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The Last Supper
Summary —The Rulers Take Steps to Slay the Lord. Judas Bargains to Betray Christ. The Passover Prepared. The Lord's Supper Instituted. The Traitor Pointed Out. Exhortation to the Apostles.
1, 2. The feast of unleavened bread. The Passover, so called because no leavened bread was eaten during the passover week. The chief priests … sought how they might put him to death. Tried to devise means to accomplish this without exciting the multitude. See Matt. 26:1–5 . 308
3–6. And Satan entered into Judas. He gave himself up to do the work of Satan. See notes on Matt. 26:14–16.
7, 8. And the day of unleavened bread came. Josephus calls both the fourteenth and fifteenth of Nisan, “the day of unleavened bread.” I have followed Neander, Tischendorf, Winer, Alford, Ellicott, Erasmus, Grotius, Calvin and others in the view that the Lord's passover was eaten one day before the Jews ate theirs, and that he died about the time that the paschal lambs were slain for the Jews' passover. See notes on John 18:28 and 19:31.
9–13. Where wilt thou that we make ready? On the preparation for the Passover, see notes on Matt. 26:17–19. A large upper room furnished. The upper room was usually the guest chamber.
14–20. When the hour was come. There are four accounts of the institution of the Lord's Supper: Matt. 26:26–30; Mark 14:22–25; 1 Cor. 11:23–25. See notes on Matthew. 309
21–23. The incident concerning the betrayal mentioned in these verses occurred before the Lord's Supper was eaten (Matt. 26:21). It seems probable, from John 13:21–35, that Judas left before the supper. On this passage, see notes on Matt. 26:21–25.
24–30. There arose a contention among them. This contention probably arose while they were taking seats for the paschal meal, each seeking the chief place. It was rebuked by the Lord washing their feet (John 13:3–5). See notes on Matt. 18:1–4. Benefactors. This very title has often been conferred on Gentile rulers, as Ptolemy Euergetes, “Ptolemy, the Benefactor,” one of the kings of Egypt. Ye shall not be so. Greatness shall be sought by serving. He is greatest who serves the world best. I appoint unto you a kingdom. A kingdom to be secured, not by conquering and ruling, but humility, self-denial, and service. “He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Thus shall the apostles be entitled to eat at the Lord's table in the kingdom, and to sit on thrones, etc. They attained these thrones, but they are spiritual, rather than temporal. See notes on Matt. 19:28.
35. When I sent you forth without purse. See Matt. 10:9–15; Mark 6:8, 9.
37. He was reckoned with transgressors. This, quoted from Isa. 53:12, was about to be fulfilled in him.
38. Here are two swords. How they come to be in their possession is not told. It is enough. This is a dismissal of the subject, not a warrant for their use. That was rebuked when Peter resorted to one (Matt. 26:52–54).
39–46. He went … unto the mount of Olives. See notes on Matt. 26:36–46, for the Agony in Gethsemane. Compare Mark 14:32–42. Luke alone mentions that his sweat became as great drops of blood a fact that portrays, as language could not, the agony of our Lord's struggle. 311
54–62. The Denial of Peter is recorded here, in Matt. 26:69–75; Mark 14:66–72 and John 18:15–27. See notes on Matthew's account. 312
66. As soon as it was day. The Lord had already been examined by Annas, and tried and condemned before Caiaphas in the night. To make it legal a meeting had to be held after daylight. See notes on Matt. 26:57–68. The assembly of the elders. The Sanhedrim. Led him into their council. Before the formal meeting of the body. This is the second time Jesus was before it and the second condemnation.
67. Art thou the Christ? He had already answered in the night and been condemned (Matt. 26:63, 64). His reply here is a protest.
68–71. Art thou then the Son of God? To this he answered directly, and on this they condemned him. The charge was blasphemy in saying that he was the Son of God. 313
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