Luke 22

* The treachery of Judas. (1-6) The passover. (7-18) The Lord's

supper instituted. (19,20) Christ admonishes the disciples.

(21-38) Christ's agony in the garden. (39-46) Christ betrayed.

(47-53) The fall of Peter. (54-62) Christ confesses himself to

be the Son of God. (63-71)

1-6 Christ knew all men, and had wise and holy ends in taking

Judas to be a disciple. How he who knew Christ so well, came to

betray him, we are here told; Satan entered into Judas. It is

hard to say whether more mischief is done to Christ's kingdom,

by the power of its open enemies, or by the treachery of its

pretended friends; but without the latter, its enemies could not

do so much evil as they do.
7-18 Christ kept the ordinances of the law, particularly that

of the passover, to teach us to observe his gospel institutions,

and most of all that of the Lord's supper. Those who go upon

Christ's word, need not fear disappointment. According to the

orders given them, the disciples got all ready for the passover.

Jesus bids this passover welcome. He desired it, though he knew

his sufferings would follow, because it was in order to his

Father's glory and man's redemption. He takes his leave of all

passovers, signifying thereby his doing away all the ordinances

of the ceremonial law, of which the passover was one of the

earliest and chief. That type was laid aside, because now in the

kingdom of God the substance was come.
19,20 The Lord's supper is a sign or memorial of Christ already

come, who by dying delivered us; his death is in special manner

set before us in that ordinance, by which we are reminded of it.

The breaking of Christ's body as a sacrifice for us, is therein

brought to our remembrance by the breaking of bread. Nothing can

be more nourishing and satisfying to the soul, than the doctrine

of Christ's making atonement for sin, and the assurance of an

interest in that atonement. Therefore we do this in rememberance

of what He did for us, when he died for us; and for a memorial

of what we do, in joining ourselves to him in an everlasting

covenant. The shedding of Christ's blood, by which the atonement

was made, is represented by the wine in the cup.
21-38 How unbecoming is the worldly ambition of being the

greatest, to the character of a follower of Jesus, who took upon

him the form of a servant, and humbled himself to the death of

the cross! In the way to eternal happiness, we must expect to be

assaulted and sifted by Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will try

to disgrace or distress us. Nothing more certainly forebodes a

fall, in a professed follower of Christ, than self-confidence,

with disregard to warnings, and contempt of danger. Unless we

watch and pray always, we may be drawn in the course of the day

into those sins which we were in the morning most resolved

against. If believers were left to themselves, they would fall;

but they are kept by the power of God, and the prayer of Christ.

Our Lord gave notice of a very great change of circumstances now

approaching. The disciples must not expect that their friends

would be kind to them as they had been. Therefore, he that has a

purse, let him take it, for he may need it. They must now expect

that their enemies would be more fierce than they had been, and

they would need weapons. At the time the apostles understood

Christ to mean real weapons, but he spake only of the weapons of

the spiritual warfare. The sword of the Spirit is the sword with

which the disciples of Christ must furnish themselves.
39-46 Every description which the evangelists give of the state

of mind in which our Lord entered upon this conflict, proves the

tremendous nature of the assault, and the perfect foreknowledge

of its terrors possessed by the meek and lowly Jesus. Here are

three things not in the other evangelists. 1. When Christ was in

his agony, there appeared to him an angel from heaven,

strengthening him. It was a part of his humiliation that he was

thus strengthened by a ministering spirit. 2. Being in agony, he

prayed more earnestly. Prayer, though never out of season, is in

a special manner seasonable when we are in an agony. 3. In this

agony his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling

down. This showed the travail of his soul. We should pray also

to be enabled to resist unto the shedding of our blood, striving

against sin, if ever called to it. When next you dwell in

imagination upon the delights of some favourite sin, think of

its effects as you behold them here! See its fearful effects in

the garden of Gethsemane, and desire, by the help of God, deeply

to hate and to forsake that enemy, to ransom sinners from whom

the Redeemer prayed, agonized, and bled.
47-53 Nothing can be a greater affront or grief to the Lord

Jesus, than to be betrayed by those who profess to be his

followers, and say that they love him. Many instances there are,

of Christ's being betrayed by those who, under the form of

godliness, fight against the power of it. Jesus here gave an

illustrious example of his own rule of doing good to those that

hate us, as afterwards he did of praying for those that

despitefully use us. Corrupt nature warps our conduct to

extremes; we should seek for the Lord's direction before we act

in difficult circumstances. Christ was willing to wait for his

triumphs till his warfare was accomplished, and we must be so

too. But the hour and the power of darkness were short, and such

the triumphs of the wicked always will be.
54-62 Peter's fall was his denying that he knew Christ, and was

his disciple; disowning him because of distress and danger. He

that has once told a lie, is strongly tempted to persist: the

beginning of that sin, like strife, is as the letting forth of

water. The Lord turned and looked upon Peter. 1. It was a

convincing look. Jesus turned and looked upon him, as if he

should say, Dost thou not know me, Peter? 2. It was a chiding

look. Let us think with what a rebuking countenance Christ may

justly look upon us when we have sinned. 3. It was an

expostulating look. Thou who wast the most forward to confess me

to be the Son of God, and didst solemnly promise thou wouldest

never disown me! 4. It was a compassionate look. Peter, how art

thou fallen and undone if I do not help thee! 5. It was a

directing look, to go and bethink himself. 6. It was a

significant look; it signified the conveying of grace to Peter's

heart, to enable him to repent. The grace of God works in and by

the word of God, brings that to mind, and sets that home upon

the conscience, and so gives the soul the happy turn. Christ

looked upon the chief priests, and made no impression upon them

as he did on Peter. It was not the mere look from Christ, but

the Divine grace with it, that restored Peter.
63-71 Those that condemned Jesus for a blasphemer, were the

vilest blasphemers. He referred them to his second coming, for

the full proof of his being the Christ, to their confusion,

since they would not admit the proof of it to their conviction.

He owns himself to be the Son of God, though he knew he should

suffer for it. Upon this they ground his condemnation. Their

eyes being blinded, they rush on. Let us meditate on this

amazing transaction, and consider Him who endured such

contradiction of sinners against himself.
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