Luke 22:7-13. Peter and John Prepare the Passover
7 Now the first day of Unleavened Bread came, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 And so Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it." 9 They said to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare it?" 10 And He said to them, "When you have entered the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into the house that he enters. 11 And you shall say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"' 12 And he will show you a large, furnished upstairs room; prepare it there." 13 And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
JW Commentary (vv. 7-13): Finding a room in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover meal wasn't easy with all the crowds of Pilgrims. Jesus now gives some peculiar instructions. Normally women would be carrying jars (keramion, "an earthenware vessel, (water) jar"979), while men would be carrying leather bottles or skins (askos).980 Jesus' instruction sounds like some kind of pre-arranged signal, perhaps in order to hold the meal in secret, in a place unknown to his enemies. Edersheim comments, "Evidently, neither the house where the Passover was to be kept, nor its owner, was to be named beforehand within hearing of Judas."981 There could also be a reference to Jesus' supernatural knowledge, similar, perhaps, to Jesus' instructions for obtaining a donkey for the triumphal entry (19:30-31).
An upper room would be an extra room, built onto the flat roof of a typical Palestinian house. It was probably "furnished" (Greek strōnnyō, "to equip something with appropriate furnishings"982) with carpets and cushions on which guests would recline for their meal. Edersheim speculates that this was probably the house of a follower, perhaps St. Mark's parents' home (cf. Mark 14:51-52; Acts 12:12).983 He supposes that all that is needed for the meal is already in the upper room -- wine for the four cups, cakes of unleavened bread, and the bitter herbs.
All Peter and John would need to do would be to sacrifice the Passover lamb at the temple. Either Peter or John would have personally cut the lamb's throat at the appropriate time in the temple service. The lamb would then be roasted on a pomegranate wood spit, and the lamps prepared for the room.984
Jesus instructs the disciples to convey this message: "The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?" (verse 11). Many hosts in crowded Jerusalem would combine several families of pilgrims for a Passover meal. But Jesus is asking for a private meal with his disciples only.
The connection between this passage and the prior suggests that the main reason Jesus was so secretive was due to His knowledge of Judas' intention to betray Him. Jesus was not avoiding the chief priests murder plot through Judas as much as trying to postpone it so He could preserve the last intimate time with His disciples before His death.
LUKE 22:14-23. HE RECEIVED A CUP
14 When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes." 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body, which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup, which is poured out for you, is the new covenant in My blood.
"I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (v. 15). The Synoptics agree that this is a Passover observance (Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-14; Luke 22:7, 15). The Gospel of John places the supper a day earlier (John 18:28; 19:31).
"for I tell you, I will no longer by any means eat of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God" (v. 16). Some translations say "I will not eat it again," but "no longer" is not found in the best manuscripts. There is some question about whether Jesus ate and drank at this Passover. Luke does not tell us. Jesus is looking forward to the messianic banquet in the kingdom of God.
"He received a cup" (v. 17a). Jesus starts with the cup rather than the bread. There are two cups (vv. 17, 20). Four cups are used in the traditional Passover observance, and the relationship of the two cups to the four cups is uncertain.
"Take this, and share it among yourselves" (v. 17b). The divided cup will unite Christ's disciples.
"He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them" (v. 19a). These are the same four actions that Jesus took at the feeding of the five thousand (9:16) and the Emmaus meal (24:30), except that he blessed the bread in those two cases but gives thanks here.
"This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me" (v. 19b). The present imperative Greek verb implies continuing action, such as "Keep doing this" or "Do this regularly." The Passover reminds Israel of God's intervention in its behalf (Exodus 12:14), and this supper will remind Jesus' disciples of his intervention in their behalf.
"Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you'" (v. 20). Other Synoptics say, "this is my blood of the new covenant" (Mt. 26:28; Mark 14:24). Luke's language places the emphasis on covenant rather than blood, and is thus like 1 Cor. 11:25 instead of the other Synoptics. Moses ratified the old covenant by pouring sacrificial blood on the altar and the people (Exodus 24:6-8). Jesus ratifies the new covenant by pouring out his own blood. At the first Passover, the people were saved by the blood of a lamb; at this Passover, we are saved by the blood of the Lamb.
NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: LUKE 22:7-13
7Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it." 9They said to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare it?" 10And He said to them, "When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. 11And you shall say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"' 12And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there." 13And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
22:7 "Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed" There is a chronological difference between the Synoptic Gospels (Passover) and John (the day of preparation, cf. Exod. 12:6; John 13:1; 18:28) on exactly what day the Lord's Supper took place. Remember that Jewish days start at dusk because of Genesis 1. The day of Jesus' crucifixion is uniform in all four Gospels as being Friday. If one retraces the lunar calendar back to Jesus' day in a.d. 30, the 14th of Nisan (cf. Lev. 23:5-6) fell on a Thursday, the 15th of Nisan on a Friday, which fits exactly.
22:8 "And Jesus sent Peter and John" Only Luke names these two preparers. Usually James is included with this inner circle of Apostles, but not here.
▣ "Go and prepare" This is a good example of an idiomatic use of a participle before an imperative, where both are used as imperatives (cf. Matt. 28:19).
This preparation would have been done on the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan. The meal would be eaten that night (the 15th of Nisan).
22:9 "Where do You want us to prepare it" The disciples did not know the exact location, possibly because Jesus did not want Judas' betrayal to interrupt the meal.
22:10 "a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water" Woman usually carried water in pitchers, men sometimes carried it in animal skins. This is another of many examples in the Gospels that can be interpreted as (1) the supernatural knowledge of Jesus or (2) a pre-arranged setting. The people of Jerusalem and surrounding areas opened their homes during these festival occasions for pilgrims.
22:11 "And you shall say to the owner of the house" This may have been John Mark's home, which became the disciples' meeting place in Jerusalem known as the upper room (cf. Acts 12:12).
▣ "the guest room" See note at Luke 2:7, where it is translated "inn."
NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: LUKE 22:14-23
14When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." 17And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; 18for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes." 19And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 20And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. 21But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. 22For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!" 23And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.
22:14 "When the hour had come" This would be twilight on the beginning of the 15th of Nisan.
▣ "He reclined at the table" Remember the Lord's Supper was done as all Jewish meals, by reclining on the left elbow around a horseshoe-shaped, low table.
22:15 This verse has two wordplays.
Jesus had forewarned them several times (cf. Luke 9:22-27; Mark 8:31-9:1; Matt. 16:21-28; 17:9,12,22-23; 20:18-19) of His upcoming suffering in Jerusalem at the instigation of the Jewish authorities and the cruel Roman justice (crucifixion).
22:16 "I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God" This is a strong double negative, which refers to the Passover meal. It seems to be a reference to the Messianic banquet (cf. Luke 22:18,30; 14:15; Matt. 8:11; 26:29; Rev. 19:9).
This metaphor of intimate fellowship is hard to interpret. It obviously refers to table fellowship, which was so important in ancient Israel and the Near East. However, is it to be understood literally? Resurrected bodies do not need physical food. It is this type of idiomatic language about the afterlife that caused the Pharisees to think of it in such earthly, physical terms (Islam also). Humans have many questions about the afterlife, but the Bible speaks of it in symbol, idiom, analogy, and metaphor. Perhaps 1 Cor. 2:9, which is a quote from Isa. 64:4 and 65:17, is best!
▣ "kingdom of God" See Special Topic at Luke 4:21.
22:17-20 There is a manuscript variant in these verses. The long text (Luke 22:17-20) is recorded in the NASB, NRSV, NJB, NKJV, TEV. It is not in Manuscript D, on which the King James Version is normally based, but it is in the other four, most ancient witnesses (MSS P75, א, A, B) and is quoted by Justin Martyr around a.d. 150.
In the short text (Luke 22:17-19a), the wine comes before the bread, which follows the order of 1 Cor. 10:16 (and the Didache 9:1-3). If the longer text is followed, then the order is reversed which is found in Matthew, Mark, and 1 Cor. 11:23-27.
There are two good discussions of this textual problem:
This textual problem does not affect any Christian doctrine (because of the parallels in Matthew and Mark), but only a proper reading of Luke and his purposes and idiosyncrasies as an author. At the stage of textual criticism there is no way to determine the reading of the autograph copy (original handwritten copy) of Luke. Both forms were known to second century Christians.
22:17 "a cup" There are four cups of blessing during the Seder service. I believe that Jesus used the third cup of blessing as the point of departure from the national meal of Israel to the new meal of the church.
SPECIAL TOPIC: PASSOVER (ORDER OF SERVICE)
22:18 "the fruit of the vine" See Special Topic below.
SPECIAL TOPIC: BIBLICAL ATTITUDES TOWARD ALCOHOL AND ALCOHOLISM
22:19 "some bread" Notice that the lamb is not mentioned. This meal has a completely new relevance for the church and is not linked inseparably to an annual Feast of national Israel. It symbolized a new deliverance (exodus) from sin (i.e., the new covenant, cf. Jer. 31:31-34).
▣ "This is My body" There have been four major understandings of this meal in the church:
The interpretation that the elements actually become the body and blood of Christ comes from John 6:43-58 which, however, in context, it records the feeding of the five thousand and the Jews expectation that the Messiah would feed them as Moses did, not the Lord's Supper.
▣ "do this in remembrance of Me" This is a Present active imperative. The phrase is unique to Luke's Gospel. The word anamnēsis occurs twice in Paul's account of the Lord's Supper in 1 Cor. 11:24,25. Luke may have gotten his terminology from Paul's churches. This is probably why there are several non-Lukan forms and words in Luke 22:19b-20.
SPECIAL TOPIC: POURED OUT
▣ "the new covenant in My blood" This new covenant is described in Jer. 31:31-34, Ezek. 36:22-36, and Zech. 9:11. It was horrid for Jews to think of drinking blood (cf. Lev. 17:14). It is obvious that Jesus is referring to His sacrificial death and not of literally drinking His blood!
EW Commentary-Luke 22:7-20
(22:7-13) Preparations for the Passover.
Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat." So they said to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare?" And He said to them, "Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. Then you shall say to the master of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"' Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready." So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.
a. Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread: This must have been a very moving commemoration for Jesus. Passover remembers the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, which was the central act of redemption in the Old Testament. Jesus now provided a new center of redemption to be remembered by a new ceremonial meal.
i. "The phrase 'the day of unleavened bread' is a generic description of the week-long feast... It originally celebrated the beginning of harvest, but later was combined with Passover." (Pate)
b. A man... carrying a pitcher: This was an unusual sight, because carrying a pitcher was typically a woman's work, and generally men carried liquids in animal's skin containers. This would be a distinctive sign to the disciples.
c. The Teacher says to you: The scene here implies secrecy, and Jesus had good reason to quietly make arrangements for Passover. He didn't want Judas to betray Him before He could give a final talk to the disciples.
d. Eat the Passover with My disciples: The mention of Passover brings up complicated issues of the precise calendar chronology of these events. The main complicating issue is that Matthew, Mark, and Luke present this meal Jesus will have with His disciples as the Passover meal - normally eaten with lamb which was sacrificed on the day of Passover with a great ceremony at the temple. Yet John seems to indicate that the meal took place before the Passover (John 13:1), and that Jesus was actually crucified on the Passover (John 18:28).
3. (14-18) Jesus eats the Passover with His disciples.
When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is 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 to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
a. With fervent desire I have desired: This was a passionate moment for Jesus. It wasn't so much that He was saying goodbye to His disciples, as much as now He arrived at the central reason why He came to man: to institute a new covenant with men, based on His own sacrifice. This was not the beginning of the end; it was the beginning of the beginning.
b. He took the cup: In the following verses Luke tells us Jesus also took the cup after supper (Luke 22:20). It seems that Jesus took the cup both before and after the bread. According to the customs of a Passover dinner, this was nothing unusual - there were normally four different cups of wine ceremonially sipped during the meal.
c. I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes: Jesus has not yet celebrated a Passover in heaven. He is waiting for all His people to be gathered to Him, then there will be a great supper, known as the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9). This is the fulfillment in the kingdom of God Jesus longs for.
4. (22:19-20) Jesus reinterprets Passover, instituting the New Covenant.
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you."
a. He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them: When the bread was lifted up at Passover, the head of the meal said: "This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Let everyone who hungers come and eat; let everyone who is needy come and eat the Passover meal." Everything eaten at the Passover meal had symbolic meaning. The bitter herbs recalled the bitterness of slavery; the salt water remembered the tears shed under Egypt's oppression. The main course of the meal - a lamb freshly sacrificed for that particular household - did not symbolize anything connected to the agonies of Egypt. It was the sin-bearing sacrifice that allowed the judgment of God to pass over the household that believed.
i. The Passover created a nation; a slave mob was freed from Egypt and became a nation. This new Passover also creates a people; those united in Jesus Christ, remembering and trusting His sacrifice.
b. This is My body which is given for you... This cup is the new covenant in My blood: Jesus didn't give the normal explanation of the meaning of each of the foods. He reinterpreted them in Himself, and the focus was no longer on the suffering of Israel in Egypt, but on the sin-bearing suffering of Jesus on their behalf.
c. This is My body which is given for you... This cup is the new covenant in My blood: The precise understanding of these words from Jesus have been the source of great theological controversy among Christians.
d. This cup is the new covenant in my blood: Remarkably, Jesus announced the institution of a new covenant. No mere man could ever institute a new covenant between God and man, but Jesus is the God-man. He has the authority to establish a new covenant, sealed with blood, even as the old covenant was sealed with blood (Exodus 24:8).
Luke 22:7-20 Extra Commentary
Luke 22:7 "Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed."
"Day of unleavened bread": I.e., the first day of the feast season. The people from Galilee celebrated the Passover on Thursday evening so the lambs were killed in the afternoon of that day. The disciples and Jesus ate the Passover meal that evening, after sundown (when Passover officially began). Judeans would follow this same sequence one day later, on Friday.
Jesus is the Passover Lamb, and He is also the Unleavened Bread. Unleavened means free from sin. Jesus is the Bread of life. As we have said before, even "Bethlehem" where Jesus was born means house of bread.
Luke 22:8 "And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat."
"Peter and John": Identified only by Luke.
"Go and prepare": This was no small task. They had to take the paschal lamb to be sacrificed, and make preparations for a meal for 13 (verse 14). But preliminary arrangements for the meal had apparently been made personally by Jesus Himself, and the owner of the upper room was taking care of many of those details for them.
This last supper that Jesus was to eat with his disciples was what Peter and John were to go to prepare. This last supper would be served in the upper room. Jesus Himself, is the Passover Lamb and will be crucified on the 14th day of Nissan which is Passover. The Jewish day begins at 6 P.M. in the evening and goes to 6 P.M. the next day.
In Genesis, God established the evening and morning being a day. He ate the same day He was crucified. He ate the Passover supper just after 6 P.M. and was crucified later that day at approximately 9 A.M. in the morning.
Luke 22:9-10 "And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?" "And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in."
"Bearing a pitcher of water": Probably part of his work to prepare for the meal. Normally carrying water was woman's work, so a man carrying a pitcher would stand out. It is unlikely that the water pitcher was any sort of prearranged signal.
Christ's knowledge of what the man would be doing at the precise moment the disciples arrived appears to be a manifestation of His divine omniscience.
Luke 22:11 "And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?"
Here again, the Spirit of God has undoubtedly gone ahead and made preparations for Jesus and the disciples to have this room for the last supper.
Luke 22:12 "And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready."
"A large upper room furnished": One of many such rooms for rent in Jerusalem that were maintained for the express purpose of providing pilgrims a place to celebrate feasts. The furnishing undoubtedly included everything necessary to prepare and serve a meal
Here we see this is to be a large upstairs room where there would not be a disturbance from the busy streets.
Luke 22:13 "And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."
Little did these disciples know that their blessed Jesus was the true Passover Lamb. Their making ready consisted of making sure there was no leaven, getting special plates, and doing the things generally done by the father of the home for Passover.
Luke 22:14 "And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him."
"The hour was come": I.e., sundown, marking the official beginning of Passover.
Luke 22:15 "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:"
"I have desired": (John 13:1). Jesus wanted to prepare them for what was coming.
Jesus calls this meal that they are partaking of the Passover. As I explained earlier, it is possible that just after 6 P.M. on what we would call Thursday evening, Jesus could have eaten Passover with His disciples. At 6 P.M. that evening, Passover could have begun.
The next morning which would still have been Passover, they crucified Jesus at the third hour (between 6 A.M.-9 A.M.) six hours later at the ninth hour Jesus died. At the latest, it would have been 3 P.M., leaving plenty of time to get Him to the tomb before their Sabbath began at 6 P.M.
This way Jesus could have eaten Passover with the disciples and yet was the Passover Lamb, as well.
Luke 22:16 "For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
"Fulfilled": Christ's death on the following day fulfilled the symbolism of the Passover meal. Passover was both a memorial of the deliverance from Egypt, and a prophetic type of the sacrifice of Christ.
Jesus is eating Passover for the last time before His crucifixion. The next Passover that any of them eat will not even be called Passover, but Communion. When the bread and wine are taken, it will be in remembrance of the true Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The kingdom of God that Jesus established was the church of the living God.
Luke 22:17-18 "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide [it] among yourselves:" "For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come."
"And he took the cup": Luke mentions two cups (verse 20). The Passover Seder involved the sharing of 4 cups of diluted red wine. This cup was the first of the 4 (the cup of thanksgiving), and was preliminary to the institution of the Lord's Supper. It represented the end of His time of eating and drinking with the disciples, particularly partaking of the Passover (verse 18; 5:34-35; Matt. 9:15; 26:29).
In verse 18 here, it seems to be telling us that this is the last of the Passover for the believers; because (in verses 19 and 20), He seems to begin Holy Communion.
Luke 22:19 "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me."
"This is my body": I.e., it represented His body (the words of 8:11), "the seed is the word of 'God", and also (verse 20). Such metaphorical language was a typical Hebraism. No Eucharistic miracle of transubstantiation was implied, nor could the disciples have missed the symbolic intent of His statement, for His actual body, yet unbroken, was before their very eyes.
"This do": Thus, He established the observance as an ordinance for worship.
"Remembrance of me": Passover had looked forward to the sacrifice of Christ; He transformed the Seder into an altogether different ceremony, which looks back in remembrance at His atoning death.
Luke 22:20 "Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [is] the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
"Also the cup": This is the third (the cup of blessing), of the 4 cups in the Passover celebration.
"After supper" (1 Cor. 11:25). These two verses are virtually identical in form. Paul stated that he had received his information about this event from the Lord Himself (1 Cor. 11:23).
"This cup is the new testament": Clearly the cup only represented the New Covenant.
Jesus is saying in this communion that the old law of Passover is being made the new covenant of His blood. What the law could not do, Jesus' shed blood did: purchased our salvation. We have talked throughout the Bible study how Jesus is the Bread. In fact, He is the unleavened Bread.
His body (free of sin), is symbolized by the unleavened Bread. His blood is symbolized by the fruit of the vine. When we take communion, we are remembering what great price Jesus paid on the cross to save us.