MPGC8 - THE LAST SUPPER - Rewards and Predictions
The disciples had always had desires for high posts in the kingdom they anticipated would be ushered in by Jesus. This was what had fueled the comparisons amongst themselves as to who was the greatest. Their argument prompted the Lord to discuss with them what it means to be great by becoming a servant. His words were followed by an example the disciples would never forget. The Lord got up and washed their feet!
With that lesson over the Lord had a reward for his band of disciples followed by some very startling predictions. Let's continue with our study on the last supper.
THE LAST SUPPER - Rewards and Predictions
Day 1 - Why did the Lord want to reward his disciples?
Luke 22: 28
Matthew Henry (commentator) says this about the disciples - "Christ's disciples had been very defective in their duty. We find them guilty of many mistakes and weaknesses. They were dull and very forgetful, and often blundered, yet their Master passes all by and forgets it; he does not upbraid them for their infirmities, but gives them this memorable testimonial, 'You are they who have continued with me.' Thus does he praise at parting, to show how willing he is to make the best of those whose hearts he knows to be upright with him."
Day 2- What is their reward?
Luke 22: 29-30
According to the original text it says... "And I appoint unto you, as my Father has appointed unto me, a kingdom."
The Greek word diatithemei (translated as appoint, bestow, bequeath, confer, grant, and assign) has the force of a "covenant" which means that it will surely be done.
Day 3- The inheritance of this kingdom will come to them in the same way that Jesus received his kingdom. As you read these verses notice what Jesus endured for the privilege of sitting down at the throne of God.
Hebrews 12: 2-3
Day 4- As we consider the tribulations and sufferings of our Lord for the reward of the Kingdom of God so it must be for the disciples and for us.
Acts 14:22 / Romans 8:17
Day 5- We will gain our reward with the loss of what doesn't matter anyway.
Philippians 3: 4-11
Day 6- And just as we share in Christ's suffering what will also be our share?
Romans 8:18 / 2 Corinthians 1:7 / 2 Timothy 2:12a
God gave Jesus a kingdom among men -- the gospel church -- of which He is the ruling head. This kingdom he appointed to his apostles and their successors in the ministry of the gospel.
REWARDS FOLLOWED BY BAD NEWS
Day 7- The Lord had just rewarded his disciples. The good news had come first but now he tells them a prediction (prophecy) is about to be fulfilled. What is it?
Zechariah 13:7a / Matthew 26:31 (Also stated in: Mark 14:27)
Day 8- We see in Luke's gospel an interesting addition to this prediction. The Lord now directs his comment to Peter but uses his old name Simon. He uses it twice to show emphasis and importance. What had already occurred that he wanted Peter to know?
Luke 22:31 in the Amplified Bible reads like this:
" Simon, Simon (Peter) Listen! Satan has asked (God) excessively that (all of) you (plural) be given up to him (out of the power and keeping of God), that he might sift you like grain."
Day 9- It is quite something to know that nothing can happen to us without God's permission and the permission God gives is with the knowledge that it will make us better and stronger. We see this same asking by Satan with an earlier saint - Job.
Job 1: 6-12
God will allow us to be tested by Satan but he sets limits on what Satan is allowed to do.
Day 10- The sifting of wheat, called winnowing is done to separate the chaff and broken grains from the full grains of wheat. How does this sifting occur among men? It happens when something big happens that tests us to the core. It tests us in regards to our love and trust in God. Jesus' death was to be this sifting for the disciples. If we are Christians what is always to be our response to trial and testing?
Day 11- "Count it all joy?" This seems unthinkable , undoable for us! Yet if we pause for a moment we will realize that God has allowed it in your life for a reason. We don't need to understand all the reasons but we can understand this much -- that if we continue to love and trust God through the trial He will produce in us a wonderful result.
James 1: 3-4
Day 12- And here is a wonderful secret that few of us realize.
Luke 22: 32a
Day 13- All of us would end up as chaff except for the fact that Jesus prays for us! He is right now at the right hand of God interceding for you and I! What a wonderful fact to know that Jesus himself is praying for us!
Romans 8:34 / Hebrews 7:25
Day 14- This "sifting" of the disciples would hit Peter especially hard. He was their leader (aside from the Lord). The others looked up to him. But God was going to allow it so that Peter would be humbled and then strengthened. What does Jesus command of him when he has got himself back on track after the trial?
THE PRIDE OF MEN
Day 15- Each of us has an ignorance of our "self" that leads to self-confidence. Peter did not really know himself as the Lord knew him. What did Peter truly think?
Matthew 26:33/ (Also stated in: Mark 14:29/ Luke 22:33/John 13:37)
Day 16- Peter was so sure of himself -- totally convinced that even though all the other disciples fall away he would never do so. Sadly our Lord had to set him straight.
Matthew 26:34 (Also stated in: Mark 14:30) / Luke 22:34 / John 13:38
Day 17- Pride in a person is strong. Even though the Son of God himself was making the prediction, Peter would not believe it. He asserts himself all the more!
Matthew 26:35 (Also stated in: Mark 14:31)
Day 18- Peter became a living example of Solomon's warning to all of us.
Day 19- He was full of self-confidence which often predicts an element of insecurity in a person. As you read these verses notice these two phrases:
"He who trusts in himself"
"Because you have depended on your own strength"
Proverbs 28:26 / Hosea 10:13
Day 20- What warning is this situation to us?
1 Corinthians 10:12
In a short while we are about to see the men most committed to Jesus, (the same ones just honored for their faithfulness) scatter in all directions. Some would scatter at the first bad encounter and the rest not long after. The Lord would go to his death alone without the comfort of friends.
WHAT WE ARE WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
We have in this incident one of the greatest examples of what men are like without the Holy Spirit. These disciples were certainly committed followers of Jesus but they knew nothing of the Holy Spirit. Remember at this point Jesus had only promised that the Holy Spirit would be given to them but it had not happened yet.
Day 21- Throughout the Old Testament years there had been the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 59:21 / Ezekiel 39:29 / Joel 2:28 / Zechariah 12:10
John the Baptist had prophesied that Jesus would be the one to first baptize us with the Holy Spirit.
Day 22- Now in these last hours Jesus would comfort these men with the promise that the Holy Spirit would soon be given to them.
John 14:16-18 / John 16:7-15
Day 23- Repentance and personal cleansing would precede this gift. After Peter had "turned" from his falling away he would strengthen his brothers by making sure they too had repented and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Without the Holy Spirit we have good intentions but no real power to make them happen. The disciples were afraid to speak, fearful of men and ran at the slightest provocation. But after they had received the Holy Spirit they were truly changed men. They had the power within to stand firm and be witnesses to Jesus Christ. They spoke boldly without fear of man and they endured death for their Lord.
THE LORD'S CONFIDENCE
Day 24- We see the realism of Jesus in that he knew all that was going to happen and yet he went on. But Jesus always saw beyond the cross and had a confidence of the future that of course his disciples did not see.
Matthew 26:32 (Also stated in: Mark 14:28)
He does not condemn or reproach the disciples but rather tells them they they will meet again. How kind.
Day 25- And once more with a plea in his voice Jesus gives them what he calls a new command. Obedience to this command is the way that others will know that we are the Lord's disciples.
A FINAL INSTRUCTION - Luke 22: 35-38
Jesus had just given them a lesson on servanthood, rewarded them for loyalty, and announced that they would all desert him. Now before the supper was ended Jesus had one final instruction for his beloved disciples. Only Luke records these verses. He was a doctor and always concerned with the practical things in life. No doubt these words of Jesus caught him in a special way.
Day 26- Jesus starts by asking the disciples a question.
Their answer was, "nothing". God Himself had provided for their needs. I think Jesus asked them this so that their past experience would lead to a present trust.
Day 27- Everything was soon to change. What does Jesus now advise them to do?
Day 28-Notice the words Jesus says - "But now...." The times are changed.
BEFORE - the disciples were sent out for only a short time and in their own country and therefore there was no need for preparation for a long absence or for encountering great danger.
BUT NOW - they were to go out into the wider world. They would be amongst strangers, in trials, facing danger and wants of all kinds. Paul certainly affirmed this in his life.
2 Corinthians 11:26
It is now proper that the disciples should make arrangements for their journeys and they should take money to provide for their needs, a traveler's bag with some initial provisions and a sword to lawfully protect themselves from wild beasts and robbers. These provisions were referencing a future life that the disciples were about to step into. They did not refer to the present trial that was coming.
Day 29- Luke 22:37 -- explains why everything would change.
A prophecy in Isaiah would soon be fulfilled.
Jesus would be classed along with the sinner, the outlaw, the criminal and the wicked.
BEFORE-- Jesus Christ is loved by the people as he went throughout the countryside teaching and healing.
BUT SOON--Jesus Christ will be a condemned man
By association, if Jesus is classed with the transgressors and outlaws then anyone following him would be classed that way. The disciples would soon be outlaws as well.
Day 30- Jesus sees all this as he looks ahead. All they can see is this minute. They announce they have two swords (one belongs to Peter) . They understand them to be used for present defense and they are ready with the two swords. But notice Jesus' answer to them.
By "that's enough" Jesus doesn't mean that two swords are enough. He means the subject is now closed. He could see that the disciples had not grasped the warning for protection in the larger context of their lives going forward. As with all good teachers he knows when it's time to change the subject.
Day 31- Jesus never tries to "sugarcoat" what his disciples will face. He wanted his disciples -- all the way down to today -- to know that they must expect trouble. If our master suffered here on earth then so will we. What two things can we expect as Christ's disciples?
What does Peter say our attitude must be?
1 Peter 4:1
Day 32 - We end this study with a reminder of who will be our shield, our help and our sword (protector).
Next Study: MPGC#9