April 8 (1): Luke 22:22, 48

In this series of Easter season notes examining the Son of Man sayings in the Gospel of Luke, we now come to a pair of sayings (Luke 22:22 and 48), occurring in the narrative on the night of Jesus’ arrest.

Luke 22:22, 48

The saying in Luke 22:22 is part of the Synoptic tradition (par Mark 14:21; Matt 26:24), and follows the announcement of his betrayal (v. 21), which is found in some form in all four Gospels (Mk 14:18; Matt 26:21; John 13:21).

“(Indeed) the Son of Man travels according to the (way that has been) marked out, but (all the) more—woe for that man through whom he is given over!”

Mark uses the verb u(pa/gw (“lead under, go under”, i.e. “go back, go away”)—”the Son of Man goes under/away…” The use of poreu/omai (“go away [on a journey], travel”) by Luke may be meant as an echo of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51ff et al) which played such an important role as the centerpiece and setting of chapters 10-19. Mark also follows the primary declaration with the phrase “according to as [i.e. just as] it has been written about him”—Jesus thus emphasizes his impending arrest in terms of the fulfillment of Scripture, a theme which appears frequently in Luke-Acts (Lk 18:31; 22:37; 24:26-27, 44-46; Acts 1:16; 13:29, etc). It is somewhat unsual, perhaps, that Luke does not follow Mark in the formulation of Jesus’ saying here. However, the phrase used instead—”according to the (way that has been) marked out”—is equally significant for Luke, the verb o(ri/zw indicating the guiding power and direction of God’s will. Of the 8 occurrences of o(ri/zw (“mark out, set a boundary, limit”, i.e. determine, decree, appoint) in the New Testament, 6 are in Luke-Acts (cf. Acts 2:23; 10:42; 11:29; 17:26, 31). The idea of God’s sovereign will has been introduced (use of the theological passive) as parallel to the fulfillment of Scripture.

It is possible that the subsequent declaration of woe—”Oh/woe for that man [a)nqrw/pw| e)kei/nw|] through whom (the Son of Man) is given along [i.e. given over, betrayed]!”—may be meant to echo Jesus’ second prediction of his Passion (Lk 9:43b-45), which, contrary to the parallel versions in Matthew/Mark, mention only the betrayal. The Lukan version of that saying is extremely concise:

“…the Son of Man is about to be given along into the hands of men” (v. 44b)

For this neat parallel between “son of man” and “men” cf. the earlier note on this verse.

In vv. 47-53, we see narrated the fulfillment of this ‘giving over’ of Jesus “into the hands of men”, in which Luke generally follows the Synoptic tradition. There are two particularly notable pieces not found in Matthew/Mark, the first being Jesus’ words to Judas in verse 48, which also represents the second Son of Man saying:

“Yehudah {Judas}, you give along the Son of Man with (the) fi/lhma [mark of love/friendship, i.e. kiss]?”

This address to Judas gives even more prominence and emotional weight to the betrayal that occurs. The second major difference in Luke’s account is the concluding declaration by Jesus in verse 53b:

“…but this is your hour and the e)cousi/a [i.e. power, authority] of darkness!”

As in the prior Son of Man saying in verse 22, this statement in v. 53 takes the place of a reference in Mark (and Matthew) to the fulfillment of Scripture—compare Mark 14:49b:

“…but (so) that the Writings [i.e. Scriptures] might be (ful)filled”

In Luke, the “hour/authority of darkness” is parallel to the phrase “the (way that has been) marked out”—the hour of Jesus arrest and the events leading to his death are proceeding according to the will of God. The “authority” (e)cousi/a) of darkness” is also a formal parallel with “the hands of men” in Lk 9:44 (cf. Mk 14:41 par, “hands of sinners”).

It may be helpful to conclude with an outline of the episodes in the Lukan narrative between the Son of Man sayings in vv. 22, 48:

    • vv. 21-23—Son of Man / betrayal of Jesus
      • vv. 24-38—Jesus with his disciples—the coming time of trial
        • vv. 24-27—Teaching on discipleship: humility and self-sacrifice
        • vv. 28-30—Disciples standing by Jesus in time of trial: promise of reward
        • vv. 31-34—Prediction of Peter’s behavior in the time of trial
        • vv. 35-38—Teaching on discipleship: warning of the coming time of trial
      • vv. 39-46—Jesus with his disciples during prayer—the time of trial
    • vv. 47-53—Son of Man / betrayal of Jesus

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