God Knows…When Somebody Lets Me Down – Part 1
Imagine that you’ve carefully built a model airplane. You’re showing it to a friend. “Humph,” he says. “It’s not very strong.” He proceeds to put it on the ground and stomp on it. Pieces fly everywhere. It’s hard not to cry.
Or perhaps you’ve thoughtfully written a special poem for your sister’s birthday. As neatly as you can, you have copied it onto a card you made. She opens the envelope, and tosses the card aside without reading your note.
What do you do? Let’s look at a Bible story to see how Jesus reacted when His friends let Him down.
It was the last evening Jesus would have with His 12 disciples. His life of unselfish service was about to end. In less than 24 hours He would be put to death in the cruelest way His enemies could come up with.
This time of year was usually a time of joy and celebration. The Passover was a special holiday season. In the evening a traditional meal was served—a roasted lamb, unleavened bread (without yeast), bitter herbs, and sweet grape juice. The Passover had begun the night the Israelites left Egypt. It reminded them of their deliverance from death in Egypt and the future deliverance they would get from the promised Messiah.
As the disciples gathered with Jesus around the table in an upstairs room, they saw that something was heavy on His mind. “I’ve really been looking forward to eating this special meal with you before I suffer,” Jesus told them. He wanted to prepare them for what was coming. The next two or three days would be tough.
But He saw that jealousy and a fighting sprit showed all over their faces. They clung to their dream that Christ was about to take over as King on earth. Each wanted first place in the new kingdom they envisioned.
Another argument was over who should do the washing up—not of dishes but of feet! It was custom at a meal like this that a servant would wash the dusty feet of the guests. A pitcher of water, a basin, and a towel were ready. But no servant had come. Without a word, Jesus got up, took off His coat, wrapped a towel around Himself, put water into the basin, and began to wash His disciples’ feet. This was an example of unselfishness and service that they would never forget.
The meal was also something they would never forget. Jesus took the Passover bread, blessed it, broke it, and give it to the disciples, “Take, eat,” He said, “this is My body” (Mark 14:22). Then He took a cup of grape juice, gave thanks, and gave that to the disciples. “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for man,” He said (Mark 14:24). In days to come, when the disciples again shared bread and wine together, they remembered this night and saw that the breaking of the bread was a symbol of the breaking of Christ’s body on the cross. The cup of wine had a special meaning as they remembered His bleeding body.
A traitor was at the Passover table that night. Judas, one of the disciples sitting there, had his mind on a dirty scheme. He planned to trade information about Jesus’ whereabouts for money. After a bit, Jesus shocked everyone at the table with the words, “One of you is going to betray Me.”
Who? “Lord, is it I” they all asked.
Finally, not wanting to be different, Judas asked, “Master, is it I?”
Jesus answered, “You have said it.” Then Jesus whispered to Judas, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
Judas was alarmed. His thoughts might have ran something like this: Jesus must be the Son of God. He knows about my plans! How loving Jesus is to wash my feet, knowing my evil plan. Maybe I should change my plans. …No, a King wouldn’t wash feet like a servant. If Jesus is just a servant, there’s nothing to gain by sticking with Him. I’ll get him back for making people believe that he’s the King of the Jews, and get 30 pieces of silver in the process. What a sharp deal!
Judas hurried from the room and went into the darkness.
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