The Setting: Christ’s final Passover with His closest friends. (The time has come to sacrifice his life as a ransom for many. He shows the full extent of His love.)
Here’s how an epic Hollywood movie would have envisioned the moment:
As supper is served, Jesus rises from his seat, unsheathes a gleaming sword and says (holding it up to bask in His own reflection),
“Men, this is our finest hour. It’s time to show these religious bigots who we really are–warriors of the Living God! (raises sword toward ceiling) So be brave. Be strong. We shall all die well–except for the traitor.” (drops sword to His waist and stares out the window)
But we both know that’s not what happened.
What Jesus actually did was wash His disciples feet; something none of them was willing to do. His final act of love for them–before His death–was an act of service.
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” Jesus – (John 13:15 NIV)
We are all aware of the seven last words of Christ, the things He said while hanging on the cross, but this was at His very public execution. What was the last thing he said (before His death) to those closest to Him–in a more private, peaceful setting?
Back at the supper table, sandwiched between His prediction of Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial, we find these famous last words:
“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus – (John 13:34 NIV)
Service and Love
These are twin beacons of a true follower of Christ, reflections of God’s nature shared with the world.
Sadly, this is not what we see so much today. Many Christians now act more like Simon the Zealot than Simon the Leper (who hosted a dinner in Christ’s honor).
We have politicized and marginalized the simplicity of the Gospel, mixing it with a militant piosity that would make a proud Pharisee blush.
And how does this look to a lost world?
Perhaps Mahatma Gandhi said it best:
“Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians–you are not like Him.”
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com