Luke 22:39-71 (NIV)
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
39Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
If Jesus knew what the Father’s will was, why was this such agony? Because Jesus is going to the cross as a sacrifice for sins, and He was no dumb sacrificial animal, no victim of circumstances. He willingly resolved to lay down His life.
43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Reflections on prayer:
“Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Prayer doesn’t get man’s will done in heaven; it gets God’s will done on earth.”
“Don’t pray to escape trouble. Don’t pray to be comfortable in your emotions. Pray to do the will of God in every situation. Nothing else is worth praying for.”
–Samuel M. Shoemaker
“The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him sincerely.”
47While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
from This Day with the Master,
by Dennis F. Kinlaw
HIS WITNESS TO HIMSELF
Malchus, the servant of the high priest Caiaphas, was the Father’s last love note to Caiaphas. Malchus was the servant whose ear Peter sliced off during Jesus’ arrest. In his gracious mercy Jesus restored Malchus’s ear, and Malchus’s witness to Caiaphas of that event was the high priest’s last chance for repentance. It was God’s final witness to him: he put someone right in Caiaphas’s court who had been touched by the loving hand of Jesus. Oh, the unending mercy of God! If a person is lost, it will be in spite of himself and in spite of the evidence that God stacks up in his life. I am confident that Caiaphas did not employ Malchus for long after this incident of healing. I imagine that the sight of Malchus’s ear made Caiaphas uneasy and nervous.
When we choose not to obey and do not act on the witness God gives to us, sooner or later we will banish that witness from our lives because we cannot tolerate its suggestive presence. The love of God continues to point to him in all areas of life, even in the lives of the most hardened unbelievers, but some of us refuse to see or hear it.
Are you attentive to the witnesses to Christ that he has purposely placed all throughout your life? He witnesses not just to his own reality, but also to his love, his beauty, his truth, his goodness, his justice, and his magnificence. Are you listening and watching for the witness?
52Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
Peter Disowns Jesus
54Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
57But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
58A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
59About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
60Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62And he went outside and wept bitterly.
As much as Jesus’ promise that Peter would deny Him was true, so was the promise that your faith should not fail (Luke 22:32) – Peter has fallen, but he will not fall away.
The Guards Mock Jesus
63The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65And they said many other insulting things to him.
Jesus Before the Council
66At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.
Why did the Sanhedrin meet to put Jesus on trial again, after they had already condemned Him during the trial in the night?
Because by the Sanhedrin’s own laws and regulations the night trial described in Matthew 26:57-68 was illegal. To begin with, according to Jewish law, all criminal trials must begin and end in the daylight. This second trial was held because they knew the first one – the real trial – had no legal standing.
According to Jewish law, criminal cases could not be tried during the Passover season.
According to Jewish law, only an acquittal could be issued on the day of the trial; guilty verdicts had to wait one night to allow for feelings of mercy to rise.
According to Jewish law, all evidence had to be guaranteed by two witnesses, who were separately examined and could not have contact with each other.
According to Jewish law, false witness was punishable by death; nothing is done to the many false witnesses in Jesus’ trial.
According to Jewish law, a trial always began by bringing forth evidence for the innocence of the accused, before the evidence of guilt was offered; this was not the practice here.
67“If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.”
Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
70They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”
Exodus 3:14 (New American Standard Bible)
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
71Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
Twila Paris sings one of my favorites: “We Will Glorify.”
“We will glorify the King of Kings, we will glorify the Lamb, we will glorify the Lord of Lords, who is the great I AM.”