God’s Word for You
Luke 22:63-65 Who was it who hurt you!?
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, April 18, 2019
63 Now the men who were guarding Jesus mocked him and beat him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who struck you?” 65 And they said many other blasphemous things against him.
Luke, the physician, would well have understood the difference between Matthew’s description of Jesus being “hit on the head” (ἔτυπτον εἰς τὴν κεϕαλὴν αὐτοῦ, Matthew 27:30) and this more thorough beating or derontes (δέροντες) in verse 63. The first, typtein (τύπτειν), is to strike a single part of a person’s body. Here, the word derontes shows a thorough beating in which the whole body is injured. Jesus was beaten, bloodied, and bruised all over his body.
Even the most distant book of the Bible from his scene of violence against Jesus seems to prophesy about it in its own way: “The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. They beat me, they bruised me; they took away my cloak, those watchmen on the walls!” (Song of Solomon 5:7). Yet his suffering was not only at the hand of these soldiers, guards and watchmen. “We considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4). What is in the mind of every sinner was now on the mind of Christ: “Your hand was heavy upon me” (Psalm 32:4); “Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony” (Psalm 6:2); “Your hand has come down upon me. Because of your wrath there is no health in my body” (Psalm 38:2-3); “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:11); “My days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers” (Psalm 102:3); “Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!” (Psalm 130:1); “The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed” (Psalm 143:3-4).
The guards mocked what they did not know. Jesus had healed so many people; had prophesied so many spectacular things! Now they beat a blindfolded and helpless man and laughed at him. Tis estin (τίς ἐστιν)? they called, over and over. “Who was it?” Who hurt you?! Their laughter roared, like that of drunken fools.
Verse 65 shows us how bad things got. God creates and sustains man with his holy word. He speaks, and what he speaks, is. He gave the gift of speech to man, and here is man abusing that gift against God. What profanity must they have spat at him to merit Luke’s judgment that it was blasphemy! Surely there must have been foul things that were said, the kind of things that would amuse those who are the most distant from God. Some of them may have been rough characters, but not all. Soldiers and guards come from every walk of life, just like disciples. There may have been intellectuals in the group, spinning false syllogisms into blasphemies. There may have been a failed playwright or poet there, weaving pathos and litotes, puns and paranomasias into what was said. But it doesn’t matter how clever the speech; blasphemy is blasphemy. Almost none of the words are recorded apart from a few of the first invectives given here. Prophesy! Tis estin? Who was it who hurt you!?
He bore this ignominy and pain the way the lamb bears up when its throat is cut, and it bleeds to death. His muscles twitched and his knees buckled. He winced and he shrank back, but he took it all as the suffering he was to bear for us. He carried something more powerful and destructive than any sword or pistol. He carried a better defense than armor or shield. He carried a weapon that could have silenced them all in an instant, and it was a weapon they never took away from him; he still had it with him until his dying moments on the cross. He had his word, his almighty and powerful word. But never once did he use it for his defense, either physically or legally. He bore our sins as he bore the pain of these blows to his body. Willingly, silently, for our sakes.
Why? What has my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run
He gave the blind their sight.
Yet they at these
Themselves displease and ’gainst him rise.
(My Song is Love Unknown, Samuel Crossman, vs. 4)
Pastor Timothy Smith
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