Summary: Jesus did not anoint the head of the disciples - he did not call for a bottle of Holy Oil - he did not ask them to get in a Prayer Line. This may not be apparent at first, but think about it - your feet carry a enormous load.
TITLE: HOOKED ON A TITLE
SCRIPTURE: ST. JOHN 13:1-17
In the earlier chapters Jesus had given His ministry to the people of GALILEE and JERUSALEM. In ths 13th Chapter and following Chapters, Jesus turns from an unbelieving world to minister the Father’s love to His INNER CIRCLE OF DISCIPLES. He gives these lasts days of love and instruction in the upper room to those who had devotedly opened their hearts to Him and His revelation. The disciples are now found gathered with Jesus for what would become their final meal. They are all there - PETER - JAMES – JOHN – JUDAS ISCARIOT – JUDAS THE BROTHER OF JAMES - ANDREW – THOMAS -- PHILIP – BARTHOLOMEW – MATTHEW – JAMES THE SON OF ALPHAEUS - SIMON THE ZEALOT. Reclining around the low table, they chatter in a nervous tone. The men know that something is up. Jesus seems PENSIVE and QUIET. He talks, but it seems as if he has something on his mind, and indeed he does.
• Jesus, as he eats that meal, knows that before long Judas will come with a kiss
• The Roman soldiers will come to arrest him
• Soon he will stand before CAIAPHAS – HEROD – PILATE
• In less than twelve hours he will be hanging on a cross
• The conversation goes on back and forth and Jesus listens
The Gospel writer LUKE is the one who tells us the MOOD of the disciples as they enter the Upper Room.
• They had previously been arguing about which one of them is the greatest
• They do not sense the danger of this moment as Jesus does
• They sense what they think after 3 years is finally victory
• They are getting ready to cut up the Kingdom of God like a pecan pie
• Arguing about who deserves the biggest piece
• They are in no mood to serve each other
• They are simply Hooked on a Title
This is the atmosphere that Jesus encounters as he enters the Upper Room with the disciples to establish this final meal - this LORD’S SUPPER. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like much of what we view today. So many around us in the local church are so caught up in a TITLE – trying to elevate themselves above everyone else – Hooked on a Title.
• Just like the disciples – much internal bickering in many denominations
• Who is the greatest among us
• I’m a Bishop so I am over you
• I’m a Pastor, you’re just a Minister – I’m over you
• I’m the Moderator – I run the show here
• I’m an Apostle so I am over you
• I’m a Prophet so my calling is higher than yours
• I’m a Master Prophet so my calling is over everybody
• Trying to lay claim to something that does not belong to us
• Hooked on a Title
The synoptic gospels tell us of the institution of the Lord’s Supper which John omits, including the dispute over which of the disciples would be the greatest. John though includes events which they omit. To John we owe this PRICELESS TEACHING ON THE HUMBLE NATURE OF OUR LORD.
• Jesus is in complete command of the situation
• He knows that His hour had come
• It did not take Him by surprise
The hour for Jesus to complete the supreme task and reason He came into the world was at hand. The cross would decisively mark the end of Jesus’ visible earthly ministry. The way back to the Father was the way of the cross. Knowing His time is short Jesus chooses to concentrate on those He loves intimately. And he could not have selected a better time. He is preparing to return to the Father, and those that will take the Reign of Leadership and birth the new Church are arguing and upset with one another because they are Hooked on a Title.
Isn’t it amazing, no matter what we attempt to do for the Lord, the devil is always at work. Seems like he does his best work when he PUFFS UP OUR EGO. We see the hand of the adversary at work during the meal to ruin the fellowship by stirring up treachery against Jesus – as VS 2 reveals - During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him - Judas had already determined to betray Jesus. In His rebellion against God, he has opened himself up to greater and greater influence by the devil. Later, in Vs. 27 he will become possessed by the devil and come under his control.
Let me be as plain as I can this morning. When our Ego’s get puffed up and we begin to focus upon our titles and think we are more important than those around us, we are being used by the adversary. When devil Puffs up our EGO he has full control of you - I CORINTHIANS 10:12 “WHEREFORE LET HIM THAT THINKETH HE STANDETH TAKE HEED LEST HE FALL.” Jesus picked up on what was bothering the disciples during that Supper and He would leave them a tremendous message in HUMILITY and SERVANTHOOD.