Saturday, August 28, 2021

2021.08.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 22:35–53

Read Luke 22:35–53

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Jesus ask the disciples in Luke 22:35? How do they answer? What does He tell them to take now (Luke 22:36)? And to buy? What reason does He give in Luke 22:37? What do they produce in Luke 22:38? How does He answer? Where does He go in Luke 22:39? How does Luke tell us that this was predictable? Where do they arrive in Luke 22:40? What does He say to them? Where does He go (Luke 22:41)? What does He do? What does He say in this prayer (Luke 22:42)? What response does He receive in Luke 22:43? For what does He use this heaven-sent strength (Luke 22:44)? What does He do in Luke 22:45? What does He find? What does He ask them (Luke 22:46)? What does He tell them to do instead? But what appears and when (Luke 22:47)? Who went before them? What did he do? What does Jesus ask him (Luke 22:48)? About what do His disciples now ask (Luke 22:49, cf. Luke 22:38)? But what does one of them do (Luke 22:50)? What does Jesus say in Luke 22:51? What does He do? Now to what four groups does He speak in Luke 22:52? What does He ask them? What does He point out in Luke 22:53? What does He call that moment?

That which must be fulfilled. The evangelist shows us the connections between Luke 22:35-38 and Luke 22:47-53. The reason for the speech in Luke 22:35-36 is so that it might be fulfilled that He is numbered with the transgressors (Luke 22:37). Then the Lord Jesus points out in Luke 22:52 that they have “come out, as against a robber.” 

This also solves the curious question of what the two swords of Luke 22:38 are enough for. He teaches us to make good use of God’s means: moneybags, knapsacks, etc. (Luke 22:36a). And the idea of a sword for every man implies that the equipment to defend oneself or participate in just war are part of the means that God provides, and which we ought to make use of (verse 36b). But for what are two swords enough?

We only have to wait eleven verses to find out. We know from the other gospels that there are three apostles with Him by Luke 22:49. James and John apparently have one sword, and they ask Jesus if this is the time to use it. Peter isn’t named in Luke 22:50, but again from the other gospels we know that it’s he who doesn’t bother asking. But while there is an appropriate time for using the sword, Jesus quickly corrects its use in this case, in Luke 22:51. After all, this is exactly what He had said (Luke 22:37) must be accomplished: their “hour and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53).

The strength in which it was fulfilled. The Holy Spirit has Luke place the account of our Lord’s prayer between the two sections referenced above. Luke 22:39-45 are sandwiched between Luke 22:35-38 and Luke 22:47-53. This section itself is bookended by Jesus’s two admonitions to the disciples to pray, lest they enter temptation (Luke 22:39-40 and Luke 22:45-46). This places Luke 22:41-44 at the heart of the section as a whole.

Jesus doesn’t just tell the disciples that they need to be praying; He knows this fact from His own experience. Even as He knows what must be accomplished (Luke 22:37) and what hour this is (Luke 22:53), He Himself needs prayer to be strengthened unto submission. He Himself prays in Luke 22:41, and when the response is for an angel to strengthen Him (Luke 22:43), He uses the strength to pray even more earnestly (Luke 22:44).

What is He praying? That if it is God’s will/possible (Luke 22:42a, cf. Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36), the cup of the cross would be taken from Him. But He knows that it is not actually possible. Still, expressing His horror and agony at the prospect in prayer is a means by which He submits Himself to His Father’s will. And this submission is the strength in which He now greets Judas, corrects Peter, and heals Malchus. 

What a marvelous thing is the temptation-thwarting, submission-enabling power of prayer! And if our Lord Himself needed it, how much more do we! But if we believe in Him, not only is His submission counted for us, but it is also what we are being conformed to. Dear Christian, watch and pray so that you would not enter into temptation. And as you do so, rejoice that even in your watching and praying you are being conformed to Christ!

What times do you have set apart each day and week for watching and praying against temptation? Where in your life have you found it to be a battle to submit to the Lord’s providence and commands?

Sample prayer:  Our merciful God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—You have alll power and goodness in Yourself. But we are weak and sinful in ourselves. We thank You that You have made Your righteousness ours in Jesus Christ. We marvel at Your love Lord Jesus, that You humbled Yourself to become a Man so fully that even Your dependence is a model for our own dependence. Grant unto us the ministry of Your Spirit, by Whom we would be watchful and prayerful as a right use of the greatest means that You have given us: Yourself. Which we ask in Your Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP191 “I Love the Lord” or TPH435 “Not What My Hands Have Done”


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