Luke chapter 22

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What does Luke chapter 22 mean?

Luke 22 is often broken into two major sections. Luke 22:1–38 records selected material around and during the Last Supper. Luke 22:39–71 describes what happens in the garden of Gethsemane and at Jesus' trials before the Jewish leadership.

Luke 22:1–2 is an introduction. Mark places this two days before Passover (Mark 14:1–2). Local religious leaders are faced with Jesus' power to raise Lazarus (John 11) and His ability to defend His authority against the priests, elders, Pharisees, and Sadducees (Luke 20). This makes them desperate to put Him to death. But those same events have made Him popular, so the leaders are afraid of public reactions to an arrest. This introduction is also found in Matthew 26:3–5 and Mark 14:1–2.

In Luke 22:3–6, Judas comes to the religious leaders' rescue. In an era without photography, identifying people usually required someone who knew them personally. Arresting Jesus in front of a crowd is risky, but the leaders don't know where to find Him otherwise. Judas offers to identify Jesus in a safe place, away from the crowds—for a price. The priests rejoice at their good fortune and agree. Matthew 26:14–16 and Mark 14:10–11 also record Judas's scheme.

In Luke 22:7–13, Jesus instructs Peter and John to prepare the Passover meal. As with the triumphal entry (Luke 19:29–34), Jesus knows exactly where they need to go and what they need to do. The two disciples follow His instructions, and everything is arranged. Matthew 26:17–19 and Mark 14:12–16 also record the preparations for the Last Supper.

Luke 22:14–20 finds the disciples celebrating the Passover meal. They soon learn they're also experiencing the start of the new covenant. Jesus adjusts the formal meal which commemorates the rescue of the Israelites from Egypt. In doing so, He establishes a commemoration of what is soon to come: the shedding of His blood to rescue His followers from their sin and eternal death. Much of the passage is paralleled in Matthew 26:26–29 and Mark 14:22–25 and repeated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23–25.

In Luke 22:21–23, Jesus speaks of His betrayer. None of the Gospels record that Jesus identified Judas clearly. Nor do any suggest the disciples realized it was him at that time. Matthew 26:21–25, Mark 14:18–21, and John 13:21–30 add more detail.

Luke 22:24–25 shows the disciples defending their claims to authority by arguing over who is greatest. Jesus warns them that such ambition characterizes Gentile-like lordship. In this context, that means it's an ungodly and unspiritual approach. That is not how He called these men to be. Only Luke records this argument here, but this isn't the first time they've had this debate (Mark 9:33–34; Luke 9:46–48). Some scholars think it prepares the scene for Jesus' foot-washing in John 13:1–20.

In Luke 22:26–30, Jesus pulls the disciples back to reality. He is the authority. They cannot clutch for power like worldly leaders. They will receive authority from Him as His Father designates. And they will receive thrones from which to rule the twelve tribes: as servants, not despots.

Luke 22:31–34 records Jesus' warning to Peter. Satan will test the disciples to see if they will remain loyal to Jesus. After Peter fails and is restored, he is to restore the others and rebuild their faith. Peter insists he would ever deny Jesus, but Jesus warns him that he will. Jesus' prediction of Peter's denial is also in Matthew 26:31–35, Mark 14:27–31, and John 13:37–38.

In Luke 22:35–38, Jesus updates His instructions given in Luke 9:1–6 and 10:1–12 regarding what supplies to take when spreading the message of the kingdom of God. When teaching children to ride a bicycle, a key moment is when "the training wheels are off." The early safeguards are gone, and they must continue without them. As the disciples begin to build the church, they will need to take supplies. Only Luke includes these instructions.

Luke 22:39–46 records Jesus' last free moments. He warns the disciples to pray so that they might remain faithful, but they can't keep their eyes open. Jesus deeply mourns the coming hours. What He anticipates is not just physical torture. He's also going to bear the sins of the world. However, when it is time, He knows He has the strength to do what He must. Matthew 26:36–46 and Mark 14:26–42 have more detail while John 18:1 merely says they go to a garden across the Kidron brook.

In Luke 22:47–53, Judas betrays Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders. In Luke 22:54–62, Peter denies that he knows Jesus. Through it all, Jesus is present. He heals the servant whom Peter wounds and looks at Peter at his moment of failure. Matthew 26:47–56, Mark 14:43–50, and John 18:2–12 nicely complement Luke's account, each giving different details. Luke 22:54–62 records Peter's denial all in one block. Matthew 26:58, 69–75, Mark 14:54, 66–72, and John 18:15–18, 25–27 weave Peter's actions around the Sanhedrin's attempts to find witnesses who claim Jesus has broken the Mosaic law.

Through the four Gospels, various details combine to explain the trials which Jesus experienced:
•First Jewish trial: an illegal meeting at the home of chief priest Annas (John 18:13–24). This trial seems to include a betrayal by Peter that is not included in the predicted three.
•Second Jewish trial: an illegal meeting at the home of the high priest Caiaphas, including Peter's three denials (Matthew 26:57–75; Mark 14:53–72; Luke 22:54–65; John 18:24–27).
•Third Jewish trial: a legal meeting before the Sanhedrin meant to officially finalize the charges against Jesus (Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66–71).
•First trial before Pilate: the Sanhedrin brings their charges to the Roman governor (Matthew 27:2, 11–14; Mark 15:1–5; Luke 23:1–5; John 18:28–38).
•Trial before Herod Antipas: Pilate sends Jesus to the ruler of Galilee, but Jesus will not answer him (Luke 23:6–12).
•Second trial before Pilate: the Sanhedrin insists Jesus should die although Pilate knows He is not guilty of anything (Matthew 27:15–26; Mark 15:6–15; Luke 23:13–25; John 18:39—19:16).
Luke 22:63–65 gives a brief overview of the abuse Jesus suffers in the home of the high priest Caiaphas. Matthew 26:57, 59–68 and Mark 14:53, 55–65 give more detail about what happens at Caiaphas's house.

In Luke 22:66–71, day breaks and Jesus is taken to an official trial before the Sanhedrin. Before the chief priests, scribes, and elders, Jesus clearly states He is the Son of God. The religious leaders finalize their accusations for Pilate. Matthew 27:1 and Mark 15:1 briefly explain that Jesus is tried before the Sanhedrin and that they decide to charge Him with a capital offense.

Scholars have suggested that parts of this chapter form a chiasm: a mirrored presentation which emphasizes the inflection point. One such arrangement is as follows:
A: Luke 22:1–2; Religious leaders' preparation
B: Luke 22:3–6; Betrayal preparation
C: Luke 22:7–13; new covenant introduction preparation
D: Luke 22:14–20; new covenant introduction
E: Luke 22:21–23; Warning of Christ's betrayer
F: Luke 22:24–25; Worldly leadership
F': Luke 22:26–30; Christlike leadership
E': Luke 22:31–34; Warning of Christ's deniers
D': Luke 22:35–38; new covenant spreading introduction
C': Luke 22:39–46; new covenant work preparation
B': Luke 22:47–62; Betrayal and denial
A': Luke 22:63–71; Religious leaders' work
In this structure, the most important theme is whether we accept the new covenant and our place in God's kingdom. Do we reject Jesus' authority (Luke 20), reject His servanthood example, betray Him, and use Him for our own gain? Or do we accept Jesus' authority and servanthood example, emulate His servant-leadership, and fill the needs of others?

Luke 23 continues Jesus' trials before Pilate and Herod Antipas. He is then led to the cross where He forgives His murderers and saves a thief before He dies. In Luke 24, Jesus rises from the dead, meets two disciples while they travel, and explains to them how the Old Testament prophesied the death of the Messiah. In the final scene of the gospel, Jesus is reunited with His disciples, blesses them, and ascends into heaven.
What is the Gospel?
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