Summary: On Thursday of Passover week, Jesus taught about servant leadership, modeled servant leadership, and instituted the Lord’s Supper. A message leading into observing the Lord’s Supper.
Intro> It was Thursday evening. Jesus knew when He entered the room that in less than six hours He would be betrayed and arrested. He knew that in twelve hours He would be victim of a mock trial, taken to be ridiculed by King Herod, then back to the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate. He knew that in sixteen hours He would be mocked and whipped with a cat of nine tails by Roman soldiers, the temple guard, and that in seventeen hours He would hear the crowd yelling for Him to be crucified. And, He knew that in eighteen hours He would be nailed to a cross, and in twenty-one hours He would be dead.
<>I invite you to open a Bible to John 13:1-17.
>This is the second message in our sermon series, “From Palms to Paradise.”
--Last week, in “The Tears Of a Crown,” we looked at the events of Palm Sunday, and the fact that before Jesus entered the city that day He wept over Jerusalem. Then He entered meek and lowly on a donkey as the crowd cheered.
--In the days that followed His triumphal entry, He went and cleared out the money changers from the temple, healed people in the street, many in the crowd heard the voice of the Father speak down through the clouds. Jesus not only wasn’t “caught” in the Pharisees’ debating questions He actually left them scratching their heads...to the point they began plotting to have Him killed, and they talked to Judas about betraying Jesus, bringing them to where Jesus would be away from the crowd so they could arrest Him and take Him into custody.
<>Today we come to Thursday Evening of Jesus’ final Passover week.
--He had only 21 hours left in His earthly life...only six hours left with His disciples.
--So what would He spend His time talking to them about?
>He put the meeting together...the Passover Meal...knowing it would be His “farewell address,” a time for Him to teach them one last lesson.
--But the lesson was probably not what Jesus would have hoped it could have been.
<>(Read John 13:1-17)
>How disappointed Jesus must have been!
--He had spent three years with these men, and now on His final evening with them, He found them focused on which one of them was the greatest.
<>TODAY I WANT US TO LOOK AT WHAT TOOK PLACE IN THE UPPER ROOM THAT EVENING, AND THE LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM THOSE EVENTS.
>First, there was...
1) A LAME DISCUSSION.
--Lk.22:24 -- “And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.”
>Luke’s account of this gathering tells us the subject of Jesus’ discussion:
--The disciples had “bought in” to the same idea as the rest of Judaism: that the Messiah would be a military conqueror.
----They thought He would come and overturn Rome, oust Caesar, set Israel free, and then rule from Jerusalem and elevate the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
>The disciples were probably thinking out loud as to what positions each of them would have in Jesus’ kingdom, His new administration.
>Their thoughts might have gone something like this:
-->Secretary of State? -- Well, let’s install John.
-------He’s a diplomat. He speaks of love, he was comfortable and accepted in many crowds.
-------After all, he was able to “mingle” with the high priest after Jesus’ arrest, and yet he was not arrested.
-------He also was able to be present right at the foot of the cross without being arrested.
-->Chief of Staff? -- Probably Andrew.
-------He was good at being a go-between for people bringing “stuff” or questions to Jesus.
-------He brought Simon Peter to meet Jesus on the first day He also met Jesus.
-------It was Andrew who brought the boy with the loaves and fish to Jesus.
-------It was Andrew the Greeks came and asked if they could see Jesus, and he brought them to Him.
-->Secretary of War / Secretary of Defense -- Peter.
-------He had the temper. He was militant, forceful.
------However, that position was probably put in jeopardy when he swung a sword at the head of Malchus, the Roman soldier, and took off his ear instead.
-->Secretary of Interior -- James.
------He was an outdoorsman, a fisherman. a “nature” guy.
-->Secretary of Treasury -- Matthew.
------The accountant, the tax collector, familiar with working with money and collecting money for the government.
-->C.I.A. Director -- Thomas.
------Skeptical of everything, he wouldn’t be fooled by deceptive appearances or under-cover spies.
<>Jesus would respond to the discussion and spend His last “teachable moment” with His disciples teaching them that greatness is not about “status” or what the world’s view of a great leader might be.
<>THE LESSON WE CAN LEARN: GOD WORKS THROUGH IMPERFECT PEOPLE.
-->These disciples were clearly fallible, they were slow in truly comprehending the depth of Jesus’ teaching.