July 18, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Luke 21-22
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Context: As Jesus’ final days on earth count down, He continues teaching. He emphasizes that giving is not about the amount, but the heart. The rich gave leftovers. The poor woman gave her meal. When Jesus talks of the signs of the end of the age, He tells of events that must happen before the end. But these events occurring do not the mean the end is here. Do not obsess over the date and the time of the end, but instead, it is more important to have our life in order for the end. Satan using Judas is a warning to all believers: even those closest to the Lord can fall to Satan’s sway. Passover was to be celebrated with family, as a time of remembrance of the Lord bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. Jesus made His disciples family, as we are all brother and sisters in Christ. Ironically, it is as the Jews celebrate their deliverance, that they plan and murder their ultimate deliverer. Peter is another warning to believers. He also fell to Satan. The difference between Judas and Peter is their reactions afterwards. Judas was overcome with guilt and grief, he killed himself. Peter repented and came back stronger for his trial. Several Jewish laws were broken during the trial of Jesus: Jesus was not allowed to defend Himself, Jesus never confessed - He simply repeated what was said to Him, and His trial was not legal (no trials were to be held during Passover)!
World History: Dinner tables during the time of Jesus were not like our dinner tables. They were low to the ground, around the height of coffee tables today. People did not sit on chairs, rather, they reclined on pillows on the floor or low couches. Unleavened bread was eaten as a reminder of what was brought out of Egypt. Now it represents the broken body of Christ, which carried out sins. In times of extreme stress, it is possible to have blood in your sweat. Luke is the only gospel writer to mention this, which may have been due to him being a physician and understanding the significance and rarity of such an occurrence. A kiss was a sign of friendship. Judas used this sign of friendship to betray Jesus.