Luke 22:19
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
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(19, 20) He took bread, and gave thanks.—See Notes on Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-25. The other two reports give “He blessed,” instead of “He gave thanks.” There is, of course, no real difference between them. Thanksgiving and blessing both entered into what we may call the Jewish “Grace,” and were so far convertible terms. It is noticeable that St. Paul’s account, in 1Corinthians 11:23, agrees on this point with St. Luke’s.

Which is given for you.—Literally, which is now in the act of being given. The sacrifice was already inchoate in will. St. Paul’s report omits the participle.

This do in remembrance of me.—Literally, as My memorial, or, as your memorial of Me. The words are common to St. Luke and St. Paul, but are not found in the other two reports. The word for “remembrance” occurs, in the New Testament, only here and in Hebrews 10:3. In the Greek version of the Old Testament it is applied to the shew-bread (Leviticus 24:7), to the blowing of trumpets (Numbers 10:10), in the titles of Psalm 38:1 (“to bring to remembrance,”) and Psalm 70:1. The word had thus acquired the associations connected with a religious memorial, and might be applied to a sacrifice as commemorative, though it did not in itself involve the idea of sacrificing. The fact that our Lord and His disciples had been eating of a sacrifice which was also a memorial, gives a special force to the words thus used. In time to come, they were to remember Him as having given Himself, sacrificed Himself, for them, and this was to be the memorial in which memory was to express itself, and by which it was to be quickened. It may be noted that the early Liturgies, as a rule, follow St. Luke’s report, attaching the word “memorial” sometimes to the bread, sometimes to the cup, sometimes to both.

Luke 22:19-20. And he took bread — Namely, some time after, when the supper was ended, wherein they had eaten the paschal lamb. And gave thanks, and brake it — Matthew and Mark say, Blessed and brake it. They do not say, Blessed it: for the word it, though supplied in our translation in Matthew, is not in the original: for which reason, and because Luke here uses the word ευχαριστησας, he gave thanks, many are of opinion that the word God should be supplied in Matthew; he blessed God. And gave unto them, saying, This is my body — That is, the representation of my body, to be broken on the cross. See the like form of expression, Genesis 41:26-27. As our Lord had just now celebrated the paschal supper, which was called the passover, so, in the like figurative language, he calls this bread his body. And this circumstance of itself was sufficient to prevent any such mistake, as that this bread was his real body, any more than the paschal lamb was really the passover. This do in remembrance of me — The passover solemnity was usually concluded with eating a little bread and drinking a cup of wine. Jesus, therefore, when he instituted the Lord’s supper, did not appoint any new rite, but appropriated an old one to a new purpose. Hence the propriety of the expression, This do in remembrance of me. Do it no longer in remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt, but in remembrance of me, who, by dying for you, will bring you out of spiritual bondage, a bondage far worse than the Egyptian, under which your fathers groaned, and will establish you in the glorious liberty of God’s children: do it in remembrance of me, who, by laying down my life, will ransom you from sin, and death, and hell; and will set open the gates of heaven to you, that you may enter immortality and triumph. Likewise also the cup after supper — This the Jews termed the cup of thanksgiving, it being the cup usually given by the master of the family to each after supper: and Matthew says, Jesus took this, and gave thanks. For, at the institution of the sacrament, he not only gave thanks before he brake and distributed the bread, but before he delivered the cup, to show how infinitely we are obliged to God for our spiritual food, the flesh and blood of his Son, which nourishes the divine life in the soul. Saying, This cup is the new testament, or covenant, (as the word διαθηκη rather means,) in my blood — Here is an undeniable figure, whereby the cup is put for the wine in the cup. And this is called, the new covenant in Christ’s blood, which could not possibly mean that it was the new covenant itself, but only the seal of it, and the sign of that blood, which was shed to confirm it. In other words, as the expression, this is my body, signifies, This is the representation of my body; so, this is my blood of the new covenant, must signify, This is the representation of my blood. And Christ’s meaning in the passage is: All of you, and all my disciples in all ages, must drink of this cup, because it represents my blood, shed for the remission of men’s sins; my blood, in which the new covenant between God and man is ratified; so that this institution exhibits to your joyful meditation the grand foundation of men’s hopes, and perpetuates the memory of the same to the end of the world.

We here see, then, that it is a primary end of this solemn service, to bring to the devout remembrance of Christians the death of their Master, as the foundation of the remission of their sins; and, in short, the whole mercy of the new covenant, as founded on the shedding of his blood. Therefore, they err who make the keeping up of the memory of Christ’s death in the world, as a simple fact, the only end of the Lord’s supper. We may observe, further, that “from our Lord’s words, here recorded, and from those wherewith the apostle has concluded his account of the Lord’s supper, 1 Corinthians 11:26, As often as ye eat this bread, &c., ye do show (καταγγελλετε, ye preach, ye declare) the Lord’s death till he come, it appears this sacrament was instituted, not only to bring Christ’s sufferings, and the consequence thereof, to the remembrance of his disciples, but to demonstrate the truth of these things to the world, in all ages. In this view, the Lord’s supper is the strongest proof of his integrity, and of the truth of his mission; for if he had been an impostor, and was to have suffered death on account of his deluding the people, is it to be imagined that he would have instituted any rite with a view to preserve the memory of his having suffered punishment for the worst of crimes? No: this is beyond all human belief. And therefore, since by this institution he has perpetuated the memory of his own sufferings, it is a strong presumption that he was conscious of his own innocence, that his character was really what the evangelists have represented it to be, and that our faith in him, as the Son of God, is well founded.” — Macknight.

22:19,20 The Lord's supper is a sign or memorial of Christ already come, who by dying delivered us; his death is in special manner set before us in that ordinance, by which we are reminded of it. The breaking of Christ's body as a sacrifice for us, is therein brought to our remembrance by the breaking of bread. Nothing can be more nourishing and satisfying to the soul, than the doctrine of Christ's making atonement for sin, and the assurance of an interest in that atonement. Therefore we do this in rememberance of what He did for us, when he died for us; and for a memorial of what we do, in joining ourselves to him in an everlasting covenant. The shedding of Christ's blood, by which the atonement was made, is represented by the wine in the cup.See the notes at Matthew 26:26-28. 17. took the cup—the first of several partaken of in this service.

divide it among, &c.—that is, It is to be your last as well as Mine, "until the Kingdom of God come," or as it is beautifully given in Mt 26:29, "until that day when I shall drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." It was the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals, the one about to close for ever, the other immediately to open and run its majestic career until from earth it be transferred to heaven.

See Poole on "Luke 22:15"

And he took bread and gave thanks,.... Or blessed it, as in Matthew 26:26. Here begins the account of the Lord's supper after the passover was eaten;

and brake it, and gave unto them; the disciples, as is expressed in Matthew 26:26

saying, this is my body; See Gill on Matthew 26:26.

which is given for you; or will be given for you, as an offering for sin in your room and stead; and accordingly it was given into the hands of men, and of justice, and unto death. The phrase denotes the substitution and sacrifice of Christ in the room of his people, and the voluntariness of it; and is only mentioned by Luke in this account: the Apostle Paul writes, which is broken for you, 1 Corinthians 11:24 alluding to the breaking of the bread in the ordinance, and as expressing the bruises, wounds, sufferings, and death of Christ: the Ethiopic version here adds, "for the redemption of many".

This do in remembrance of me; that is, eat this bread in remembrance of my love to you, and in commemoration of my body being offered up for you. Observe this ordinance in the manner I now institute it, in time to come, in memory of what I am about to do for you; for this direction does not only regard the present time and action, but is intended as a rule to be observed by the churches of Christ in all ages, to his second coming: and it is to be observed, that the Lord's supper is not a reiteration, but a commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ. This phrase is only mentioned by Luke here, and by the Apostle Paul, who adds it also at the drinking of the cup, 1 Corinthians 11:24. The Persic version here reads, "do this perpetually in remembrance of me".

{5} And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

(5) Christ establishes his new covenant and his communication with us by new symbols.

Luke 22:19-20. See on Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22 f.; 1 Corinthians 11:23 ff. Luke agrees with Paul, not, however, repeating, in the case of the cup, the expression τοῦτο ποιεῖτε κ.τ.λ., which is not found at all in Matthew and Mark.

τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διδόμενον] which for your advantage (to procure your reconciliation and justification, and your Messianic salvation, comp. on Matthew 20:28) is given up. The entire context suggests the qualifying clause εἰς θάνατον. Comp. Galatians 1:4; Romans 8:32; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:15. In respect of the expression, Wetstein justly compares Libanius, Orat. 35, p. 705: καὶ τὸ σῶμα ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐπέδωκεν, and similar passages.

τοῦτο ποιεῖτε] to wit, the breaking of the bread after thanksgiving, and the distribution and partaking of the same. On ποιεῖν, occupying the place of more definite verbs, which the context suggests, see Bornemann, and Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. iii. 8. 2; Schoemann, ad Is. de Ap. her. 35.

εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμν.] for the remembrance of me.[249] See Winer, p. 138 [E. T. 192]. It is a mistake to say that this purpose of the Lord’s Supper must be appropriate only to the partaking of the real body and blood of Christ (see Kahnis, Lehre v. Abendm. p. 87). Rather in respect of such a partaking that statement of purpose appears too disproportioned and weak,[250] since it would already certify far more than the remembrance; in opposition to which the idea of the ἀνάμνησις of that which the symbols represent, is in keeping with the symbolic character of the celebration (Plat. Phaed. p. 74 A: τὴν ἀνάμνησιν εἶναι μὲν ἀφʼ ὁμοίων). Comp. Justin, Ap. I. 66, where it is said of the cup: εἰς ἀνάμνησιν τοῦ αἵματος αὐτοῦ.

Luke 22:20. ὡσαύτως] to wit, λαβὼν εὐχαριστήσας ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς.

τὸ ποτήριον] the cup before them.

μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι] “facto transitu ad majora et ultima,” Bengel. It was, to wit, the fourth cup which made the conclusion of the whole meal. See on Matthew 26:27.

τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον κ.τ.λ.] this cup is the new covenant by means of my blood, i.e. it is the new covenant by the fact that it contains my blood, which is shed for your salvation. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 11:25. In the wine which is poured into the cup Jesus sees His (atoning, Romans 3:25; Romans 5:3) blood, which is on the point of being shed; and because through this shedding of His blood the new covenant is to be established, he explains the cup, by virtue of its contents, as the new covenant—a symbolism natural to the deeply-moved, solemn state of mind, to which no greater wrong can be done than is perpetrated by the controversies about the est, which Luke has not at all! Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:25, inserts ἐστίν after διαθήκη, and consequently also, in so far as the passage before us is concerned, forbids the affixing ἐν τῷ αἵματί μου to ἡκαινὴ διαθήκη, as many of the older (not Luther[251]) and of the more recent writers (not Kahnis, Osiander, Rückert, p. 232) do. So also even Ebrard (d. Dogma vom heil. Abendm. I. p. 113), who, besides, lays an emphasis upon μου not belonging to it, at least according to the expression of Luke, when he interprets the passage: “the new covenant made in my blood, not in the sacrificial blood of the Old Testament.”

ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη] opposed to the old Mosaic covenant, whose condition was the fulfilling of the law (in the new: faith). See on 1 Corinthians 11:25.

τὸἐκχυνόμενον] belongs, although in the nominative, to τῷ αἵματί μου, as an epexegetical clause. The abnormal use of the case is occasioned by the fact that, according to Luke 22:19, the idea prevails: that the cup (in respect of its contents) is the blood of the new covenant which is shed. Consequently τὸἐκχυνόμενον is applied to τῷ αἵματί μου because τὸ αἷμά μου has floated before the mind of the speaker as the logical predicate, even although it did not become the grammatical predicate. Thus the nominatival expression more emphatically brings into prominence what is declared of the blood (τὸἐκχυν.) than would be the case if it were joined on in the dative. Comp. Jam 3:8 (where μεστὴ ἰοῦ is joined to the logical subject γλῶσσα, which, however, is not the grammatical subject); Revelation 3:12; Revelation 8:9; Mark 12:40; John 1:14; Kühner, § 677; Winer, pp. 471, 473 [E. T. 668–670 f.]. According to Baur’s view, τὸἐκχυνόμ. comes back to a very awkward transposition of the words from Matthew 26:28. Comp. also Rückert, p. 208, and Bleek and Holtzmann. Erroneously Euthymius Zigabenus, Calovius, Jansen, Michaelis, and others, including Bornemann, read: “poculum, quod in vestram salutem effunditur.” What is this supposed to mean? Calovius answers: “Dicitur effusum pro nobis propter sanguinem, quem Christus mediante poculo praebebat.” A forcible dislocation which, moreover, occurs in other old dogmatical writers, Chemnitz, Gerhard, and others. See Kahnis, Abendm. p. 103. This reference to the cup appeared to give a support to the explanation of the actual blood.

[249] To lay a contrasted emphasis on ἐμήν (not in remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt; so Lindner, Abendm. p. 91 f., and Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 218) is mistaken, because not suggested in the context. See Rückert, Abendm. p. 200 f.

[250] Kahnis says: “Only when body and blood are essentially present and essentially living can the remembrance of the death which they have passed through and swallowed up in victory and life be made prominent as a separate point, without giving rise to a feeble and bungling tautology.” But the point on which stress is laid in this assertion, “which they have passed through and swallowed up in victory and life,” does not in reality appear at all there, but is added in thought and read into the passage. Rightly does Keim bring forward in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol. 1859, p. 94, that the significance of the last supper as a remembrance cannot be maintained together with the orthodox interpretation of the words of institution. He aptly shows that the symbolical understanding of the words of institution, “this is,” etc., is the correct one, and comes to the conclusion that the essential actual body was spiritually represented by the word to faith, but was not bodily given in corporeal presence to every recipient. Comp. on Matthew 26:26, and on 1 Corinthians 11:24. How even Kahnis subsequently gave up the orthodox doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, see in his Dogmat. I. p. 616 ff. But how even to this day the Catholics make out the continuity of the sacrifice of Jesus by the priests, see in Döllinger, Christenth. und Kirche, p. 38, and Schegg.

[251] In his Gr. Bekenntn.: “for the reason that Christ’s blood is there.”


In the words of institution all four narrators vary from one another, although not essentially, which serves to prove that a mode of formulating them had not yet taken any fixed shape. Luke agrees the most closely with Paul, which is explained by his relation to him. The Pauline narrative, however, attains great weight, indeed, through his ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου, 1 Corinthians 11:23 (see on the passage), and the ministry of the apostle makes it conceivable how his formula might fix itself liturgically; this, however, does not prevent our recovering the most primitive form of the words of Jesus in the simple narrative of Mark, which gradually underwent expansions. Wilke, Urevang. p. 142, is wrong in regarding Luke 22:20 in Luke as a later addition. The first distribution of the cup, Luke 22:17, does not indeed yet belong entirely to the Lord’s Supper, and as yet has no symbolism. According to Ewald (see his Jahrb. II. p. 194 f.), the agreement between Luke and Paul is explained by the fact that both have in this particular used one source (the oldest Gospel, probably composed by Philip the evangelist). But in general there is no proof of Paul’s having made use of a written Gospel; neither in particular is the passage in 1 Corinthians 11:23, ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου, in any way favourable to that supposition.

Luke 22:19-20. The Supper.

19. he took bread] The account in St Luke closely agrees with that given by St Paul (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), which he ‘received from the Lord.’

This is my body] Comp. “I am the door,” John 10:7. “That rock was Christ,” 1 Corinthians 10:4. “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” 1 Corinthians 10:16. All the fierce theological debates between Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Zuinglians, Calvinists, &c. might have been avoided if men had borne in mind the warning of Jesus, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” John 6:63.

in remembrance of me] The emphasis is on the latter words. The Christian Passover was no more to be in remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt, but of that far greater deliverance wrought by Christ.

Luke 22:19. Τοῦτο, this) The form of expression is, this cup, in Luke 22:20; but, in the present instance, there is not added bread to the this; because bread does not so aptly accord with the complex term [which forms the predicate τὸ σῶμα δίδὁμενον] as the cup [accords with its predicate, ἠ καινὴ διαθήκηἐκχυνόμενον].—τὸ ὑπὲρ, which is given for you) As in the Old Testament, part of one of the same victim was presented to God, whilst part was eaten by the Israelites: so that one body, which Jesus Christ offered to the Father, is received[231] by Christians in the Holy Supper: ὑπὲρ, for, i.e. ἀντὶ, [a vicarious substitute for. “A ransom for many.”] Matthew 20:28.—διδόμενον, which is being given) to death.—ποιεῖτε, do) perform. Do has not in this passage the sacrificial notion. It is a wrong committed against the one and only Priest of the New Testament, to attribute priestly power and dignity before God to the ministers of the Holy Supper.—ἀνάμνησιν, remembrance) See 1 Corinthians 11:25-26, note.[232] [In that first Acts of institution of the Lord’s Supper, they had Jesus still present with them, and therefore there was no occasion, strictly speaking, for remembrance of Him. It is therefore the future which is looked forward to by the use of the term “remembrance.”—V. g.]

[231] True, if received be understood of a spiritual receiving.—E. and T.

[232] ”As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth the Lord’s death till He come.” The Lord’s Supper, according to Bengel, is a kind of compensating equivalent for our not having the Lord’s corporal presence with us. “What was visible in the Redeemer has passed into the sacraments.” Leo M. Serm. 2 de ascens. This is the Lutheran view.—E. and T.

Verses 19, 20. - And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gays unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. Around these words, and the parallel passages in SS. Matthew and Mark, for more than a thousand years fierce theological disputes have raged. Men have gone gladly to prison and to death rather than renounce what they believed to be the true interpretation. Now, a brief exegetical commentary is not the place to enter into these sad controversies. It will be sufficient here to indicate some of the lines of thought which the prayerful earnest reader might wisely follow out so as to attain certain just ideas respecting the blessed rite here instituted - ideas which may suffice for a practical religious life. Now, we possess a Divine commentary on this sacrament instituted by our Lord. It is noticeable that St. John, whose Gospel was the latest or well-nigh the latest of the canonical writings of the New Testament, when at great length he relates the story of the last Passover evening and its teaching, does not allude to the institution of that famous service, which, when he wrote his Gospel, had become part of the settled experience of Church life. He presupposes it; for it had passed then into the ordinary life of the Church. In another and earlier portion of his Gospel, however, St. John (John 6:32-58) gives us a record of the Lord's discourse in the synagogue of Capernaum, in which Jesus, while speaking plainly to those who heard him at the time, gave by anticipation a commentary on the sacrament which he afterwards instituted. The truth which was taught in thin discourse is presented in a specific act and in a concrete form in the Holy Communion. In the fifty-third verse of that sixth chapter we read, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." How is this now to be done? We reply that our Lord has clothed these ideas and brought them near to us in this sacrament; while, by his teaching in the sixth chapter of St. John, he guards this sacrament from being regarded on the one hand as an end in itself, or on the other as a mere symbol. Certain truths, great landmarks laid down in this discourse, have to be borne in mind.

(1) The separation of the flesh of the Son of man into flesh and blood (John 6:53) presupposes a violent death submitted to for the sake of others (John 6:51).

(2) Both these elements, the flesh and the blood, are to be appropriated individually by the believer (John 6:56).

(3) How appropriated? St. Bernard well answers the question which he asks: "What is it to eat his flesh and to drink his blood, but to share in his sufferings and to imitate the life he lived when with us in the flesh?" (St. Bernard, on Psalm 3:3). "If ye suffer with him, ye shall also reign with him." The Holy Eucharist is from one point of view a great truth dramatized, instituted for the purpose of bringing before men in a vivid manner the great truths above alluded to. But it is something more. It brings to the believer, to the faithful communicant, to the one who in humble adoring faith carries out to the best of his ability his Master's dying charge - it brings a blessing too great for us to measure by earthly language, too deep for us to fathom with human inquiry. For the partaking of this Holy Communion is, first, the Christian's solemn public confession of his faith in Christ crucified; his solemn private declaration that it is his deliberate wish to suffer with his Lord and for his Lord's sake; that it is, too, his firm purpose to imitate the earthly life lived by his Lord. The partaking of this Holy Communion, too, is the Christian's most solemn prayer for strength thus to suffer and to live. It is, too, his fervent expression of belief that this strength will be surely given to him. Further, the partaking of this Holy Communion is, above all, the Christian's most solemn prayer for living union with Christ - "that Christ may dwell in his heart by faith." It is, too, his fervent expression of belief that "then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with. Christ, and Christ with us." This confession, declaration, and prayer he constantly renews in obedience to the dying command of his Master. It is difficult to understand how any belief in a physical change in the elements of bread and wine, such as is involved in the theory of transubstantiation held in the Roman Church, or of consubstantiation in the Lutheran community, can be supposed to enhance the reverence of the communicant, or to augment the blessing promised. The words of the Lord, "This is my body... my blood," cannot surely be pressed, seeing that the same Divine Speaker was in his discourses in the habit of using imagery which could not literally be pressed, such as "I am the Bread of life," "I am the Door of the sheep," "I am the true Vine," etc. Nothing that can be conceived is more solemn than the simple rite, more awful in its grandeur, more Divine and far-reaching in its promises to the faithful believer. Human imaginings add nothing to this Divine mystery, which is connected at once with the Incarnation and the Atonement. They only serve to envelop it in a shroud of earth-born mist and cloud, and thus to dim if not to veil its Divine glory. Luke 22:19Bread (ἄρτον)

Better, a loaf.

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