The bull of St Luke



Chapters 22 & 23: Overview

We can begin by seeing how 22,1 marks the opening of the Passion story. Look again at 21,37-38 and the way Luke brings the previous discourse of Jesus to a close. Compare this with Mark 13,37.

We can now read through chapters 22 and 23 which tell us of the Passion of Jesus according to Luke. Write down the various incidents, looking for changes in times and places and people present as your key.

Consider the dominance of the passion narrative in the Gospel by noting the length of the story compared to the time covered.

Then look at my response.

Comparison with the other Gospels

Now compare these incidents with the Passion narrative according to Mark, chapters 14 & 15. Look for incidents which are in Mark, but not Luke and then those in Luke which are not in Mark. Paragraph headings in your Bible can be the guide because our aim is to get an overall picture and not to get caught up in detail. (In fact, the detail could become quite confusing because the parallels are not straightforward.

A comparison with the Passion narrative according to John, chapters 18 & 19, would also be helpful.
(A comparison with Matthew is less important because he follows Mark quite closely. It would just make our explorations more complicated.)

Time now for a look at my response.

This sort of preparation at a "macro level" helps us to become more familiar with Luke's Passion account. It gives us the background we need for our closer reading of the Passion according to Luke with an overall look at what he does and does not say compared to the other Gospels. We will see this in detail as we proceed.

Reading plan: chapter 22

A reading plan falls into place readily enough if we take the different places as our guide. (For "upper room" see 22,12). However, we will see how 22,1-38 is one long scene as its elements unfold one after the other.

We have seen the effect of the new day beginning in verse 66. So we will now be reading the last verses of the chapter (22,66-71) with chapter 23.

The Sunday Gospel

The Passion according to Luke is read on Passion (Palm) Sunday in year C of the Sunday cycle. The reading begins at 22,14 with the Passover meal.
In years A and B, the Passion readings for that Sunday are taken from Matthew and Mark. Both readings begin rather earlier in the story, with the conspiracy to put Jesus to death (Mt 26,14; Mk 14,1). The length of the Passion in Luke may have been a consideration but as we have seen the conspiracy is the proper starting point (22,1-6).

We are now ready to begin our reading of the Passion as we look at the conspiracy that opens it followed by the preparations for the meal (22,1-13).