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Wednesday, March 31, 2010



LEXEGETE/ Year C / Gospel of Luke

+ T R I D U U M +


MAUNDY THURSDAY | April 1, 2020

Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 (Ps. 116:13)

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Lucan Text: Luke 22: 7-30

NOTE: In order to serve all lectionaries as closely as possible, LEXEGETE

has joined the Lutheran and New Common lectionaries with the alternate

reading from the Book of Common Prayer. The resultant text from Luke 22 is

thus a longer version bridging all three sets of pericopes.


1a. TEXT: John 13:1-17, 31b-35 (NIV)

Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet

1) It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in

the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2)The evening meal

was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of

Simon, to betray Jesus. 3)Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his

power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4)so he got

up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his

waist. 5)After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his

disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6)He

came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

7)Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will

understand." 8)"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus

answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." 9)"Then, Lord,"

Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"

10)Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet;

his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you."

11)For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not

every one was clean. 12)When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his

clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for

you?" he asked them. 13)"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for

that is what I am. 14)Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your

feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15)I have set you an example that

you should do as I have done for you. 16)I tell you the truth, no servant is

greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

17)Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

[ 18)"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to

fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.'

19)"I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you

will believe that I am He. 20)I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send

accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." 21)After he

had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one

of you is going to betray me." 22)His disciples stared at one another, at a loss

to know which of them he meant. 23)One of them, the disciple whom Jesus

loved, was reclining next to him. 24)Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and

said, "Ask him which one he means." 25)Leaning back against Jesus, he asked

him, "Lord, who is it?" 26)Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give

this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece

of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27)As soon as Judas took

the bread, Satan entered into him. 28)"What you are about to do, do quickly,"

Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.

29)Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to

buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30)As

soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.]

Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial

31)When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God

is glorified in him. 32)If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in

himself, and will glorify him at once. 33)"My children, I will be with you only

a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you

now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 34)"A new command I give you:

Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35)By

this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

[ 36)Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus replied,

"Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later." 37)Peter

asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."

38)Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you

the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! ]

GREEK: John 13:1-17, 31b-35

1Πρ δ τς ορτς το πάσχα εδς ησος τι λθεν ατο ρα να μεταβ κ το κόσμου τούτου πρς τν πατέρα, γαπήσας τος δίους τος ν τ κόσμ, ες τέλος γάπησεν ατούς. 2κα δείπνου γινομένου, το διαβόλου δη βεβληκότος ες τν καρδίαν να παραδο ατν ούδας Σίμωνος σκαριώτου, 3εδς τι πάντα δωκεν ατ πατρ ες τς χερας κα τι π θεο ξλθεν κα πρς τν θεν πάγει, 4γείρεται κ το δείπνου κα τίθησιν τ μάτια, κα λαβν λέντιον διέζωσεν αυτόν. 5ετα βάλλει δωρ ες τν νιπτρα κα ρξατο νίπτειν τος πόδας τν μαθητν κα κμάσσειν τ λεντί ν διεζωσμένος. 6ρχεται ον πρς Σίμωνα Πέτρον. λέγει ατ, Κύριε, σύ μου νίπτεις τος πόδας; 7πεκρίθη ησος κα επεν ατ, γ ποι σ οκ οδας ρτι, γνώσ δ μετ τατα. 8λέγει ατ Πέτρος, Ο μ νίψς μου τος πόδας ες τν αἰῶνα. πεκρίθη ησος ατ, Ἐὰν μ νίψω σε, οκ χεις μέρος μετ' μο. 9λέγει ατ Σίμων Πέτρος, Κύριε, μ τος πόδας μου μόνον λλ κα τς χερας κα τν κεφαλήν. 10λέγει ατ ησος, λελουμένος οκ χει χρείαν ε μ τος πόδας νίψασθαι, λλ' στιν καθαρς λος: κα μες καθαροί στε, λλ' οχ πάντες. 11δει γρ τν παραδιδόντα ατόν: δι τοτο επεν τι Οχ πάντες καθαροί στε. 12Οτε ον νιψεν τος πόδας ατν [κα] λαβεν τ μάτια ατο κα νέπεσεν πάλιν, επεν ατος, Γινώσκετε τί πεποίηκα μν; 13μες φωνετέ με διδάσκαλος κα κύριος, κα καλς λέγετε, εμ γάρ. 14ε ον γ νιψα μν τος πόδας κύριος κα διδάσκαλος, κα μες φείλετε λλήλων νίπτειν τος πόδας: 15πόδειγμα γρ δωκα μν να καθς γ ποίησα μν κα μες ποιτε. 16μν μν λέγω μν, οκ στιν δολος μείζων το κυρίου ατο οδ πόστολος μείζων το πέμψαντος ατόν. 17ε τατα οδατε, μακάριοί στε ἐὰν ποιτε ατά.

31Οτε ον ξλθεν λέγει ησος, Νν δοξάσθη υἱὸς το νθρώπου, κα θες δοξάσθη ν ατ: 32 θες δοξάσθη ν ατ] κα θες δοξάσει ατν ν ατ, κα εθς δοξάσει ατόν. 33τεκνία, τι μικρν μεθ' μν εμι: ζητήσετέ με, κα καθς επον τος ουδαίοις τι Οπου γ πάγω μες ο δύνασθε λθεν, κα μν λέγω ρτι. 34ντολν καινν δίδωμι μν, να γαπτε λλήλους: καθς γάπησα μς να κα μες γαπτε λλήλους. 35ν τούτ γνώσονται πάντες τι μο μαθηταί στε, ἐὰν γάπην χητε ν λλήλοις.

1a. Lucan Text: Luke 22: 7-30 (ESV)

Lk. 22:7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover

lamb had to be sacrificed.

Lk. 22:8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover

meal for us that we may eat it."

Lk. 22:9 They asked him, "Where do you want us to make preparations for it?"

Lk. 22:10 "Listen," he said to them, "when you have entered the city, a man

carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters

Lk. 22:11 and say to the owner of the house, `The teacher asks you, "Where is

the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'

Lk. 22:12 He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make

preparations for us there."

Lk. 22:13 So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they

prepared the Passover meal.

Lk. 22:14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles

with him.

Lk. 22:15 He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with

you before I suffer;

Lk. 22:16 for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of


Lk. 22:17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and

divide it among yourselves;

Lk. 22:18 for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the

vine until the kingdom of God comes."

Lk. 22:19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he

broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me."

Lk. 22:20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup

that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Lk. 22:21 But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the


Lk. 22:22 For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to

that one by whom he is betrayed!"

Lk. 22:23 Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be

who would do this.

Lk. 22:24 A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be

regarded as the greatest.

Lk. 22:25 But he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them;

and those in authority over them are called benefactors.

Lk. 22:26 But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become

like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves.

Lk. 22:27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who

serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

Lk. 22:28 "You are those who have stood by me in my trials;

Lk. 22:29 and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a


Lk. 22:30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you

will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Greek: Luke 22:7-30

ηλθεν δ μέρα τν ζύμων, [ν] δει θύεσθαι τ πάσχα. 8κα πέστειλεν Πέτρον κα ωάννην επών, Πορευθέντες τοιμάσατε μν τ πάσχα να φάγωμεν. 9ο δ επαν ατ, Πο θέλεις τοιμάσωμεν; 10 δ επεν ατος, δο εσελθόντων μν ες τν πόλιν συναντήσει μν νθρωπος κεράμιον δατος βαστάζων: κολουθήσατε ατ ες τν οκίαν ες ν εσπορεύεται. 11κα ρετε τ οκοδεσπότ τς οκίας, Λέγει σοι διδάσκαλος, Πο στιν τ κατάλυμα που τ πάσχα μετ τν μαθητν μου φάγω; 12κκενος μν δείξει νάγαιον μέγα στρωμένον: κε τοιμάσατε. 13πελθόντες δ ερον καθς ερήκει ατος, κα τοίμασαν τ πάσχα. 14Κα τε γένετο ρα, νέπεσεν κα ο πόστολοι σν ατ. 15κα επεν πρς ατούς, πιθυμί πεθύμησα τοτο τ πάσχα φαγεν μεθ' μν πρ το με παθεν:

16λέγω γρ μν τι ο μ φάγω ατ ως του πληρωθ ν τ βασιλεί το θεο. 17κα δεξάμενος ποτήριον εχαριστήσας επεν, Λάβετε τοτο κα διαμερίσατε ες αυτούς: 18λέγω γρ μν [τι] ο μ πίω π το νν π το γενήματος τς μπέλου ως ο βασιλεία το θεο λθ. 19κα λαβν ρτον εχαριστήσας κλασεν κα δωκεν ατος λέγων, Τοτό στιν τ σμά μου τ πρ μν διδόμενον: τοτο ποιετε ες τν μν νάμνησιν. 20κα τ ποτήριον σαύτως μετ τ δειπνσαι, λέγων, Τοτο τ ποτήριον καιν διαθήκη ν τ αματί μου, τ πρ μν κχυννόμενον. 21πλν δο χερ το παραδιδόντος με μετ' μο π τς τραπέζης: 22τι υἱὸς μν το νθρώπου κατ τ ρισμένον πορεύεται, πλν οα τ νθρώπ κείν δι' ο παραδίδοται. 23κα ατο ρξαντο συζητεν πρς αυτος τ τίς ρα εη ξ ατν τοτο μέλλων πράσσειν. 24γένετο δ κα φιλονεικία ν ατος, τ τίς ατν δοκε εναι μείζων. 25 δ επεν ατος, Ο βασιλες τν θνν κυριεύουσιν ατν κα ο ξουσιάζοντες ατν εεργέται καλονται. 26μες δ οχ οτως, λλ' μείζων ν μν γινέσθω ς νεώτερος, κα γούμενος ς διακονν. 27τίς γρ μείζων, νακείμενος διακονν; οχ νακείμενος; γ δ ν μέσ μν εμι ς διακονν. 28μες δέ στε ο διαμεμενηκότες μετ' μο ν τος πειρασμος μου: 29κγ διατίθεμαι μν καθς διέθετό μοι πατήρ μου βασιλείαν 30να σθητε κα πίνητε π τς τραπέζης μου ν τ βασιλεί μου, κα καθήσεσθε π θρόνων τς δώδεκα φυλς κρίνοντες το σραήλ.

1a. Lucan Context: Luke 22: 7-30

Luke's picture of the Last Supper is dramatically compelling and

theologically profound. After his triumphal entry and five days of teaching in

Jerusalem, Jesus has gained the enthusiastic backing of the crowds and the

enmity of the Jewish religious authorities. We have just learned in vv. 2-6 that

the chief priests and Pharisees seek to arrest Jesus but fear the people. They

obtain their opportunity when Judas, one of the twelve, turns traitor. At this

point, Jesus prepares to celebrate the Passover with his disciples. The

performance of this solemn religious duty puts him, as he is well aware, in

mortal danger, since it must be a private ceremony. This context accounts for

the conspiratorial tone of vv. 7-13. The fact that Jesus himself knows, but the

disciples evidently do not know, the full significance of what is happening adds

pathos to the account. As this human drama absorbs us, we are also aware of a

deeper drama of salvation. Jesus, in celebrating the Passover, gives it new

meaning by being himself the Passover lamb who completes God's salvific

work in the Exodus by presenting himself as a perfect offering to God on behalf

of the entire world.

This passage is the only gospel account of the Last Supper to include, not

only Jesus' description of the bread and wine as his body and blood, as do

Matthew and Mark, but also the command, "do this in remembrance of me."

As such it is traditionally read on Maundy Thursday to commemorate the

institution of the eucharist. The Reformation made the interpretation of Jesus'

words "This is my body" and "This is my blood" the subject of intense

confessional debate, as in the confrontation between Luther and Zwingli at the

Colloquy of Marburg in 1529. Debate now centers on a more fundamental

question: "Did Jesus actually institute the eucharist?" Many serious scholars

do not think so. Rudolf Bultmann, for instance, held it as all but self-evident

that our account of the Last Supper as the institution of the eucharist is a "cult


recently, Joachim Jeremias has argued cogently for the authenticity of Luke's


Such discussion is complicated by a textual problem. A family of Western

Mss. does not read the words between "this is my body" in v. 19 and the

beginning of v. 21. The argument is made that this shorter form of the text is

original, vv. 19b and 20 being an early interpolation added under the influence

of Paul's discussion of the eucharist in I Cor. 11: 23-26. If the longer text is

original, it provides independent attestation of the tradition that attributed to

Jesus the words that institute the eucharist as the principal act of Christian

worship, "Do this in remembrance of me." Nonetheless, the importance of the

textual issue should not be overrated. Paul's description of the eucharist, which

he claims to have received from Jesus himself by way of tradition, is, in itself,

sufficient evidence that Christians very soon believed that Jesus had instituted

the eucharist at the Last Supper. At the same time, confirmation of that

tradition in Luke could not prove that it came from Jesus himself as opposed to

the primitive Christian community. Most textual scholars accept the longer form.

Jeremias makes the authenticity of the words of institution as sayings of

Jesus historically plausible by demonstrating that our accounts of the Last

Supper in the Gospels and in Paul are consistent with Jesus' decision to

celebrate a final Passover just before his death. He also argues that the

accounts we have in the Synoptic gospels are consistent with such a

celebration, which Jesus reinterprets and modifies (as, for example, by passing

a single cup around). He provides a provocative interpretation of the words "do

this in remembrance of me," arguing on the basis of Biblical usage that the

implied subject of remembrance is not the disciples, but God. The disciples are

to celebrate a common meal, not so that they will remember Christ, but so that

God will remember him and bring on the glorious last age (THE


2. ANALYSIS: Luke 22: 7-30

v. 7 [Elthen de he hemera ton azumon, hei edei thuesthai pascha.] Here, as

in v. 22:1, Luke identifies the Passover, which properly designated only the 15

Nisan, with the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which coincided with it and lasted

seven days. The confusion stems from what appears to be an ancient fusion of

a pastoral feast, the Passover, with an agricultural one, the Feast of Unleavened

Bread. Note that [pascha] (Hebrew "pesah") means both the Passover feast and

the Passover lamb; here, as in vv. 8 and 15, it means the latter. Although Luke

does not describe Jesus eating the lamb, his presence is presupposed.

v. 10 [sunantese humin anthropos keramion hudatos bastazon]-- Presumably

it would be remarkable to be met by a man carrying a jug of water, because this

was normally women's work. Jesus' instructions have a conspiratorial tone.

Since Judas was seeking an opportunity to betray Jesus apart from the

multitude, it is important that he not know in advance where Jesus will

celebrate the Passover. It is natural to assume that Jesus had already made

some arrangement with the man in question, as Matthew 26: 18 implies.

Nonetheless, we cannot necessarily do so here any more than in 20:30-35,

where Jesus instructs the disciples to bring to him the colt he will use in his

entry into Jerusalem. Luke does not transmit Matt. 17: 24-27, the story of the

temple tax, where Jesus gives the disciples instructions that imply miraculous


v. 14 [anepesen] means "he reclined." Reclining at table had become the

customary way to celebrate the Passover by Jesus' time, replacing the early

custom of standing described in Exodus 12.

v. 15 [pro me pathein] -- "Before I suffer" refers here, as elsewhere, to Jesus'


v. 16 [heos hotou plerothei en tel basileiai tou theou] -- Joseph A. Fitzmyer

(THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE, X-XXIV, p. 397) points out that

Jesus here "gives a new eschatological dimension to the Passover meal being

taken with his disciples."

v. 17 [eucharistesas] -- "Giving thanks" here and in v. 18 refers to normal

prayers of thanksgiving over the meal. Its association with the Lord's Supper

provided the earliest name for the Christian rite.

v. 19 [touto] means "this bread"

v. 20 [He kaine diatheke], "new testament," comes from the LXX version of

Jeremiah 31:31 and gave its name to the specifically Christian scriptures.

3. STRATEGY: Luke 22: 7-30

The late Jaroslav Pelikan boldly made clear the significance of the eucharist

as the most characteristic act of Christian worship for the past two millennia:

I have never seen it stated in print (except when I myself have stated

it), and I am not quite sure how I would go about documenting it, even with a

string of footnotes. But it is, I think, a "self-evident truth"... that, for more than

nineteen centuries and in a great variety of cultures, Christians have been

blessing bread and wine and celebrating the sacrament of the Eucharist nearly

every day. If that is a self-evident truth, it is also a massive instance of

continuity amid change, and a prime instance of the reality of tradition (THE


Maundy Thursday provides us an opportunity to ground this act of worship in

the Biblical witness to Jesus Christ, to ground the sacrament in the word. The

eucharist reminds us that our salvation is the result of the decisive saving act of

God recounted in the Bible. It also reminds us that we attain salvation through

our participation in Christ's self-giving life.

4. REFERENCES: Luke 22: 7-30


ed., tr. John Marsh. New York: Harper & Row, 1963.


Anchor Bible 28A.


Norman Perrin. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984.

Pelikan, Jaroslav . THE VINDICATION OF TRADITION. New Haven:

Yale University Press, 1984.

5. MUSIC: Maundy Thursday

"Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest" (Hymnal 1982, pp. 305 &

306; LBW 209), "Let thy Blood in mercy poured" (Hymnal 1982, p. 313),

and "Thou, who at thy first Eucharist didst pray" (Hymnal 1982, p. 315) are

eucharistic hymns particularly appropriate to Maundy Thursday.

Exegete: Joseph Trigg, PhD, is the author of an oft-cited major study of

Origen (SCM Press, 1985). It leads the “Patristics Bibliography”

( (It is now available online from:

< >


The Pascal mystery we celebrate during Holy Week calls to mind the deeper meaning of all of our worship and eucharist. Timothy F. Sedgwick's little volume SACRAMENTAL ETHICS: PASCHAL IDENTITY AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE is a remarkably succinct and articulate discussion of the importance of worship in the moral life of Christians. Based on the axiom, Lex orandi, Lex credendi (the law of worship is the law of belief), the book explores the necessity for a clear theology of worship in order to arrive at an ethical perspective for the church. Because worship correlates life and faith, worship transforms and changes the worshippers in relationship to God. While this may seem overly obvious at first, Sedgwick skillfully expands on these ideas in a way that helps us see both worship and ethics in a new light. A key concept is the importance of mythic stories, which mediate a world to the worshipping community. But worship is parabolic, as well, and this is what challenges us to enter into a new relationship with God.

Sedgwick concentrates on the Paschal mystery, not only the passion and resurrection of Jesus in the past but the presently experienced mystery of that passion and resurrection to which we are reconciled.n Thus the center of this mystery brings us into stark conflict with our hedonistic, utilitarian culture. We discover that we are neither self-sufficient nor autonomous nor capable "by our own reason and strength" of freeing or saving ourselves. Within the ecology of our faith, we are part of a web of interdependence and grace. We deny this only at our own peril. For Sedgwick, then, Christian ethics is about the paschal mystery and "is more broadly part of the task of the cure of souls, sustaining and nurturing individuals and the community in their faith" (p. 19). In the last analysis, it is that system of formation and identity which leads us to grasp the gifted nature of the paschal mystery, that

"Our life is not our own but is given by God" (p. 20). Timothy F. Sedgwick is Assoc. Prof. of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology at Seabury- Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. SACRAMENTAL ETHICS (FORTRESS, 1987), was to our knowledge his first book. It is filled with helpful insights into the relationship between ritual and the moral life!


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