Luke 22 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Luke 22)

Verse 3

[3] Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Then entered Satan — Who is never wanting to assist those whose heart is bent upon mischief.

Verse 4

[4] And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

Captains — Called captains of the temple, Luke 22:52. They were Jewish officers, who presided over the guards which kept watch every night in the temple.

Verse 7

[7] Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.

Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12.

Verse 14

[14] And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

Matthew 26:20; Mark 14:17.

Verse 15

[15] And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

With desire have I desired — That is, I have earnestly desired it. He desired it, both for the sake of his disciples, to whom he desired to manifest himself farther, at this solemn parting: and for the sake of his whole Church, that he might institute the grand memorial of his death.

Verse 16

[16] For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

For I will not eat thereof any more — That is, it will be the last I shall eat with you before I die. The kingdom of God did not properly commence till his resurrection. Then was fulfilled what was typified by the passover.

Verse 17

[17] And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

And he took the cup — That cup which used to be brought at the beginning of the paschal solemnity, and said, Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I will not drink - As if he had said, Do not expect me to drink of it: I will drink no more before I die.

Verse 19

[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.

And he took bread — Namely, some time after, when supper was ended, wherein they had eaten the paschal lamb.

This is my body — As he had just now celebrated the paschal supper, which was called the passover, so in like figurative language, he calls this bread his body. And this circumstance of itself was sufficient to prevent any mistake, as if this bread was his real body, any more than the paschal lamb was really the passover.

Verse 20

[20] Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

This cup is the New Testament — Here is an undeniable figure, whereby the cup is put for the wine in the cup. And this is called, The New Testament in Christ's blood, which could not possibly mean, that it was the New Testament itself, but only the seal of it, and the sign of that blood which was shed to confirm it.

Verse 21

[21] But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.

The hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table — It is evident Christ spake these words before he instituted the Lord's Supper: for all the other evangelists mention the sop, immediately after receiving which he went out: John 13:30. Nor did he return any more, till he came into the garden to betray his Master. Now this could not be dipped or given, but while the meat was on the table. But this was all removed before that bread and cup were brought.

Verse 24

[24] And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.

There was also a contention among them — It is highly probable, this was the same dispute which is mentioned by St. Matthew and St. Mark: and consequently, though it is related here, it happened some time before.

Verse 25

[25] And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

They that exercise the most arbitrary authority over them, have from their flatterers the vain title of benefactors.

Verse 26

[26] 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.

But ye are to be benefactors to mankind, not by governing, but by serving.

Verse 27

[27] 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.

For — This he proves by his own example.

I am in the midst of you — Just now: see with your eyes. I take no state upon me, but sit in the midst, on a level with the lowest of you.

Verse 28

[28] Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.

Ye have continued with me in my temptations — And all his life was nothing else, particularly from his entering on his public ministry.

Verse 29

[29] And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

And I — Will preserve you in all your temptations, till ye enter into the kingdom of glory: appoint to you - By these very words. Not a primacy to one, but a kingdom to every one: on the same terms: as my Father hath appointed to me - Who have fought and conquered.

Verse 30

[30] That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

That ye may eat and drink at my table — That is, that ye may enjoy the highest happiness, as guests, not as servants. These expressions seem to be primarily applicable to the twelve apostles, and secondarily, to all Christ's servants and disciples, whose spiritual powers, honours, and delights, are here represented in figurative terms, with respect to their advancement both in the kingdom of grace and of glory.

Verse 31

[31] And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Satan hath desired to have you — My apostles, that he might sift you as wheat - Try you to the uttermost.

Verse 32

[32] But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

But I have prayed for thee — Who wilt be in the greatest danger of all: that thy faith fail not - Altogether: and when thou art returned - From thy flight, strengthen thy brethren - All that are weak in faith; perhaps scandalized at thy fall.

Verse 34

[34] And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

It shall not be the time of cock crowing this day — The common time of cock crowing (which is usually about three in the morning) probably did not come till after the cock which Peter heard had crowed twice, if not oftener.

Verse 35

[35] And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

When I sent you — lacked ye any thing - Were ye not borne above all want and danger?

Verse 36

[36] 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.

But now — You will be quite in another situation. You will want every thing.

He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one — It is plain, this is not to be taken literally. It only means, This will be a time of extreme danger.

Verse 37

[37] 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.

The things which are written concerning me have an end - Are now drawing to a period; are upon the point of being accomplished. Isaiah 53:12.

Verse 38

[38] And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

Here are two swords — Many of Galilee carried them when they travelled, to defend themselves against robbers and assassins, who much infested their roads. But did the apostles need to seek such defence? And he said; It is enough - I did not mean literally, that every one of you must have a sword.

Verse 39

[39] And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.

Matthew 26:30.

Verse 40

[40] And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

The place — The garden of Gethsemane.

Verse 43

[43] And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Strengthening him — Lest his body should sink and die before the time.

Verse 44

[44] 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.

And being in an agony — Probably just now grappling with the powers of darkness: feeling the weight of the wrath of God, and at the same time surrounded with a mighty host of devils, who exercised all their force and malice to persecute and distract his wounded spirit.

He prayed more earnestly — Even with stronger cries and tars: and his sweat - As cold as the weather was, was as it were great drops of blood - Which, by the vehement distress of his soul, were forced out of the pores, in so great a quantity as afterward united in large, thick, grumous drops, and even fell to the ground.

Verse 48

[48] But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

Betrayest thou the Son of man — He whom thou knowest to be the Son of man, the Christ?

Verse 49

[49] When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?

Seeing what would follow — That they were just going to seize him. Matthew 26:51; Mark 14:47.

Verse 51

[51] And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

Suffer me at least to have my hands at liberty thus far, while I do one more act of mercy.

Verse 52

[52] 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?

Jesus said to the chief priests, and captains, and the elders who were come — And all these came of their own accord: the soldiers and servants were sent.

Verse 53

[53] 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.

This is your hour — Before which ye could not take me: and the power of darkness - The time when Satan has power.

Verse 54

[54] Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.

Matthew 26:57; Mark 14:53; John 18:12.

Verse 58

[58] And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.

Another man saw him and said — Observe here, in order to reconcile the four evangelists, that divers persons concurred in charging Peter with belonging to Christ. 1. The maid that led him in, afterward seeing him at the fire, first put the question to him, and then positively affirmed, that he was with Christ. 2. Another maid accused him to the standers by, and gave occasion to the man here mentioned, to renew the charge against him, which caused the second denial. 3. Others of the company took notice of his being a Galilean, and were seconded by the kinsman of Malchus, who affirmed he had seen him in the garden. And this drew on the third denial.

Verse 59

[59] 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.

And about one hour after — So he did not recollect himself in all that time.

Verse 63

[63] And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.

Matthew 26:67; Mark 14:65.

Verse 64

[64] And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?

And having blindfolded him, they struck him on the face — This is placed by St. Matthew and Mark, after the council's condemning him. Probably he was abused in the same manner, both before and after his condemnation.

Verse 65

[65] And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.

Many other things blasphemously spake they against him — The expression is remarkable. They charged him with blasphemy, because he said he was the Son of God: but the evangelist fixes that charge on them, because he really was so.

Verse 66

[66] 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,

Matthew 26:63; Mark 14:61.

Verse 70

[70] Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.

They all said, Art thou then the Son of God? — Both these, the Son of God, and the Son of man, were known titles of the Messiah; the one taken from his Divine, and the other from his human nature.