Thursday, July 8, 2010

306: Satan Did What?

Luke 21-22
"Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve." - Luke 22:3

The chapter starts with Jesus praising the widow for giving all she had to live on to the church. I guess she has to get properly miserable so she can get into heaven.

The rest of the chapter is the same signs of the end of the world that we've seen in Matthew and Mark. This includes the exact same assertion by Jesus that all this end of the world business will happen within the disciples' generation.

Chapter 22 begins with Satan "entering" Judas (whatever that means). Only then does Judas go to the priests and offer to give Jesus's location (I'm still not sure why this is necessary considering he seems to make daily appearances). Not only did someone have to betray Jesus (therefore making the person that actually does betray him relatively blameless), but the person that did it seems to have been under the direct control of Satan. This doesn't really make any sense either, though, because I don't think Satan is in the business of saving mankind (aka killing Jesus).

This doesn't stop Jesus, who certainly knows about Judas's abduction by Satan (being omnipotent), from saying "woe" to the man that betrays him. This has just added another level of incomprehensible to this whole situation. Jesus's death, in the (very) short term, is a bad thing. But in the long term (which Jesus should know about) it's a great thing. Jesus's reluctance to "save" all of humanity doesn't seem very Jesus-like.

At the end of the last supper, Jesus tells his disciples to get swords. This is very different from the Jesus that asks his disciples why they have swords upon his arrest (as in Matthew and Mark). The disciples are able to get two swords, and Jesus says "that is enough". Enough for what?

Jesus prays on the Mount of Olives. This time he only returns to his disciples once to find them sleeping, and he doesn't rebuke them.

Jesus's arrest also has some striking differences. When Judas comes to kiss Jesus, Jesus asks him if he is betraying him with a kiss. Doesn't he know? The Jesus of Luke seems to be as ignorant of the details of his arrest as his disciples. One of the followers of Jesus chops off the priests servants ear (undoubtedly with the sword that Jesus told them to buy). Instead of a long speech about those who live by the sword dying by the sword, Jesus simply says "No more of this!" He then heals the ear of the servant. Where is this ear healing in the other gospels? This is another thing that it seems like Luke made up.

Peter then denies he knows Jesus (as in the other gospels). The guards mock Jesus (as in the other gospels). And Jesus is put before the Jewish elders and found guilty (as in the other gospels). The chapter abruptly ends as Jesus is led by the elders to Pilate.

Is Jesus sentenced to death? Does he kick some ass and escape? Tune in tomorrow for the shocking conclusion (there, you can't say I didn't try to make it interesting).

This video is too good not to share:

That was a little short, so have some bonus Tim Minchin:


  1. Luke 21:9,24. Luke emphasizes the delay before the end. As usual with this Gospel (except for 21:32, which he left alone), he tries to downplay the idea that the world is about to end.

    Luke 21:16,18. He says that some will be put to death, "but not a hair of your head will perish." So some people will die but their hair will live on? The afterlife for hair?

    Luke 21:20,24. Luke again adds explicit references to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

  2. BTW, I love the video about the Good Samaritan, but the reason why the parable would've been shocking to Jews was not that the Samaritan was good per se, but that he would be willing to help a Jew, since Samaritans and Jews hated each other. Most Jews wouldn't be willing to reciprocate either, or even want to be helped by a Samaritan.



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