Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative to present Jesus in the context he walked in with the unknown disciple that narrates introducing my thoughts and sparking more ideas with his questions. Enjoy.
I’m omitting the teaching from John 14-17 for brevity’s sake and to time it with Easter. I do encourage you to read it yourselves. I’ve often wanted to teach on it as it’s Jesus’ last words to his disciples.
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
“Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
That evening, we followed Peter and John to the house and up the stairs. We all reclined at the table.
Jesus looked around with a smile, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
I didn’t like it when he talked like that. I watched as Jesus took the cup, and gave thanks, saying, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
He just diverged from traditional Passover. Passover is to remember God’s rescuing us from Egypt.
Jesus took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!”
“Who dares to betray Jesus?” I whispered to Nathaniel. Then another argument broke out from the table.
“I will be the greatest in the new kingdom!”
“No, I will!”
Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
“What is he doing?” John asked.
Jesus poured water into a basin and carried to the table and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
I was speechless. A man in his position simply does not stoop to the level of washing feet. It’s unclean.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later, you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”
Again, this betrayal thing…
When he had finished washing our feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’
“I am telling you now before it happens so that when it does happen, you will believe that I am who I am. Very truly, I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me, and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
Jesus got very quiet, his expression twisted into sadness. “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
We stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. I knew it wasn’t me. John was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to him and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the Son of Simon Iscariot.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” Judas left, maybe to get more food, I wasn’t sure. He did handle our finances.
Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself and will glorify him at once.
“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!”
“Never!” Peter exclaimed.
Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” we answered.
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’, and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
Judas, the Zealot, said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied.
Jesus led us in a hymn, and we went out to the Mount of Olives with Jesus teaching us the whole way.