Summary: A study of the Gospel of Luke chapter 18 verses 31 through 34
Luke 18: 31 – 34
Why Don’t You Understand?
“31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. 33 They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” 34 But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.
The Gospels of Matthew and Mark also comment on this teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, so let’s take a look at what they wrote.
Mark 10: 32 – 45, “32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
Matthew 20: 17 - 28, “17 Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.
We need to remember that Peter who gave his witness of the time he spent with the Lord to Mark along with Matthew were eyewitnesses. Luke later on came back and through his investigation only reported on our Lord’s remarks about His arrest.
31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.
As they walked along the dusty road towards Jerusalem, something about our Lord Jesus’ new demeanor and His determination to press on urgently to Jerusalem amazed the disciples. Luke puts it in his Gospel chapter 9 verse 51, ‘when the days were well nigh come that He should be received up He steadfastly set His face to go towards Jerusalem’. They sensed that something was about to happen.
Have you ever been around something or at some place and your get afraid or an eerie feeling? ‘Those who followed were afraid.’ This may refer to a different group of followers than the twelve, including among others the women who went around with them. They must have gathered something of the expected dangers for they were afraid. But they too continued to follow.
32 For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. 33 They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
Here our Lord Jesus for at least the third time explained what was in store for Him. It was probably no coincidence that the first occurred in Gentile territory, the second in Galilee and the third in Judea, each building in intensity from the other as He neared Jerusalem. He was slowly and dedicatedly marching toward the centre of Judaism and had declared what was to happen to Him in each area, indicating that those in each area could participate in what He would achieve.
Jehovah Yahweh would hand Him over to those who were supposed to be His representatives. These represented the two main religious authorities of Judaism, the chief priests who controlled the Temple and its worship, and the scribes who were looked to for teaching and guidance by the people.
So our Lord Jesus as the prophets had been before Him, was to be delivered into the hands of those who knew not God and could only expect the same treatment. As happens in all religions, and as would happen in part with Christianity, apart from a remnant it had gradually built up traditions and dogmas which had stifled the truth at its heart as represented by its Scriptures and could not bear opposition from anyone who would not bow down to their traditions and dogmas. Being handed over to them was like being thrown in a lion’s den.
In the same way as they had done it to Jeremiah before Him they will condemn Him to death as we read in chapter 26 verse 11, “11 And the priests and the prophets spoke to the princes and all the people, saying, “This man deserves to die! For he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears.”