Summary: Looking around the table at the Lord’s Supper.
Intro>In 1967 a groundbreaking movie directed by Stanley Kramer starred Spencer Tracy in his last film ever (he died 17 days after filming it), Katherine Hepburn, who won the best actress Oscar for her performance, and Sidney Poitier. The plot revolves around a wealthy white daughter who has invited her fiancee, a successful doctor who happens to be an African American (Poitier) home to meet her parents (Tracy / Hepburn) in San Francisco before she plans to fly to Switzerland and marry him and join him in his medical practice. The movies name comes from a key line delivered by the household maid and cook...The title: “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner!”
--The movie’s most important aspect was that it played a significant role in the overturning of laws in seventeen states at the time of the movie’s release which barred interracial marriages.
--But in terms of an important dinner...it comes nowhere close to the importance of the meal we’ll be participating in today.
I invite you to open a Bible and turn to Matthew 26.
The setting of the Lord’s Supper is fairly well-known to most believers...
--It was part of the Jewish Passover celebration, commemorating how the Death Angel passed over the houses of the children of Israel while they were slaves in Egypt, houses that were covered by the blood of a sacrificial lamb.
Jesus knew that this Passover meal would be His final meal of any kind before His death...a very special time.
--Although it is quite probable that the families of the disciples were also gathered for the meal, I want to focus our attention today on the thirteen men at the table....
ONE AT THE TABLE WAS THE LORD HIMSELF.
--Mt.26:20 -- ”Now when evening had come, He was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.”
--But when Jesus invited His twelve disciples to His final Passover meal, LOOK WHO ELSE CAME TO DINNER...
<>ONE AT THE TABLE WAS BETRAYING HIM.
--Mt.26:14-16 -- ”Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?’ And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.”
Mk.14:18 -- ”As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me...the one who is eating with Me.”
->Understand, Judas Iscariot had ALREADY met with the Pharisees, had ALREADY worked out a plan to turn Jesus over to them.
->He was actually looking for a convenient time, waiting to earn his “blood money.”
->And yet, hypocritically, he sat there along with the other disciples and Jesus Himself.
->He was cold, callous, calculating.
---Even when Jesus “spilled the beans” and announced that He already knew that one of them was betraying Him, what was Judas’ reaction?
He never did confess, didn’t repent right then and there, never changed his mind or his intent.
---He instead acted in mock horror, saying along with the rest, “Surely it’s not I, Lord!”
---But then he got up and went and carried out the plans he’d already put together.
---In a matter of a few hours he would lead the temple guard to Gethsemane, where he knew Jesus would be, and they would arrest Jesus.
---Judas had called himself Jesus’ friend, said he was someone who would be loyal and whom the Lord could trust.
---But when the chips were down and his loyalty would actually cost him something...he put his own interests ahead of anything else.
---When following the Lord meant taking a stand and being bold...he “switched sides”...and sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver.
---He was not a defender, because he was, in fact, a pretender.
---He had an agenda...turning over Rome...and when his agenda didn’t mix with the Lord’s mission, he betrayed Jesus.
->Guess who’s coming to dinner -- a cold, calculating, hypocrite...a betrayer.
<>ONE AT THE TABLE WOULD DENY HIM.
--Mk.14:29 -- ”...Peter said to Him, ‘Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.”
->Simon Peter was at the table...so confident...so bold...so sure of himself.
---Bold enough to declare that all the rest might forsake Jesus, but never would he do something like that.
->And yet, when the chips were down, look at what Peter actually did:
---In the garden, he fell asleep when Jesus asked His “inner three” disciples, His best friends, to pray with Him.
---As Jesus was being arrested, he pulled out a sword and sliced off the ear of Malchus, one of the guards.
---Which resulted in Jesus chastising him for using violence to settle a non-violent dispute, and then Jesus reached over to Malchus and put his ear back on!