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Living Last Supper

Mar 29, 2018

Preacher: Rev. Adam Steinbrenner

Category: Maundy Thursday

Detail:

Jesus:

Do you understand what I have just done for you? You call me teacher and Lord. And rightly so, for that is what I am. But now that I, your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set an example for you so that you should now do as I’ve done for you. I tell you the truth; no servant is greater than his master. And no messenger is greater than the one who sent him. Once you know these things and do them, you will be blessed. But I’m not referring to all of you when I say these things, because I know those that I have chosen, but this is to fulfill the scripture: he that shares my bread lifts up his heel against me. I tell you the truth; one of you is going to betray me.

 

 

Jesus: Who will betray me? It’s the one who dips his bread in the dish with me. I tell you the truth; one of you is going to betray me.

 

 

Jesus: Whoa to the man who betrays the Son of Man.? It would be better for him if he had never been born. I tell you the truth; one of you is going to betray me.

 

 

 

Jesus: “Take and eat, this bread is my body. Take and drink, this cup is the New Covenant, written in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of all of your sins.”

 

James:

My name is James, but since many men bear that familiar name, I’m called James the Little, or James the Less, being less in size than some of the other men of that same name. Since my father’s name was Alphaeus, I’m also sometimes called James, the son of Alphaeus. Our family is a proud one, tracing its ancestry back to the tribe of Gad, one of the twelve sons of Jacob.

I will never forget the day that I first saw Jesus. I was walking down the road near the place where John was baptizing. I was curious to see what was going on, so I went over to take a closer look. That’s when I saw Jesus asking John to baptize Him. At first, John refused, but Jesus insisted. After John baptized Him, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove. And we heard a voice from heaven saying “This is My beloved Son in whom, I am well pleased.”

During the first year of His public ministry, Jesus called me to be one of His twelve disciples. And since that very moment, I have walked with Him, and talked with Him, stayed with Him, and prayed with Him; trying to learn as much about Him and His Heavenly Father as I possibly could. And now, He says, one of us is to betray Him? Surely, it’s madness to think that it could be so. Surely, the betrayer is out of his mind. But I keep asking myself, is it I? Is it I, Lord?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew: I was a tax collector like Zacchaeus. Some considered me a traitor for working with the Roman government. Many call me Levi, but now, most know me as Matthew. I remember well, the day I met Jesus. It changed my heart and my character. I was sitting in my tax collectors booth, and Jesus walked up and said two simple, yet profound words, “Follow me.” I knew instantly that I needed to drop everything and follow Him.

Then, shortly after that, I invited Jesus and His disciples, along with some of my business associates to come for dinner. I thought that it was a great honor for me to have Jesus in my house for supper.

But when the Pharisees heard about it, they started grumbling. “This man eats with Publicans and sinners.” Well, Jesus told them, “It’s not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. Go and learn what this means, “I seek mercy, not sacrifice.” Well, we recognized that Jesus was quoting from the prophet Hosea. And then Jesus added, “I came not to save the righteous, but sinners.”

Since the day, I started associating with Jesus, I’ve studied the Scriptures very thoroughly. And I’m convinced, no I know without a doubt, that He is the Promised Messiah, God’s Anointed One. For three years, I’ve listened as He’s told us the Good News that everyone who believes in Him will be saved through His suffering. This is Good News for the entire world. Yet, tonight, He tells us that one of us is going to betray Him. That’s Bad news; Tragic news. How can it be? Who can it be? Will they suspect me, especially since I was once the hated tax collector? Do I even suspect myself? Is it I? Lord, is it I?

 

Thomas: I am Thomas called Didymus, which means twin. And I admit that I usually demand proof before I believe. I want to see for myself before I commit to something. Yet, I do more than just doubt, sometimes I am a man of daring. I remember the day when Mary and Martha sent word to the Lord that their brother Lazarus was dead. Jesus turned to us and said, “Let’s go to him”

We all knew of the growing opposition to Jesus, and some of my fellow apostles did not want to go to Bethany. They shrank from the unseen danger. But I, also, remember how I spoke out boldly and rebuked them all by saying, “Let’s also go with Him that we too may die with Him.”

I don’t understand why people always seem to remember my doubts, but forget my daring? Why do they remember my fear and forget my faith? I remember well the parables and teachings that Jesus shared with us and the miracles we saw him perform. I can almost see Him calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee, healing the lame, curing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind and unstopping the ears of the deaf, cleansing the lepers and preaching the Gospel to everyone.

However, recently fierce opposition has developed against Jesus and His ministry. His enemies, the religious leaders, are determined to destroy him. Why? Because the God that He reveals is a far greater God than the petty little man-made ones that they worship in their hearts. Jesus helps us to know the greatness of God, while His enemies try to bring God down to their own size. He says that we are God’s servants, while they want to make God, their Servant.

But now Jesus says that even among us, the chosen twelve, there is a traitor. Who can He be speaking of? Is He speaking of me? Is He referring to me, doubting Thomas? Is it I, Lord? Is it I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nathaniel: My name is Nathaniel, sometimes I’m also called Bartholomew. My home town is in Cana of Galilee, where Jesus performed His first miracle, changing water into wine at the wedding feast. It was my friend Philip who came up to me and said, “We have found Him whom Moses, the law and the prophets wrote about, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.”

I will never forget what I said to Philip that day, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” I didn’t mean it out of scorn, like Nazareth was some sort of place of ill repute. But the town was of such little insignificance and those of us familiar with her little streets and alleys couldn’t help but wonder why God would place His appointed one in her midst. Be that as it may, Philip simply told me, “Come and see.”

When I saw Jesus, He said, “Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no guile.” “How do you know me?” I asked. He replied, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” And even though I was sitting under a fig tree when Phillip found me, over my time with Him, I came to understand that Jesus meant something much more. You see, in my country, when women are out working in the field, they’d place their little babies underneath the fig trees, the broad leaves protected the little ones from the hot rays of the sun. What the master was telling me is that He had known me since the day I was born. It was then that I confessed my faith. “Rabbi,” I said, “You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.”

Since that time, I have served as a disciple, and a chosen apostle. Together with the others, I have walked through the small villages of Galilee, the town and the Decapolis and the streets of the Holy City, Jerusalem, and now as we are sharing this Passover meal together, He announces that one of us is to betray him. How can that be? How can a traitor be numbered among His closest friends? And all I can keep wondering, Is it I? Is it I, Lord?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus: Who is it? It’s the one who dips his bread in the dish with me. I tell you the truth; one of you is going to betray me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James : I am James, the brother of John. I followed Jesus with my brother when he called us one day almost three years ago. We were mending our nets with our father Zebedee by the Sea of Galilee. We were honored that Jesus wanted us to be his disciples, and humbled when he chose both of us to be among the twelve Apostles. I was present at Peter’s home when Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law. Later, in the house of Jairus, I was there when Jesus raised his little daughter from the dead. One the mount of transfiguration, we watched as Jesus talked with Moses and with Elijah. Our mother Salome was quite ambitious on our behalf and she urged us to press our claim before Jesus. So on the way to Jerusalem last week we asked Jesus if we might sit on his right and left hand. He answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink from the cup which I am to drink, or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.?” We answered, “Yes, Lord, we are able.”

And then he told us that surely we would drink from his cup and be baptized with his Baptism. But it was not his place to give to us the right or the privilege of sitting on his left or right hand in his kingdom. When the others heard of our request, they were angry. But Jesus reminded us that he who would be first must be the servant of all. And he demonstrated that tonight when he washed our feet. Once when the villagers of a certain Samaritan village did not receive Jesus as we thought they should, we asked Jesus to call down fire from heaven to destroy them. He rebuked us as only he could, and taught us that God’s way was always one of love. Now he who taught us the way of love is to be betrayed by one of those whom he loved? Who can it be? Why should one of us do such a thing? I keep thinking deep down inside my own heart, is it I? Is it I?

 

Andrew:

I am Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter and the first man to bring his own brother to Jesus. I am not a gifted man, just an ordinary man like any one of you, but I have always done all that I could with the gifts and talents that I do have to serve the Lord. The others, they call me Andrew the bringer, because I am always bringing someone to Jesus. I brought my brother Peter to Jesus and I gloried in the gradual transformation in his life since them. I was the one that found the little lad with the five loaves of bread and the two fish that day that Jesus fed the 5,000. I watched as he fed so many with so little. I saw everyone eat until they were filled, and I was glad in my heart that I had been the one to bring the lad to Jesus. And just recently some Greeks came seeking the Master and once again I was called upon to bring the Greeks to Jesus. He must have seen something of value in me that the others had overlooked, because he selected me to be one of his twelve apostles. I have been very close to the Lord since them. We shared many a triumph, and many a tragedy. I know in my heart that he is truly the Lamb of God. I may not have been one of the inner circle like Peter, but I haven’t been one of the outer circle either. I have always been a friend and companion of my Lord. What greater gift can life afford a fisherman? And now one of us is to betray him? Why that is unthinkable. Who could it be? We have all been so close. How could he get away with this in his own heart? Could it be me, Andrew the bringer? Is it I/ Oh Lord is it I?

 

 

 

Thaddaeus: I am Thaddaeus, one of the disciples that Jesus called to become an apostle. He chose twelve of us to be the cornerstones of the new kingdom, just as the twelve tribes were the cornerstones of the Old Jewish Kingdom. I felt unworthy to be numbered among the apostles, but He selected me. I well remember the day. After a night in prayer He called us to Him and gave us the authority over unclean spirits, and to heal all kinds of diseases and infirmities. He then commissioned us to go forth and preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He told us to be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves, since He was sending us forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.

It is enough,” He said, “that the disciple be as his teacher and the servant as his master.”

I was in Jerusalem when He gave the great invitation, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me. I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

And now, He who came to share men’s burdens has a burden thrust upon him, the knowledge that one of us will betray him. Which one of us will it be? Who is the traitor? Is it the man we least suspect? Or will we all betray Him before the night is over? Is it Philip? Is it Peter? Is it Judas or John? Or even Thaddaeus? Is it I? Is it I, Lord?

 

 

 

 

 

Judas: All the others came from Galilee. My home is in the village of Kerioth, in Judea, hence I am known as Judas of Kerioth, or perhaps you know me as Judas Iscariot, the only Judean in the group. The others must have had confidence in me because they elected me their treasurer. And Jesus surely must have believed in me because He chose me as one of the twelve. Despite what the others say behind my back about my impatience and stinginess and ambition, He believed in me. If He hadn’t, He would have chosen someone else in my place. Some say that I have appropriated these funds for my own use, and that Jesus’ words about the love of money and greed were personally directed at me. Others keep reminding me that Jesus was referring to me when He said,

Did I choose you twelve, and one of you is the devil?”

Of course I complained when Mary washed His feet with that expensive ointment and perfume. I still think it was a waste of money. And if I conspired with the chief priests and if I have 30 pieces of silver on my person, that is my affair. Sure, I believe in Jesus, but someone has to force the issue, make Him assert Himself as God’s Messiah. He refuses to make a move. Well, I have made one. He hints that he knows what I have done. He said so when He washed my feet a few moments ago and when we dipped our bread in the same dish. But I have my reasons. My soul isn’t as black as some think it is…Nor is yours so White! And what would you do if you were in my place and wanted Him to do something dramatic and startling? What would you do? I have already decided what I must do!

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus: Whoa to the man who betrays the Son of Man. It would be better for him if he had never been born. I tell you the truth; one of you is going to betray me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philip My name is Philip. I come from Bethsaida, along the north shore of Lake Galilee. My journey with Jesus began one day when some of my friends and I went down south to hear John the Baptist preach. Jesus of Nazareth, the one whom John said was the Lamb of God, came by that day and asked us to be his disciples. We all felt led to follow him. Later that day I invited my friend, Nathanael, to meet Jesus. I was delighted when Jesus also accepted him as one of his disciples.

During these past 3 years of close fellowship with Jesus, my faith has grown stronger and deeper. I remember one day when we were out in a remote area and a huge crowd came to hear Jesus. At the end of the day, we wanted to send them away. But Jesus insisted on feeding all of them. He said to me, “Philip, where shall we get food for these people to eat?” I replied, “Eight months wages would not buy enough food for each one to have a bite.” Just then Andrew showed up with a boy’s lunch—which was all Jesus needed.

Another time some Greek believers came to me and said, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” I asked Andrew to help me, because he is bolder than I am. We then led them to Jesus.

One of the things I have had difficulty understanding is the relationship between Jesus and our Heavenly Father. Just this week Jesus told us, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” Then I said to him, “Lord, show us the Father.” Jesus replied, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

But just when everything seemed clearer to me, Jesus shocked us this evening by telling us that there is a traitor in our midst. Doesn’t the betrayer realize that in betraying Jesus, he would be betraying God? Who among us could be so blind? Who could it be?….Could it be me?.. Is it I?.....Lord, is it I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John: After Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow Him, He came to my brother James, and me, John. We were in a nearby boat mending our nets with our father Zebedee when He called us. We immediately left the boat and followed Him. Ever since that time, I have tried to understand Jesus by loving Him. I believe that surely He is true God, that He was with the Father, in the beginning creating the world, yet I love Him as a person. And He has returned my love. Sometimes He calls me the beloved disciple. I have shared His trials as well as His hours of victory. I was on the mount of transfiguration, and I saw His glory. He nicknames James and me the sons of thunder. Yet we are not boisterous men. We are quiet, hard workers, though at times we may be a bit impatient with those who reject Him. Peter and I made the arrangements for the Passover celebration here in this upper room tonight, because He numbers us within His close intimate inner circle. He told me about His talk with Nicodemus when He spoke those wonderful words,

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Someday, I want to write down some of these sayings, some of His many wonderful deeds, so that others may read them and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing, they may have life in His name. But He just said that one of us would betray Him. I can’t believe it. But it must be so, or He wouldn’t have said it. Who could it be? Surely not my brother. Or Peter or Andrew. Could it be John, the beloved disciple? Is it I? Is it I, Lord?

 

Simon: I am Simon the zealot. Before the Lord called me, I belonged to a group of hot headed blood thirsty revolutionaries known as the zealots. We were all for armed rebellion against Rome. We believed in crushing our enemies below our heels and re-establishing the ancient glory that was Israel’s in the days of David and Solomon. Yet the Lord told me of another kingdom. The kingdom of the heart and God rules there supreme. Since then, I have changed my mind and my allegiance. He has shown me the conquest of the heart is the only true and lasting conquest. So, I have given Him my highest loyalty, and deepest devotion. I have, in military terms, completely and unconditionally surrendered myself to Him, to think His thoughts, to love as He loves, and whom He loves. To obey as He obeys, and serve as He serves. Now with this surrender, He has not imprisoned me; Instead, He has set me free. For the first time in my life, I am no longer afraid of Rome. For Rome is mighty, but God is Almighty. And we will conquer her by outliving and out loving in the name of the God, who has been made known to us, Jesus, our Lord and Savior. But now, the master tells us there is a spiritual Roman among us, Someone who would try to accomplish out of force, what can only be accomplished out of love. Who could it be? My friend, Matthew, the Publican? The big fisherman or his brother? Or perhaps, He suspects me. After all, I am the only former zealot. Is it I? Is it I, Lord?

 

 

 

 

 

Peter: My brother Andrew and I were out fishing on the Sea of Galilee one afternoon, casting our nets into the sea when Jesus walked by and said to us, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

We immediately dropped our nets to follow Him. Later, He used our boat as a seaside pulpit to preach to the crowds and multitudes that followed him. One morning He said, “Simon, cast your nets out deep into the sea for another catch.”

But I replied, “Master, we’ve toiled all evening and come away with nothing. But at Your word, I will cast the nets again.”

We caught so many fish that night, that we had to summon nearby boats just to contain them all. When we reached shore, I fell to my knees at Jesus’ feet and cried, “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

But He said to us, “From this time forth, you will all be fishers of men.” He even changed my name, from Simon to Peter, which means, The Rock, and when I confessed Him to be the Christ, the Son of the living God, He said, “Upon your confession, I will build My church.”

But only a moment later, when I protested His going to Jerusalem to suffer death at the hands of evil men, He rebuked me and said, “Get behind me Satan.”

So, I am a mixture of good and evil, of godliness and wickedness. And I want to prove to Him that my love, loyalty, and devotion are sincere and genuine. Tonight, when He said, “One of you will betray me.” I promised to follow Him even into death. But He warned me. He said, “Peter, before the cock crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”

 

He even prayed for me because He said that Satan wanted me so he could sift me like wheat.

Although the others call me, the big fisherman, I feel so small and unworthy in His presence. Will I deny Him tonight, before the cock crows? And if I do, what will He do? Will He deny me? Will He disown me? Was he referring to me tonight when He said that one of us would betray him? If I knew who that scoundrel was, I would pierce his heart with this knife that I hold in my hand. But, maybe it would be my own heart that I would pierce. God grant that it would not be so. But I can’t help wonder, “Is it I, Lord? Is it I?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus: “Take and eat, this is my body. Take and drink, this is the New Covenant written in My blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of all of your sins.”