And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. — Luke 22:40
One afternoon I hurried into a local shopping center to buy a decorative basket as a gift for a friend. Finding the perfect basket took longer than I had hoped, but I finally discovered just what I had in mind stashed behind several smaller baskets. Putting it into my shopping cart, I quickly picked up a few grocery items and went to the checkout where the cashier rang up my items. As I paid, it flitted through my mind that the total was less than I had expected, but I was in a hurry so I brushed the thought aside.
While pushing my cart toward the door, though, God’s quiet voice spoke to my heart, “Check your receipt.” I stopped, pulled out my receipt, and immediately saw that the basket wasn’t on it. For a moment, I contemplated continuing on toward the door. After all, the mistake wasn’t my fault and going back would take extra time. Also, I was low on cash that month so maybe the clerk’s omission was a blessing in disguise!
The temptation to leave without pointing out the error was there, but suddenly a feeling of heaviness came over me. How could I even consider leaving without paying? I went back to the clerk who had just finished serving another customer, pointed out that the basket had not been rung up, and told her I wanted to pay for it. Her whole face lit up and she thanked me repeatedly for coming back. She even gave me an additional store discount for being honest!
The Scriptures tell us that we all face temptations. Even as Christians, they will come our way. Some will be significant; others at first glance may seem to be inconsequential. However, a temptation to do wrong is never inconsequential. We must resist any suggestion of the enemy to do what we know in our hearts is not right.
God has provided a way by which we are to overcome temptation and it is not complicated or hard to do. In our focus verse, Christ instructed His disciples, “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” Simply pray! Prayer is vital to maintaining a healthy walk with God; otherwise, temptation will subtly overtake us in one way or another. Prayer is how we maintain discernment regarding what is right and wrong. Prayer is how we keep the channel clear between us and God so His Spirit can direct us. And prayer is how we gain strength to do what is right even when it is not easy or convenient, because God’s strength will shore up our defenses and help us defeat Satan’s power.
Let’s purpose to avail ourselves of the privilege of prayer so that when temptations come, we can be victorious!
This portion of Luke 22 covers Jesus’ prayer in the Garden (verses 39-46), His betrayal by Judas and the arrest (verses 47-53), and Peter’s threefold denial and recognition of his failure (verses 54-62).
In a grove of olive trees near the Mount of Olives, Jesus spent His final hours before His arrest in prayer to the Father. (Matthew 26:36 and Mark 14:32 give the name of the Garden as Gethsemane, which means “oil-press.”) Jesus’ prayer culminated in the words, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). The “cup” referred to the anguish Jesus would soon go through. While the physical suffering He faced would be terrible, the deepest agony was the separation from His Father which He would have to endure in order to make atonement for the sins of all people. The One who knew no sin would be “made sin,” or a sin offering, for mankind (see 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss (verses 47-48). This form of salutation was traditional in that era, and was used as a greeting, a farewell, and a sign of hospitality. The ritual also could demonstrate homage or submission, and it may have been this irony that prompted Jesus’ question to Judas, “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”
After the arrest in the Garden, Jesus immediately was taken to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest, although it was in the middle of the night. Some Bible scholars suggest that the trial took place at the high priest’s house to ensure secrecy. Caiaphas served as high priest from A.D. 18-36, and was known as a Roman puppet who was expert in maneuvering the political scene. A son-in-law of Annas (a former high priest), Caiaphas continued to have a great deal of influence even after his tenure in office.
Only Luke records the fact that Jesus turned and looked at Peter after his third denial of his Lord and Master. The Gospel of John relates that Jesus was examined by Annas prior to being taken to His trial before Caiaphas and the religious leaders (see John 18:24). It may have been during this change of location that the meaningful glance between Jesus and Peter took place.
The men who guarded Jesus — likely the Temple guards who had arrested Him earlier — were the ones who taunted Jesus by blindfolding Him, hitting Him, and then commanding Him to “prophesy” (or disclose) who had struck Him.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
VII. The passion of the Son of Man
C. The preparation of the death of the Son of Man
3. The prayer in the garden (22:39-46)
D. The arrest and trial of the Son of Man
1. The arrest of the Son of Man (22:47-53)
a. Judas’ betrayal (22:47-48)
b. Peter’s misunderstanding (22:49-51)
c. Jesus’ comment (22:52-53)
2. The denial of Peter (22:54-62)
3. The mistreatment of Jesus (22:63-65)
Circumstances and situations in life may bring challenges in our Christian walk, but through prayer we can overcome every temptation of the enemy of our souls.