Tuesday, March 26, 2013

John 13 & 14 - Last Supper and Upper Room Discourse

LINK: John 13 & 14


Thursday Sunset-9 pm

210. Jesus washes the disciples' feet: John 13:1-20

Satan had entered the heart (13:27) of one of His "trusted twelve," but Jesus knew all that. With this, Jesus' time had finally come after repeatedly saying it had not yet come (John 2:4; 7:6, 8, 30; 12:23, 27: 17:1). Jesus came to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). So He proves this by humbly doing the work of a lowly servant (1 Samuel 25:41; Luke 7:40-50; 1 Timothy 5:10) by washing their dusty feet. (Even Judas, the one who would betray Him got his feet washed - think about that!) 

Peter could not handle this role-reversal. I love the way Kenneth Wuest translates Peter's statement, "You shall by no means wash my feet, no, never" (The New Testament: An Expanded Translation, p. 247). but Jesus essentially said, "'Unless I wash your sins away by my atoning death (cf. Rev. 1:5) you have no real relationship to Me' (cf. 1 John 1:7)" (The Bible knowledge commentary:Volume 2, p. 320). Peter did not totally get it yet, but Judas did not get it at all. He was an unsaved man (John 6:64-71). 

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - The Last Supper (1495-1498)
Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
211. Jesus and the disciple share the Last Supper: Matthew 26:20-30, Mark 14:17-26, Luke 22:14-30, John 13:21-30

Leonardo da Vinci's painting did not get it right. They were all reclining and not sitting at a table (Matthew 26:20), but it is still a beautiful work of art!

John's account is the only one that mentions that Jesus was "troubled in spirit" (the Greek word, etarachthē, means stirred or agitated) when he identified that someone would betray Him. John, as the disciple Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus' bosom and would have been more able to sense Jesus' spirit at the time. Luke is the only one who records Jesus saying "woe" (judgment) on the man who does the betraying. How disconcerting to learn that one of their own would betray Jesus.

The Matthew, Mark, and John accounts record the betrayer as the one who dips together with Jesus in the bowl. John's account records Him doing this act and giving the morsel to Judas. It was a "final extension of grace to Judas. A host's giving a morsel of bread to a guest was a sign of friendship" (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, John 13:25-27), but Judas did not take it as that and Satan entered him (John 13:27). John is the only gospel writer that records this and that the disciples still did not know Judas was the betrayer. 

How astounding that Luke would record a dispute about who was the greatest after Jesus had just said that someone would betray Him (Luke 22:24-30). Jesus told them this talk was "pagan thinking." The way UP to greatness was DOWN through service. In fact, it is "lowly service" in the Greek! Eventually, they would sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes in His kingdom (Luke 22:30, Matthew 19:28). 

During the meal, Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper where the wine would represent the blood of the covenant and the unleavened bread, His body. The John account does not record Jesus' words regarding this. The Lord's Supper is to be done in remembrance of this (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). It is to be a memorial feast where believers are reminded that Jesus gave His body and blood for the redemption of the world! It is also celebrated to look forward to the day when He will come again. Lastly, it is a time where we can look within, examine our hearts, and repent of known sin (1 Corinthians 11:27-32).  Jesus was the Passover lamb, sacrificed for us, let us celebrate the feast (John 1:29, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8)!

Here is general order of the last supper from http://www.biblewise.com/bible_study/characters/passion-week.php:
The order of the last supper is in 13 steps [some books show more steps, others fewer steps, so this is a general guideline]
  1. The head of the company, Jesus in this case, opens with a prayer and
  2. Gives the 1st cup of wine for everyone in the company to drink.
  3. The head of the company washes his hands. 
  4. The head of the company dips some of the bitter herbs into the salt water or vinegar and speaks a blessing, eats some of the herbs and hands them to the others.
  5. The unleavened bread is broken into pieces, reserving half to be eaten after the supper, called the after dish.
  6. The 2nd cup is filled and the youngest in the company (John) is instructed to ask questions about the significance of the Passover.
  7. Psalms 113 and 114 are sung.
  8. The 3rd cup of wine is filled, followed by prayer, and they all drink the cup.
  9. Everyone washes his hands.
  10. Supper begins by eating the unleavened bread and bitter herbs and the lamb. Everyone in the group must eat at least an olive size portion of the lamb. All of the lamb is to be consumed or destroyed. No bones of the lamb are to be broken.
  11. The after dish of the bread broken earlier is eaten. It is believed this is where Jesus said, “Take eat, this is my body.”
  12. The 4th cup of wine is the point when Jesus told them to all drink of it, this was his blood.
  13. Conclude with hymns and prayers. Psalms 115-118 and the Great Hallel – Psalm 136.
212. Jesus predicts Peter's denial: Luke 22:31-38, John 13:31-38

John records that Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified (The Amplified says, "Now He has achieved His glory, His honor, His exaltation!"), and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately."  As I mentioned in a previous post, "glorify" is a key word in the Upper Room Discourse section of the book of John.  Now that Jesus' time had come, it will come without delay. He was going away, and they were to love one another as He loved them (John 13:34, 35 should be memorized!). 

Of course, Peter could not handle Jesus going away just as he could not handle Jesus washing His feet. Jesus knew that Peter would not, at first, lay down his life for Jesus, but Satan would be given permission to "sift him like wheat" (Luke 22:31). We see another example of this in the book of Job.  Jesus predicted perfecting in the sifting. Denial would lead to a strengthened man who would strengthen others, and Peter's epistles later on in life will reflect that. Stay tuned.

The Upper Room Discourse 

213. Jesus is the way to the Father: John 14:1-14

Jesus told His disciples to not be afraid and believe. The disciples still did not understand where Jesus was going and who He was. He told them He was going to prepare "rooms, abiding places" for them (not "manor houses" as some believe). Each will be lovely places in His presence!

Jesus also said He was "the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (14:6). He also said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (14:9). This whole section affirms Jesus' deity. There is one way, and that is through belief (a key word in John) in Jesus. 

214. Jesus promises the Holy Spirit: John 14:15-31

Love for Jesus is revealed by obedience to His commands (John 14:21, 23; 1 John 2:3; 3:22, 24; 5:3). John 14:21 is a core verse to memorize. 

This is the first teaching on the Holy Spirit. He is our paraklētos:

PARAKLĒTOS (παράκλητος , (3875)), literally, called to one’s side, that is, to one’s aid, is primarily a verbal adjective, and suggests the capability or adaptability for giving aid. It was used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, counsel for the defence, an advocate; then, generally, one who pleads another’s cause, an intercessor, advocate, as in 1 John 2:1, of the Lord Jesus. In the widest sense, it signifies a succourer, comforter. Christ was this to His disciples, by the implication of His word “another (allos, another of the same sort, not heteros, different) Comforter,” when speaking of the Holy Spirit, John 14:16. In 14:2615:2616:7 He calls Him “the Comforter.” “Comforter” or “Consoler” corresponds to the name “Menahem,” given by the Hebrews to the Messiah.

Vine, W., & Bruce, F. (1981; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996). Vine's Expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words (2:208). Old Tappan NJ: Revell.

Jesus would not be physically present, but the Spirit of the Truth would guide them. The Spirit would be in them. This was in contrast to the Old Testament where the Spirit came and went in believers for special purposes. When Pentecost came (John 14:20, Acts 2), all believers became indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13). All believers have gifts of the Spirit too (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4). This Helper will teach us all things. 

Jesus said that "The Father is greater than I."  "The Father is greater in office or glory than the Son was in His humiliation" (The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament). Jesus had already stated His deity earlier in John 14, and read in its entirety, John made this clear (1:1-2; 10:30 14:9; 20:28).  

In addition to the promise of the Holy Spirit, Jesus assured them of peace that they could rest in. This was the Jewish way to say good-bye (šālôm). The Upper Room Discourse was His encouragement and last good-bye.


A Passover celebration is a wonderful way to understand Resurrection Day! So, maybe you have purchased the book by now and can celebrate!

Celebrate the Feasts by Martha Zimmerman is my favorite guide, but there are many online resources also. 


Lord, thank You that Christ is our Passover, and we can gladly join the feast. Amen.
Post a Comment