And So It Begins
Week Three, Part 3
(Shared at Harvest Church as part of our series on Church Growth.)
All four gospel tell the story of the Last Supper. Each one providing information that helps us draw a very complete and detailed description of that night. And I think it’s on this special night that Jesus fulfills the work he came to do, not just on the cross, but as He spends this last night with His closest companions.
Now, let’s look at the cliff notes version of what happens. I think we are all familiar with the scene, but I want us to look at the subtitle actions that I think sometimes we miss.
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve?
When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating...
When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table. And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
It was just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come Him to leave the world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed the the full extent of His love.
This is a picture of community. Jesus has gathered with His apostles, and they are experience an intimate moment together. They are reclining at the table. They're about to share in a meal. But it’s not just a meal, it the fact that they were together. Jesus had been looking forward to to spending this time with them.
Look at how John words this. “Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed the the full extent of His love.”
Let me take you back to Friday night and our time at our small group. How sweet was that time together? Whether you were there for meal and the study, or just the study, it was a sweet time of fellowship. I mean, were you looking forward to that time together like I was? Were you excited knowing that that evening you would be with other believers?
There are so many examples of Jesus making time to just be with people. To share a meal. To talk, to get to know. To hear and share stories. To encourage and build up. To have fun, laugh, cry, and be real.
Jesus wasn’t just God, he was man. And like men, he had friends. He developed relationships with people. I mean think about it. First there were the 12, 12 men that he called his friends, friends that he would pour into. But of the 12, there were 3 who made the inner circle. Peter, John and James, grew closer to Jesus then the other disciples. They saw things the other didn’t. They heard things that the others didn’t. But even in the 3, there was one who was even closer.
But it’s more than that. Think about Mary Magdalene. Think of Lazarus, and his sisters Martha and Mary. Think of Joseph of Arimathea who after the Crucifixion and asks for the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus who came to Jesus in the evening early in the gospel of John and then again appears with Joseph to help bury His body.
Think of all the dinners at the homes of tax collects, at the home of Peter’s mother-in-law. On and on it goes, Jesus building relationships, relationships that build up ones faith. Jesus was about sharing life.
Jesus lived in Community.
Thanks for reading!
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