My Thoughts. . .

Thursday, May 9, 2019

John had childhood friends and relatives in high political and religious positions in Jerusalem.  This allowed him to go where the other apostles would not be welcomed.  John took advantage of that open door.  He invited Peter to go with him to the dwelling where Jesus was being questioned.

It had been a long day coming into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover meal.  Jesus used his reputation to get a house opened to them to observe that 1,600-year-old Jewish festival.  Some had purchased the lamb and other essential items to eat that were prescribed by scripture.  The other items came through tradition, but they had to be bought and brought.  The meal had to be prepared in the kosher way.   This wasn’t the first time they had observed this day or prepared this special meal.

The apostles and Jesus enjoyed eating the meal and as usual, differences on common subjects cropped up with adequate Jewish debate.  Jesus stopped some with an appropriate illustration.  Apparently, someone had not been assigned to wash the feet of those in attendance.  The excuse, no doubt, was, “That’s not my job.”  So, Jesus fastened a towel around his waist, took a basin of water, and began performing a duty usually reserved for the household slave.  Peter put up an argument about Jesus’ actions but lost the disagreement and submitted to the cleansing.

In that meal, four cups of wine were poured and consumed at different times.  The wine had been added during the Babylonian captivity.  Jesus detoured from the common dialogue when he picked up the third cup.  Then he broke off a piece of bread and passed the loaf around the table.  Again, the speech given was not the Passover dialogue usually heard.  He spoke of his body and doing this in remembrance of him.  When that was finish, wine was poured for the fourth time in each person’s cup.  Jesus again detoured from the Passover and spoke about his blood being shed for the remission of sins.

During this period Jesus announced his coming death and the apostolic traitor.  Each questioned whether he was the guilty one.  Judas asked if it was him and Jesus answered “yes.”  Answering the other question, he said the one he would give the bread to that he dipped in the bowl would be the guilty one.  They asked.  They received.  But they did not understand.  Judas left the house to make his historical mark and the others thought he was going to buy additional food or ironically, to help the poor.

When they left to go to the garden, they may have sung the Dayenu.  A song which praised God for all that He had done for them.  In the garden, Jesus prayed while they slept.  Finally, the mob arrived, and the kiss of betrayal was performed. One sword was produced, an ear was lost and recovered, and Jesus was arrested and taken away.

John had no problems getting himself and Peter into the courtyard where the building was where Jesus had been taken.  Peter was questioned about being a disciple of the accused.  Nothing is said about John receiving such an interrogation. An effort was made to expose Peter’s association.  None seem to put John on the spot.  Peter denied and Jesus looked at him (Luke 22:61; John 20:61).  Peter left, weeping bitterly.  Nothing is said about John’s actions.

Perhaps some view Peter’s action more negatively than John’s.  Remember, Peter did attempt to defend Jesus.  John?  Nothing stated.  All of the apostles forsook Jesus, including John (Mark 14:50)!  We know John could outrun Peter (John 20:4).  He may have left Peter in his dust as they fled the garden!?

Were they ignorant of those events?  No.  Jesus plainly told them what was going to happen.  He spoke of his resurrection.  Yet, after Jesus’ death, they went to the grave expecting to find his decaying body.  When the tomb was empty not one apostle ran through the streets of Jerusalem shouting, “He has arisen.”  Not one.  We cannot leave out Jesus’ mother nor the female disciples.  They ask “Where,” “Why,” and “They have taken him away.”  The word “resurrected” never parted their lips.  As our preacher stated in his sermon recently, “Nobody was expecting no body in the tomb.”

There isn’t much hope attached to a dead Savior.  A Roman cross holding an expired Messiah does not produce faith.  If Jesus could not establish his kingdom as promised, then Satan is mightier than the Son of God.  Skepticism ruled victorious in their heart.  Yet in spite of that fear, disappointment, despair, doubt, and shattered hope, it was based more on their failure than it was on Jesus being one!

What kind of Savior is Jesus to you?