The Last Supper Preparation

July 22, 2019 Leave a comment

17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

It is impossible to fully appreciate the significance of Communion / Eucharist without experiencing a full Passover Seder.

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Judas Betrays Jesus

July 17, 2019 Leave a comment

14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

What prompted Judas to reach out to the chief priests?

What unmet expectations?

What anger?

What guilt?

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Jesus’ Annointing

July 12, 2019 Leave a comment

6 Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8 But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? 9 For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

According to Jesus, charity is not always the right decision.

Is this claim specific to the context or more generalizable?

I wonder if Jesus is more concerned for the woman than his disciples’ critique.

If a person’s motives and actions are pure, why compare them to an alternative? This is a game that can never be won.

Each person is held accountable to his or her own conscience.

Jesus protects the woman and teaches this truth tactfully.

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Verses 3-5

July 10, 2019 Leave a comment

3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”

Powerful people fear the power of the people.

Timing is key to keeping a hold of power.

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Verses 1-2

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

Why does Jesus say, “You know,” when clearly his disciples didn’t know?

Maybe it is a teaching technique, both for the disciples and for today’s reader.

“You know” in this context is aspirational, not descriptive.

I wonder what would happen if I used the phrase “You know” in my own aspirational instruction.

With kids, I predict it would work well. With adults, it might come across as condescending.

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Matthew 26 In One Sentence

Jesus prepares for his death.

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The Sheep and the Goats

June 30, 2019 Leave a comment

31 “Now when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

33 And He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on His left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger and invite You in? Or naked and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

40 “And answering, the King will say to them, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Go away from Me, you cursed ones, into the everlasting fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in; naked and you did not clothe Me; sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they too will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not care for You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’ 46 These shall go off to everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life.”

Keith Green’s 1981 “The Sheep and the Goats” song

Green rebukes traditional Protestant theology when he emphasizes that the difference between the sheep and goats is what they did.

In the book of James, we read

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters,[e] if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder (chapter 2).

Jesus and his brother James allow no room for faith alone.

Christians will be judged by our actions, too.

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