Luke 22:1-13 – The Plot to Kill Jesus and the Sovereignty of God (Jan. 7th)

Message Notes:  Evil of Man & Sovereignty of God Jan 7

OPENING DISCUSSION:

Spend time with your group members talking about their understanding of Judas Iscariot. What is the majority opinion of him? Why do people think he turned on Jesus? What do they think he lacked that the other disciples had? Also spend some time discussing the Passover meal. What was the history of the purpose of it? In today’s passage, we see Luke’s account of what really compelled Judas to betray Christ and the introduction to the most imtimate moments Christ had with his disciples before being betrayed.  

BIG PICTURE/MAIN IDEA:

Synopsis:  In God’s timing, Jesus’ teaching ministry ended and the unfair trial began as Satan used a disciple and friend to betray Jesus.

The passion narrative is introduced by a statement concerning the plot of the chief priests and teachers of the law to kill Jesus at the Passover (22:1–2). The plot is made possible by Satan entering into Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve (22:3). He agreed to help the chief priests and the officers in charge of the temple guard get rid of Jesus (22:4; cf. 20:19) in the absence of the crowd (22:6) since the crowd was positive toward Jesus. Luke’s account of Jesus’ preparation for His death includes two parts: Jesus’ final ministry to His close disciples at the Passover meal (vv. 7–38), and Jesus’ final hours praying alone in the garden (vv. 39–46).

KEY POINTS IN THE PASSAGE:

  • Judas, one of the Twelve decides to help the authorities get rid of Jesus.
  • Jesus made careful preparations for his last Passover meal with his disciples.
  • The Passover festival, with its message of death and deliverance, is to be the setting for Jesus’s saving death.

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

READ Luke 22:1-13 and answer the questions below:

What festival was drawing near, according to this passage?

Which one of the disciples conspired against Jesus? What was the reason, according to Luke?

What did the chief priests and scribes decide to give him?

What tradition took place on the day of the Passover?

Who did Jesus send to go and prepare a place for them to have the meal?

What did Jesus tell them to do? What did Jesus say would happen?

What happened when the disciples went into the town?

The Synoptic Gospels speak of the meal Jesus ate with His disciples as the Passover meal. But the Gospel of John indicates Jesus died on the cross at the exact time that lambs were slain in preparation for the nation’s Passover meals (John 19:14). But this can be explained by the fact that the Feast of Unleavened Bread was a seven-day feast following the one-day Feast of the Passover, but sometimes all eight days were called “the Passover” (Luke 2:41; 22:1; Acts 12:3–4) or the seven days were the “Passover Week” (John 19:14) A different explanation is that Jews in the first century followed two calendars in observing the Passover. According to this view, Jesus and His disciples observed one date, eating the Passover meal before His crucifixion, whereas most of the nation, including the Pharisees, followed the other calendar in which the Passover lambs were slain on the very day of Jesus’ death.

The first part of the passion narrative begins with the entrance to the city and the disciples’ preparation for the meal. Even during these final preparations for His death, Jesus was doing miraculous things. In this instance, He told Peter and John exactly what they would find when they went about the preparations of the Passover. It would be easy to recognize a man carrying a jar of water because women usually carried the water from the wells to their houses. The two disciples were to tell the person who owned the house that the Teacher wanted to use the guest room to eat the Passover with His disciples. The owner of the house must have been a believer in Jesus, for he let the disciples make preparations for the meal at his house.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Use the information from the text and the commentary notes below to help discern responses to the following questions. 

  • Why do you think Luke pointed out the absence of the crowds when describing the conspiracy between Judas and the Jewish religious leaders?
  • Why do you think Luke emphasized that “Satan entered into Judas” when describing the actions Judas took to betray Jesus?  
  • Why do you think Jesus wanted to perform the miracle in v. 10-12? Why is it important?

Luke’s emphasis on the work of Satan can be seen in his addition of “then Satan entered into Judas” (22:3; cf. Mark 14:10; Matt 26:14; but note John 13:27). In 4:13 Luke told his readers that the devil left Jesus “until an opportune time.” Now the opportune time had come. Jesus’ death was thus not just due to human evil on the part of official Israel. More was involved than this. The supreme evil one was also involved, for Satan was arrayed against God’s Son. Having failed at the temptation (4:1–13), he aggressively resumed his attack on God’s Son. Yet the reader knows that ultimately Jesus’ death was not due to the triumph of Satan and the chief priests. It was not because of official Judaism or even Satan that God’s Son had to die. Jesus went willingly to his death because God had ordained it (22:39–46). There is a divine necessity in this.  At least one other Lukan emphasis can be seen in his mention of the tradition of the money to be given Judas (23:5; cf. Mark 14:11; Matt 26:15). Later Satan entered into another “disciple,” Ananias, because of money (Acts 5:3), and this also resulted in sin and tragedy. Luke wanted his readers to remember what had already been said with regard to the danger of possessions and to heed Jesus’ teachings in this respect.

Historical and Cultural Background:

Passover was the most important of the three annual pilgrimage festivals in Jerusalem. The influx of Jews from across the Mediterranean world swelled the population of Jerusalem to several times its normal size, and the patriotic associations of the festival made it a time of great enthusiasm, but also potentially, under Roman occupation, of political disturbance. At the heart was the slaughter of the Passover lambs and the ritual meal that followed. This is what Jesus told his disciples to go and prepare for him and the rest of the group.

HOW DOES IT APPLY?

What can we learn from this passage and apply to our lives today? What does this teach us about Satan and how abilities? What does it teach us about God?

What do you think this passage teaches us about the importance of the Old Testament traditions? If they were important to Jesus, should they be important to us? Why or why not?

What do you think this passage teaches about Christ’s mission on earth? (Think about both his preparation for death, as well as fulfilling the Law) How are we called to continue Christ’s mission in our own lives?

COMMENTARY NOTES:

22:1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast was celebrated for seven days from 15–21 Nisan. Nisan, the first month in the Jewish sacred calendar, comes around the middle of March. Called the Passover. It is clear from this explanation that Luke was addressing a non-Jewish audience. Originally the Passover was a one-day feast that preceded by a day the Feast of Unleavened Bread, i.e., it was celebrated on the 14th of Nisan. In NT times, however, in popular thinking, the Passover was the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In the Talmud Jesus’ death is also associated with the Passover (cf. 1 Cor 5:7).

22:2 And the chief priests and the teachers of the law. Compare Luke 19:47–48; 20:19. For their future role in the passion, cf. 22:52, 54; 23:1, 4, 13, 35, 50–51. Were looking for some way. “Some way” is literally how (pōs). Tiede notes: “There is no longer any question whether Jesus should die. Only the question of means to that end is discussed.” For they were afraid of the people. Compare 20:19; see comments on 4:15. For the generally positive attitude of the people during the passion, cf. 23:27, 35a, 48. Whereas Luke referred to the cause of Jesus’ opponents’ fear (the people’s support of Jesus), Mark 14:2 refers to the possible result (“the people may riot”).

22:3 Then Satan entered Judas. Although Satan/devil has been mentioned in Luke 8:12; 10:18; 11:18; 13:16, he has been comparatively inactive since 4:13. In fact, he has been on the defensive and under attack, but now is his hour (cf. 22:53), and his frontal attack on Jesus begins again via Judas. For Satan “entering” or “departing,” cf. 8:30–32; Acts 5:3. Compare John 13:2 and especially 13:27.

22:4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard. This group referred to once again in 22:52, probably were the leaders of the temple police. How he might betray Jesus. For “betray” cf. 9:44; 18:32; 22:6, 21–22, 48; 23:25; 24:7, 20. We are not explicitly told why, from a human point of view, Judas betrayed Jesus. Was it for money? Yet in Mark 14:11 and here (Luke 22:5) money seems to have been after the fact, i.e., Judas was given money after he decided to betray Jesus (contrast Matt 26:15). Clearer is the what of Judas’s betrayal. What he betrayed was how (22:2) the chief priests and officers might seize Jesus quietly apart from the people. Judas provided this information. (That Judas betrayed the “messianic secret,” i.e., that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, is refuted by his absence at Jesus’ trial. When charges against Jesus were sought, Judas did not provide evidence that he was claiming to be the Messiah. After Jesus’ arrest Judas was no longer needed, for he had delivered Jesus into the hands of the chief priests.)

22:5 They were delighted. Judas provided the needed information on how they could arrest Jesus apart from the people (20:19). Thus he “simplified matters enormously.” Agreed to give him money. This does not appear to have been the main reason for Judas’s actions because it came after Judas already had agreed to betray Jesus (22:4). Matthew 26:15 specifies the amount—thirty pieces of silver. Luke may have mentioned money here to illustrate for his readers how money can destroy a person (cf. Luke 12:13–21; 16:19–31; 18:18–25).

22:6 Watched for an opportunity … when no crowd was present. “Watched” is literally was watching. Once again Luke mentioned the positive attitude of the crowd toward Jesus (cf. 19:48; 20:6, 19).

22:7 The day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. See comments on 22:1. Luke followed Mark 14:12 at this point and gave a popular, although inexact, dating of the Passover. (A similar example would be for those whose celebration of Christmas begins on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning.) Matthew 26:17 omits the reference to the sacrifice of the Passover lamb.

22:8 Since the Passover meal had to be eaten within the walled city of Jerusalem (Luke 2:41; 2 Chr 35:16–19), Jesus prepared to eat the meal within the city. Jesus sent Peter and John. Only Luke made explicit who the two disciples were (cf. Mark 14:13). Luke may have mentioned them here to reveal the leadership role of these two church leaders. Sending representatives in pairs is an ancient custom. Go and make preparations. This involved overseeing the sacrifice of the lambs in the temple, seeing that the lamb was roasted, preparing the place, and preparing all the side dishes and wine. For the ritual slaughtering of the Passover lamb. To eat the Passover. In the Synoptic Gospels the meal eaten on the night of Jesus’ betrayal was clearly the Passover.

22:10 As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water. From the following verse this appears to be less an example of Jesus’ foreknowledge than a prearrangement on his part (cf. Matt 26:18). A man carrying a jar of water would have been most unusual, for in the first century this was considered a task for women. Jesus may not have openly told the location of the upper room due to the presence of Judas, but this is speculative.

22:11 The Teacher asks. Since the owner knew of the prearrangement, this designation is sufficient. Compare Luke 19:31. Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? That the same Greek word is used here for “guest room” as in 2:7 for “inn” probably is not significant.

22:12 He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. This presupposes that Jesus prearranged to celebrate the Passover there. The owner had furnished the room with cushions and other furniture needed for eating the Passover. There is no reason to assume that the room upstairs (hyperōon) in Acts 1:13 and this upper room (anagaion) were the same. Make preparations there. Whereas the owner supplied the place and furniture for the celebration of the Passover, the two disciples were to prepare what was needed for the eating of Passover.

22:13 Found things just as Jesus had told them. Compare Luke 19:32. So they prepared the Passover. See comments on 22:8.

Posted in Group Notes, Luke 14, Luke: A Jesus for Everyone