My Thoughts. . .
Matthew, Mark, and Luke inform us about Jesus instituting what Paul alone refers to as “the Lord’s supper (1 Corinthians 11:20). None of the three, name it. In all four accounts it is referred to as the Passover. Luke gives us Jesus’ statement, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you” (Luke 22:15). All four authors refer to that upper room exercise as the Passover meal. Jesus takes the Passover bread and fruit of the vine and makes his application to those two items during that meal. After mentioning the bread and before referring to the cup Jesus states, “This do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Jesus did not give a day on which this remembrance should or must be done. Luke gives us an example in Acts 20:7-11 of the Troas church doing it on the first day of the week. We are not told whether Jewish or Gentile time is being observed, nor whether this is a pattern passage. We choose what we think is valid for us and ignore the rest. No instruction is given concerning that view being valid or invalid. Whatever men of the past have decided has been passed down to us today in commentaries.
In the book of Acts Luke informs us that “they continued stedfastly in . . . the breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42). Until Paul writes to the Corinthian congregation, about 23 years later, it is never referred to as anything other than “breaking of bread” or “break bread” (Acts 20:7). Some commentaries inform us that the bread in Acts 2:42 is the Lord’s supper whereas the “breaking bread” in verse 46 is not. Without their input, we would not know that. The same claim is given in Acts 20:7, 11. The “break bread” in verse 7 is said to be communion and the “broken bread” of verse 11 is classified as a “common meal.” What is interesting is that Acts 2:42 says “They continued stedfastly” and verse 46 states, “So continuing daily. . .” Some say “the breaking of bread” (Lord’s supper) in verse 42 was done only on Sunday. Neither the word “Sunday” nor “only” are in that verse. If those two words must be in verse 42, it would seem that such construction must also add the “apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, and prayers” to be consistent. It is also interesting that bread which one “breaks” (Acts 20:7) could be referred to as “broken.” If you break bread and it is broken, would that not be the same bread? Would this not be true when both expressions are in the same context? Just a thought question.
Out of the four writers who tell us about Jesus’ personal ministry, John is the only one who mentions Jesus washing feet. It is interesting that he is the only one out of four writers who does not mention Jesus memorial remarks during the Passover meal. Three writers ignore the washing as if it had no application in their activities. John seems to feel the same way by working around the breaking of bread. Yet, both events have their purpose which some may miss when reading John’s account.
The Passover Meal was not a quiet meeting. The reason for the yearly feast is given as they partake. There are conversations in progress throughout the meal. There are even some arguments with corrections being made. Remember brave Peter and how he would die with Jesus? Remember how they were arguing over who would be first? After all, if you are going to chase the Romans out of Palestine and restore David’s kingdom, you need captains, lieutenants, and Non-Commissioned Officers! So, who is in line to be first? Jesus’ answer is to wash feet! It is very unusual for the leader to wash the feet of others. Yet, Jesus does it to teach a lesson which John puts in writing so it will be remembered. Why did John not write about the last supper? A good question to save and ask him after the resurrection!
Why are these details not given? Would it not keep such questions from being asked? Perhaps so. However, John makes this needed statement,
“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they •were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself •would not contain the books which •were written) (John 21:25).
We are left with our assumptions!