MPGC6 - THE LAST SUPPER - A Final Lesson in Love - Part 1
We have been studying an event called The Last Supper in which Jesus had arranged for He and his disciples to partake of the Passover feast in Jerusalem. This is to be their last time together before Jesus dies. Jesus knows this clearly while the disciples do not.
There is one final grand lesson that Jesus delivers both in words and action. The opportunity for it comes when he hears his disciples bickering at this final, sacred hour. Let's look in on .....
THE LAST SUPPER - A Final Lesson in Love - Part 1 (Luke 22: 24-27)
Day 1- Luke records a dispute that arose among the disciples. It's a dispute normal to all natural men (men without God) and carnal men (Christians walking after the flesh and not the Spirit). What was the dispute about?
Day 2- This definitely became a teaching moment for Jesus as he helped his disciples and us to see the difference in worldly thinking vs. Kingdom of God thinking. As you read this verse note the two things Jesus says are common about leaders (or anyone in authority) in this world.
First we see that they "lord it over" others. They use "power over" tactics to make people change. Then, they give themselves a fancy title (benefactor) to legitimize their "power over" methods. "It's for your own good!"
Day 3- Jesus has one simple command for any of his servants in leadership.
"You are not to be like that." Like what? We are not to use "power over" methods to get others to do what we want. And therefore we won't be legitimizing domineering behavior with a title such as being a benefactor (someone looking out for another's welfare).
Day 4- How should we act instead? Two examples are given.
If as a leader we become as "the youngest among us" it means that we are still willing to listen and learn. It means we don't know it all. If as a leader we become a servant we step into the highest form of leadership.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT WE ARE TO BECOME AS ONE WHO SERVES?
There are five things that will change for anyone that desires to be like Christ as a servant.
I. To be a servant our very nature and attitude must change first.
Day 5- If you're going to follow Jesus it will require leaving your old ways and following into servanthood.
Just as Simon and Andrew left their fishing careers once and for all to follow Christ so our minds and hearts must leave the thinking of this world. With our will, we set our mind in a new direction.
What will result when we set our minds on the things of God?
Day 6- The Bible says our attitude is to be the same as Christ's. What was his attitude?
In the verses before this we see what being like-minded with Christ means. Make a list as you read these verses.
Day 7- But can we really just decide to change our nature and attitude? How is this possible?
When we commit our lives to Jesus He gives us the Holy Spirit to live within us.
The Holy Spirit actually gives us the desire to cooperate with God and do His will. He writes his "law" or his "will" on our heart so that we want to obey Him as it says in:
Day 8- First, our nature changes because of Jesus Christ and His work for us.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18a
Day 9- This change in nature requires our cooperation with God and is actually a three step process.
A. We take off the old self. How? Make a list of the instructions given.
We can do this because our thinking has changed. It is no longer on earthly things but is delighting in God.
B. We put on the new self.
We can pray like this: "I am in Christ and therefore I am a new creation. My old self is gone and the new one has come!"
C. Then God goes to work in our life to change us from the inside out. HE (not we) is the one doing the real work of changing.
Notice that God began the work in us, He continues that work, and then He finishes it.
II. To be a servant means our goals will change
Day 10- The normal goal for all men is to look after themselves and their family. But a servant doesn't do this. Who does he look out for first?
Who does he tend to secondly?
Day 11- You protest -- "Who will look out for me and my family?"
That's the irony for a servant. We look after God's interests and he takes care of ours!
1 Peter 5:7
Day 12- The normal goal for all men is to please themselves and those they love. But as you read these verses notice who you are to obey and please.
Ephesians 6:5 / Colossians 3:22 / 1 Timothy 6:1 / Titus 2:9 / 1 Peter 2:18
Day 13- The normal goal for all men is to increase their own wealth and possibilities. But this is not so for a servant.
The irony of being a faithful steward for the master is that HE gives us the strength to do what we need to do.
1 Peter 4:11
According to this verse who then gets the glory for doing it?
Day 14- Notice when the disciples first went out. WHO worked with them?
It means we work in cooperation with God for the good of those he sends us to.
Day 15- The normal goal for all men is to do and be good to ourselves. But what will it mean for a servant?
1 Timothy 6:18 / James 2:17-18 / 1 Peter 2:12
Day 16- As you read these verses notice WHO we are directed to care for and love.
John 21:15-17 / Galatians 5:13-14
The Lord's sheep are those who belong to Him. Therefore we have a responsibility like Peter to care for those in the body of Christ. But our neighbor includes all those that brush shoulders with us in our day to day life. It's the family that lives next door, it's our co-workers, the people we buy from in the stores, other family members, those we take a class with on Wednesday evening. Whether Christians or non-Christians we are called to be their servant.
Day 17- Jesus set our goal as a servant by living it Himself.
Matthew 20:28 / Luke 22:27b / John 13:4-5
Day 18- If any of us are still unclear about the goal of a servant, Paul summarizes it for us.
1 Corinthians 10:24
III. To be a servant our source of supply will change
Day 19- Normally a man looks to himself and his own resources to fulfill a task. But it's not so with a servant.
Day 20- Normally we speak from what we know. But a servant has an internal teleprompter!
Luke 12: 11-12
Day 21- Normally we act from what we know to do. But as a servant we have an internal guide!
Day 22- So God anoints his servants with His Holy Spirit so that we can speak and act properly in all situations. We can do so because of our internal supply of strength and insight and wisdom.
1 John 2:27
IVa. To be a servant our actions will change. They will change first towards God.
Day 23- Because a servant leader now has a new nature, a new attitude, new goals and a new source of supply he/she is able to serve God in the only way that God accepts.
Deuteronomy 10:12 / Joshua 24:14
Day 24- This wholehearted service to God means that we are willing to be obedient in all that He asks of us directly or through others.
Genesis 6:22 / Joshua 11:15 / 2 Kings 18:5-6 / John 4:34
Day 25- We might be tempted to substitute something else for obedience as King Saul did. He offered a sacrifice to the Lord but didn't obey Him. What rebuke did Samuel have for Saul and us?
1 Samuel 15:22
Day 26- The Apostle Paul had become a true servant leader. His life had changed 180 degrees so that he was able to say....
Day 27- Full and complete obedience to God is no light matter. What did it mean for Paul?
Acts 20: 22-23
What did it mean for Jesus?
What will it mean for us?
Romans 8:17 / 2 Corinthians 4:11 / 1 Peter 5:10
IVb. To be a servant our actions will change. They will change secondly towards men.
Day 28- In order to become a servant leader towards men we must first be one towards God. If this change has taken place it will allow us to serve men with the same attitude with which we serve God. What is that attitude?
Day 29- At this final feast with His disciples Jesus acted out what He wanted His disciples to be like.
John 13:4-5, 15
(Our next study will focus on this precious example).
Day 30- What does it mean today to wash one another's feet? I believe it means that we bring ease and refreshment to one another in simple, practical ways. As you read these verses make a list so you have a clear picture of what this means.
Matthew 25:35-36 / Acts 9:36 / Hebrews 13:16 / James 1:27
Day 31- You can see from the verses in day 30 that it means performing small tasks in humility.
It is doing what we can do with what we have.
Matthew 26:7 / John 12:3
Day 32- Who will we find ourselves being good to?
Who will this include?
Day 33- We will no longer by able to shut our ears to the cries of the poor.
Our faith in God and His ability will enable us to help others.
The only way faith is truly expressed is in what we DO. Without the doing, it is all just empty words.
Day 34- This giving to the poor and ministering to others will mean giving out of our poverty not our wealth. This is giving that hurts because it is giving that costs us something.
Mark 12: 41-44
Day 35- Normally a man looks after what belongs to him and that is burden enough for him. But it is not so with a servant. What will he need to add to his own burdens?
Day 36- Jesus sums up for us how our actions will change towards God and man.
V. To be a servant means that our leadership will change
Day 37- Leaders can often be guilty of commanding from a distance and giving orders through someone else. But it is not so with a servant leader. They demonstrate the reality of their faith by being a servant in practical ways. List what those are.
1 Thessalonians 1:3/ Reread: James 2:14-17 / 1 Peter 2:12
Day 38- Just as Jesus came down into the "trenches" by becoming a man living on earth so servant leaders have a life involved with those they lead so that their lives provide an example to others.
Titus 2:7 / Titus 3:8 / Hebrews 10:24
Day 39- Our leadership will also change towards the ones in authority over us -- both men and God. What do we become as a true servant?
Why is being a faithful messenger so important? It means there is no mixture of "self" in the reporting. We don't twist, exaggerate or change the message. Those under us and the authority over us know that when we speak we give the truth. This is actually a requirement for anyone that has been given a trust.
1 Corinthians 4:2
THE RESULTS OF BEING A SERVANT LEADER
Day 40- We become great in the eyes of God and man.
Matthew 23:11 / Mark 10: 43-44
Day 41- It means being very clear that for all our serving we are not saved by what we do.
Ephesians 2:8-9 / Titus 3:5
Day 42- The best result is the great joy we experience because we love God and delight to do his will. This is so even if it is hard.
Psalm 40:8 / Psalm 126:5-6 / Hebrews 12:2
Day 43- It is the test of servanthood that will be applied in determining man's final destiny!
We can see therefore why this final lesson of love was such an important one. It was so important that words simply weren't enough. While Luke records what Jesus said, John records what Jesus did to demonstrate this final important lesson of love and serving. We'll continue with this in the next study.
Next Study: MPGC#7