Summary: The plan to kill Jesus was hatched by Judas and the religious leaders, but they were not the true enemy...
Luke 21:37 – 22:6
Plan to betray Jesus
November 10, 2010
Set the stage:
Since He entered the city in chapter 19 to the cheers and praise of thousands, Jesus has been doing 2 things constantly. Over these final few days of His public ministry, Jesus has constantly taught the people in the Temple, and He has constantly confounded and enraged the religious leaders.
Jesus’ “fame” and popularity was growing exponentially at this point, and the religious leaders were at their wits end. They had tried all they could to discredit and dishonor this man, but Jesus had frustrated all of their efforts and it had served to only INCREASE His standing with the people. They were desperate, but it was a guarded desperation.
In v.37-38 of chapter 21 we can see.
37 And every day He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38 And early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him.
We see that Jesus had returned to teaching the people, which was what He wanted… the confounding of the religious leaders only happened because of their hard hearts and unwillingness to see God at work in Jesus. This attitude is evident all throughout the Gospel of Luke, let’s look at a few places where it is most evident:
Righteously Indignant: Luke 13:13-14 [have someone read]
13 And He laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day."
Tried to scare Jesus: Luke 13:31 [have someone read]
31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to Him, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill You."
Complained Loudly about Jesus breaking traditions: Luke 15:1-2 [have someone read]
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
Challenged theologically: Luke 17:20 [have someone read]
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed…”
Protested Jesus’ followers proclamation of Messiah: Luke 19:39 [Have someone read] 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples."
Challenged His Authority to teach: Luke 20:1-2 [have someone read]
1 One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up 2 and said to him, "Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority."
Wanted Jesus GONE… tried to trick Him: Luke 20:19-20 [have someone read]
19(AC) The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 20(AD) So they(AE) watched him and sent spies, who(AF) pretended to be sincere, that they might(AG) catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of(AH) the governor.
Tried to Humiliate Him: Luke 20:27-33 – [summarize]
And so we get to the end of chapter 21 and we find that Jesus has thwarted all their attempts to dishonor and discredit Him and the religious establishment is now furious and blind with hate and anger. They want Jesus DEAD…
Robert Stein in his commentary on the Gospel of Luke said this about v.2…
2 …the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death…
Stein says, “There is no longer any question [among the religious leadership] whether Jesus should die. Only the question of by what means Jesus died.”
The end of verse 2 also gives us the reasoning for this panic and it was because the religious leaders were afraid of the people… afraid that they would turn away from them and turn TO Jesus, in fact it had already begun and they had to put a stop to this NOW!
But to prove to us that we battle NOT against flesh and blood, but against spiritual principalities and the rulers of this world… we can see that the religious leaders were helpless on their own, but the Evil one steps in and takes the lead. This reveals who the TRUE enemy here is… it is NOT the religious leaders, although they seem to be willing accomplices… but the enemy is SATAN himself!