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Spirit. This generation shall remain even to the end of the world, and shall one day make use of the signs of the last time, according to the instructions of Christ. Each particular member of the Church, however, has somehow a share in this promise. Accordingly, they must all of them act in accordance with it. The Lord therefore calls to them: Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be at any time overcharged with the after pains and excitements of drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore always, and pray, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.'
The Evangelist now casts a retrospective glance on these last days of the public ministry of Jesus. He characterizes His manner of life during this period with the words: In the daytime He taught in the temple; and at night He went out, and abode on the mount that is called the Mount of Olives. And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple, in order to hear Him.
As the Evangelist Luke gives the announcement of the judgment on Jerusalem in a more detailed form, the Saxon Anonyme paturally finds in this circumstance an expression of his enmity to the Jews (p. 167). Gfrörer makes the eschatological address to be composed from several small fragments, and descants upon it quite in the spirit of modern criticism (p. 315).
See above, vol. iv. pp. 124-5.
PREPARATION FOR THE LAST SUFFERINGS OF JESUS.
(Chap. xxii. 1–38.)
The feast of unleavened bread, called the Passover, was already near at hand; and still did the chief priests and scribes seek in vain? for some means how they might kill Him, for they feared the people. This means was now, contrary to all expectation, provided by one of the Twelve: Satan entered into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the Twelve. And he went forth, and communed with the chief priests, and-already even-with the captains of the temple-watch, in regard to the manner how he might betray Him unto them. And they were glad, and bargained to give him money. He, on the other hand, gave his word. And from that time he sought to find an opportunity to betray Him unto them, in the absence of the people. Meanwhile, however, the day of unleavened bread, on which the Passover must be killed, approached. Jesus therefore sent Peter and John (from the Mount of Olives, where, according to Luke, He was accustomed to spend the night), and said, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat. They said unto Him, Where wilt Thou that we prepare it? On which He gave them the following instructions: Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall meet you a man, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth, and say unto the master of the house, Where is the guest-chamber, where I shall eat the Passover with My disciples ? And he shall show you a large upper room furnished : there make ready. They went, and found as He had said unto them; and prepared the Passover. And when the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.
The Lord prepared them for the celebration with the words : • With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before
1 This is already indicated by the expression échtovy, and still more by the το πώς.
2 Already on the day on which the Passover was killed (14th Nisan) was leavened bread put away.
I suffer : for I say unto you, that I shall henceforth no more
Ι eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.' Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves : for I say unto you, I shall no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God is come.'
Thus He changed the commencement of the paschal celebration' into a preparation for the holy Supper, attaching the Supper itself to the termination of the ancient feast. In this preparation He spake of the loss which awaited Himself in the approaching separation from His disciples, in which also the loss which awaited them was announced. With comforting words, however, He pointed to the time of the coming of His kingdom. In the New Testament time, the Passover is indeed no longer partaken of in its old form—it has found its fulfilment, that is, its transformation into a New Testament shape. It is otherwise with the fruit of the vine. The use of it continues in the earthly form of the kingdom of God, in the holy Supper. He announces to them this transition of the Passover into the New Testament celebration, which again is an anticipation of its transition into a heavenly. And along with this He intimates at the same time, that He Himself will celebrate with them the new feast in the new epoch.
On this, the institution of the holy Supper itself followed. He took bread, gave thanks, brake it, and gave unto them, saying, * This is My body, which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also He took the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you.
For you—to this was attached, according to Luke, the restrictive remark: “ But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table. The Son of man goeth indeed, as it was appointed; but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed! And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it might be who should do—be capable of doing—this thing.
In the manner in which they held the conversation there might be an indication, that each regarded the other as capable of committing this crime, rather than himself. And thus, this so well-meant mutual questioning had still something in it allied 1 See above, vol. iv. pp. 166 ff.
? Not after the Supper. 3 Regarding the sequence of the single particulars, see above, iv. 158 ff.
to the temper of mind in which they contended with each other, which of them should be the greatest. This had last manifested itself at the feet-washing, before the paschal feast; and to it probably the following communication of the Evangelist refers. When the disciples came upon the perilous question, the Lord said unto them, “The kings of the Gentiles rule over them, and they that exercise authority over them are dignified with titles of honour. But ye shall not be so; but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger—the more insignificant—and the chief, as he that doth serve. For who is the greater? He who sitteth at table, or he that serveth ? Is it not he that sitteth at table ? But I am among you as he that serveth.'
This humbling rebuke to the disciples is followed by a word of comfort and promise : 'Ye are they who have continued with Me in My temptations. And I assure unto you, by testament, the kingdom—the glory of the kingdom—as My Father hath assured it to Me—with the provision-that ye shall eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'
The Lord had still something special to transact with Simon Peter: “Simon, Simon,' He thus addressed him with earnest regard, 'behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not. And thou, when once thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.' Peter met this warning and humbling word with the assurance, 'Lord, I am ready to go with Thee both into prison and to death. But He said, 'I tell thee, Peter—who still callest thyself Peter, the rock, though I have called thee Simon, Simon —the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou hast thrice denied that thou knowest Me.'
The Lord knew well how much their weakness was connected with a false feeling of strength, with confidence in themselves. He therefore found it necessary to bring to light the worm of this false self-trust in the midst of them (see iv. 185). He said unto them, “When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?' They answered Him, “Nothing.' Then said He unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it with him, and likewise his scrip; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.'
i See above, vol. iv. 189.
He recommended a great equipment, as if it concerned an emigration or a campaign. Without doubt, however, He intended an equipment purely spiritual.
But He knew also how they would understand Him. Therefore He continued : ‘For I say unto you, This word of scripture,
, which is written of Me, must yet be accomplished : He was even reckoned among the transgressors (Isa. liii.). For what is written
. concerning Me advances towards its end.'
The disciples thought, indeed, that He enjoined them to provide themselves with swords. And therefore they let out at once the secret of the equipment with which they were ready to meet the power of the enemy: 'Lord, behold, here are two swords !'
· More than enough !' answered the Lord, no doubt with an expression which gave them to know how entirely they had misunderstood Him, and how infinitely small and foolish He regarded such accoutrements against the power of the world. (See above, vol. iv. p. 186.)
These were the weapons which the disciples had procured for the great war which was to introduce the kingdom of heaven, in the room of the weapons of Christ. The Lord had indeed imparted to them the first beginnings of a better strength, and lastly He had done so by the institution of the holy Supper; but they still ever roamed out of the circle of inward composure and preparation, into the region of outward expectations and projects.
Luke passes by the history of the anointing at Bethany. By this means he is enabled to give a greater conciseness to his description of that which prepared the way for the apprehension of Jesus, the treachery of Judas. He remarks, that before the first commencement of the act of treachery, Satan entered into Judas. In regard to the relation in which this notice stands to the passage John xii. 27, see vol. iv. pp. 43–4. He mentions both the disciples by name, whom the Lord sent beforehand to prepare the Passover. He gives the watchword with which these two disciples should accost the unnamed owner of the Passover room, prepared for Him in Jerusalem, literally; as also does
The expression ixavóv indicates not a mere enough, but a rich and overflowing sufficiency.