December 1 - Luke 22:1-6

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Luke 22:1-6 – Judas’ Betrayal

The opening words of this passage point out Luke’s lack of intimate knowledge regarding the Jewish faith. He uses the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” and “Passover” interchangeably. These are two distinct festivals. The preparation for Passover began with the slaughter of a lamb on 14 Nisan (Jewish month). The celebration occurs as a meal centered around the lamb and includes liturgy as family and friends gather together. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a week-long feast. All leaven is removed from bread and during this week, that is what is to be eaten.

Luke’s combining of these two feasts shows once again, how he is unaware of the intricacies of Judaism and how he has relied on others to tell him how things happened so that he can relate the story to Theophilus and other Gentiles.

The leadership in Jerusalem has not been able to break the stalemate surrounding Jesus. The crowds still love him and Jesus refuses to give them any motive for arresting him. They are stuck. They needed something … anything to move forward. Passover was quickly approaching and if they didn't deal with him soon, more than likely he would leave Jerusalem and they couldn't afford to have him among the people any longer. His following was growing every day. They had to finish this.

Fortunately for their plans, there was one among those who were closest to Jesus whose weakness was greater than his love for the Lord. Luke tells us that Satan entered Judas Iscariot. The Gospel is clear on this point. There is no way to rescue Judas’ motives. He didn't do it out of some sense of bringing Jesus power and glory on earth. He responded to Satan’s urging. His heart no longer belonged to God. Luke is also clear that Judas accepted money for his betrayal. He knew what he was doing. He wasn't trying to build the treasury of the disciples. He was now on his own, making his own decisions, separate from those who had been called to follow Jesus.