Luke 22: 21-23 – Jesus Foretells His Betrayal

According to the gospels of Mark and Matthew, Jesus foretells his betrayal immediately before the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Mk 14: 18-21; Mt 26: 21-25). In the gospel of Luke, however, Jesus’ prediction of his betrayal takes place after the supper (Lk 22: 21-23). Perhaps Luke may have transposed this tradition in order to present it as part of Jesus’ final discourse to his disciples after the Last Supper. In act, Luke alone, among the synoptics, reports such a discourse. In the gospel of John too we find Jesus giving a long farewell discourse to his disciples after the supper (Jn 14: 17). But the discourse of Jesus in Luke (Lk 22: 21-38) has nothing in common with that in John. In John too Jesus announces his betrayal (cf. Jn 13: 2, 10-11, 18-19, 21-26) but this does not form part of the farewell discourse. Jesus’ discourse in Luke (Lk 22: 21-38), as also that in John, is highly composite in nature and it consists of different traditions which are loosely connected to each other. That is:

  1. Jesus foretells his betrayal (Lk 22: 21-23).
  2. The disciples and their place in the Kingdom (Lk 22: 24-30).
  3. Jesus foretells Peter’s denial (Lk 22: 31-34).
  4. The saying about the swords (Lk 22: 35-38).

Luke’s account of the betrayal (Lk 22: 21-23) is similar to gospel of Mark 14: 18-21, but gospel of Luke has worded it differently. Jesus’ announcement of his betrayal indicates his foreknowledge of what id going to happen. He says that the hand of the betrayer is with him on the table (Lk 22: 21). Jesus is aware that he would be betrayed by one of his own disciples who shared in the Last Supper. Perhaps a distant echo of Psalms 41: 9 is audible: “Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” In the saying that follows (Lk 22: 22) Jesus relates his betrayal (and his death) to the will of the Father. The events of the Passion are already determined by God, and the Son of Man journeys towards his destiny as determined for him by God. Thus Judas’ betrayal is also seen as part of the divine plan for Jesus. And yet the betrayer is not excused. Jesus does not, however, pass a judgment on the betrayer as in gospel of Mark 14: 21, nevertheless he says emphatically: “woe to that man whom the Son of Man is betrayed” (Lk 22: 22).

The emphasis in the Lukan account is on Jesus’ fore-knowledge about his betrayal that leads to death, and on his acceptance of his suffering destiny as willed by God. Jesus’ prediction of his betrayal is also a warning to the reader who should recognize that even sharing in the Lord’s Supper is no guarantee that he will not betray his Lord.

27 thoughts on “Luke 22: 21-23 – Jesus Foretells His Betrayal

  1. My first School Sharon was a Catholic one and when my Mother abandoned me I was going to be cared for in a Catholic Orphanage but instead my father took me home to be with him. I remember the Nuns being very gentle and kind, they cuddled me, something that rarely happened when I was little and for some years I wanted to be one of them but I walked a different rocky path until God rescued me when I called out to Him in desperation, wanting and needing His help. I’m not a Nun but I respect God’s heart Children regardless of what Denomination they are part of, it’s what is in their heart not their head that counts. Jesus died for all those in the world, no we don’t have to like or accept the wrong they do and say but we are to Love everyone.

    Thank you again Sharon, I may not always comment but I’m often blessed by what you share because right or wrong I see in your messages your devotion and commitment to God, the rest follows when we seek Him with all our heart.

    Christian Love Anne.

  2. Hi Sharon, I appreciate very much how you seek confirmation in the Scriptures, so many trust in their own understanding, without God’s Wisdom, Reasoning and Logic, but when asked for, we can discern His Truth in the Bible as Jesus Teaches us all things and His Truth is written on our hearts. It is not strange that Jesus knew Judas would betray Him as you said , God knows all things and Jesus being indwelt by The Holy Spirit knew who would turn away and the destiny of all His disciples as God knows ours, that is why Jesus was known as a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, because of His great Love for us and in knowing also His Father’s heart would be broken if we were eternally separated from Him so Jesus said Your will be done Father. We also know the things of God that are needed when we are Born Again and have the mind of Christ 1Corinthians2:9-16 Jesus of course knows all things now that He is Compleat in The Godhead or Trinity as they are called today but on earth we know that the hour and time of His return were not known to Him but He knew the signs and we need to also.

    Scripture always confirms Scripture, we are told that many things Jesus did were not recorded, ( see below) so we ask Jesus Christ if we have any doubts. He would have talked about His coming death more than a few times to prepare His Disciples, it was also Prophesied as you shared Sharon in some other parts of the Old Testament, to have different accounts is not unusual as we remember eye witnesses have different recall of the same happening but all the accounts in the Scriptures are True and are inspired by God, focusing on what is important for us to know.

    John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

    John 20 :30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

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