Ps 41:9, it speaks of a betrayal by a close friend, one who shared table fellowship. And Jn
13:18 uses this verse Christologically, applying it to Jesus and Judas. It was a part of Gods plan
that Jesus be betrayed by someone who was very close to him.

Compare Lk 22:22 with Mt 26:24 and Mk 14:21. What do Matthew and Mark stress? How does this
make the point of divine necessity as well?

They both stress the fulfillment of Scripture. The OT predicted that the Messiah would be
betrayed (Ps 41:9), suffer, and die and Jesus will willingly go the way that Gods Word says. If it is
written in Scripture (by God) that he will be betrayed, suffer, and die, then Jesus is willing to do it
and in fact he must do it. That is the way laid out for him to go.

4. Jesus had come to serve humanity (22:27). In fact, he served to the point of giving up his life for
them. Incredibly, what did the disciples do after Jesus gave them his broken body and his poured out
blood (22:24)?

The disciples started arguing over who was the greatest.

What does this show about their understanding of Jesus and his kingdom?

It showed that they did not understand that Jesus had come to die and that when he called them
to follow him, that they were to follow him into death. It showed that they did not understand the
Great Reversal, that in Gods kingdom everything is reversed. Those who are the youngest or
who serve are greater than the greatest and the ruler.

Those who are great in Gods kingdom have the attitude and behavior of a servant. What is it that
servants in Gods kingdom seek to do (1 Cor 4:1-2)?

The servant seeks to be faithful in the tasks appointed by the Master.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

5. In giving himself (sacrifice) and serving his disciples (servanthood), Jesus gives them an example to
follow and prepares them for their ministry after Pentecost. To minister in Gods kingdom, they must
become servants, humbly giving themselves for others. When they do this, they will be one with
Jesus, and then when they speak, those that hear them will hear Jesus (10:16) because they will be
in unity with Jesus.
6. Those outside Gods kingdom (Gentiles, here meaning pagan or worldly) seek greatness through
positions of power. By arguing in this way, the disciples place themselves in the same category as
worldly pagans. Again this confirms that in Jesus final meal before his passion, he has had table
fellowship with sinners.
7. When Jesus spoke of his broken body and his blood poured out for you, he spoke of substitutionary
atonement. And now in response to their dispute he describes himself as the great I AM. He is the
LORD who is present with them as One who serves (22:27) by giving himself in atonement. This is
the language of real presence. Even after his ascension, Jesus will remain the great I AM who serves
at the table giving his body and blood. Jesus remains present in the church through the Divine
Service, serving his disciples as they dine at their Lords Supper.
8. Jesus said that his disciples had remained with him during his trials. What trials might Jesus be
speaking of?

Throughout his ministry, there have been those who have rejected Jesus, starting in his
hometown of Nazareth and up until now (the Last Supper). And yet, these disciples are still with
Jesus, following him.

Up until now the disciples have been faithful. But what does the hearer of Lukes gospel know is
about to happen? (See Lk 22:54-62; but also see 24:36-53.)

Soon Peter and all the disciples will abandon and forsake Jesus. But after the resurrection, Jesus
will forgive, strengthen, and commission them.

And the book of Acts shows that after Pentecost, these same disciples go out boldly and proclaim the
Gospel in the face of all kinds of trials. So this statement of faithfulness may be one in which Jesus is
looking both backward and forward. And knowing of the abandonment in between, we know that
faithfulness is a product of grace and any unfaithfulness is covered over by Jesus perfect
faithfulness, which is imputed to all believers through faith. It is grace that forgives, restores,
strengthens, keeps faithful even in times of trials, and they will inherit the kingdom he is about to
9. During his ministry Jesus taught about the kingdom. What did he teach in

10:9, 11Jesus taught the disciples to proclaim that the kingdom was near.


Jesus taught the disciples to pray for the kingdom to come.

Who is the king of this kingdom (22:30a)?

Jesus is the King.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

What is the purpose of this kingdom (22:30)?

The purpose of the kingdom is communion with God and fellowship at the Kings table.

This will not fully happen until Jesus returns. Yet, the kingdom is wherever the King is. And so, the
kingdom is here even now wherever the Lords Supper is eaten because of his presence in it, for in
the breaking of bread Jesus reveals himself (24:28-35).
We must say it again. The kingdom is appointed to those who persevere with Jesus through his trials.
This is not perfect obedience as the disciples show. Only after the coming of the Holy Spirit will they
exhibit joy in suffering for the sake of Jesus.
10. When the apostles went out and preached about the kingdom, they preached about Jesus death.
Thus the theology of the cross marks one who is appointed for the kingdom. Throughout Luke, the
messianic passion secret is stressed. The scandal of the cross will become the center of the churchs
proclamation, but only after Jesus clarifies the significance of his death.
11. Suffering, preaching, the cross, eating and drinking at Jesus table these all belong together for the
apostles. So does sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (22:30). At first it might seem
as if it refers to the apostles sitting in judgement, condemning the old, unbelieving Israel, but this is
not the case. There is another way that judge is used in Scripture. Look up Judges 2:10-23. What
does judging mean in this passage?

In the OT, Judges were people who were saviors and deliverers who led the people of God to
repentance and faith.

In the same way, the apostles would save and deliver people from sin, death, and the devil by
preaching the Word of God, the Law and Gospel, by remitting sin, and by administering the
sacraments. Through these means, they will lead people to repentance and faith. The apostles, along
with succeeding ministers of the Word, will lead the new Israel, the body of Christ, to eat and drink at
[Jesus] table in [his] kingdom.
12. Jesus now turns his attention to Peter (22:31-34). The scandal of the cross will cause all of the
disciples to fall away. Through the passion and death of Jesus, Satan will test the disciples, hoping to
lead them to spiritual ruin. Jesus prayed that Peters faith would not fail. Did Peters faith fail (22:5462, 32b)?

Peters faith temporarily failed; he denied Jesus three times; he would have to be turned back to

Even so, what would happen later (22:32b)?

Later, Peter would turn back in faith and strengthen his brothers in the faith.

The main point here is not that Peter would fall away, but his return to faithfulness and his relationship
with and the strengthening of the other disciples. Peter is to be the leader of the Twelve, even after he
denies Jesus. Peter is pictured here as a sinner who falls from the faith. But more importantly the


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Good News is that Luke throughout his gospel (5:27-32; 7:36-50; 19:1-10) portrays sinners at the
table of Jesus who (now and later) receives the forgiveness of sins at Jesus table (cf. Also John 21).
13. When does Peter return to the faith? We see that in Acts 1-11 Peter has taken his place as the leader
of the church, so he has returned to the faith before this. After his denial (22:54-62), Peter is
mentioned only two other times in Luke. What does Lk 24:12 tell us about Peter? (See also Jn 20:110)

In Lk 24:12, Peter ran to the tomb and marveled at what had happened.

What does 24:34 tell us about Peter?

Lk 24:34 tells us that the Lord had appeared to Peter after his resurrection.

In an earlier lesson, we described Peters marveling and wondering at the tomb as a transition from
unbelief to belief. It appears that Peter was fully turned back after his encounter with the risen Christ.
This encounter brought about Peters repentance and turned him back to faith. After his return, Peter
then became a prominent leader of the early church (Acts 1-11).
14. After reading 22:35-38, reread 9:1-6 (the sending of the Twelve) and 10:1-12 (the sending of the
It seems that what Jesus said in 22:35-38 is the opposite of what he said earlier. Has Jesus changed
his mind? Is he instituting a new pattern for mission? Why does he tell them to provide for themselves
rather than depend on God? Why does he instruct them to arm themselves by selling their garment
so they can buy a sword?
In Acts the disciples denounced personal possessions (Acts 2-4) and suffer persecution without
resistance (Acts 5, 7, 8, 12, 16, 17, 19). They are following the pattern set in Luke 9 and 10. Jesus
words here should not be taken literally. He is speaking ironically.
Since the disciples have been with Jesus, they have been physically safe. They have not been
deprived of lifes necessities. They have enjoyed divine protection; their lives have not been in
danger. But with the coming arrest of Jesus, all of this will change. The disciples lives will be in
jeopardy too. They are to plan carefully and take precautions and still depend on God. In Eph 6:1020, what does St Paul say Christians must do?

Christians must arm themselves with the full armor of God in order to equip themselves for battle
against spiritual enemies. Spiritual enemies require spiritual weaponry.

The disciples, and we as disciples, are sinful and we find ourselves at times depending upon
ourselves instead of God. They (and we) are messengers of peace, but do not truly understand what
makes for peace. What are they carrying that demonstrates this (22:38)?

The disciples are carrying two swords.

They are among the transgressors Jesus has come to save.

15. The key to this final dialog (22:35-38) is the quote from Is 53:12 in verse 37. This quote is from the
fourth Suffering Servant Song. It is framed by references to Jesus fulfilling the prophecies of the


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Suffering Servant. This is the final passion prediction. It describes the necessity of the death of Jesus
in fulfillment of Scripture. The word necessary (CC) or must be (NIV) connects it to the other
passion statements in 24:7, 26, 44. So Jesus death is anticipated here and explained in chapter 24
as a necessity. In his death Jesus identifies with, is associated with (numbered with [NIV] or
reckoned with [CC]) and takes the place of transgressors (lawless ones, rebels, covenant
violators). The disciples are among the transgressors, as are the thieves on the cross, and all sinful
16. Jesus discourses at the Last Supper focus on his impending death. And so it would seem to paint a
pretty bleak picture. Yet it is necessary for Jesus to be the Suffering Servant in order that
transgressions might be overcome. Jesus has spoken of future joy and celebration, of future eating
and drinking. But this is only possible if Jesus dies. In fact these things will occur because of his
death. Suffering and death must happen before glory.

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 96 Jesus Prayer on the Mount of Olives (Lk 22:39-46)

The Supper and dialog with his (sinful and weak) disciples (22:1-38) has ended. Soon to come will be
Jesus trials, death, and burial (22:63-23:56). In between begins the opportune time spoken of at Jesus
temptations (4:13). Now begins a new round of temptations for Jesus and the disciples will be tempted as
There are three sections within 22:39-62. Each features the obedient endurance of Jesus suffering. And
in the background is an ongoing subplot of the disciples failure to remain with him in those trials.
Previously the disciples had at least remained with Jesus (22:28), but as Jesus goes to his goal, they will
not. Jesus will indeed be reckoned with transgressors (22:37; Is 53:12). So the three pericopes covering
Jesus agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal and arrest, and Peters denial are tied together
by the twin threads of Jesus obedience and the disciples failure.
Lukes arrangement of these three pericopes together followed by Jesus trials might suggest the themes
the trials of the disciples (for 22:39-62) and the trials of Jesus (22:63-23:25). However, even during
the trials of the disciples it is Jesus who is at center stage, and his fidelity to the Fathers will is the
central theme.
See detailed structure. Lukes structure is a chiastic arrangement that centers on the Fathers will being
done. And the center is framed by references to prayer.
1. Luke uses a short introduction to provide the setting for this pericope. Who are the main characters
for this passage (22:39)?

This passage will involve Jesus and the disciples.

Where does this passage take place at (22:39)?

Jesus has journeyed from Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives. Luke has already informed the
hearer that it was Jesus practice to go to the Mount of Olives during the night of the Great Week.

From earlier time references (22:1, 7, 14), when does this take place?

It is late evening on the Day of Preparation, the day of the Passover. For us it would be Thursday
evening. For the Jews this would be early Friday, the day on which all of Jesus suffering and
death occurs.

Jesus takes center stage, but Luke is careful to note that the disciples followed him, suggesting
faithful discipleship. These disciples have so far remained with Jesus in his trials.
2. Prayer is the obvious theme of this passage. How many times is prayer mentioned?

Prayer is mentioned 5 times throughout the passage.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Jesus prayer is a petitionary prayer, the same kind of prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray in the
Lords Prayer (11:1-4). The center of the passage focuses on Jesus prayer (C-22:42), while the outer
frame (A-22:40/A-22:46) focuses on Jesus words about prayer to his disciples. Jesus words in both
halves of the frame are very similar and have to do with praying not to come into temptation. This is
very similar to the Lords Prayer where Jesus prayed, Lead us not into temptation (11:4). What
temptation will the disciples soon face and why?

The biggest temptation will be to abandon Jesus and the faith. As they see what happens to
Jesus, they will be tempted to do this because of fear and offense.

3. The inner frame of the chiasm (B-22:41/B-22:44-45) documents the separation of Jesus from the
disciples, both in physical distance and in withstanding temptation. What are some of the things we
learn from this frame?

(1) Jesus went away from his disciples by himself, but he did not go to far away from them. They
were probably close enough to hear him pray.

(2) Jesus prayed on his knees and not according to the Jewish custom of praying standing up.
This showed Jesus humility and the great burden he was undergoing.

(3) After suffering in prayer, Jesus rose up. This foreshadows Jesus rising from the dead after he
experienced the totality of his suffering on the third day. (The same verb used here for rise is
used for Jesus resurrection in 24:7, 46 and of resurrection also in 8:55; 9:8, 19.)

(4) When Jesus returns the disciples are asleep from sorrow. This indicates that the disciples
were suffering too. They suffered from grief and fear because they did not understand what was
going to happen.

4. This brings us to Jesus prayer to the Father, the center of the chiasm (22:42). What is the petition or
request that Jesus makes?

Jesus asked that this cup be taken from him.

The request is forceful. A softer way in which he could have asked might have been, May this be
taken from me. What is this cup that Jesus spoke of?

The cup is the suffering and death, which he was about to endure; it is the passion; it is the cup of
destiny; it is what is necessary for salvation of humanity.

So what is at stake here?

The whole purpose of Jesus ministry and of the Gospel, is at stake in this request.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

How is this petition like the temptations by Satan of Jesus earlier in the desert (4:1-13)?

In both cases Jesus was tempted to be the Son of God without going to the cross.

Such a request from Jesus, who is the Son of God, testifies to the fullness of Jesus humanity. Jesus
was like us in every way (Heb 2:17), for no human being enjoys suffering. But what is it that comes
both before and after the request?

The petition is surrounded by references to the Fathers will. Jesus desires not to drink the cup,
but he subordinates that desire to his desire to fulfill his Fathers will. And his Fathers will is that
he drink the cup.

In a petitionary prayer, the petitioner makes his requests known to God. But the Fathers will always
takes precedence over the petitioners will. In this case, the Fathers will is clear. From the beginning
of the gospel and throughout, it has been clear that the Father had a plan for saving sinful
humanity and that plan involved sending his Son to be a human, to take humanitys place
under Gods wrath, and to suffer and die for humanity. Throughout his ministry Jesus stated
that it was a divine necessity that he suffer and die (9:22, 44; 18:31-33); this was his destiny
(12:50; 13:32-33; 22:22). Even in a petitionary prayer the object is not to change the Fathers will, but
to ask that the Fathers will be done and to ask that our will be conformed to his will, even if it means
we must suffer or die. In this case, the Fathers plan must be carried out; the Son of Man must die for
the sins of the world so that atonement can be made.
5. There is some question as to whether 22:43-44 was part of the original text. (Were these verses
added later or were they part of the original, but too offensive and therefore cut out?) But if one
accepts that it is, one sees how nicely it fits into the chiastic structure. Its arrangement corresponds to
and provides commentary on 22:41-42 (B and C). We see from these verses the intensity of Jesus
suffering. We see that the struggle is not only one of his will, but is a struggle which involves the
physical, the mental, and the emotional (like Jacobs struggle with God in Ge 32:22-32). One of the
most intense moments in Jesus passion comes right here as he struggles with the Fathers will.
Jesus is perfectly innocent and yet the Fathers will is that he die as a martyr.
Also, if viewed as authentic, ties can be made to Jesus first temptation. Satan is Jesus unnamed
opponent. He continues to try to divert Jesus from the Fathers will as he did in the desert. The
angelic ministration to Jesus here parallels the same after his wilderness temptation in Marks
The mention of blood causes one to think back to the blood of the faithful shed throughout the
centuries, from the blood of Abel to the blood of the prophets. It also causes one to look forward to
the shedding of Jesus blood on the cross. Here Jesus endures his bloody anguish and rises up.
And later, Jesus will do the same, as endures the bloody agony of the cross and rises up on Easter
6. In his struggle with his ordained destiny, Jesus has shown himself to be the faithful and obedient
Messiah. He will submit himself to the path the Father has marked out for him. From this moment on,
Jesus is at peace with his destiny. From this point on, the hearer knows that Jesus will do his Fathers
will, even if it means death. Jesus will be victorious over Satan, even if that victory comes through
suffering and death on a cross.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

These final words of Jesus are for all generations of Christians who struggle with the Fathers call to
life through death with Christ. We must be baptized into Jesus death in order that we may have
resurrection life (Ro 6:1-11). The only path to resurrection life is through the cross. So each follower of
Christ must pray earnestly not to fall prey to temptation to despise the cross and the way of suffering,
for only by remaining in that way does the baptized believer remain a follower of Jesus (Lk 9:23-27,

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 97 The Betrayal (Lk 22:47-53)

See the context from the previous lesson. Jesus passion began when he gave himself, his body and his
blood, to his disciples at the new Passover meal. Jesus experienced intense suffering when he prayed to
the Father in the garden about his destiny of suffering and death. Although tempted to avoid it, Jesus
instead aligned his will with the Fathers will. Now comes a second testing for Jesus. Satan has been
allowed to take control in this hour, but Jesus is not deterred, as he continues his journey to the cross.
See detailed structure. This passage consists of an introduction and three dialogs between Jesus and his
betrayer, his followers, and the crowd who came to arrest him.
1. Once again the evangelist supplies in his opening framework the information the hearer needs to
understand the story. The hearer already knows that it is late in the evening on the Day of Preparation
(our Maundy Thursday night), since they have already celebrated the Passover. They also know that
the place where this takes place is the Mt. of Olives, where Jesus had been praying. Who is it that
suddenly appears (22:47)?

Suddenly a crowd led by Judas appeared.

Normally when the hearer of Lukes gospel hears of a crowd, it has been those who Jesus has been
teaching and healing. They have been amazed by Jesus teachings and miracles. But this crowd is
different. Who made up this crowd (22:52)?

The crowd was made up of the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders.

What specifically does Luke tell us about Judas (22:47)?

Luke says that Judas was leading the crowd, that he was one of the Twelve, and that he
approached Jesus to kiss him.

From Lk 22:3 what else do we know about Judas?

We also know that Satan has entered Judas. Judas was under Satans control.

The word Luke uses to describe Judas entrance is draw near (CC) (approach, NIV). Previously
Luke had said many times that the kingdom of God was drawing near. This word is an
eschatological word. In the eschaton, Gods kingdom breaks in to destroy Satans kingdom. To this
point Satan has been behind the scenes, but now he confronts Jesus face to face. Judas and the
crowd are under Satans control and Jesus word to them at the end of the passage, this is your hour
when darkness reigns (22:53), really refers to Satan. God has allowed Satan to win this battle, but
soon he will lose the war.
2. What had Jesus predicted in 22:21-23?

Jesus had predicted that one of the Twelve would betray him.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Now this prophecy came true. Luke does not record Judas words or the betrayal kiss. By keeping the
focus off of Judas, Luke hints that the real struggle is between Jesus and Satan, Judas is just his
puppet. Jesus has accepted what was about to happen (22:49); he has accepted and allowed the
powers of darkness to have this hour.
What do Jesus words to Judas focus on (22:48)?

Jesus focuses on the betrayal and the hypocritical gesture of love, the kiss.

In the ancient world, what did a greeting with a kiss mean?

A greeting with a kiss was an expression of mutual love and fellowship.

But this kiss could rightly be called the kiss of death, for it leads to both to the death of Jesus and to
the death of Judas. Jesus accepted this act of betrayal without struggle; he will go the way that the
Father has laid out for him.
3. Jesus then had a dialog with his followers (22:49-51), the eleven disciples. These are the ones who
have stayed with Jesus, who ate with Jesus, who followed him to the Mt. of Olives, and who were
near Jesus when he prayed. Jesus had told them to pray that they might not fall into temptation. But
by their question and actions, what does it show was happening? What do they want to stop?

They are falling into temptation. Human nature does not like suffering and pain for ones self or for
ones friends. But to stop this arrest, would be to oppose God and his plan of salvation. They
would be doing the devils bidding.

What does Jesus do to make sure the Fathers will is accomplished and that his plan moves on

Jesus stopped them from the continued use of the sword and healed the mans ear that had been
cut off. Jesus wants this to happen. Jesus will is the same as the Fathers.

The disciples did not understand that Gods wrath had to be poured out on his Son in order that sins
could be forgiven. If it was not poured on his Son, then it would be poured out all of humanity and all
would perish.
Jesus ministry was marked by mercy and compassion. He had come to release his creation from its
bondage to sin. Jesus taught his disciples to love their enemies (6:27). After the ear of the servant to
the high priest had been cut off, Jesus showed mercy, restored his ear, and therefore showed love
toward his enemy. Even in this arrest, Jesus continues to teach and be an example for his disciples.
4. In Jesus words to the crowd (22:52-53), Jesus said they were treating him like someone who was
leading a rebellion. Someone like that would be a law breaker, a transgressor. How ironic it was that
the crowds were the law breakers; they were the ones who were transgressors and not Jesus. Why
did they come to arrest Jesus in the middle of the night?

Luke has said several times that the chief priests and teachers of the law were afraid of the
people. They did not have to worry about the people in the middle of the night.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Satan entered Judas and manipulated Jesus betrayal and arrest. This is his hour, the hour of
darkness. The eschatological battle between the powers of darkness and Jesus, the source of light,
has begun. The intensity of the battle will increase as Jesus goes through a series of four trials. But
the reign of darkness will be short lived, as the Light of the world will rise and dispel the darkness


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 98 The Denial of Peter (Lk 22:54-62)

See the context from the previous two lessons. In Luke this is the third episode following the dialogs at
the Last Supper. In each episode the disciples face and succumb to temptation. First they slept instead of
praying (22:39-46). Then they responded with violence towards Jesus arresting party (22:47-53). And
now Peter denies Jesus. Luke places these three units before Jesus four trials creating two distinct units.
The two units might be called: the trials of the disciples (22:39-62) and the trials of Jesus (22:63-23:25).
The other synoptic gospels record that all the disciples fled after Jesus arrest (Mt 26:56; Mk 14:50). Luke
focuses exclusively on Peter.
See detailed structure. In between an introduction and conclusion, are the three denials and the record of
the fulfillment of Jesus prophecy.
1. As usual Luke provides the setting (22:54-55), who are the participants in this episode?

The participants include: the arresting party from the previous scene (chief priests, soldiers, and
elders), Jesus, the high priest, Peter, and some unnamed people sitting around a fire.

Where does this episode take place?

This episode takes place in the courtyard of the high priests house.

When does this episode take place (22:58-60)?

This episode takes place in the predawn night. Peter and Jesus were in this vicinity for over an

Jesus is in complete control. He has allowed himself to be arrested and he knew that the cross was
ahead of him. Peter and everyone else in the scene was in the grip of the power of darkness. Peter
follows, but at distance. Then he takes a seat in the middle of them (CC). Jesus opponents and
Peter are surrounded by darkness. In this setting, Peter denied Jesus three times.
2. What does the servant girl do first before claiming that this man was with him (22:56)?

The servant girl saw Peter seated in the light of the fire and looked closely at him. By close
observation she made the statement that he was with Jesus; she was sure of it.

Notice that the look of this servant girl is balanced by the look that Jesus gave Peter after the third
denial. What does the look of the servant girl and her accusation cause Peter to do?

Her look and accusation causes Peter to deny being with Jesus.

What does Jesus look cause Peter to do (22:61-62)?


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Jesus look causes Peter to remember Jesus words, to leave the courtyard, and to weep bitterly;
it causes Peters remorse.

The first (22:56) and third (22:59) accusations against Peter are similar, what did they accuse Peter
of? Who does this link Peter to?

They both accused Peter of being with him. Peter is accused of being with Jesus.

What was the second accusation (22:28)? Who does this link Peter to?

The second accusation was: You also are one of them. Peter is accused of being one the
disciples of Jesus.

So in the three accusations, who does Peter deny association with?

Peter denied being associated with both Jesus and his fellow disciples, his fellow brothers (8:1921).

3. There is a progression in Peters denials. In the first charge, Peter denies that he knows Jesus. In the
second, Peter denies being a disciple of Jesus. In the third, Peter, a Galilean, denies even being from
the same region as Jesus; he claims not to be a neighbor or fellow countryman of Jesus. His denials
go from very specific to very broad. There can be no mistake that Peter denied having any connection
with Jesus whatsoever.
4. The third accusation and denial stand out (22:59-60). The CC translates it this way: another kept
affirming emphatically, saying, In truth, also this man was with him. The extraordinary introduction
of In truth stands in bold contrast to Peters lies. The identification of Peter as a Galilean prompts
one to recall Jesus Galilean ministry (Lk 4:14-9:50). This is where Jesus ministry began and where
he demonstrated that he was the Messiah through his teachings and miracles. The events in Galilee
culminated in the feeding of the five thousand, which led to Peters confession that Jesus was the
Christ (9:18-20). Jesus was known as a Galilean because he made his reputation there. Anyone from
Galilee, such as Peter (given away by his accent (Mt 26:73) and possibly by some other feature such
as his clothes), would know him; he was Galilees most famous son! For the hearer of the Word and
for those who heard the denial, Peters third denial was absurd; he fooled no one. Peter had went
from the high point in Galilee of confessing Jesus as the Christ to the low point of claiming not to
know the regions most well known person.
5. What frame does Luke provide in 22:60b-61?

Luke frames Jesus look with the rooster crow.

In the dialogs of the Last Supper, Jesus said that Satan had asked to sift the disciples as wheat. What
was Peters response (22:33)?

But he [Peter] replied, Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.

Peter had been bold to speak and now he had a chance to carry it out. But of course he didnt. As he
denied Jesus the third time, the rooster crowed and Jesus turned and looked intently at Peter. When


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

these things happened, Peter remembered Jesus words. From the time of Peters bold statement,
how long did Jesus predict it would be before Peter would deny him (22:34)?

Jesus told Peter that he would deny him today. Jesus had predicted that within only hours that
Peter would deny him three times.

6. Only Luke records that Jesus looked at Peter. But Jesus look is not one of condemnation. It is a look
that is a call to repentance. The fact that Jesus looked for and found Peter reminds one of Jesus the
Good Shepherd who looks for and finds the lost (e.g., Lk 15). Therefore Jesus look holds the promise
of absolution. Jesus had prayed that Peters faith not fail. But Jesus knew it would. Jesus also knew
that Peter would repent (when you have turned back, 22:32) and urged him after doing so to
strengthen his brothers (22:32).
When Jesus eyes met Peters eyes, Peter remembered the word of the Lord. The Word is powerful
and effective in calling people to repentance and absolving them of their sin. The Word accomplishes
both conversion and catechesis. Later after Jesus resurrection, Jesus appeared to Peter and another
time Jesus urged Peter to feed my sheep. At these two times, a repentant Peter was absolved and
restored to his role of leadership within the Twelve. And in Acts we see Peter take up that role and
carry out his commissioning.
7. The remembrance of his bold statement that he was willing to die with Jesus and Jesus words that
he would deny Jesus three times even before day break of the next day caused Peter to cry bitter
tears. It may also be true that having seen what Jesus said about his three denials come true, he may
have come to the realization that Jesus other words about his suffering and death would also come
true. Just as he had predicted the betrayal and denial, so he also predicted his suffering and death.
Remembrance of the Word begins the process of repentance. Bitter tears of contrition precede
restoration of faith. So Peters restoration actually begins here. Back in the beginning of Jesus
ministry, Peter came into the Lords presence and witnessed the miracle of catching many fish. When
this happened Peter confessed his sin, Jesus absolved him, and told him that from that point forward
Peter would catch men alive (5:1-11). Now something similar happens. In the gaze of Jesus, Peter
recognizes his sinfulness. But he will soon be fully restored and resume his role of catching men alive
for the Lord.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 99 Jesus Trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin (Lk 22:63-71)

Jesus faced four different trials before three different authorities (Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod, and Pilate).
Luke is the only evangelist to record the four trials in succession. The Jewish authorities have arrested
Jesus because they wanted to kill him. Now they must come up with a reason why they arrested him and
for killing him. Throughout the trials, the hearer of the gospel knows that Jesus is innocent of any crimes,
but guilty of being the Son of God. It is ironic that they charge Jesus with blaspheme, when they
themselves are the real blasphemers. Since the Sanhedrin desired the death penalty and only the
Romans could execute the death penalty and the Romans would not execute Jesus for a religious crime,
the Sanhedrin had to find some kind of charge against Jesus of disrupting the social order that the
Romans had established before their will could be carried out.
A question that arises is who was responsible for Jesus death? Luke has so far portrayed the people of
Israel as generally being supportive of Jesus, while the religious establishment has been out to get him.
So some would say the religious establishment was responsible. Others would say that it was the
Romans who actually carried out the crucifixion. But we must never lose sight of Lukes overarching
theme, which extends from beginning to end, that all is unfolding according to the Fathers plan. The
historical question of who was legally responsible is incidental to Lukes theological concern that Jesus
suffering, death, and resurrection were necessary for the fulfillment of the divine plan revealed
prophetically in sacred Scripture (24:25-27, 44-46).
See detailed structure. Lukes structure is simple. After describing the mocking and beating of Jesus, he
encloses two charges against Jesus as well as Jesus two responses within an introduction and
1. Before reporting on the four trials, Luke records the mocking and beating of Jesus (22:63-65).
Matthew and Mark report this after Jesus arraignment by the Sanhedrin and before Peters denial (Mt
26:67-68; Mk 14:65). By placing this scene here, Luke is telling us something. The way that the Greek
reads, the abuse of Jesus has been going on since his arrest. This signals to the hearer that the
Sanhedrin had already made up its mind that Jesus was guilty. Those who do this to Jesus are the
temple guards who are under the direct supervision of the chief priests and scribes.
The trials of the previous several passages were primarily about Jesus, but also included the
disciples. These verses though provide a transition. Beginning with 22:63-65, Luke signals that his
focus is now completely on Jesus. The beating of Jesus is a continuation of Lukes theme of rejection,
which has occurred throughout his gospel.
2. The blindfolding of Jesus to see if he can prophesy who is hitting him is ironic. What are a couple of
things that we know that Jesus has prophesied that have already come true?

Jesus has already prophesied such things as his betrayal, his disciples temptations and failings,
and his own suffering and humiliation.

What else has Luke shown that Jesus knew (Lk 2:35; 5:22; 6:8; 9:46-47; 11:17; 24:38)?

Jesus has shown that he knows people thoughts and he revealed them.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Also, what title has Jesus accepted throughout the gospel (Lk 4:24; 7:16, 39; 9:8, 19; 13:33; 24:19)?

Jesus has accepted the title of Prophet.

Given all of the above, it is ironic that they wanted to see if he could prophesy who was hitting him.
3. The CC translates 22:65 as follows: And many other things they, blaspheming, were saying against
him (italics mine). The word blaspheming along with the actions of the guards towards Jesus
describe what the religious authorities were doing. They were treating the Son of God as if he were
not the Son of God. Plus, this prepares for what is to come. Jesus is the Christ (22:67), the Son of
God (22:70), and the Prophet (22:64). So the repudiation of Jesus claim to those titles will also
constitute blasphemy.
4. Lk 22:66 provides an introduction to the trial. When did this trial take place?

The trial took place at daybreak or dawn.

Who participated in the trial?

The participants were the Sanhedrin, which was made up of the chief priests and teachers of the
law, and Jesus.

The same people who were responsible for mocking and beating Jesus will now question him. Lukes
purpose for this account is not to describe the legal proceedings, but to give further evidence of the
second phase of his prophet Christology: rejection.
5. The narrative revolves around the two charges leveled against Jesus, and only Luke divides them in
such a way that the titles used of Jesus throughout the gospel are now the reason he is condemned.
The first question concerns whether he is the Christ (22:67). This is the first explicit messianic title in
the pericope (the Prophet was implied in 22:64). From the following references, tell when Jesus has
been given the title of Christ.

Lk 2:11

At his birth the angel announced that Jesus was the Savior who was Christ the

Lk 9:20

At the climax of his Galilean ministry, Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ.

Lk 4:18
Jesus began his public ministry by quoting Is 61:1, where he said he had been
anointed (Christ means Anointed One).

Lk 24:26
Jesus does not use the title for himself until after his resurrection. While on the
road to Emmaus, Jesus told two disciples that it was necessary that the Christ suffer.

Jesus has been asked this question before. When Johns disciples asked Jesus if he was the Coming
One, how did Jesus respond (7:18-23)? Did he give a simple yes or no answer? If not, why not?


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Jesus could have said yes, but instead he responded by performing miracles and citing
supportive Scripture. The miracles and the Scripture testified to his messiahship.

In 20:1-8, the chief priests and scribes questioned Jesus authority. Jesus could have easily told that
he had authority because he was the Christ, but instead what did he point them to?

Jesus pointed them to Johns baptism. Johns baptism of repentance in fulfillment of Scripture
prepared for the Messiah. They rejected John and his baptism that pointed to Jesus, the Messiah.

Jesus has not answered the question directly before and neither does he now. Jesus has given
abundant evidence through his words and deeds. If he came right out and said, I am the Christ,
would they have believed him (22:67b)? What has just happened (22:63-65) that shows what they
believe about him being the Christ?

No. Jesus said, If I tell you, you will not believe me. They did not believe that Jesus was the
Christ. If they did, they would not have allowed him to be mocked and beaten.

One other time Jesus talked to the chief priests and scribes about the Christ (20:41-44). What did
Jesus quote in that exchange?

Jesus quoted from Ps 110:1, which concerns the Messiah being Davids Lord.

Notice that the second part of Jesus response also alludes to that same verse: seated at the right
hand. So Jesus does answer the question, but in a round about way and by using Scripture. Jesus
says he will go from one being beaten to one who sits at the right hand of God. He is saying, I will be
vindicated; I will have the final victory. In Luke, Jesus journeys from heaven to earth and back to
heaven again. Here Jesus is talking about this last leg of his journey. Even though he suffers at this
moment, soon he will ascend back to heaven to the position of power.
6. In the last part of Jesus response to the first question (22:69), Jesus mentions his second explicit
Messianic title. What was it and what comes to mind when Jesus calls himself by this name? (see
9:22, 44, 58; 18:31-33; 22:22, 48)

Jesus calls himself the Son of Man. This title brings to mind the betrayal, suffering, and death that
Jesus will endure.

Jesus, the One who endures all of this will be exalted by the Father to the position of Judge. Those
who confess him in faith will be judged mercifully. Those who do not confess him in faith will be
7. In the second charge against Jesus (22:70), who is it that asks the question, Are you then the Son of

It is all of the Sanhedrin that asks the question.

In 23:1, who is it that rose and led Jesus off to Pilate?


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Again it is the whole assembly that rose and led Jesus to Pilate.

Luke has consistently portrayed the entire religious establishment as unified in its rejection of Jesus.
8. The first question was, Are you the Christ? The second question was, Are you the Son of God? In
his response to the first question, Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man. While all three of
these titles have different nuances, in this passage they are roughly equivalent; all three refer to the
same person. And Luke has used all three titles to carefully develop his Christology. The basic
question the Sanhedrin is asking is Who is exactly is Jesus? And the evangelist shapes this scene
in order to answer that question for the catechumen. Jesus is at the same time the Prophet, the
Christ, the Son of Man and the Son of God.
As he added a title for himself in the first response (Son of Man), so he does the same in his second
response. What does Jesus refer to himself as in the second response (22:70b)? Where was this title
for God first used? (see Ex 3:14)

Jesus refers to himself as I AM. God first used this title for himself when he spoke to Moses.
Jesus threw the words of their accusation against him back into their faces as proof of who he
was: You are the ones saying it, and it is true: I AM!.

The betrayal, arrest, mocking, beating, and one-sided interrogation all demonstrate from the OT that
Jesus is indeed I AM Yahweh come as the Messiah to save his people. In the exodus event and
wilderness wanderings and throughout the whole OT: I AM, the God of Israel is questioned,
doubted, and rejected by many. Israel has always rejected Yahweh, the great I AM. Why should it be
any different now? The Sanhedrin represented all of Israel. Their rejection of Jesus then actually
affirms that he is I AM, the Christ. By what they said, by their unbelief, they confirm and answer their
own question of who Jesus is.
Some might question whether Jesus is really calling himself I AM. Maybe hes just using the words I
am in a simple way and not really intending them in this way. Some would respond by saying look at
the response of the Sanhedrin (22:71-23:1). They immediately arose and took Jesus to Pilate in order
to have him killed. What Jesus said was to them blasphemy. He claimed to be I AM, God himself.
9. In Lukes trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus is the only witness. The other gospels record other
witnesses that came forward to testify against Jesus (cf. Mt 26:60-61; Mk 14:56-59). For Luke the
testimony of Jesus is all that matters. Jesus testimony concerning the Christ before Israels highest
court was formally rejected. Jesus witness of the Gospel then is a model for the church. For the
Christian as well as for Jesus, rejection will come when the gospel is witnessed on earth, but
vindication will come in heaven.
But in Lukes gospel many witnesses have testified to Jesus identity. In each of the following
references, who is the witness?

Lk 3:21-22; 9:28-36

God the Father.

Lk 3:22; cf. 12:12

God the Holy Spirit.

Lk 9:30-31

Moses and Elijah.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lk 9:18-20


Lk 9:1-6

The Twelve.

Lk 10:1-12, 17-20

The seventy.

His words to the disciples apply to all Christians: You are witnesses of these things (24:48).
What the Sanhedrin says is actually true: Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it
from his own lips (22:71). For the hearer of the Word, no other testimony is needed. All that is
necessary is to recognize the evidence, to see the truth, and to confess that Jesus is the Christ. But
the Sanhedrin refuses to believe. Their words and actions against Jesus actually prove he is the
rejected God of Israel. God has become incarnate and is now being rejected by his people one last

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A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 100 Jesus First Trial before Pilate (Lk 23:1-5)

In the first trial of Jesus, before the Sanhedrin, Jesus identity was explained by five Christological titles.
For the Sanhedrin and the hearer of Lukes gospel, the charges against Jesus were religious charges.
The charges were actually true: Jesus was the Prophet, the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God, and I
AM. Blasphemy was committed, not by Jesus, but by his religious opponents.
After his first trial Jesus was taken before Pilate, the Roman procurator. The title of Christ was then used
by the Sanhedrin against Jesus for political purposes. In their charge they connect Christ and king.
Theologically according to the OT the Christ would be a king. But they specifically mentioned king to
give it a political ring in Pilates ears. At the end of the trial the hearer will know that Jesus is completely
innocent of the charge of rebellion leveled against him. The innocence of Jesus is a major theme during
the rest of the passion narrative.
See detailed structure. The structure of the first trial before Pilate is what one would expect. Accusations
were brought (23:2), questions were posed (23:3), and a verdict was given (23:4). But after the first
verdict was given, new accusations were formulated (23:5).
1. Once again the introduction is important. We know that the trial before the Sanhedrin took place at
dawn and didnt last too long. The time of this trial before Pilate is suggested by some then to be
around 6 AM. For us this seems very early, but the Roman work day began very early and so they
brought Jesus to Pilate during normal working hours. Luckily and conveniently for the Sanhedrin,
Pilate was in Jerusalem to maintain order during this Jewish festival.
Luke says that the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate (23:1). Those who arrested Jesus
were joined by others from the Sanhedrin and, after having judged the case, all of them took Jesus to
Pilate. The group that opposed Jesus grew. Later Luke says that Pilate spoke to the chief priests and
crowd (23:4). Its hard to say who the crowd was made up of. Besides the Sanhedrin, it seems that
more people are becoming involved. The responsibility for Jesus death is beginning to spread
beyond the Jewish religious establishment to include more of the Jewish people.
2. When the Sanhedrin brought Jesus to Pilate, what prophecy of Jesus was being fulfilled? (see 18:32)

He will be handed over to the Gentiles.

What Jesus prophesied was a part of Gods plan. It was Gods plan that Jesus die at the hands of,
and for the sake of, Gentiles as well as Jews.
Pilate had been mentioned twice up to this point. First, when the evangelist placed Johns and Jesus
ministries in the context of world history (3:1). And second, when he slaughtered the Galileans during
Passover (13:1-3). Pilate was ruthless and was concerned only about his standing before the
Romans. He had no concern for a man like Jesus, especially if freeing him looked like insubordination
to Rome.
3. The Sanhedrin levels three charges against Jesus. What were they (23:2)?

Subverting our nation, opposes paying taxes to Caesar, and claims to be Christ, a king.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Actually the first charge is the major charge. The other two are examples of how he is doing this.
Their claim is that Jesus is seducing people to be loyal to him instead of to Rome, or basically, of
inciting the people to rebel.
4. Of the three charges, which one does Pilate question Jesus on?

Pilate chose to question Jesus on the third charge, on that of claiming to be a king.

Pilates question puts stress on the word you, showing how ridiculous he believes the charge is. The
Sanhedrin held the most power among the Jews and since they were leveling charges against Jesus,
he obviously had no ties to them or anyone of any significance. Jesus posed no threat to Rome. Even
when Jesus is crucified, the sign over him mocks the idea that Jesus is the king of the Jews.
But the follower of Jesus knows that he is a King. The follower knows that Jesus has received
authority to be King, not from Rome, but from God. His kingship fulfills OT prophecies such as Ge
49:10; Num 24:17-19; and 2 Sam 7. What did the angel announce to Mary concerning Jesus kingship
in 1:32b-33?

The angel said, The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign [or be
King] over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.

What did Jesus disciples shout as Jesus entered Jerusalem (19:38)?

His disciples shouted, Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.

Politically speaking their charge is ridiculous, even laughable, but religiously speaking it is true. Luke
portrays Jesus as one who is innocent of this political charge. He is an innocent, suffering, righteous
man as portrayed in Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.
5. After the first verdict Jesus accusers do not rest. Basically the same accusation is made but in a
different way. They accuse Jesus of stirring up the people or inciting the people. How do they claim
that Jesus stirs up the people (23:5)?

They said that Jesus stirred the people up by his teaching which started in Galilee and then
moved all over Judea.

Jesus will be put to death for this; he will be crucified because of his catechesis. The Sanhedrins
charge causes one to think back on Jesus ministry. Jesus teaching began at his Nazareth sermon
(4:14-30) and ended with his teaching in the temple (19:47-21:38). This emphasizes Lukes
geographical perspective. His teaching includes his Galilean ministry (4:14-9:50), his journey to
Jerusalem (9:51-19:28), and his teaching in Jerusalem (19:29-21:38). The Sanhedrin has charged
that Jesus teaching has stirred up the people. What is your opinion? Is this charge true?

Yes! Jesus teaching has stirred up the people. Luke has stressed throughout his gospel how the
people were drawn to Jesus by his authoritative teaching, that they hung on his words.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Ironically during Jesus ministry he attacked the religious establishment for their teachings. Jesus said
that their teachings lead to eternal death: they abuse the key of knowledge (11:52); their teaching is
hypocrisy (12:1); they misuse possessions (16:14). Maybe most subversive to the religious
establishment is what Jesus taught in the following passages (13:30; 14:11; 18:14; 22:24-27). What
do we call this teaching of Jesus? Why might they view it as subversive?

This is the Great Reversal. In the Great Reversal, the lowly outcasts of society are raised up and
the high and mighty are brought low. In this scenario, the religious establishment was the one
who was being knocked off its perch and sinners were being raised up and freed from their
bondage. They were losing control of the people.

6. In their second accusation the Sanhedrin mentioned that Jesus teaching began in Galilee. Galilee
was under Herods jurisdiction. So Pilate saw a way out of this Jewish dispute, a dispute that really
didnt affect Roman order or Roman law. This is the reason why Jesus was sent to Herod, to be tried
for the third time.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 101 Jesus Trial before Herod (Lk 23:6-12)

Only Luke records the third trial of Jesus, which was held before Herod Antipas. It continues Lukes theme
of Jesus innocence by providing a second authoritative witness to his blamelessness. Luke wants the
hearer to know that the two highest ranking officials in Jesus world consider him innocent. Unwittingly a
king and a governor are defense witnesses for Jesus, fulfilling the OT requirement of two witnesses. This
trial also explicitly fulfills Ps 2.
See detailed structure. The structure is very simple. Unlike the two previous trials, there is no dialog in
this scene. It consists simply of an introduction (23:6-7), the trial (23:8-11), and the conclusion (23:12).
1. Normally a defendant was tried in the territory of his crime by the official over that territory, although
there was precedent for sending an accused man back to his home territory for trial. Like Pilate,
Herod was in Jerusalem for the Passover. It is quite probable that Herod would have stayed at the
Hasmonean palace, just west of the temple court, a short distance from the Fortress Antonia, where
Jesus probably appeared before Pilate. Pilates quick decision to send Jesus to Herod may have
been an attempt to transfer the responsibility to Herod who was over Galilee. Luke has made it clear
in his gospel that Jesus was from Galilee (1:26; 2:4; 4:16). Peters Galilean origins played an
important part in identifying him as a disciple of Jesus (22:59). Luke has also mentioned that Herod
was tetrarch of Galilee (3:1) and his name has been mentioned several times in the narrative.
2. That Herod reappears in Lukes gospel should come as no surprise. The involvement of Pilate and
Herod in Jesus death was foreshadowed. What did Pilate do in Lk 13:1-3?

Pilate slaughtered Galileans in the temple.

What did Herod do in the following verses?


Herod reportedly sought to kill Jesus.


Herod put John the Baptist in prison.


Herod had John beheaded.

How ironic then it was that Pilate and Herod, two rulers notorious for executing punishment hastily,
when given the opportunity to put Jesus to death, declare him innocent before his Jewish accusers.
And yet, by not freeing him outright, they both play a role in Jesus death.
3. What was Herods reaction when he saw Jesus and why (23:8)?

He was very pleased to see Jesus because for a long time he had heard about him and wanted
to see him perform a miracle.

Herod had heard about Jesus. He had heard about his teachings and miracles (the first phase of
Lukes prophet Christology). Herod asked Jesus questions, but Jesus refused to answer them (23:9).
Herod wanted to see a miracle, but Jesus had refused to give signs to those who asked for one. The


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

only sign they would receive would be the sign of Jonah, i.e., Jesus resurrection (11:26, 29). How did
Herod treat Jesus (23:11)?

Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus, dressing him in an elegant robe.

Therefore, Jesus trial before Herod reinforces Lukes prophet Christology. Herod looked for a miracle
(first phase), but he also rejected Jesus like the Sanhedrin (second phase).
4. Jesus was silent before Herod. This was consistent with his two previous trials. Jesus is willing to
answer honest questions from honest questioners. But Herod was not really interested in Jesus and
Gods kingdom; he was interested only in his own kingdom. While Jesus appears before Herod, what
does the Sanhedrin do (23:10)?

The chief priests and teachers of the law vehemently accuse Jesus.

How did Jesus reaction to Herods questions and the Sanhedrins accusations fulfill Is 53:7?

Jesus, who had been beaten and made fun of, who had had false accusations made against him,
answered with silence like a sheep that is led to slaughter or a sheep that is being sheered of its
wool. Jesus is the suffering, silent servant.

5. How did the trial end (23:11)?

It ended with Herod sending Jesus back to Pilate.

What had Herod apparently concluded?

Apparently Herod concluded that Jesus was politically harmless and innocent of the charges. By
not condemning Jesus, Herod acquits him.

A second authoritative witness has spoken to Jesus innocence.

6. Before this trial what was the relationship like between Pilate and Herod (23:12)?

Before this trial Herod and Pilate were enemies.

(Could this be because of Pilates rash actions against the Jewish Galileans during the Passover in
the temple [13:1-3]?) What was their relationship like after the trial (23:12)?

Because of the trial they became friends.

Why do you think the trial caused this?

Friends have things in common. In this case, despite the power that Pilate and Herod had, and
despite that they both believed Jesus was innocent, neither one could free the person who stood
before them even though he was guiltless. In their weakness and in their similar reaction, they
find friendship.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

There are only two possible reactions to Jesus. There is no sitting on the fence. Youre either with
Jesus on his side of the fence or youre on the other side opposed to him. Whichever side of the
fence youre on, you find commonality with those you are with. You are united with friends either for or
against Jesus.
Jesus had come into the world as a reconciler. His had come to reconcile sinful humanity with holy
God. But Pilate and Herod became friends and joined those on the other side of the fence. In Acts,
Luke tells of those on Jesus side of the fence who united with Jesus. They held all things in common
and gave selflessly out of love for Christ (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37). They also were united in suffering
persecution for the sake of Jesus name that they bear (Acts 4-9). As Pilate and Herod were united
against Christ, so the disciples would be united in Christ.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 102 Jesus Second Trial before Pilate (Lk 23:13-25)

The fourth and final trial of Jesus in Luke continues to accent Jesus innocence. Repeatedly throughout
the scene, Pilate declares him innocent (23:14-15, 22) or seeks to release him (23:16, 20, 22). But the
people persistently demand his death (23:18-19, 21, 23), another strong Lukan accent. While Luke is the
only evangelist to include Jesus trial before Herod (23:6-12), Lukes narrative of this second trial before
Pilate is briefer than that of the other evangelists. (John provides the fullest account, recording that Jesus
was flogged and that Jesus wore a crown of thorns and a purple garment. Luke leaves out that it is the
chief priests who incite the crowds to choose Barabbas, that Jesus was called the King of the Jews, and
the explanation of the custom of releasing a prisoner.)
See detailed structure. The interchange between Pilate and the people shapes the structure of this
1. Throughout Lukes account of the betrayal, arrest, and trials of Jesus, the evangelist has carefully
noted those who participated in the process leading to Jesus death. Here Luke speaks of the chief
priests and the rulers and the people (23:13). The rulers could stand for any number of people, but
it most likely stands for the scribes, the Pharisaic leaders who were members of the Sanhedrin.
Luke also includes the people. By doing this, Luke implicates the larger Jewish nation as bearing
responsibility for Jesus death. The theme of Jesus rejection was foreshadowed in Luke 4 and now
finds fulfillment in the trials of Jesus. Although the people have generally been supportive of Jesus up
to now, they now join with chief priests and rulers in their condemnation of Jesus. Israels rejection of
Jesus is complete and this rejection is part of Lukes two-phase prophet Christology.
2. In this scene (23:14-25), there is a confrontation between Pilate and the group composed of the chief
priests and the rulers and the people. According to 23:14-15, what was the verdict of both Herod and
Pilate concerning Jesus?

Both Pilate and Herod have found no basis for the charges against Jesus. Their verdict is:

How ironic that the political leaders of Galilee and Judea want to set Jesus free, while Jewish leaders
and now the Jewish people want Jesus to be killed. What was the response of the group who
opposed Jesus to Pilates offer to have Jesus punished (probably flogged) and then set him free

The response of the group that opposed Jesus was completely unified. With one voice they cried
out, Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us us! Away with him meant kill him. They
said they would rather have the insurrectionist and murder, Barabbas, released than to have
Jesus released.

Luke mentions Barabbas crimes twice (23:19, 25). He does this to show how perverse the Jews have
become. They will literally do anything to see Jesus die.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

A second time Pilate tried to release Jesus (23:30). What was the peoples response this time

They kept shouting, Crucify him! Crucify him!.

This is the first time in Lukes gospel where crucify or cross are connected to Jesus. And it will
continue to be connected with Jesus throughout the rest of the passion and resurrection narratives.
Crucifixion was the most cruel and shameful form of punishment.
In his passion and death, Jesus takes his place among transgressors. In this passage, who are the
transgressors (lawless ones, rebels, covenant violators) that Jesus is among?

Earlier we saw that the disciples and the arresting mob were transgressors, as well as the
Sanhedrin. Now joining them are Barabbas and the people of Israel (who reject Jesus by
demanding his death). All who reject Jesus are transgressors.

3. Sometimes, because of the persistence of the people, Pilate is viewed as an innocent victim. He
obviously firmly believed that Jesus was innocent. Three times he tried to release Jesus. But what did
Pilate do that showed that he was not an innocent victim (23: 16, 22b, 24-25)?

Twice Pilate proposed to have Jesus flogged even though he was innocent. And then he handed
Jesus over to be killed even though he had done nothing wrong. In this action, Pilate sheds
innocent blood.

Luke uses the same word for Pilates handing Jesus over to the crowd that he used of Jesus
betrayal. Pilate had betrayed his office as one responsible for carrying out justice. The passion
narrative began with the plot of Judas to deliver Jesus to the chief priests and captains (22:4). It
concludes when Pilate delivers Jesus over to the will of the chief priests, the rulers and the people
(23:13, 25). Lk 23:25 is the culmination of the betrayal; crucifixion is what it led to. Pilates surrender
of Jesus to their will is the final indictment of Israel and of Pilate. The Romans claimed to the rightful
rulers of the whole world. This act by the prefect of the Romans over Judea thus represents the
rejection of the Christ by the whole world.
4. In Acts, his second volume, Luke continues his accent on the rejection of Jesus by the Jews and
Gentiles. All people have betrayed and condemned Jesus. But Lukes greater concern in Acts was to
show that the universal rejection of Jesus was according to Gods plan, revealed prophetically long
ago, and led to the universal atonement and universal salvation.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 103 The Journey to the Cross (Lk 23:26-32)

Even though innocent, Pilate decided to allow Jesus to be crucified. In this passage, Jesus journey to the
cross will be fulfilled. In this final segment of his journey, Jesus speaks to the people through the women
that weep over him, warning them and calling them to repentance.
See detailed structure. Luke frames Jesus four warnings with a simple frame. At the beginning unnamed
people led Jesus away after his trial. At the close two unnamed criminals were led away to be executed
with Jesus. The first and last warnings focus on Jesus and Jerusalem (23:28, 31). The middle two
warnings focus on the inhabitants of Jerusalem (23:29-30).
1. The final leg of Jesus journey to the cross moves from the place where Jesus was tried before Pilate
(probably the Fortress Antonia) to the Via Dolorosa where Simon carried Jesus cross. Luke does not
explicitly state who led Jesus away. Who was it that led Jesus away? Was it the Jews who called for
Jesus crucifixion or was it the Roman soldiers? While not explicit, what might 23:36 lead us to

Since only the Romans could carry out the death penalty and since there were Roman soldiers at
Jesus crucifixion, one would believe that it was the Roman soldiers that physically led Jesus
away and crucified him. But Jesus had been delivered over to them in order that the will of the
Jewish leaders and people could be carried out.

2. It was customary for the condemned man to carry his own cross. But in this case a man named
Simon from Cyrene (North Africa, Libya today) was seized and forced to carry Jesus cross. Most
likely, because of the all of the beatings, Jesus had become so weak that he could not carry his own
cross. The language that Luke uses suggests that Simon, in a literal way, fulfilled Jesus words that
each person must take up his cross and follow him (9:23; 14:27).
3. Jesus is near the end of his catechetical journey, which created a new people through his teachings
and table fellowship. But Jesus is not travelling alone. Who is it that accompanies Jesus on the final
leg of his journey (23:27)?

A great multitude accompanies Jesus, along with women who mourned and wailed for him.

These followers observe Jesus last catechetical lesson, which is a lesson on suffering.
4. In the first warning (23:28), Jesus warns the women (and indirectly the crowds) not to weep for him
but to weep for Jerusalem. Jesus is simply going to the goal placed before him by the Father and that
goal will end in resurrection. There should be no tears for the rejected One, but instead there should
be tears for those who continue to reject him, for they will not share in his redemption.
The Great Reversal is evident here. Jesus the condemned, righteous man will be vindicated. Those
who smugly laugh at Jesus now will weep, but those who now weep tears of repentance will have
their mourning turned into joy (6:21, 25).


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

5. The CC translates the beginning of the second warning with, for behold days are coming. By
using behold, Luke alerts the reader that Jesus about to say something very important. By using
days are coming, he tells us that what Jesus is about to say has eschatological importance. This
warning includes Jesus final beatitude and to the hearer of the Word, it is rather shocking. In both the
OT and NT, to be without child was considered cursed and a reason for shame (cf. 1:25). Also for a
womans barrenness to be reversed was like resurrection from the dead (1 Sam 2:6 in the context of
1 Sam 1-2). But here who does Jesus say is blessed (23:29)?

Jesus says, Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that
never nursed.

What event is it that Jesus is referring to that will make barrenness a blessed condition?

Jesus is speaking about the destruction of Jerusalem, which will come in AD 70.

Look at Jer 6:1-4. Why was Jeremiah told not to take a wife and have children?

Jeremiah was told not to take a wife and have children because of the coming destruction of
Jerusalem. If he did he would have to witness the death of his own children.

6. By pronouncing a beatitude, Jesus introduces into the warning a note of Gospel hope. Those who
weep now and have no children have hope because God creates out of nothing. Where there is
death, God creates new life. Go back and reread 8:49-56. In regards to the beatitudes and the Great
Reversal, what did Jesus demonstrate he could do in that story?

Jesus demonstrated his ability to raise the dead and change weeping into joy. He reversed death
into life and weeping into joy.

7. The third warning (23:30) is a quotation of Hos 10:8, which refers to the judgement of God on Israel
for her apostasy. How bad will Gods judgement be?

Gods judgement will be so bad that people would rather be crushed by mountains than face the
wrath of God.

In Lk 21:5-36, Jesus used the destruction of Jerusalem as a miniature model of the coming
destruction of the end of the world. In harmony with this, Rev 6:16-17 places this despairing cry for
the mountains to fall upon them in the mouths of those who face the wrath of God on Judgement Day
at the end of the world. On that day the Great Reversal will take place. The kings on the earth, like
Herod and Pilate, and those who are wealthy and strong, like the Sanhedrin, will cower helplessly
as the One they rejected returns to judge them (Rev 6:15). Who will be able to stand the wrath of
the Lamb (Rev 6:17)? (See Lk 21:36)

Only those who watch and pray in faith will be able to stand.

8. The fourth warning (23:31) balances the first by contrasting Jesus with Jerusalem. To understand this
proverb about moist and dry wood, we must recognize the contrast between the time when the tree is


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

green, now, the present, and the time when the tree is dry, the future. Now is the time of Jesus
ministry and the time of the church (Jesus ministry continues through the church). During this time
the tree is green and can grow and can produce the fruit of repentance. But there is a day coming
when the time to produce the fruit of repentance will be over, the dry fruitless vine will be burned (Eze
15). It is better then to be moist wood now than to be dry wood then when the fire of destruction
Following are three explanations of the proverb. In all three the moist wood refers to Jesus and the
dry wood refers to those who reject Jesus.
(1) If the Romans treat Me, whom they admit to be innocent, in this manner, how will they treat those
who are rebellious and guilty?
(2) If the Jews deal thus with One who has come to save them, what treatment shall they receive
themselves for destroying Him?
(3) I God permits this to happen to one who is innocent, what will be the fate of the guilty?
All of these have some merit. In addition, it may point to a recurring theme from the OT. In Is 6:13,
who was the dry wood and what happened to them?

Israel was the dry wood and it was cut down, leaving only a stump.

The stump and root of Jesse would remain alive until the Messiah came. What would happen when
the Messiah came (Is 11:1; 53:2; Jer 23:5)?

A Shoot would come up from the stump of Jesse. From its roots would come a Branch that would
bear fruit.

While still green, the Messiah would be cut off from the land of the living (Is 53:8). And yet he would
be resurrected back to life. Those who by faith are connected to vine will die and rise with him and be
preserved unto life everlasting.
9. Jesus journey ends as two evildoers are led away to be executed with Jesus (23:32). Only Luke
mentions the two criminals before the crucifixion, showing once again that Jesus was reckoned with
transgressor in fulfillment of his Last Supper prophecy (22:37). This way is the way of Gods plan and
all is proceeding according to the divine plan.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 104 Jesus Crucifixion and Death (Lk 23:33-49)

The climax of the passion narrative is Jesus arrival at the place called Skull, where he is crucified. The
journey is over; Jesus has now reached his goal. The pericope highlights some of the principal themes
developed throughout the gospel: the forgiveness and salvation of God present in Jesus; the split
between the religious leaders, who largely reject Jesus, and the people, who will again accept him; Jesus
titles of Christ and King; Jesus sinless innocence; the presence of the women, who represent the lowly
and humble people that continue to follow Jesus at this critical time; Jesus control over the events and at
the same time his submission to the Fathers plan by giving up his life in death in fulfillment of the OT
See detailed structure. The two main scenes are Jesus crucifixion (23:34-43) and death (23:44-47). They
are enclosed within a brief introduction (23:33) and conclusion (23:48-49). Two pronouncements
concerning absolution (23:34, 40-43) frame the fourfold mocking of Jesus: by the rulers (23:35b), by the
soldiers (23:36-37), by the inscription affixed to the cross (23:58), and by the impenitent evildoer (23:39).
1. Lukes introduction provides the framework of persons and place. Who are the main persons in this

They crucified Jesus. They is most likely Roman soldiers. They later mocked Jesus and a
Roman centurion is featured later.


Two evildoers were crucified with Jesus. Again the prophecy that Jesus would be reckoned with
transgressors is fulfilled.

Where does the crucifixion take place?

The crucifixion takes place at the Skull. It was either a place that was a rock quarry and from a
distance it resembled a skull or it was regularly used for crucifixions and so was named after the
dead bodies.

Early church father Jerome speculated that Adam was buried at the Skull. While there is no evidence
of this, nevertheless, it does make a good theological point. The first Adam sinned and brought the
curse of death to the original creation. Jesus death and resurrection as the new Adam, ushered in a
new creation, in which the curse of death and its power were destroyed and all those under the curse
were redeemed and atoned for.
2. With what words does Luke describe Jesus crucifixion?

Luke simply says in 23:33, They crucified him. By using such simple language, Luke highlights
the greatest event in history. Luke highlighted Jesus birth in a similar way (2:7).


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

3. The crucifixion scene (23:34-43) begins with Jesus prayer for the Fathers absolution (23:34) and
ends with his promise to the penitent evildoer of paradise (23:40-43), which is the goal of absolution.
In between is the fourfold mocking of Jesus (23:35b-39).
In Luke, after Jesus was crucified, what were his first words from the cross (23:34)?

In Luke, Jesus first words were: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

For several reasons, it is most appropriate that Jesus utter these words as his first words from the
cross in Luke. They are consistent with the themes Luke has developed.
First, forgiveness has been one of Lukes prominent themes. Briefly write what each of the following
references says about forgiveness?

Lk 1:77
John the Baptist will give people the knowledge of salvation that comes through
the forgiveness that Jesus brings.

Lk 3:3

Lk 4:18
Jesus had been anointed for the purpose of bringing Good News about, freedom
from, recovery from, and release from sin, which come through forgiveness.

Lk 5:20-24
Jesus demonstrated that he had the authority to forgive sins by forgiving and
healing the paralytic.

Lk 11:4
Jesus taught that we should ask the Father for forgiveness and that we should
forgive others.

Lk 24:47
Jesus final words in Luke are a scriptural mandate that repentance to the
forgiveness of sins be preached to all nations.

John the Baptist preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

In Lukes gospel then, it is entirely appropriate that Jesus should ask for forgiveness for those who
were responsible for his crucifixion: not just the soldiers, but also Pilate, Herod, the Sanhedrin, the
chief priest, the rulers, and indeed all people (22:6; 23:1, 13). The hearer of the gospel knows that this
absolution flows from the full and complete atonement Jesus is accomplishing as he speaks these
very words. Forgiveness flows from the cross. How fitting it is that Jesus first word from the cross is a
word of universal forgiveness.
Second, the phrase they do not know what they are doing, points to another important Lukan motif.
Those who crucified Jesus were ignorant of who he was. This point is made in the preaching of Acts
(e.g. Acts 3:17; 13:27). Also Luke repeatedly emphasizes the ignorance of Jesus own followers.
None of them truly understood who Jesus was until after the resurrection. Because of Ignorance, all
people were responsible for putting Jesus to death. But the miraculous comfort of the gospel is that
Jesus invokes forgiveness for those who do not know what they are doing.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Third, Lukes Christology portrayed Jesus as the incarnation of Gods love, mercy, compassion and
forgiveness for all including Gods enemies. The thrust of Jesus words conforms to this portrait. This
is the essence of Jesus teaching and miracles throughout his gospel.
Fourth, the absolution in the Jesus first word, his prayer for forgiveness, balances the absolution
implicit in Jesus promise of paradise to the penitent evildoer. These two absolutions, taken together,
show the now/not yet character of Lukes eschatology. Forgiveness comes now through Jesus
prayer, while paradise is not yet. By praying for absolution, Jesus anticipates what is about to happen
with his death: atonement for the sins of the world, who are alienated from and hostile to God. He
also anticipates his absolution of one sinner (23:43) based on that atonement.
Finally, Jesus speaks three words from the cross in Luke. The first and third words were addressed to
the Father. In his first word, Jesus asked the Father to forgive the people (23:34); in his last word,
Jesus gives up his spirit to the Father because all that is necessary for atonement has been done.
The atonement he prayed for was now available, his work was finished. He had accomplished his
4. How did the soldiers respond to Jesus prayer for their forgiveness (23:34b)? What did they do?

They completely disregarded Jesus absolution. They show this disregard by casting lots for
Jesus clothes.

By doing this, they unwittingly fulfill Ps 22:18. In Lk 23:36-37, they will also mock Jesus, which fulfills
Ps 22:6-8. Also the offer of rancid wine in Lk 23:36 was foreshadowed in Ps 69:21.
Pss 22 and 69 are both individual laments. This type of psalm has two chief parts. First comes a
lengthy lament over the sufferings endured in spite of or even because of the psalmists
righteousness and faith in God. But then the lament is followed abruptly with a section of praise for
Gods salvation and deliverance. This sudden change expresses now/not yet eschatology. Despite
the present misery (now) of the faithful, Gods salvation and eventual rescue are certain. With the
assurance of faith, the psalmist praises God for deliverance that he knows will come in the future (not
yet). What great Lukan theme does this tie into? (If you need help, consider the beatitudes)

This is the Great Reversal. The situation of the righteous sufferer will be reversed into eternal
glory and bliss.

Since the soldiers cast lots for Jesus clothes, we know that he hangs on the cross naked. Their
gambling over Jesus clothes therefore accents his nakedness, heaping contempt and humiliation
upon him. But in the theology of the cross, things are not what they seem; the gracious power of God
is hidden in the suffering and weakness of the Christ on the cross. Only when the Great Reversal is
complete will all see this. In the mean time, only the eyes of faith can see this reality.
There is some irony in the fact that their gambling fulfilled Ps 22:18. When one gambles, what does
one depend on?

In gambling, one depends on luck or fate or chance.

Luke has been very careful to show that nothing in Jesus long journey to the cross has been a result
of chance or fate. All has been a part of Gods great plan, as allusions to psalms written hundreds of


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

years ago show. But of course, the soldiers know none of this, they do not know what they are
5. How did the people respond to Jesus prayer for their forgiveness (23:35a)? What did they do?

The people simply stand and watch. They do not join in with the rulers mocking Jesus.

The people are probably among all the crowds that later return home beating their chests in
repentance (23:48). Apparently their observation of Jesus on the cross and his words eventually
move them to repentance. Here they are ambivalent. Yet they are distinguished from the mocking
6. In Lk 23:35b-39 Jesus is mocked in four ways. Luke organizes this mocking in a chiastic structure
with regard to the titles of Jesus that appeared in the trials of Jesus:

23:35b a

if this one is the Christ of God, the chosen one.


If you are the King of the Jews.


The King of the Jews is this one.


Are you not the Christ?.

The mocking of Jesus on the cross is the climax of Lukes theme of Jesus as the rejected prophet.
Jesus is rejected by Jew and Gentile (Jewish rulers, Gentile soldiers, Gentile inscription, and Jewish
revolutionary?). Adams race lashes out against Gods Son. But the irony of this mocking is that it
speaks the true words of the Gospel. Jesus is mocked for being the Christ, the one who saved
others, and the King of the Jews and that is exactly who he is!
Repeating the word save also reinforces the Lukan theme of salvation. Note how save is used in
each of these verses:


He saved others;


let him save himself.



Save yourself.



Save yourself.




Ironically, those who mock Jesus proclaim what is true: Jesus is the Savior!
One of the accusations against Jesus at his trials was that he claimed to be the Christ/Messiah
(Anointed One). From the beginning of the gospel, the hearer heard, along with the shepherds, that
Jesus is the Savior, Christ the Lord. At the beginning of his public ministry at his baptism, Jesus was
anointed with the Holy Spirit. He was baptized into a divinely planned role, one that included rejection,
humiliation, and death. Throughout his ministry he saved others by releasing them from bondage to
demons, sickness, sin and even death. Now, on the cross, the goal of his baptism and ministry has


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

been attained. Now Jesus is baptized with a bloody baptism. Now he is truly revealed as the Christ of
God. For this he came into the world.
Another accusation against Jesus was that he claimed to be a king. This accusation was true also.
And again, from the very beginning, the hearer knows that Jesus is the King. In the infancy narrative
we learned that Jesus was a king who would sit on Davids throne forever (1:32-33). At the Last
Supper Jesus twice talked about the kingdom of God coming soon (22:16, 18). The eternal kingdom
Jesus spoke of came when he was lifted up (9:51) on the cross. He is truly reigning as King while
his detractors make fun of him. The inscription placed over him, which was meant to mock him,
actually spoke the truth. Jesus, the Messiah and King, is saving sinners. He will not save himself
because, as in Satans earlier temptations (4:1-13), to give in to temptation to serve and save himself
would prevent him from saving others.
7. The impenitent evildoer had joined the Jewish leaders and Gentile soldiers in mocking Jesus. In
contrast, Luke records the reaction of penitent evildoer to the words of Jesus and the four-fold
mocking of Jesus. The way the two evildoers react is completely opposite of each other. What
prophecy early in Luke do their reactions fulfill? (see 2:34)

He will cause the fall and rising of many in Israel.

The penitent evildoer represents all of those in Israel who will turn to Jesus in repentance and faith.
By rebuking the unbelieving evildoer, the penitent one rebukes not only him, but all those who have
rejected and will reject Jesus.
When the penitent evildoer became a believer in Jesus; he was initiated into Christ. The process of
initiation always begins with instruction about Jesus catechesis and ends with participation in
Christ. What did this mans catechesis consist of?

He watched Jesus passion, heard Jesus words of absolution for his enemies, and heard the
cruel mocking of the suffering, righteous Messiah.

This evildoer, on the brink of death and hell, is the first to be converted by Jesus announcement that
sin is forgiven by virtue of the cross. He is the first to embrace Jesus as the one who saves others,
the Christ, and the King of the Jews.
The penitent evildoers repentance is expressed by his confession of his sin. By what words does he
admit his sinfulness (23:41a)?

We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.

But combined with his confession of sin is his confession of faith. By what words does he confess his
faith in Jesus (23:41b-42)?

But this man has done nothing wrong. Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into
your kingdom.

This is the fifth pronouncement of Jesus innocence since the trials began. Jesus innocence has been
a primary theme in Lukes passion narrative, but this is the first time his innocence has been
announced by a believer. This evildoer has been changed to believe that Jesus is the suffering,


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

innocent Messiah, that Jesus is the King and that he wishes to be a part of his kingdom. His request
in 23:42 continues Lukes king/kingdom motif and the theme of remembrance. These are the same
themes that dominated the Lords Supper dialog (22:16, 18-19). The now/not yet tension of Lukes
eschatology is expressed in these words. Now, on the cross, Jesus is King, and now his word (23:34)
bestows forgiveness. Not yet has Jesus entered into his kingdom of glory yet Jesus word of
forgiveness now opens the door for this dying evildoer to enter the not yet kingdom too when it
8. Jesus response to the penitent evildoer is Jesus second word from the cross in Luke. Jesus words
serve to incorporate the man into the body of believers in Christ and to invite him to the ongoing feast
of heaven. The penitent catechumen is grafted into Jesus passion, which Jesus is experiencing at
that very moment. Here this sinner is truly united with Jesus in his death and if he is united in his
death, he will most certainly be united with him in his resurrection (Ro 6:5). This passage is Lukes
way of showing the salvific effect of Jesus death. He does not die for nothing; he dies to save
Jesus word to the evildoer begins with, I tell you the truth. These words alert the hearer that
Jesus is about to say something important. When Jesus says Today you will be with me in paradise,
he is emphasizing the present reality of future eschatological blessings. When Jesus says with me,
he is using the language of real presence. It is like the words the angel spoke to Mary, the Lord is
with you (1:28). The Lord was with her because he had become incarnate in her. The same Lord is
now present with the evildoer.
When Jesus speaks of being in paradise, what biblical place and time comes to mind? (See Ge 1)

The Garden of Eden was originally a paradise.

Why was this paradise?

It was paradise because Adam and Eve could fully dwell in the presence of God because they
were without sin.

Where then would the penitent evildoer be today? How was this possible?

The penitent evildoer would be in the presence of God and this was only possible if his sins had
been taken away, for God is holy.

For those who confess Jesus as the King, a life of paradise begins today, now.
9. Luke records an extraordinary cosmic sign: darkness in the middle of the day. As Satan entered
Judas, so darkness entered creation and threatened its very existence. Darkness is threatening to
destroy Gods creation and revert it to chaos. In the beginning, before God created order, what
existed, which represented chaos (Ge 1:2)?

Darkness was over the surface of the deep.

What did God then create on the first day that was good (Ge 1:3-5)?

God created light.


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The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Once again, darkness tries to reassert itself over the light. As Jesus, the source of life and light, dies,
the sun, the source of natural light, fails to carry out its divine mandate to distinguish between night
and day. Instead, day and night are confused and darkness usurps the rule of the sun as evil reigns
over good temporarily. At this moment creations curse is on Jesus. All demon possession, all
sickness, all sin, all death is now placed on him.
Yet the Creator, who took on flesh and was born into his creation, at this very moment was bringing in
a new creation. The darkness is an eschatological sign that already now the end of the old world has
come in a preliminary way in the death of Jesus (Lk 21:25-26; Acts 2:20). A new, eternal day is
dawning from on high upon those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death (Lk 1:78-79). The
three hours of darkness along with the brilliant light of Easter morning begin the first day of Gods new
creation, but this day will have no end; it will be an eternal Sabbath rest (Heb 4:9-10).
10. Luke records another sign. What was it (23:45b)? Where was this at?

The curtain of the temple was torn in two. The temple was not far from the Skull. And the curtain
in the temple separated the Holy Place (where the incense altar was that Zechariah attended to)
from the Holy of Holies (where the high priest entered once a year to make atonement for the sins
of the people).

What interpretations have you heard for this?

1. It was a portent of the judgment of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

2. Salvation was opened to all through the death of Gods Son.

3. It was the end of the observation of the ceremonial and ritual laws of the old covenant.

4. The temple was replaced by the body of Christ.

Its possible that all of these interpretations are legitimate. In the OT God was with his people in a
special way. The shift of Gods presence from heaven, down to the temple in Jerusalem, to the exiles
in Babylon, to the rebuilt temple, and then to the body of the one now crucified comes full circle as
Jesus spirit is about to ascend back to the Father in heaven. When Jesus became incarnate, the
presence of God shifted to him; he is Immanuel, God with us. Throughout his ministry Jesus said
and did only what God could say and do. Now Jesus obedience unto death was the ultimate
demonstration that he was God, because through his death, the way to heaven was opened up for all
people (Ro 5:2). God no longer resides in the temple, but is present in and accessible through Jesus.
Jesus is the new temple (see John 2:18-22). Since Jesus is the new temple, access to the heavenly
gifts are no longer found in the temples sacrificial cultus, but in Jesus, who is the once-and-for-all
sacrifice for the worlds sin. The meaning of Jesus words at his Last Supper becomes clearer now as
he has willingly given body and blood for you and me.
Year after year the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of a sacrifice on
the mercy seat to make atonement for sin. With the sacrifice of Jesus, no other sacrifices were
necessary. As the writer of Hebrews says, He entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption (Heb 9:11b-12,
For Luke, the darkness and the torn curtain declare the same reality: the old order dies and the
eschaton is inaugurated in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The darkness is the end of the old
world. The torn curtain is the end of the old way of approaching God. In Christ is a new creation and a
new way of approaching God. The new creation is open to all through Jesus crucified and risen flesh.
And Jesus flesh is not limited to any single location, but his human nature shares in the divine
attribute of omnipresence. Jesus is physically present with his church throughout the world.
11. Jesus third and last word from the cross in Luke is a citation of Ps 31:5. As with Jesus citations of Ps
22 and 69 in Lk 23:34-36, the context of Ps 31 provides rich significance. Psalm 31 is a psalm of
trust. This type of psalm is characterized by frequent and strong expressions of confident trust in God
as the one who redeems, rescues, and delivers the individual believer. Read Ps 31 and look for these
Jesus quote of a single verse from Ps 31 brings with it the message of the whole psalm. Therefore,
Jesus quote is an expression of confident faith and rejoicing in Gods salvation.
Jesus three words of forgiveness (23:34), comfort (23:43), and confident trust in God (23:46) show
that Jesus sole concern, even in the midst of his deepest suffering, is the salvation of humankind.
And contrary to the way it may seem, Jesus is in complete control and he is the Savior.
12. Luke narrates the moment of Jesus death very simply with he breathed his last (23:46b).
13. All three gospels record that a Gentile centurion made a comment about Jesus. What do the
centurions words in Luke stress (23:47)?

In Luke the centurions words declare that Jesus is righteous. This has been one of Lukes
themes. This is the sixth declaration of Jesus innocence since his trials began and the second in
the crucifixion and death scene.

The penitent evildoer and the centurion are two more witnesses to Jesus innocence. In his second
volume, Luke continues to make this point, as in several sermons Jesus is declared to be the
righteous One (Acts 3:14; 7:52; 22:14).
Jesus died like other sons of Adam and he was martyred like other prophets, yet Jesus is unlike
anyone else. He is, as the centurion declared, righteous. He is righteous, and he has the unique
ability to justify (Is 53:11) to impart his righteousness to those who acknowledge him.
14. By using Is 53 and Pss 22; 31; and 69 as background for understanding Jesus suffering as a
righteous man, Luke presents Jesus as the fulfillment of the OT pattern of the suffering, righteous
Messiah. By entrusting his spirit to the Father, Jesus followed the pattern of an innocent, righteous
saint and fulfilled the plan of God for the Innocent Sufferer. Lukes account shows that even though
Jesus did suffer, surely he was righteous. As the OT innocent, suffering saints looked to God for
vindication, so Jesus would look to the Father to vindicate him by raising him from the dead. Once he
had fulfilled Gods plan in his death and was vindicated in his resurrection, then witnesses could be
sent out with the message that Jesus suffered and died, but that he was vindicated when he rose
from the dead and that he did it all to win forgiveness for all people.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Jesus death and resurrection were in fulfillment of OT prophecy and pattern. The resurrection was
Gods great vindication, the sign of fulfillment. The resurrection of Jesus had to happen, if the
teaching of the OT about God was true.
15. Lukes conclusion to this scene contrasts with his normal conclusions. Usually his conclusions
reference those whom he introduced in the introduction. Here he does not reference the rulers, the
soldiers, the evildoers, or Jesus. Instead, who does Luke focus on (23:48-49)?

Luke focuses on the crowds, those known to Jesus, and the women who followed Jesus and
cared for him.

What have these people been witnesses of?

These groups are all witnesses to the suffering and death of Jesus.

16. How did the peoples witness of this sight affect them (23:48)?

The people went away beating their breasts, a sign of great sorrow.

During Jesus ministry the people generally supported Jesus. In the end though, they turned on him.
During the crucifixion, the people watched passively. But when Jesus died, their passivity ends, as
they are deeply sorrowful over what had happened. They had rejected Gods Messiah and
condemned him to the most shameful form of death.
17. Luke is the only evangelist to report that all those who knew him witnessed the events at the cross.
Who would these include?

All those who knew him would include all those who had been with him from the beginning
(1:2), especially the Twelve, the seventy, and his family.

From where did these followers watch the events (23:49)?

Jesus followers watch from a distance.

All had fled and rejected Jesus. At this point they are not ready to embrace the cross and participate
in the mission of proclaiming the scandal of Christ crucified. They are ready to declare that Jesus was
a great teacher and miracle worker (see Lk 24:19). They are only first phase disciples. Only after
Jesus explains the Christ from the OT pattern and opens their eyes are they ready to identify with the
crucified Christ.
18. Luke also says specifically that the women were eyewitnesses. The women were with Jesus during
his Galilean ministry. They followed him to Jerusalem. And now they were witnesses of his death.
Soon they will witness where Jesus is buried (23:55). These same women would also be the first
eyewitnesses of his resurrection. Those who are of low rank in society are placed in the highest place
as they witness the greatest event in all of history. They are a part of the Great Reversal.


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Lesson 105 Jesus Burial (Lk 23:50-56a)

Between the description of the death of Jesus (23:44-49) and the report of his resurrection (24:1-12) are
two scenes: a brief description of Joseph of Arimatheas burial of Jesus body (23:50-53) and the womens
preparations to anoint him after the Sabbath would end (23:55-56a). At the juncture of these two scenes,
in 23:54, is a critical time notice that helps demarcate the three days of the passion and resurrection as
the Day of Preparation (for the Sabbath), the Sabbath, and the first day of the new creation.
Appropriately, much preparation has occurred on the Day of Preparation. First Judas prepares to betray
Jesus. Next the disciples prepared for Jesus Passover. And now as the day comes to an end,
preparations are made for Jesus burial and anointing.
See detailed structure. The structure consists of Josephs preparation of Jesus body (23:50-53), the time
notice of the Day of Preparation (23:54), and the preparations of the women (23:55-56a).
1. An important (signaled by And behold [CC]) new character a man by the name Joseph is
introduced into the narrative by one complex compound sentence. Who does Luke say Joseph is

He was a member of the Council (the Sanhedrin).

He was a good and right man.

He was from the Jewish town of Arimathea.

He was waiting for the kingdom of God.

What might the hearer of the gospel be surprised at in this description of Joseph? Or which two of
these descriptions might normally seem to be contradictory?

Normally we wouldnt think of a member of the Sanhedrin as a good and right man. It was the
Sanhedrin that rejected Jesus.

In 23:51a Luke takes pains to explain how this could be. What is his explanation?

Luke explains that Joseph was a good and righteous man even though he was a member of the
Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus because he did not agreed with their plan and he did not agree
with their action.

Notice that the introduction of Joseph parallels the introduction of Simeon in the infancy narrative.
What parallels do you see in the way that they are introduced (compare 2:25 with 23:50-51)?

Both begin with And behold (CC) or Now there was (NIV).


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

They both continue with a man by the name of (CC) or a man in Jerusalem called/a man
named (NIV).

Simeon is described as righteous and devout and Joseph is described as good and righteous.

Both were waiting. Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel and Joseph was waiting
for the kingdom of God.

Luke began his gospel making it sound like the OT. He wanted the hearer to hear his narrative as a
continuation of the OT story. He also presented Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, Simeon
and Anna as faithful OT saints, part of Israels faithful remnant. By describing Joseph of Arimathea
like Simeon, Luke puts them in the same class. Joseph too is part of the faithful remnant, who has
messianic expectations. The messianic expectations of Gods faithful OT people expressed in the
infancy narrative are now coming to completion. The only problem is that no one is aware of it yet.
Joseph had been waiting for the the kingdom of God. Jesus kingship had been an issue during his
trials. He was mocked for claiming to be the King of the Jews. Jesus response to the penitent
evildoer affirmed that today he would come into his kingdom. Jesus crucifixion with the crown of
thorns was his coronation. When Jesus rises from the dead, he will bring his kingdoms reign to all of
creation. No one envisioned Gods kingdom coming in this way. It would break in much sooner and
more dramatically than Joseph or any of the faithful had expected.
2. What actions did Joseph take (23:52-53)?

Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus body.

Joseph took Jesus body down from the cross.

Joseph wrapped Jesus body in linen cloth.

Joseph placed Jesus body in a tomb, which had never been used.

So unlike the other members of the Sanhedrin who mocked and abused Jesus, Joseph treated Jesus
with honor. Joseph would have taken these actions between 3pm and sundown in accordance with
Deut 21:22-23. Throughout these actions the Luke focuses the hearer on the body of Jesus, as it
moves from the cross to the wrappings to the tomb. Jesus is indeed dead! There is no doubt about
that fact. He must be dead if there is to be a resurrection!
Jesus had been humiliated on his journey to this place. He had died a shameful death on a cross. But
now his body is treated with respect and honor. Normally those who die by crucifixion are put into a
common grave. But Jesus receives honor by being placed in a new tomb. Jesus state of humiliation
is over. His state of exaltation has begun. He has finished his work of re-creation and redemption.
Soon will come the complete vindication and exaltation of the resurrection.
3. The announcement that the Day of Preparation was over and that the Sabbath was about to begin
was not incidental. The Day of Preparation for Israel in the OT was a day on which preparations were
made for the Sabbath. At the beginning of the day, Jesus was prepared for death. And now, at the end
of the day, Jesus is prepared for burial and Sabbath rest. From now on, this day will be called Good


A Study Of The Gospel According To Luke

(using the Concordia Commentary-Luke by Arthur A. Just Jr.)

The Passion Narrative (Lk 22:1 23:56a)

Friday, because on it God prepared the greatest good for his creation: renewal, restoration, and recreation.
By telling us that the Day of Preparation was ending, Luke tells us that the events of this climatic day
in history and salvation history are coming to an end. Briefly go back through chapters 22 and 23 and
see all that has happened.
Jesus journey to Jerusalem was over, the Fathers will was fulfilled, and all preparations for
humanitys redemption had been completed. With Jesus in the grave, his Sabbath rest was about to
4. How long had the women been with Jesus (23:55a)?

The women had been with Jesus since his ministry in Galilee.

Therefore they were witnesses to his preaching, teaching, and healing. What else had they seen

From a distance the women had seen the crucifixion.

And now what do they witness (23:55b)?

Now they witness exactly where Jesus was buried.

Why did they need to know this? What did they plan to do (23:56)?

They needed to know where Jesus was buried because they planned to come back after the
Sabbath and anoint Jesus body.

Do they approach Jesus burial from an OT or NT perspective?

The women approach Jesus death from an OT perspective, from the old order of things. They
return home to observe the OT stipulations and to prepare spices for Jesus dead body. It never
occurred to them or anyone else that Jesus would be raised to life.

But Jesus, whose Sabbath rest marks the transition from old to new, is about to present them on the
first day of the new creation with a body that is living!