The Last Supper: Events According to Luke

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The book of Luke is one of the synoptic Gospels which account for the life of Jesus. The ability to refer to the writings of others allows a reader to narrow the range of meaning and establish context of the text. The author of the Gospel was Luke himself, who was recording the life of Jesus for Theophilus. There is not a clear definition as to who Theophilus is, but some suggest that he is a Roman Official and others suggest that Theophilus is used as a generic term as it translates to “friend or beloved of God” and addresses the broader audience of the Gentiles. According to the Nelson Study Bible (Ed. Radmacher 1682) the author Luke was noted as being a physician in Colossians 4:14. He also travelled with Paul as a missionary companion as noted in 2 Timothy 4:11 (New American Standard Bible). He was a highly educated Gentile and wrote in scholar Kione’ Greek (Utley 14). Luke wrote this book after conducting extensive research and interviewing eyewitnesses. Because the timeline is not directly noted, scholars have come to two different conclusions; some argue that Luke references the work of Mark and therefore could not have been written until after 70 AD during a period when the gospel was spreading throughout the Roman Empire. Others argue that Luke was probably written as early as 62 AD in Caesarea by the Sea, Palestine, or Achaia, after the release of the Gospel of Mark (Ed. Radmacher 1682) and during Paul’s imprisonment (Utley 14). The setting of Luke begins with introducing John the Baptist in Judea, who spreads awareness of the pending arrival of Jesus, then introduces and follows Jesus from birth in Bethlehem, through his life in Nazareth and teachings throughout Galilee, Samaria and Judea, and then to his death and resurrection. At the time of John the Baptist and later Jesus, priesthood in Israel was split into 24 divisions. King Herod had been appointed by the Roman Empire to reign over Judea, Samaria, Galilee and portions of Perea and Syria. After Herod died, the kingdom was split among his three sons. Phillip ruled the northeast, Herod Antipas ruled in Perea and Galilee, and Archalaus ruled Judea, Samaria and Idumea (Ed. Radmacher 1687). Caesar Augustus was the Roman Emperor and called for a census that required every man to register in his birth city. This led Joseph and Mary to leave their home in Nazareth and travel to Bethlehem.

Throughout the book of Luke, detailed accounts are written that continue to emphasize the common message that Jesus is the Messiah that the Old Testament prophesized and he can save everyone; regardless of who they are or what they have done.

This book contains more detailed information than the other Gospels including more parables, teachings and details of Jesus’ miracles. During this time of ministry, Jesus faced increasing resistance from the Jewish leadership. At the same time, the faith of his followers and disciples grew strong. He reached out to the poor, the sick and the weary; those who had been cast away from society. Downtrodden by the cruelty of the Roman government, they looked to Jesus for hope of a better life and a righteous Messiah. He had predicted his death and forewarned His disciples about his final days and, upon returning to Jerusalem, instituted the Lord’s Supper. Ultimately, the book describes Jesus’ trials and crucifixion, and then His Resurrection and Ascension. After his Resurrection, he appeared to his disciples to remind them that he had forewarned them of this occurring and instructed them to bear witness to everyone, beginning in Jerusalem. Then he led them out to Bethany, blessed them and ascended. This study assesses the evening of Jesus’ Last Supper, found in Luke 22:14-23. This occurs at the end of Jesus’ ministry when Jesus and the Apostles travelled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover festivities (Ed. Radmacher 1743). His pilgrimage from Galilee to Jerusalem had taken him and his disciples over a great distance...
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