Luke 22:49
When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?
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(49) When they which were about him.—The phrase is apparently chosen as more accurate than “the disciples” would have been. Those who spoke were probably the three that had been nearest to Him, and possibly one or two others who had rushed forward.

Luke 22:49-51. When they which were about him saw what would follow — That the band was just going to seize Jesus, or had already seized him, and were about to lead him away; they said, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? — Thou didst allow us to have two swords, shall we now make use of them? Surely never can there be a greater occasion for doing it: and we doubt not but, few as we are, thou canst render us victorious over this armed multitude. They did not wait for an answer from Jesus, but one of them — Namely, Peter, immediately smote the servant of the high-priest — One who, it is probable, was the forwardest, and seemed peculiarly officious in seizing Christ. Peter struck full at his head, intending to cleave him down, but the stroke glanced a little on one side, so that he only cut off his right ear. Jesus said, Suffer ye thus far — Let me go to the wounded man, and have my hands at liberty, while I do one more act of mercy. And he touched his ear, and healed him — Putting the ear on again, which was cut off, or creating a new one in the place of it. It may not be improper to observe, that two other interpretations are given of the clause, Suffer ye thus far. “All antiquity,” says Dr. Campbell, “seems agreed in understanding our Lord’s expression as a check to his disciples, by intimating that they were not to proceed further in the way of resistance, as it was not to such methods of defence that he chose to recur: and what is recorded by the other evangelists, as likewise said on the occasion, strongly confirms this explanation.” Dr. Whitby thinks that Christ spake thus to the soldiers, desiring them thus far to suffer the rash opposition of his disciples, and not to proceed to violence against them, on account of the assault made, and injury done by one of them, which he would immediately repair; for it follows, and he healed him. “And this,” adds the doctor, “he said and did partly to show, that he, who had such power to heal, and (John 18:6) to throw down his enemies, was taken willingly, and not for want of power to preserve himself: and partly to preserve his apostles from their assaults.” It must be acknowledged that all these interpretations are plausible; but the first, which is adopted by Elsner, Doddridge, Macknight, Wesley, and many others, seems as probable as either of the others, and certainly exhibits the mercy and benevolence of our Lord in the most amiable and striking point of view. And one would have thought, that such a generous piece of kindness to his enemies would have so overcome them, that they would have proceeded no further against him. But, alas! their hearts were hardened! How illustriously did our Lord now exemplify his own rule of doing good to them that hate us, as he afterward did that which enjoins us to pray for them that despitefully use us and persecute us.

22:47-53 Nothing can be a greater affront or grief to the Lord Jesus, than to be betrayed by those who profess to be his followers, and say that they love him. Many instances there are, of Christ's being betrayed by those who, under the form of godliness, fight against the power of it. Jesus here gave an illustrious example of his own rule of doing good to those that hate us, as afterwards he did of praying for those that despitefully use us. Corrupt nature warps our conduct to extremes; we should seek for the Lord's direction before we act in difficult circumstances. Christ was willing to wait for his triumphs till his warfare was accomplished, and we must be so too. But the hour and the power of darkness were short, and such the triumphs of the wicked always will be.Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? - By the "Son of man" was evidently meant "the Messiah." Judas had had the most satisfactory evidence of that, and did not doubt it. A kiss was the sign of affection. By that slight artifice Judas thought to conceal his base purpose. Jesus with severity reproaches him for it. Every word is emphatic. "Betrayest" thou - dost thou violate all thy obligations of fidelity, and deliver thy Master up to death? Betrayest "thou" - thou, so long with him, so much favored, so sure that this is the Messiah? Betrayest thou "the Son of man" - the Messiah, the hope of the nations, the desire of all people, the world's Redeemer? Betrayest thou the Son of man "with a kiss" - the sign of friendship and affection employed in a base and wicked purpose, intending to add deceit, disguise, and the prostitution of a mark of affection to the "crime of treason?" Every word of this must have gone to the very soul of Judas. Perhaps few reproofs of crime more resemble the awful searchings of the souls of the wicked in the day of judgment. Lu 22:47-54. Betrayal and Apprehension of Jesus—Flight of His Disciples.Ver. 49-51. No other evangelist but John hath this passage perfect. What he hath we have opened in our notes on Matthew 26:51,52, because it tendeth to complete that part of the history there discoursed, concerning Christ’s being apprehended. John relates it with more circumstances, telling us that it was Peter who drew the sword, and that his name whose ear was cut off was Malchus, and relates some further words used by our Saviour to Peter, which we shall further consider in their places. This rash act of Peter might have cost him dear, for it made a kinsman of Malchus take such notice of him, as he was very near being accused by him, John 18:26. Swords are dangerous things for us to use, until God puts them into our hands. Peter ought not only to have asked his Master if he should smite with the sword, but also to have staid his hand till Christ had given him an answer.

When they which were about him,.... That is, the eleven disciples that were about Christ, and with him in the garden:

saw what would follow; that their Lord and master was about to be betrayed by Judas, and would be seized, and carried away by the multitude, that were with him:

they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? or "swords", as the Syriac and Persic versions read; with the two swords which they had along with them. This they said, not being thoroughly acquainted with the mind of Christ in this matter, whether they should use the temporal sword or not; and might choose to show this forwardness to stand by him, and defend him, remembering how lately they had said, that though they died with him, they would not deny him: and might, no doubt, be thoroughly exasperated and provoked to see Judas at the head of such a mob, with swords and staves, and burned with true zeal for their Lord and master; and might be the more spirited up to this, by observing, that the men fell backwards to the ground, upon Christ's saying that he was the person they sought; at least their dependence was upon the exertion of his almighty power; for they could never otherwise imagine that eleven men, with two swords only, would be able to defend him, and rescue him out of the hands of such a multitude.

{17} When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?

(17) That zeal which carries us out of the bounds of our God-given position does not please Christ.

Luke 22:49. οἱ περὶ αὐτὸν, those about Him, i.e., the disciples, though the word is avoided.—τὸ ἐσόμενον, what was about to happen, i.e., the apprehension. The disciples, anticipating the action of the representatives of authority, ask directions, and one of them (Luke 22:50) not waiting for an answer, strikes out. In the parallels the apprehension takes place first.

49. they] Specially Peter, but the Synoptists suppress his name from obviously prudential reasons which no longer existed when St John wrote.

Lord, shall we smite with the sword?] Since it was illegal to carry swords on a feast-day, we have here another sign that the Last Supper had not been the Passover. The bringing of the sword was part of the misconception which Jesus had not cared further to remove at the supper; and if Judas had pressed into the enclosure they may have been entirely unaware as yet of the number of the captors. Future years would teach them that Christ’s cause is served by dying, not by killing. The full reply of our Lord on this incident must be found by combining Matthew 26:53, John 18:10-11.

Luke 22:49. Τὸ ἐσόμενον, what was about to follow) Contrary to their own opinion, which heretofore they had continued to hold.

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