Jesus Eats with His Disciples
(Matthew 26.17-25; Luke 22.7-14,21-23; John 13.21-30)
12It was the first day of the Festival of Thin Bread, and the Passover lambs were being killed. Jesus' disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal?”
13Jesus said to two of the disciples, “Go into the city, where you will meet a man carrying a jar of water. Follow him, 14and when he goes into a house, say to the owner, ‘Our teacher wants to know if you have a room where he can eat the Passover meal with his disciples.’ 15The owner will take you upstairs and show you a large room furnished and ready for you to use. Prepare the meal there.”
16The two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover meal.
17-18 While Jesus and the twelve disciples were eating together that evening, he said, “The one who will betray me is now eating with me.”
19This made the disciples sad, and one after another they said to Jesus, “You surely don't mean me!”
20He answered, “It is one of you twelve men who is eating from this dish with me. 21The Son of Man will die, just as the Scriptures say. But it is going to be terrible for the one who betrays me. That man would be better off if he had never been born.”
The Lord's Supper
(Matthew 26.26-30; Luke 22.14-23; 1 Corinthians 11.23-25)
22During the meal Jesus took some bread in his hands. He blessed the bread and broke it. Then he gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this. It is my body.”
23Jesus picked up a cup of wine and gave thanks to God. He gave it to his disciples, and they all drank some. 24 Then he said, “This is my blood, which is poured out for many people, and with it God makes his agreement. 25From now on I will not drink any wine, until I drink new wine in God's kingdom.” 26Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
(Matthew 26.31-35; Luke 22.31-34; John 13.36-38)
27 Jesus said to his disciples, “All of you will reject me, as the Scriptures say,
‘I will strike down
and the sheep
will be scattered.’
28 But after I am raised to life, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
29Peter spoke up, “Even if all the others reject you, I never will!”
30Jesus replied, “This very night before a rooster crows twice, you will say three times that you don't know me.”
31But Peter was so sure of himself that he said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never say I don't know you!”
All the others said the same thing.
Jesus had no social media during his thirty-three years of life on earth. No sitting at Moonbuck’s (the other guy’s close competitor), texting his Father back home, hot cuppa’ in hand, waiting for the ping of incoming texts. No checking his Facebook account for comments or friend requests. No one to click like. No chance (even had he wanted one) to become an affirmation junkie like most of us.
But even without social media, Jesus had followers by the thousands. He also had acquaintances in high places. The former followed him for what he could do for them, and jealousy consumed the latter to the point of plotting his murder.
Thankfully, Jesus had a few real friends. Twelve, handpicked, up-close friends. He called them family. He poured himself into them. They watched and participated as he taught, healed, baptized and served. Together, they formed a mission dream team.
But Jesus knew something about his friends. He knew what they would prove over time: shrinkers, falterers, tale-tellers, squabblers, betrayers, doubters, deserters, and one outright backstabber.
For that, Jesus could have un-friended them. For that, he could have chosen not to pick them. But for three years, face-to-face, he modeled grace. Taught truth. Loved them anyway.
But at their final dinner together, a sacred festival of covenant memory, he tossed a landmine of sorts onto the table.
“Someone eating with me will turn me in.” (Gibson paraphrase.)
Say what, Jesus?
But he knew—and not only about Judas. His heart bore the weight of what he knew, and later in the evening it tipped out. “You will all falter in your faithfulness to me.”
All? Falter? The words sliced then. The words slice now. Because as his follower, I’m part of that “all.” You too. And no one knows us like Jesus.
Thank God, no one loves us like Jesus.
Dear Jesus, Perfect Lover of my soul. Over and over, I have deserved to be un-friended. Thank you for inviting me to walk your way. For knowing who I am, and still clicking “Love” on my life. Teach me to stand close enough to others that your grace spills over them too. Signed, your faltering wannna-be-faithful follower.