Christianity, chapter VII : The greatest of these is ___.
Three years after Jesus drove the money changers out of the Temple, he returned to Jerusalem for Passover.
That time, he had come alone.
This time, he came followed by crowds singing about “...Jesus of Nazareth, He comes in the name of the Lord!”
Once again, he drove the traders and moneychangers out. But this time, he had some support.
Again, this did not set well with the religious leaders. It was one thing when he was solo. But now that he had hordes of followers...this situation was going from bad to horrible. His influence was rising and in their minds, power and influence were a zero-sum game. So they met secretly to decide how to handle things and stop the Jesus tidal wave.
So on a particular morning at 33 years old, Jesus departed the Temple. He knew his end was near; he had told friends this several times. He was not unaware of the ripples he had caused in religious power circles.
Jesus’ followers, on the other hand, were excited. They couldn’t understand his concerns. They thought that perhaps during the upcoming Passover that he would finally reveal himself officially to be the Messiah.
But Jesus’ heart was heavy.
Pilgrims poured into the city from all over, their hearts joyous.
The night before Passover, Jesus and his apostles gathered to have supper. He seated himself at the head of the table, and immediately there was arguing as several jockeyed for position next to him. They all wanted a seat of honor.
Jesus got up and picked up a basin of water. What did he do next? It’s astounding.
He started washing his disciples’ feet. This is not something a messiah does. A messiah is mean to be powerful, authoritative, and wait for lesser beings to wash him.
But here Jesus was washing the feet of others.
Jesus scolded them, reminding them the master was not greater than the servant and to follow his example.
The disciples pondered this thought while they ate until Jesus spoke again.
“One of you will betray me.”
One of you twelve.
So this supper turned dark quickly. As a final note, Jesus stood and told them:
“I’ll only be with you a short while longer. Where I’m going, you can’t come. But this is my new commandment to you: love one another. As I have loved you, love each other. Everyone will know you’re my disciples by how you love one another.”
Passover, Last Supper, New Commandment,
This is an introduction to a ten-unit survey of Christianity - its history, peoples, beliefs and impact on the world today.
Education for most ages and for all curious people.
Written by Joseph Ivan Long with curiosity, humbleness, and a big grin.