Betrayed and Denied – Luke 22

English: "The Judas Kiss", (Mark 14:...

English: “The Judas Kiss”, (Mark 14:45) by Gustave Doré. Judas kisses Jesus in order to betray him to the guards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Jesus was still speaking in the Garden of Gethsemane, a crowd was approaching, with Judas leading them. As Luke reminded us earlier, it was His custom to come here, and Judas knew where He went to pray. It must have been quite a scene. Judas kissed his teacher as was customary. Jesus did not let him off easy for that, reminding him that he had just betrayed “the Son of Man with a kiss.”

When they realized what was happening, some of the apostles asked Jesus if they should “strike with the sword.” Peter, of course, did not wait for answer, but cut the ear off of one of them. It is only John who tells us that it was Peter who did this (John 18:10), and that the victim’s name was Malchus. Jesus stopped them from continuing in violence and healed the man’s ear. Then He chastised the chief priests who had come with the crowd, pointing out that they had not laid a hand on Him while He was with them everyday ion the Temple, yet now they come after him like He was a robber.

They took Him to the house of the chief priest, with Peter following at a distance. He settled in with a crowd who had made a fire in the courtyard. It was there that Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. Luke tells us that a rooster crowed immediately, and that Jesus turned and looked at Peter. What a horrible feeling of guilt must have come over Peter at that moment. Despite all of his bravado, he had taken the cowardly way out in fear for his own safety. Now he must live with that knowledge, and Luke tells us that he did indeed go out and “wept bitterly.”

The kiss of Judas and Peter cutting off the ea...

The kiss of Judas and Peter cutting off the ear of Malchus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verses 63-65 tell us how the men that were holding Jesus mocked and blasphemed against Him. They also had Him blindfolded, beating Him, and they would tell Him to “prophesy” by saying which one of them had struck Him. Then at daybreak, He was led to the Sanhedrin, where they questioned Him about whether He was the Christ – the Son of God. Jesus’ answer “you say that I am” is a Greek expression that turns it back on the questioner, but the answer was clear. And that was enough for His accusers. They would deliver Him to Pilate, since they were forbidden by Roman law to execute Him themselves.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Psalms 41 – Even My Close Friend

Hushai was a counselor for King David, but when Absalom rebelled against his father David, David asked Hushai to pretend to shift loyalty to Absalom, but act instead as a spy. Absalom accepted Hushai's advice instead of the advice of Ahithophel, so Ahithophel committed suicide (2 Samuel 17:1-14).

Hushai was a counselor for King David, but when Absalom rebelled against his father David, David asked Hushai to pretend to shift loyalty to Absalom, but act instead as a spy. Absalom accepted Hushai’s advice instead of the advice of Ahithophel, so Ahithophel committed suicide (2 Samuel 17:1-14).

Traditionally, the Hebrew text divided the psalms into five books, the last of which in each finishes with a doxology (a short hymn of praise to God, which occurs here in verse 13); and chapter 41 concludes book one.  As is the case with many psalms, this one has meaning for the situation in David’s life at the time, as well as having application for the Jesus the Messiah.

communion trayMany consider that this psalm was written at a time when David suffered from a great illness that may have facilitated Absalom’s rebellion (2 Samuel 15).  The word “poor” in verse one is sometimes translated “weak,” which especially fits verses 1-8.  Jesus applies verse 9 to Judas in John 13:18.  In David’s case, the identity of the close friend of that verse is believed by many to be Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15:31).  The reference to the resurrection and ascension to heaven are hard to miss in verses 10-12, with the enemy in verse 11 clearly as Satan.  And verse 9 unmistakably points to Judas during Jesus’ act of instituting the Lord’s supper:

“Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Matthew 26 – The Plot to Kill Jesus

 

Having read John’s account, we now move to Matthew’s account of the last supper and Jesus’ arrest.  Since the audience of the gospel of Matthew is the Jews, it makes sense that he would give full attention to certain details of the trial before the Sanhedrin.  Unlike John, who gives the event in more chronological order, Matthew includes the account of the anointing of Jesus by Mary (sister of Lazarus) here in verses 6-13.   he also gives us the details in verses 14-16 of Judas’ conspiracy with, and payment from, the chief priests for his promise to deliver Him.  We also read in verses 17-20 of Jesus sending disciples to a “certain man” to prepare to have Passover at his house.

A model of the way Caiaphas’ house may have looked in the time of Jesus. Caiaphas was the high priest who judged Jesus.

But it is in verses 3-5 that we read of chief priests and the elders plotting in Caiaphas’ palace to  “arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.”  They were fearful of arresting Jesus openly because of His popularity; and the Feast of Unleavened Bread brought thousands of Pilgrims to the city.  The last thing they wanted was an uprising.  In verses 20-25, Jesus foretells His betrayal by one of them, culminating in an actual exchange between Jesus and Judas.  What was it like to be told by the son of God that it would be better if His betrayer had never been born – knowing that you had already begun that process?  And Jesus’ confirmation that He knew in verse 25 must have been chilling, especially after the fact.

In verses 26-29, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper.  The Passover, begun so long ago in Exodus 12 with the sacrifice of a lamb had pointed to this day.  Now this memorial would remind us of the sacrifice of “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  Verse 28 (“…this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” is the fulfilling also of the new covenant promise of Jeremiah 31:31-34.

The hymn that they sung in verse 30 is most likely Psalm 113-118, which is known as the Hallel (meaning “praise”).  The scripture Jesus quotes in verse 31 is from Zechariah 13:7, telling the disciples that they will all fall away that very night.  He also predicts Peter’s denial, at which point they all declare that they will remain with Him even if they must die.  His prayer in Gethsemane occurs in verses 36-44.  The traditional site for this now holds the “Church of All Nations” (or “Basilica of the Agony“), which was built over a 4th century Byzantine church.  Note Jesus’ sorrow and fervent petition to God in verses 38-39.  Although He was divine, for our benefit He had the same emotions any man would have knowing the suffering that He was about to endure.

The Mount of Olives, looking from Jerusalem, with the Basilica of the Agony, traditional site where Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Today the garden is at the left of the basilica.

Judas betrays Him with a kiss in verse 49.  We know from John 18:10-11 that it was Peter that cut off the ear of one of Jesus’ captors (Malchus) in verse 51.  When Jesus rebukes him, He says “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”  (we sing the song “He could have called Ten Thousand Angels”).  Jesus was of course  not going to call for help, but a Roman legion was 6,000 – so twelve of them would be 72,000.  As predicted, all of His disciples fled the scene.

Matthew skips past the meeting with Annas (John 18:12-14, 19-24) and begins next with the appearance before Caiaphas the High Priest and the Council (the Sanhedrin).  They had many witnesses coming forward, but none would give the false testimony they wanted in order to have Him put to death until at last two came and, in verse 61, misquoted Jesus’ actual statement of John 2:19-21.  He remained silent, making no correction,  when Caiaphas questioned Him about it.  But when asked if He was the Christ, He confirmed it with the Greek expression “you have said so” that He had also used with Judas in verse 25.  Then He added that they would see him at the right hand of “Power.”  Caiaphas declared this to be blasphemy, and they spit on Him and slapped Him, saying that He deserved death.  The outcome was assured now.

Peter’s denial in verses 69-74 went just as Jesus had said; and remembering the words of the Lord, Peter’s grief was intense.  Though this apostle would come to understand the necessity of what Jesus was to endure, we can only try to imagine the guilt he would bear.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

 

John 18 – Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

 

Olive Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives

Having finished the Olivet discourse, including His prayer, Jesus and His disciples went across the Kidron brook into a garden.  John does not identify Gethsemane as Matthew and Mark do (Matthew 26:36 and Mark 14:32).  But he does say in verse 2 that Judas knew the place where Jesus would be because He often met there with His disciples.  And we know from several scriptures (Luke 21:37 and Luke 22:39, for example)  that it was His custom to go to the Mount of Olives at night.  Knowing that this was the time, Jesus came forward to the soldiers and officers of the Pharisees that Judas had brought.  Much commentary has been written about verse 6 (“When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground”) – but we just do not know exactly what happened there.  Clearly however, this was a significant response that we would not have expected from Jesus’ captors.  But it really does seem appropriate for the Son of God at this hour in His life.

Verses 15-17 contain the account of Peter’s denial.  Though we are not told, the “other disciple” mentioned in verses 15-16 is probably John himself (the disciple that Jesus loved – as in John 20:2). John is the only one of the four gospels that gives us the account of Jesus going first to Annas. He had been High Priest from 6-15 A.D., but had been deposed by Valerius Gratus, the former Roman prefect of Judea (Josephus Antiquities 18.26, 34, 95).  But the position stayed in the family – currently his son-in-law, Caiaphas.  Since the position had traditionally been one that was life-long, Annas was still considered a High Priest by many Jews.  Jesus was then taken to Caiaphas.  John does not record the events of that encounter, but the synoptic gospels do (Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:53-65, and Luke 22:66-71).  It was Caiaphas that had suggested that Jesus should die back in John 11:49-51.

After Judas singled Jesus out for arrest, the mob took Jesus first to Annas, then Caiaphas, the high priest. Jesus then was taken to Pilate

From there, Jesus was taken to the Praetorian – the Roman governor’s residence – to appear before Pilate.  In verse 31, Pilate wants them to “judge him by your own law.”  But the Roman government had supposedly taken away the Sanhedrin’s right to capital punishment (though clearly they exercised exceptions to this, as with Stephen in Acts 7:57-60), and they wanted Him put to death.  Besides, as verse 32 reminds us, it was the Roman method of execution that would fulfill the scripture (Isaiah 52:13, John 12:32-33).  When Pilate speaks with Jesus asking what He had done and whether He was a kink, Jesus lays aside all doubt as to what type of Kingdom He had come to establish in verse 36:

“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Pilate still tries to avoid the responsibility for their blood lust, but he lacks the courage to go against the crowd.  So he offers to free either Jesus or the known criminal Barabbas, no doubt thinking they would choose the latter.

But such was not to be.  Jesus took the place of all of us, including Barrabas.

 

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

 

John 12 – The Unbelief of the People

Spikenard

In John’s account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem during the final days, we get some more details, including the account of Mary anointing Jesus (verse 3).  Some commentators get this confused with a similar event in Luke 7:35-39, but that is a different woman and occasion.  Verse 7 seems to mean that Mary had kept the ointment to use to prepare Jesus for burial – but this was the time to use it.   In verses 4-6, we learn from John that Judas had been stealing money from the money bag he was charged with carrying. 3oo denarii would be almost a year of a laborer’s wages.  The expensive nard (from spikenard) was imported from northern India.

In verses 9-11, Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead had achieved two very different results.  First, a large number of Jews had been attracted to come and see for themselves that he was now indeed alive.  But incredibly, the chief priests were plotting the death of Lazarus because it was causing many to believe in Jesus.  They simply did not want it to be so; and their frustration grows, as in verse 19 they say to one another “Look, the world has gone after him.”  This was at John’s account of the triumphal entry on Sunday of Jesus’ last week.

In verses 2-26, Gentiles come to worship and request to see Jesus; and Jesus acknowledges both that it is time for Him to be glorified, and removes all doubt that anyone – Jew or Gentile – that sacrifices himself to follow Jesus will be saved.    In verse 27, we again see that Jesus had come to earth as flesh and with human emotion, as he was troubled that the time of His death was approaching.  But he acknowledges that this was the reason He had come.  As God speaks to Him, some thought it was thunder, but Jesus made it clear that the voice had been intended for those who would believe (verse 30).  People do not understand why the Christ must be “lifted up,”  and was going to die.  Their understanding of the Christ remaining forever was one they had always related to an earthly reign.  They still did not understand His kingdom.

John quotes Isaiah 53:1 in verse 38, and Isaiah 6:10  in verse 40, as he notes the continued unbelief of many despite the signs Jesus had given them.  In verses 44-50, Jesus tells them that He has come to save the world – those who are not blinded by the hardness of their hearts.  Those who reject Him are rejecting God and the light that He has sent into the world.   Even miracles will not convince those who are bent on self-deception.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.