Verse 15. With desire have I desired - That is, I have earnestly desired it. He desired it, both for the sake of his disciples, to whom he desired to manifest himself farther, at this solemn parting: and for the sake of his whole Church, that he might institute the grand memorial of his death.
Verse 16. For I will not eat thereof any more - That is, it will be the last I shall eat with you before I die. The kingdom of God did not properly commence till his resurrection. Then was fulfilled what was typified by the passover.
Verse 17. And he took the cup - That cup which used to be brought at the beginning of the paschal solemnity, and said, Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I will not drink - As if he had said, Do not expect me to drink of it: I will drink no more before I die.
Verse 19. And he took bread - Namely, some time after, when supper was ended, wherein they had eaten the paschal lamb. This is my body - As he had just now celebrated the paschal supper, which was called the passover, so in like figurative language, he calls this bread his body. And this circumstance of itself was sufficient to prevent any mistake, as if this bread was his real body, any more than the paschal lamb was really the passover.
Verse 20. This cup is the New Testament - Here is an undeniable figure, whereby the cup is put for the wine in the cup. And this is called, The New Testament in Christ's blood, which could not possibly mean, that it was the New Testament itself, but only the seal of it, and the sign of that blood which was shed to confirm it.
Verse 21. The hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table - It is evident Christ spake these words before he instituted the Lord's Supper: for all the other evangelists mention the sop, immediately after receiving which he went out: John xiii, 30. Nor did he return any more, till he came into the garden to betray his Master. Now this could not be dipped or given, but while the meat was on the table. But this was all removed before that bread and cup were brought.
Verse 24. There was also a contention among them - It is highly probable, this was the same dispute which is mentioned by St. Matthew and St. Mark: and consequently, though it is related here, it happened some time before.
Verse 25. They that exercise the most arbitrary authority over them, have from their flatterers the vain title of benefactors.
Verse 26. But ye are to be benefactors to mankind, not by governing, but by serving.
Verse 27. For - This he proves by his own example. I am in the midst of you - Just now: see with your eyes. I take no state upon me, but sit in the midst, on a level with the lowest of you.
Verse 28. Ye have continued with me in my temptations - And all his life was nothing else, particularly from his entering on his publicministry.
Verse 29. And I - Will preserve you in all your temptations, till ye enter into the kingdom of glory: appoint to you - By these very words. Not a primacy to one, but a kingdom to every one: on the same terms: as my Father hath appointed to me - Who have fought and conquered.
Verse 30. That ye may eat and drink at my table - That is, that ye may enjoy the highest happiness, as guests, not as servants. These expressions seem to be primarily applicable to the twelve apostles, and secondarily, to all Christ's servants and disciples, whose spiritual powers, honours, and delights, are here represented in figurative terms, with respect to their advancement both in the kingdom of grace and of glory.
Verse 31. Satan hath desired to have you - My apostles, that he might sift you as wheat - Try you to the uttermost.
Verse 32. But I have prayed for thee - Who wilt be in the greatest danger of all: that thy faith fail not - Altogether: and when thou art returned - From thy flight, strengthen thy brethren - All that are weak in faith; perhaps scandalized at thy fall.
Verse 34. It shall not be the time of cock crowing this day - The common time of cock crowing (which is usually about three in the morning) probably did not come till after the cock which Peter heard had crowed twice, if not oftener.
Verse 35. When I sent you - lacked ye any thing - Were ye not born above all want and danger?
Verse 36. But now - You will be quite in another situation. You will want every thing. He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one - It is plain, this is not to be taken literally. It only means, This will be a time of extreme danger.
Verse 37. The things which are written concerning me have an end - Are now drawing to a period; are upon the point of being accomplished. Isaiah liii, 12.
Verse 38. Here are two swords - Many of Galilee carried them when they travelled, to defend themselves against robbers and assassins, who much infested their roads. But did the apostles need to seek such defense? And he said; It is enough - I did not mean literally, that every one of you must have a sword.
Verse 43. Strengthening him - Lest his body should sink and die before the time.
Verse 44. And being in an agony - Probably just now grappling with the powers of darkness: feeling the weight of the wrath of God, and at the same time surrounded with a mighty host of devils, who exercised all their force and malice to persecute and distract his wounded spirit. He prayed more earnestly - Even with stronger cries and tars: and his sweat - As cold as the weather was, was as it were great drops of blood - Which, by the vehement distress of his soul, were forced out of the pores, in so great a quantity as afterward united in large, thick, grumous drops, and even fell to the ground.
Verse 48. Betrayest thou the Son of man - He whom thou knowest to be the Son of man, the Christ?
Verse 64. And having blindfolded him, they struck him on the face - This is placed by St. Matthew and Mark, after the council's condemning him. Probably he was abused in the same manner, both before and after his condemnation.
Verse 65. Many other things blasphemously spake they against him - The expression is remarkable. They charged him with blasphemy, because he said he was the Son of God: but the evangelist fixes that charge on them, because he really was so.
Verse 70. They all said, Art thou then the Son of God? - Both these, the Son of God, and the Son of man, were known titles of the Messiah; the one taken from his Divine, and the other from his humannature.