Thursday, April 5, 2012

Late Supper, Words of my Heart by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

It was a Late Supper

Scared Destinations
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a cool twilight and a long climb up the stone stairs. I was pretty hungry and eager to see Jesus that night. We were meeting Him in the upper room at Mary's house.  Mary's son is John Mark. Actually it was in the same room we celebrated Pentecost almost two months later.  That room carries vivid memories for each of us.

It was just before the Passover Festival. 

I think He knew the time was coming for Him to leave all of us. We were all gathered around the table eating at Mary's; Jesus ate quietly, as He already knew that Simon would betray Him and He was deep in thought praying to His Father. He knew so much more, more than we could possibly understand in one evening. 

Curiously I watched Him bow His head as a trivial discussion grew louder between the others.  He rose from the table and all eyes watched Him remove His outer shift. The room grew quiet as He picked up a linen cloth from the side table and wrapped it around His waist.

All eyes watched as He slowly poured water into a deep basin on the side table. The single sound of that water filling that basin stays with me to this day as it echoed in the stilled room.

He knelt before Simon Peter first.

Lord, are you going to wash my feet?

 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

  Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “wash not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!

Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”  For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

 When he had finished washing everyone's feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place at the table. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."  John 13:6-17

He told us then He was not talking about all of us... we were His chosen disciples. He assured us this was all part of THE PLAN. God's plan.

He was visibly troubled as He continued, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”  John 13:21

My breath caught in my throat and there was not a sound in the room. We were at a loss not knowing exactly what He meant. I looked around the table at each man wondering who it was He spoke of. Which one of us would betray Him?  There was no way. We were all devoted to Him. We loved Him.  I leaned back into Jesus as He now sat next to me. Simon Peter turned and looked at me and commanded, "Ask Him which one He means."

I spoke up in a clear voice tilting my head in His direction, “Lord, who is it?”

Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” 

Coins at a Dig in Jerusalem
Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. " John 13:24-27

Simon accepted the bread but his eyes seemed locked in a battle with Jesus. "As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him." 

   So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” John 13:17-28 

We were stunned as we watched Judas abruptly get up from the table, his chair crashing backwards to the floor. He left the room descending the stairs into the dark night. He was the keeper of our funds, and he left with our coins. Perhaps Jesus sent him out for more food.

"When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come."

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”

   Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.

 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.

December Rooster
Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!"  John 13: 32-38

We were all amazed by the words He spoke. It almost seemed like a puzzle, yet it was a message from God to each of us.  The confusion of watching Judas leave earlier in the evening was compounded by the announcement that Peter would deny Jesus.  At that time I truly believed Jesus had to be wrong. There was no way Peter would do that. He was closer to Jesus then the rest of us.

Words from my Heart, Laurie

John tells the rest of the story of what happened that night the best. John 14:1-31

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Word of the Heart to share.... by Laurie Pace