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Jesus Institutes the Lord's Supper

(Mark 14:12-25)

Lesson 7 -- second quarter 2003
April 13, 2003

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2003, Christian Light Publications

Did you thank them?

Did you ever wonder about the identity of the two disciples given the assignment of preparing the Passover? No? I neither. Right now, though, I'm wondering how long they had to work and how hard. And I wonder if any of the other participants thanked them for their efforts. And I wonder if any of them had to do the clean-up afterward.

You say none of that matters anymore? No doubt you are right. On the other hand, thinking about it a bit reminded me of something that does matter; something I don't recall giving much thought to before.

Do you know who does all the preparations for your congregation's Communion service? Someone has to bake the bread and prepare the juice. Someone needs to have the basins and towels ready for foot washing. Someone must ensure that everything is arranged as it should be in the meeting house. Someone has to see to all the clean-up and putting away after the service. I wonder who those preparers are . . . and I wonder if anyone thanks them.

I haven't.

Am I the one?

The integrity of the disciples impresses me in a way that it hasn't before. When Jesus made that incredible statement, "One of you . . . shall betray me," each one looked inward. They didn't assume it was someone else. It sounds as though each thought of himself as the one with the greatest potential for treachery. The idea struck grief to each one's heart, so that he had to ask the Master because only He truly knew each heart.

From this vantage point I'm almost certain I would have been absolutely positive that I would not have responded as they did. You see, I don't tend to respond that way in contemporary situations. I am confident of knowing my own heart (at least most of the time). I am sure of my unfailing loyalty. "So if there's a traitor among us, it has to be . . . . Hmmm . I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it were . . . ."

Can you identify with that?

I want to do better at maintaining greater trust in my brothers and sisters. I want to be more quick to give them the benefit of the doubt than to give it to myself. I purpose to be more open to the possibility that it could indeed be I.

Jesus, our Common Union

Plenty of things exist that could naturally and easily cause division and contention between me and Brother Tsion. Some of our preferences, opinions, perspectives, and convictions differ. Our personalities don't mesh readily. We come from vastly different backgrounds. So how shall we avoid being divisive and contentious? Well, we could just avoid each other. The congregation could make rules to keep us in line. We could compromise our convictions and suppress our personalities. We could force ourselves to put up with each other. We could even pretend to agree.

I suppose any one of those could help a little in keeping our differences from igniting contention. And surely implementing all of them would defeat division. But that isn't good enough in the church! And it certainly isn't God's solution.

God won't settle for the mere absence of outright conflict and division. He wants and expects inner unity among His people. So Jesus came to be that common union that brings together even polar opposites. "He is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus is our bond. Because of Him, even Brother Tsion and I can be one.

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