Matthew Poole's Commentary
Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.Luke 22:1,2 The chief priests and scribes conspire against Christ.
Luke 22:3-6 Judas covenants to betray him.
Luke 22:7-18 The apostles sent to prepare the passover: Christ
eateth it with them,
Luke 22:19,20 and institutes his last supper.
Luke 22:21-23 He covertly points out the traitor,
Luke 22:24-30 cheeks the ambitious strife of his disciples, and
promises them a share in his kingdom.
Luke 22:31-34 He telleth Peter of Satan’s desire to sift him; but
that his faith should be supported; and yet he
should thrice deny him.
Luke 22:35-38 He advises his disciples to provide necessaries and
Luke 22:39-46 His agony and prayer in the garden.
Luke 22:47-49 He is betrayed,
Luke 22:50-53 healeth a servant of the high priest, whose ear was
Luke 22:54-62 is lead to the high priest’s house; Peter thrice
Luke 22:63-65 Christ is scornfully used,
Luke 22:66-71 and brought before the council, where, confessing
himself to be the Son of God, he is pronounced
guilty of blasphemy.
Ver. 1,2. See Poole on "Matthew 26:1" and following verses to Matthew 26:5, See Poole on "Mark 14:1", See Poole on "Mark 14:2".
And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.See Poole on "Luke 22:2"
Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.Ver. 3-14. See Poole on "Matthew 26:14", and following verses to Matthew 26:19. See Poole on "Mark 14:10", and following verses to Mark 14:16.
And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.See Poole on "Luke 22:3"
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:Ver. 15-23. See Poole on "Matthew 26:20", and following verses to Matthew 26:30, where is opened whatsoever Luke hath that is not in the other evangelists.
For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.See Poole on "Luke 22:15"
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:See Poole on "Luke 22:15"
For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.See Poole on "Luke 22:15"
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.See Poole on "Luke 22:15"
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.See Poole on "Luke 22:15"
But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.See Poole on "Luke 22:15"
And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!See Poole on "Luke 22:15"
And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.See Poole on "Luke 22:15"
And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.Luke only taketh notice of this strife at the time of their being in the guest chamber. Such a strife we read of, Matthew 18:1 20:25,26 Mr 9:33 and in this Gospel, Luke 9:46; by which it is apparent, that they had been more than once arguing this point. But yet most interpreters think that it is here placed by Luke out of order and some translate egeneto in this text, there had been, not, there was; and indeed we can hardly think so uncharitably of the apostles, as to imagine of them, that immediately after their receiving, first the passover, then the Lord’s supper, their thoughts should be taken up with things of this nature, much less that they should discourse of any such subjects as these; especially also considering what our Saviour had told them, that he was betrayed into the hands of sinners. Something of our Saviour’s answer, pressing upon them brotherly love, and mutual serviceableness each to other, was very proper to this time, which our Saviour (though spoken before) might at this time repeat, and Luke prefactorily to it might take notice of this contest in this place.
And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.Ver. 25-27. See Poole on "Matthew 20:25", and following verses to Matthew 20:28. The sum is, our Saviour hereby teacheth all his disciples (his ministers especially) to avoid affectation of rule and dominion, as that which became heathens rather than Christians, and the kings of the Gentiles rather than the ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ. This text giveth no countenance to the levelling of all orders of men. Magistracy is an ordinance of God, and ought to be upheld. Order also in the church is to be observed, for God is the God of order; but no minister of Christ ought to affect great titles, nor to exercise a dominion or lordship. Our work is to feed the flock of God, taking the oversight of them, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock, 1 Peter 5:2,3. Not for that we have dominion, over your faith, but are helpers of your joy, 2 Corinthians 1:24. That the ministers of Christ may not have titles given them, speaking honour and reverence due to them, I do not know. But the reason is obvious why they should not affect them to be fond of them; for pride is a vain and vicious affection, and more culpable in them than others. Their works are but a ministration to the church, in putting the laws of Christ relating to it in execution, and it is their greatest honour to be humble. Nor doth this at all degrade a minister of Christ, for even Christ himself, while he was upon the earth, was not as one that sat at meat, but as one that served.
But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.See Poole on "Luke 22:25"
For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.See Poole on "Luke 22:25"
Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.Ver. 28-30. These verses seem to contain (though in a few more words) the substance of what we met with Matthew 19:28. There they are spoken as an answer to Peter, speaking on the behalf of himself and the rest of the apostles, who had forsaken all to follow Christ. Christ tells them there, that those which had followed him, in the regeneration when the Son of man should sit on the throne of his glory, should sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. That time which our Lord there calleth the regeneration, is the time when he had been giving a new birth to the church, reforming the world by his doctrine and holy example. That time he here calleth the time of his temptations, by which he meaneth trials, afflictions, and persecutions, as the word is often taken in holy writ, Galatians 4:14 Jam 1:12 2 Peter 2:9 Revelation 3:10.
To those of the disciples (they were eleven of the twelve) he promises a kingdom, a state of great honour and dignity, as his Father had appointed him; and therefore they might satisfy themselves with the titles and qualities of ministers and servants while they were here, and be content to meet with troubles and temptations, as he had done, to hunger and thirst, &c.; when that time came which he had appointed, they should then eat and drink at his table, they should sit also upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Terms expressive of that rest and satisfaction, that glory, honour, and dignity, which the saints in God shall in heaven be possessed of.
And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;See Poole on "Luke 22:28"
That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.See Poole on "Luke 22:28"
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:Ver. 31,32. Our Lord directeth his speech to Peter, as one who (as it will by and by appear) had a greater confidence of himself than the rest expressed, and as one who he foresaw would fall more foully than the rest; though it appears, that in his speech he had a respect to them all, for the word you is in the plural number. The devil had a mind to disturb them all by his temptations (that is here called sifting). Christ hath his fan in his hand, and will sift his church, but his sifting is to purge his floor; he sifts a particular soul, to purify it from its lusts and corruptions; but Satan sifts the soul and the church merely to give them trouble, and to keep them from rest and quiet by continual motion and agitation. This we are all concerned to take notice of, that we may both be continually prepared for the time of our siftings, and bless God who doth not satisfy Satan’s desires to sift his; for he hath the same mind to winnow us now, that he had to sift Peter and the rest of the apostles.
But (saith our Saviour) I have prayed that thy faith fail not. There is a total and a partial failing of faith. Peter’s faith did fail in part; but the seed of God did yet abide in him, his faith did not wholly fail: so will it be with the faith of every true disciple of Christ. In hours of great temptation and trial, their faith may, as to some degrees, fail, but totally it shall not: they may be perverted, but they shall again be converted. As the apostles saith of the bodies of the saints, Romans 8:10,11, And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you: may also be said of their souls. They have in them a body of death, and they may in act hour of great temptations fail, and their gracious habits may seem to die. But if the Spirit of God dwelleth in the soul, he will again quicken their souls by his Spirit which dwelleth in them.
And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren; that is, when God hath recovered thee from thy fall, and made thee to see thy error, make an improvement of thy recovery out of the snare of the devil, by admonishing others to take heed of too much confidence in themselves, and encouraging them not to despair, though they also may fall into temptation; but that the grace of God shall be sufficient for them.
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.See Poole on "Luke 22:31"
And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.Ver. 33,34. This is more largely recorded by Matthew 26:33-35, and by Mark 14:27-30.
And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.See Poole on "Luke 22:33"
And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.Ver. 35-38. Those who interpret Luke 22:35,36, as a precept of our Saviour’s imposing a duty upon his disciples, or a counsel concerning the proviting arms which they might use for the protection and defence of themselves, will not only find a difficulty to reconcile their notion of it to several other precepts, and the will of God declared by the apostles’ practice, who never went about by force and arms to defend themselves in the first plantation and propagation of the gospel; but also to reconcile it to the last words of our Saviour, who said, when his disciples told him they had two swords, It is enough; which he would never have said, if he had intended any such thing; for two swords was much too little to have conquered that multitude of adversaries which the disciples of Christ were to meet with. Our Saviour doth doubtless speak in a figure, and all that he intends amounts but to this: Hitherto I have been with you, and you have had my special protection; though you went out without a purse or a scrip, yet you have wanted nothing; though you went without a sword, yet none did you any harm. But the time is now come, when the posture of your affairs will be much altered; your friends will be few, your enemies many, therefore you stand concerned to make as good preparation as you can do in those things that are consistent with the general precepts that I have given you. The tragedy will begin with me; for what is written of me must now be accomplished, Isaiah 53:12, He was numbered with the transgressors. I must be brought before magistrates as a common malefactor, and hanged on a cross between two thieves. And
the things concerning me shall shortly have an end: you will next come upon the stage, and therefore prepare what in you lieth for the performance of your part.
Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.See Poole on "Luke 22:35"
For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.See Poole on "Luke 22:36"
And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.See Poole on "Luke 22:37"
And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.Both Matthew and Mark say, he went to a place called Gethsemane; but that makes no difference, for whether Gethsemane signifieth a village, or a garden, or a valley, all agree it was at the foot of the mount of Olives. It was a place to which our Saviour had used to go ever since he came to Jerusalem, and lay in his way to Bethany. He went thither to pray, and his disciples followed him.
And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.When he came to the mount of Olives, he first setteth his disciples to that work, which at this day was proper for them.
Pray that ye enter not into temptation; that, if it be the will of God, you may be delivered from such an hour of trial as I am entering into; or, at least, that you may not be overcome by it. That my trials which you will presently be witnesses unto, and your own which you shall hereafter meet with, may have no power upon you to withdraw you from your work in the publication or profession of my gospel. The other two evangelists make mention of our Saviour’s taking Peter, and James, and John with him, yet more privately. Luke mentions not that, but goeth on.
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,Whether from the eight, or from Peter, James, and John also, the evangelist doth not tell us; but some are of opinion, that he took the three disciples along to join with him in prayer, from whom some account might be given of the substance of his prayer, which followeth. I rather think he was alone.
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.We have a larger account given us of our Saviour’s prayer, See Poole on "Matthew 26:39", and following verses to Matthew 26:46. See Poole on "Mark 14:35", and following verses to Mark 14:42.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.Ver. 43,44. We have formerly opened these verses in Matthew 26:44-46, where we took them in, as being a part of the history of our Saviour’s praying before his passion.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.See Poole on "Luke 22:43"
And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,Ver. 45,46. The relations which Matthew and Mark give us are both more particular than that given us by Luke, to which we refer the reader. Luke speaketh but of his praying once; Matthew saith he prayed thrice. Luke mentions nothing of his withdrawing with Peter, James, and John from the other eight; Matthew and Mark both mention it. Luke maketh mention of an angel’s appearing to him, of the agony in which he was, and his sweating drops as it were of blood; which neither Matthew nor Mark take notice of: yet we must not think, that either any one of the evangelists, or all of them together, give a perfect account of all the words our Saviour used in these prayers, only they tell us the sum of them in different words; but See Poole on "Matthew 26:40", and following verses to Matthew 26:41. See Poole on "Mark 14:37", and following verses to Mark 14:38, where we have fully considered whatsoever is said by any of the evangelists upon this argument.
And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.See Poole on "Luke 22:45"
And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.Ver. 47,48. See Poole on "Matthew 26:47", and following verses to Matthew 26:49. See Poole on "Mark 14:43", and following verses to Mark 14:45.
But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?See Poole on "Luke 22:47"
When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?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.
And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.See Poole on "Luke 22:49"
And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.See Poole on "Luke 22:49"
Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?Ver. 52,53. See Poole on "Matthew 26:55". See Poole on "Mark 14:48". See Poole on "Mark 14:49". It speaketh a great degree of rage and malice against our Saviour, that so great men, as the chief of the priests and the elders, should come out at midnight, in the company of the officers and soldiers, to apprehend Christ. From these verses it appeareth that some of them were there in the height of their zeal.
When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.See Poole on "Luke 22:52"
Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.Ver. 54-62. The whole history of Peter’s denial of his Master, and of his repentance. See Poole on "Matthew 26:69", and following verses to Matthew 26:75, where we have opened what passages relating to it are in Mark or this evangelist.
And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.See Poole on "Luke 22:54"
But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.See Poole on "Luke 22:54"
And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.See Poole on "Luke 22:54"
And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.See Poole on "Luke 22:54"
And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.See Poole on "Luke 22:54"
And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.See Poole on "Luke 22:54"
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.See Poole on "Luke 22:54"
And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.See Poole on "Luke 22:54"
And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.Ver. 63-65. Concerning these abuses offered to our Saviour. See Poole on "Matthew 26:67". See Poole on "Matthew 26:68". See Poole on "Mark 14:65".
And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?See Poole on "Luke 22:63"
And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.See Poole on "Luke 22:63"
And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,Ver. 66-71. Our blessed Lord before his death passed two trials or examinations. The one before the Jewish sanhedrim, whose proper province it was to try such as were accused as false prophets, or blasphemers. This was a kind of ecclesiastical court. The high priest was the chief judge in it, and we are told that they used to sit in his palace. The other was before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea at that time; he principally took cognizance of criminal things, such especially as concerned the peace of the country, considered as a part of the Roman empire. These verses give an account only of the former. Blasphemy was the crime they charged upon him. We cannot from any one evangelist have a full account of either of them.
See Poole on "Matthew 26:57" and following verses to Matthew 26:68, when have fully considered what all the evangelists say.
Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:See Poole on "Luke 22:66"
And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.See Poole on "Luke 22:66"
Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.See Poole on "Luke 22:66"
Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.See Poole on "Luke 22:66"
And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.See Poole on "Luke 22:66"