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Wednesday Bible Study
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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Christ Prays in Gethsemane

Luke 22:45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 

The emotional strain was wearing on the disciples as well as Christ. 

Their response, however, was to capitulate to fleshly cravings. Thus they gratified their immediate desire for sleep, rather than staying awake to pray for strength, as Christ had commanded them (v. 40). All the reasons for their subsequent failure are found in their behavior in the garden. 

Luke 22:46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” 

A tender appeal to the disciples, who in their weakness were disobeying Him at a critical moment. He may have been summoning them to a standing posture, to help overcome their drowsiness. Matthew 26:43 and Mark 14:40 reveal that He again found them sleeping at least one more time.

Judas Betrays Christ

Luke 22:47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 

These were heavily armed representatives of the Sanhedrin (Mt 26:47; Mk 14:43), accompanied by a Roman cohort with lanterns, torches, and weapons (Jn 18:3). 

Judas kiss... A typical greeting, but this was the prearranged signal by which Judas would identify Christ for the soldiers. 

Luke 22:48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Luke 22:49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?

Luke 22:50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 

All 4 gospels record this incident. Only John reveals that the swordsman was Peter and the victim was named Malchus (Jn 18:10). And only Luke, the physician, records the subsequent healing (v. 51).

All 4 gospels record this incident. Only John reveals that the swordsman was Peter and the victim was named Malchus (Jn 18:10). And only Luke, the physician, records the subsequent healing (v. 51).

Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 

This is the only instance in all of Scripture where Christ healed a flesh wound. 

The miracle is also unique in that Christ healed an enemy, unasked, and without any evidence of faith in the recipient. 

It is also remarkable that such a dramatic miracle had no effect whatsoever on the hearts of those men. 

Neither had the explosive power of Jesus’ words, which knocked them to the ground (Jn 18:6). They carried on with the arrest as if nothing peculiar had happened (v. 54). 

Luke 22:52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs?

Luke 22:53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” 

I.e., nighttime, the hour of darkness. They had not the courage to confront Jesus in the presence of the crowds at the temple, where He had openly taught each day. 

Their skulking tactics betrayed the truth about their hearts. Nighttime was a fitting hour for the servants of the power of darkness (Satan) to be afoot (cf. Jn 3:20, 21; Eph 5:8, 12–15; 1Th 5:5–7).

Peter Denies Christ

Luke 22:54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 

Peter was following at a distance. All 4 gospels record this fact. John indicates that another disciple —presumably himself—also followed (Jn 18:15).

Luke 22:55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.

Luke 22:56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”

All 4 gospels mention her. She appears to have been the doorkeeper of Annas’ house. 

Luke 22:57 But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 

John 18:13–18 says this first denial took place while Jesus was being examined by Annas, father-in- law to Caiaphas. 

Both accounts mention a fire in the courtyard (v. 55; Jn 18:18) so it may be that the houses of Annas and Caiaphas shared a common courtyard. Only John mentions the examination by Annas, so the other gospels describe Peter’s 3-fold denial as an incident that took place in the porch and courtyard of Caiaphas’ house.

Luke 22:58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 

“Another” is a masculine pronoun in the Gr., indicating a man. Mark 14:69 says this second challenge to Peter came from the same servant-girl who first recognized him (v. 56). The supposed discrepancy is easily reconciled when it is remembered that Peter was among several bystanders, and many of them questioned him at once (Mt 26:73). He responded with his second denial.

Luke 22:59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”

Luke 22:60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

Luke alone records that Jesus made eye contact with Peter.

The verb used suggests an intent, fixed look. The fact that He could see Peter suggests that the men holding Jesus had already brought Him into the courtyard to beat Him (v. 63).

Luke 22:62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Christ is Beaten

Luke 22:63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 

Luke includes no details about Caiaphas’ first interrogation of Jesus, recorded in Mt 26:59–68; Mk 14:55–65. The beating described here evidently took place after that first examination, before the Sanhedrin could assemble for its official hearing (v. 66).

Luke 22:64 And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?”

Luke 22:65 And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.


Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 121). Nashville: Thomas Nelson. MacArthur, J. F., Jr., MacDonald, Farstad, Believers Bible; Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 2195). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.