The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Fiona English. Fiona is married to Graeme who shares her love of adventure and challenge. She is a passionate long distance runner, mountain climber and occasional dabbler in triathlon. 

Luke 22:7-32

The Last Supper

7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."

9 "Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked.

10 He replied, "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there."

13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."

20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!" 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."


Reflection

There are so many things we do habitually without truly knowing where they come from. I recently started working with a running coach who asked why when I ran I swung my arms side to side like I was playing the accordion rather than pulling my elbows backwards and forwards. I didn't know. It was just habit. It's made me instantly faster just by breaking that habit and being mindful.

Habits can be incredibly powerful, just 30 days doing something can make a routine become a habit.

The last supper is one of those stories we all know. We can mouth along and take communion almost habitually but perhaps in knowing it so well we sometimes fail to see it. We know the story but have we somehow sanitised its power in our over familiarity with it?

Jesus takes his best friends in the whole world and fully in the knowledge that he will be horrifically murdered the next day because one of them had already betrayed him, he has dinner with them. A calm, humble, quiet dinner. He uses a phenomenally powerful metaphor by tearing a chunk of bread in front of them to represent the torture he will go through to bring salvation to the world. He picks up a simple cup of wine to mark the blood that he will willingly allow to be poured out from him the next day so that we might be able to stand in his place.

Let us not forget in the simple everyday the enormity of the sacrifice that Jesus willingly made. He chose to give up his life so that we might have life. He sacrificed himself so that in place of the judgement we deserve we might receive freedom. Let us give thanks and live in that freedom.

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