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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


5. Jesus' Farewell Words to His Disciples (Luke 22:21-38)

LUKE 22:31-34
31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

After Christ bequeathed to his disciples the kingdom of God, Peter saw himself sitting at the right hand of the Son, reigning with him forever. He relied on his own experience, strength, courage, and revealed testimony; but did not see the hidden movements of the invisible world which would cause the apostles to fall.

The divine wisdom permits Satan to appear before God to accuse the saints, and to take permission to test them. This testing is like sifting the believer several times with a coarse sieve to separate the good seed from the tares. Similarly, the evil one took permission from God to sift the twelve disciples mercilessly in order to shake them, and prove that they were unequal for apostolic office. Are you aware of the striving between God and Satan for us behind the scenes in the universe? The devil is determined to destroy you. So what are you: tares, or barley?

Jesus addressed Simon twice using his old name, to warn him, and to show him that his old hot temper was still in him. Christ not only foresaw Peter’s fall, but also prayed and mediated for him to God, asking that he would strengthen his faith. This shows that no man lives by his own strength, but his faith, love and hope are a result of Christ’s intercession. Therefore your faith is a grace. It is not your own work.

Jesus looked farther into the future. He foresaw Peter’s regret and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on him. He also foresaw that Peter, after his denial, would rise boldly, not by his own strength, but guided by the Holy Spirit, and announce fearlessly God’s truths in the gospel. This was the radical conversion in Peter’s life: that he discovered he was nothing in himself, a coward, and sinful; but Christ’s grace alone purified and empowered him to successful testimony of Christ’s redemption. Thus Peter who had been self-confident and failed, later became a comforter to many. He proclaimed God’s power by a living faith founded on true repentance. He confessed to the first apostolic council: “We believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and not through our own futile strength.”

At the time when they were in the upper room, it did not occur to Peter that he might fall or be converted, but claimed that he was ready even to die with Christ in his struggle. Jesus looked at him sadly, and told him who had testified that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, would fail, openly deny him thrice, claiming that he did not know or ever saw the Savior of the world. The cock-crowing would prove that Christ is the Merciful and Omniscient One, who had forewarned him and put him on his guard.

LUKE 22:35-38
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” 36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” 38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

When Jesus wrought miracles, healed the sick, and cast out demons in Galilee, his apostles were well received, and respected. They were welcomed and met with faithful hospitality so that they lacked nothing. However, in the capital city Jerusalem Jesus did not have many friends, for those who liked him were afraid of confessing him openly, since Jesus was persecuted and opposed by the high council, and his name was mentioned in the list of those who were wanted. Jesus was concerned about his disciples after his death. He told them to be economical, and take care of their provisions. He even suggested to them that they should buy two swords so that the enemy would be afraid of attacking them. Christ did not command them to strike with the sword, but to love their enemies, and die rather than shed blood. The disciples did not understand that the call to buy two swords was in the first place a call for spiritual warfare that they might get ready within their hearts to fight, and ask their Lord for the sword of the Spirit, that they might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Jesus knew that his bitter hour was coming. The Holy One had to die as a thief, and be called a rebel blasphemer. But Christ knew that he must die despised by men, that he might redeem them while they were his enemies. He saw the wave of evil rising against him and ready to cover him. Yet he did not flee, but cared for his disciples even to the last moment.

PRAYER: O Lord, You are greater than all prophets. You are the true God. You know our future, failure, and weakness. Intercede and mediate for us that our faith may not fail. Forgive our self-content, pride and selfishness, that we may become faithful to you in love.

QUESTION 132: What was the aim of Jesus’ petition for Peter?


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