Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Luke 22:1-23

The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching. 2 The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put him to death, because they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, who was numbered among the Twelve. 4 He went away and discussed with the chief priests and temple police how he could hand him over to them. 5 They were glad and agreed to give him silver. 6 So he accepted the offer and started looking for a good opportunity to betray him to them when the crowd was not present.

7 Then the Day of Unleavened Bread came when the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” 9 “Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him. 10 “Listen,” he said to them, “when you’ve entered the city, a man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him into the house he enters. 11 Tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 12 Then he will show you a large, furnished room upstairs. Make the preparations there.” 13 So they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. 14 When the hour came, he reclined at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 Then he said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way he also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But look, the hand of the one betraying me is at the table with me. 22 For the Son of Man will go away as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 So they began to argue among themselves which of them it could be who was going to do it.

The Original Intent

1) Why were the details about the Passover preparation so mysterious? (verses 10-12)

Luke describes Jesus’ instructions for preparing the Passover celebration that we now call the Lord’s Supper in Luke 22:10-12, “When you’ve entered the city, a man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him into the house he enters. Tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks you, where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?’ Then he will show you a large, furnished room upstairs. Make the preparations there.”

The disciples might have expected to be given a name or an address, but instead they received vague directions with few details. This was not unprecedented, for when they journeyed to Jerusalem, Jesus gave the disciples cryptic instructions about finding a colt tied up and bringing it to Him. (Luke 19:28-31)

The directions for the Passover supper were not only mysterious, but also unusual, according to Bible scholar, David Guzik, “Carrying a pitcher was typically a woman’s work, and generally men carried liquids in animal’s skin containers. This would be a distinctive sign to the disciples.”

Jesus was secretive about his plans, requiring His disciples to trust His directives without knowing the next steps. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges suggests, “The mysteriousness of the sign was perhaps intended to baffle, as long as was needful, the machinations (plots) of Judas.” Jesus needed to have this final Passover celebration with His disciples before the betrayal by Judas, so His ambiguous instructions ensured that nothing would prevent their shared meal in the upper room.

The Everyday Application

1) Why were the details about the Passover preparation so mysterious? (verses 10-12)

Why is it that the devout list-maker often marries the guy who throws a dart at the map to find his next adventure? I’ll admit I’m that gal who loves an itinerary while my husband embraces surprises and unexpected detours. It is only the love and trust I have for my husband that allows me to follow him towards unknown adventure when I prefer to stick to my approved activity schedule.

While reading Luke 22:10-12, I thought about myself as a disciple receiving the nebulous instructions from Jesus about planning the Passover celebration. I would have wanted names, dates, addresses, budget, and all the pertinent details to make the celebration special. How would I have handled the vague command to look for a guy carrying a water jug and then follow him to a house and ask to be shown to the upper room?

The disciples obeyed because they trusted Jesus. In the same way, because I trust the One giving the command, and have experienced the depths of His love, I am free to obey without question. (Romans 8:39) When He asks me to step out in faith, not having all the answers (2 Corinthians 5:7), I can obey because I believe His plans are good (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11). I can trust Him! (Psalm 28:7)

Thomas Constable states, “Against the backdrop of a plot to arrest Him, Jesus comes across as the One who is in control and is quietly directing the events leading to the Cross.” I believe that even when I don’t know, understand, or even like God’s plan, He is in charge and has everything under control. (Psalm 115:3)

I can trust that whatever He asks me to do or brings me through works out for my good (Romans 8:28) and for His glory (Romans 15:5).

The Original Intent

2) How will the Passover be fulfilled in the kingdom of God? (verse 16)

As the disciples are partaking of the Passover meal in the upper room with Jesus, He tells them, “I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:16) There is some debate about just when Jesus meant He would again partake of the Passover meal.

Some theologians, like Donald Spence Jones, believe the definition of the Kingdom of God is “the Church of God, which was to be founded after His resurrection. The kingdom of God commenced with the resurrection of Jesus. The constant celebration of the [Lord’s Supper] commenced from that time.”

William Kelly concurs, arguing that ‘The phrase in Luke does not import some future dispensation or state of things about to be above or below, in visible power, but an imminent coming of God’s kingdom, really and truly here.” These teachers believe the Kingdom of God was set in motion when Jesus, the Passover Lamb, died on the cross for our sins. (1 Corinthians 5:7)

Other theologians, including Thomas Constable, believe the Passover being fulfilled in the Kingdom of God refers to the 2nd Coming of Christ and the millennial feast. (Revelation 19:7-9) Other theologians believe the verse describes both the current Church as the Kingdom of God and the future time when God will return and reign on earth. (Revelation 20:6)

Steven Cole wisely concludes, “Whatever He meant, Jesus here predicted His resurrection and His coming again in power and glory to establish His Kingdom.” When we trust in Jesus as our Savior, we become His children and are part of His Kingdom. (John 1:12) We are privileged to follow where He leads while we remain on earth and blessed to live with Him forever when our time on earth is over. (John 10:28)

The Everyday Application

2) How will the Passover be fulfilled in the kingdom of God? (verse 16)

As a child, I enjoyed communion Sunday when the usher handed the elements down the row and I chose a tiny wafer and cup of juice. Later, the church I attended called families forward to huddle in little groups to partake of communion together. I will never forget when, at a large gathering, the minister called everyone forward to drink from a communal cup. My eyes widened as I sipped and elbowed my sister whispering, “That’s not grape juice!”

Though the communion observations differed slightly, I understood that the Lord’s Supper was special, even if I couldn’t articulate it. I knew we were remembering and honoring the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, allowing His body to be broken and His blood shed for us. (1 Corinthians 10:16-17) But I didn’t realize the Lord’s Supper started at Jesus’ Last Passover celebration with His disciples where He declared, “I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:16)

It was significant to Jesus that the next time He celebrated Passover would be as the Lamb slain for our sins. (Revelation 5:12) The disciples didn’t fully grasp what He was about to do, or how His act would establish His Kingdom on earth. (Revelation 1:5-6)

In her book, The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp notes, “In the midst of intimate betrayal . . . He breaks and is given—He gives His life. . . Out of the fullness of the grace that He has received, He thanks, and breaks, and gives away—and He makes a way for life-giving communion” (page 31)

The next time communion is celebrated at your place of worship, purpose to consider with gratitude Jesus’ sacrifice to make you part of His family. (Ephesians 1:4-5)

The Original Intent

3) Why did Jesus mention a traitor among the disciples but not publicly expose him? (verses 21-23)

At Passover with His twelve disciples, Jesus declared one of them would betray Him, But look, the hand of the one betraying Me is at the table with Me. . . So they began to argue among themselves which of them it could be who was going to do it.” (Luke 22:21-23) Apparently, they had no idea one among them was not trustworthy. In fact, they trusted Judas enough to leave him in charge of the group’s money. (John 12:6)

Jesus alerted the disciples to a traitor in their midst, but He did not call Judas out in front of them. In other accounts, Jesus reveals to John who the traitor is, but he does not reveal the identity to the company at large. (John 13:25-28, Matthew 26:25) One reason Jesus mentions His betrayer is so His disciples will believe Jesus truly is the One prophesied about in Psalm 41:9,The one who eats My bread has raised his heel against Me,” as He tells them in John 13:18-19. Jesus may have also wanted to protect Judas so the others would not turn on him, much like how Peter attacked the priest’s servant who laid hold of Jesus. (John 18:10) It’s also possible Jesus wanted to give Judas a chance to reconsider.

Jesus gave Judas a seat of honor next to Him at the Passover meal, so close that apparently no one could hear their conversation. David Guzik suggests Jesus could have said, “Would you please know that I love you and that it’s not too late for you to turn back if you only would.”

Jesus extends the same grace and amazing love to us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

The Everyday Application

3) Why did Jesus mention a traitor among the disciples but not publicly expose him? (verses 21-23)

There are many perks of growing up a preacher’s kid: everybody knows you (even if you don’t know them!), families prepare their finest meal when they have you over for dinner, and you discover all the primo hide and seek spots in the building while waiting on your parents long after service ends. But you also have a front-row seat to some heartaches like betrayal by trusted friends.

Disagreements, misunderstandings, power plays and other troubles often end with wounded pastors, their families, and fractured congregations. Some pastors face this trauma multiple times in their careers, contributing to the high burn out rate of clergy around the country. We know Jesus Himself faced betrayal by Judas, one of His closest friends. (Luke 22:21-23)

What startles me about Jesus’ reaction to this betrayal is that He doesn’t upbraid Judas or shame him in front of the disciples. My gut reaction to betrayal is to lash out in defense of myself and in frustration at the injustice served. But Jesus, knowing what Judas is about to do, shows Judas love by sharing a meal with him and even giving him a seat of honor beside him.

Jesus knew this was a scenario every leader and every person would face in their lives, and He showed us how to love and forgive in response to injustice. (Matthew 5:44) Ann Voskamp suggests, “If Jesus can dip from the same bowl as Judas, then, in Christ, we can at least share the same table, the same space, with anyone, with grace.”

May we consider the way Jesus faced the ultimate betrayal and follow His example of love and forgiveness in our own lives! (Ephesians 4:32)

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