Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 22:38-53

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Luke 22:38

The issue of taking swords has confused many. The point isn't that Jesus expected his disciples to engage in a holy war (vv. 49-51; John 18:36). He could only be indicating that there would be dangers in their future (see note on v. 36).

Luke 22:38

Those crucified often had the charges against them nailed to the cross above their heads. It was a great irony that they accused Jesus of being a king and then mocked him for it (vv. 36-37). Ironically, as the promised Christ, Jesus was the true King of the Jews (see note on 2:11). They were unwittingly speaking the truth.

Luke 22:39-53

Jesus' Test and Prayer in Gethsemane. Jesus prayerfully struggled to prepare himself to bear the sins of the world. His resolve to do God's will is an example and stands in contrast to his disciples who struggled to watch and pray.

Luke 22:39

Jesus and his disciple left the upper room (vv. 7-13) and went to the place Jesus spent his evenings that week (21:37). The other Gospels give us more details and tell us that Jesus went to a specific place called Gethsemane (Matt 26:36).

Luke 22:40

Jesus often instructed his disciples to pray about temptation. He never promised temptation would not come. Instead, he taught them to pray for divine help to overcome temptation and not fall into sin (vv. 31-32; 11:4; 21:36). Jesus exemplified his own instructions (vv. 41-44).

Luke 22:41

The custom for Jews in that day would have been to pray standing. Eventually, Jesus went from kneeling to lying face down on the ground (Matt. 26:38-39). Jesus' posture in prayer showed the weight of his burden.

Luke 22:42

cup. An Old Testament picture of divine wrath (Is. 51:17) and, more prominently, God's wrath (Isa. 51:17; Jer. 25:15). The agony of his experience is beyond our comprehension because we are sinful people and he was not. As the holy, divine Son of God, he understood better the horror and shame of sin. Thus, Jesus was not merely afraid of death. He recoiled at the thought of being the sin-bearer (see note on v. 37; Heb. 12:2). On the cross, he would satisfy God's wrath against sin (see note on Rom. 3:25). not my will. Jesus was not opposed to God's will. He would not consider the cup's removal unless the Father willed in. And because it was the will of the Father for him, he did drink fully the cup of wrath (John 18:11). See HC 124.

Luke 22:43

God did not send his messenger to remove the temptation (see note on v. 40). He was sent to strengthen Jesus to endure temptation and fulfill his Father's will (v. 42; see Dan. 10:18-19). angel. See note on 1:11.

Luke 22:44

agony. From Jesus' agonizing experience in prayer, he saw the fruition of God's plan (Isa. 53:11) and learned obedience as a Son (Heb. 5:8-9). prayed. God strengthened Jesus to pray more intently (v. 43). This allowed him to overcome his temptation to withdraw from God's plan. His reverent prayers were heard and answered by God (Heb. 5:7). Jesus would accomplish salvation and be raised back to life (Ps. 16:7-10; Isa. 53:12). sweat . . . blood. This might mean that Jesus was under so much stress he experienced a medical condition where capillaries burst in the sweat glands.

Luke 22:45

The disciples' sorrow (see John 16:6) led them to sleep instead of prayer (vv. 40, 46).

Luke 22:46

Jesus repeated his earlier instruction to pray watchfully against temptation (v. 40; see 18:1). This is an enduring command for all believers in every age.

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