Morning Bible Study
Thursday Night is Movie Night – The Robe
The movie is based on the fictional book “The Robe”, written by a pastor when
someone asked him, “What became of the robe of Jesus that the soldiers gambled
for at the cross?”
It was the first movie ever produced in Cinemascope (wide screen).
It was the movie that made Richard Burton famous.
The success of the Robe led to all the “sword and sandal” epics made after
it like “The Ten Commandments”, “Ben Hur”, and “Cleopatra”.
We are now on the homestretch of Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus is now in Jerusalem, on His way to be crucified.
Luke has reminded us of what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:
(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son
of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on a Sunday, to the shouts of an adoring
crowd, crying “Hosanna”.
After cleansing the Temple, Jesus taught every day in the Temple.
We are now on Thursday night, the night of the Last Supper.
It is the time of the Passover meal, remembering God’s great deliverance
from Egypt. Jesus has just given the celebration a new meaning, tying the bread
and the wine to His own New Covenant.
While we believe that the bread of communion is just bread, and the grape
juice is just grape juice, we also talked about how communion is a time where
we draw near to God and remember what Jesus did for us when He gave His body
and blood to pay for our sins.
After giving instruction about communion, Jesus went on to say…
22:21-23 Betrayal is close
:21 But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table.
:21 My betrayer is with Me on the table
Jesus said in John 13:18 that His betrayal was a fulfillment of prophecy.
(Psalm 41:9 NKJV) Even my own
familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.
In ancient days, you only let people you care about share your food with
If a group of us go out to eat at Cheesecake Factory, don’t expect me to
share any of my Tuscan Chicken with you, though I might let my wife have a bite
or two if she asks.
At the Last Supper, John recorded that Jesus took a piece of bread, dipped
it in the Tuscan Chicken sauce, and shared it with… Judas.
He knows betrayal
Don’t think that Judas was the one disciple that wore a black robe and had
an evil smirk on his face.
He was considered a close friend of Jesus.
Jesus shared His Tuscan Chicken with Judas.
We think that from John’s description of the supper, that Judas was sitting
right next to Jesus.
Some of you know what it’s like to share your soul with another person,
only to have them turn their back on you and betray you.
At a wedding ceremony, the pastor asked if anyone had anything to say
concerning the union of the bride and groom, it was their time to stand up and
talk, or forever hold their peace. The moment of utter silence was broken by a
young beautiful woman carrying a child. She started walking toward the pastor
slowly. Everything quickly turned to chaos. The bride slapped the groom. The
groom’s mother fainted. The groomsmen started giving each other looks and
wondering how best to help save the situation. The pastor asked the woman, “Can
you tell us why you came forward? What do you have to say?” The woman replied,
“We can’t hear in the back.”
Some of your non-Christian friends have been through things similar to you,
and though they mean well, you ought to be careful about the advice they give
you. They may not see the bigger picture.
The answers they share may not be the answers you need.
Ultimately, the one we should run to when we’ve been betrayed is Jesus.
Jesus knows what you need.
NKJV) —15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet
without sin. 16 Let us
therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find
grace to help in time of need.
:22 And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to
that man by whom He is betrayed!”
:22 determined … but woe to that man
For you theologians out there, perhaps you’ve wrestled with the age-old
debate of the sovereignty of God versus the free will of man.
I won’t take time to fill in all the blanks for you today, but in this
verse you have nuggets of both sides.
It was predetermined that Jesus would be betrayed and die.
Yet the man Judas made a choice to betray.
:23 Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who
would do this thing.
:23 who would do this thing
Matthew gives us just a little more detail:
NKJV) And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say
to Him, “Lord, is it I?”
I think self-examination is a good thing.
Rather than pointing their fingers at each other, asking, “Is it HIM?”,
they are all wondering about themselves.
When you read the Scriptures, or listen to a message on Sunday morning, who
are you thinking about?
Are you quick to think, “I wish so-and-so was listening to this, he really
needs to get his act together”, or are you asking, “Lord, is it I”?
One place we ought to examine ourselves is at communion.
11:23–28 NLT) —23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the
night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave
thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body,
which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of
wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his
people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as
you drink it.” 26
every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s
death until he comes again. 27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord
unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why
you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup.
What does it mean to take communion “unworthily” (v.27)?
I believe it means that you are taking communion as an
unbeliever, you do not believe that Jesus died for your sins.
After the days of the apostles, the early church began to divide their
Sundays into two church services.
The first service was about teaching God’s word and
instructing those who weren’t yet believers.
The second service was only for those who were believers,
and this was when they would celebrate communion.
Some churches take this “self-examination” to mean that if you have
committed some sin in the last 72 hours, that you are not allowed to take
The problem with that is that none of us would ever take
communion because we are all sinners.
The real issue is whether or not you are a sinner that
needs the grace, forgiveness, and love of Jesus Christ.
If you are, then you are welcome to participate.
The Old Scottish preacher Robert Murray McCheyne used to
say, “Communion is for sinners”.
This humble self-examination by the apostles doesn’t last. Within minutes
their own sin nature is exerting itself…
22:24-30 The Greatest
:24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be
considered the greatest.
:24 there was also a dispute among them
dispute – philoneikia (“love” + “quarrel”) – love
of strife, eagerness to contend
They loved a good fight.
We can sometimes get the idea that the disciples were all humble, perfect gentlemen
who never had a cross word between them.
I think they were probably a little more like this…
:24 which of them should be considered the greatest
This isn’t even the first time they’ve argued over this issue.
They had this “discussion” (or “pie fight”) back in Capernaum (Mark 9:34),
as well as in Jericho (Mark 10:35-37)
And now at the Last Supper, they’re still arguing over it.
Jesus mentioned that there would be a betrayer.
Their first response was “Lord, is it I”.
And then it digressed, “Well Thaddeus, maybe it could be you”.
“You know, it probably isn’t me after all ‘cause I’m not as bad as you”.
:25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over
them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’
:25 the kings … benefactors
In the Gentile world, even evil dictators would do things like give out
land grants to their head soldiers.
When they did this, they were called “benefactors”, or men who did “good
Jesus doesn’t want us to become nice dictators.
:26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among
you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.
:26 greatest …let him be as the younger
It’s almost like that show “Undercover Boss”, when the boss of a company
disguises himself and becomes a lowly employee.
Well maybe not quite like that…
Jesus’ idea of leadership is that they learn true humility and servanthood.
:27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is
it not he who sits at the table?
:27 who is greater
Jesus sets the guys up with this question.
The answer is meant to be obvious.
The greater person is obviously the one laying down having grapes dropped
into his mouth by the lowly slave. Not.
:27 Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
:27 the One who serves
Earlier that evening, when no one had done the simple courteous job of
washing the feet of the guests, Jesus got up and washed the disciples’ feet.
The disciples were quite embarrassed that Jesus had humbled himself that
But Jesus didn’t mean to embarrass the guys…
(John 13:15 NKJV) For I have
given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
I think we get this idea in our heads that the more important we are, the
less we have to do for others.
Jesus taught that maturity is measured by how you serve others.
Sometimes we give ourselves a little too much credit when we haven’t really
done anything helpful to serve at all.
I was excited to hear that our youth had the opportunity to serve at the
big youth conference this weekend. Good job!
There are lots of opportunities to serve at church.
The guys could use some help in preparing, serving, and cleaning up at the
Easter Breakfast next Sunday.
We have some serious needs this summer on Thursday nights in the Children’s
Ministry when Sarah goes on maternity leave, another key teacher is on
Tom is always looking for people to help serve in the parking lot.
I believe there are a few spots to fill on the Audio/Visual team.
:28 “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.
:29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one
:30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on
thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
:28 who have continued with Me in My trials
who have continued
– diameno (“through” + “remain”)
– to stay permanently, remain permanently, continue.
Jesus is promising His disciples great rewards (like thrones) for having
stuck it out with Him.
Life was not easy following Jesus.
He didn’t stay at the best hotels.
At times He was run out of town.
He was constantly being challenged and criticized by the religious leaders.
Yet these men have remained with Jesus through it all.
The apostles didn’t just endure difficult times with Jesus for 3 ½ years,
they endured after Jesus died, rose, and ascended into heaven.
Peter was crucified upside down.
Thomas was speared by soldiers.
Matthew was stabbed to death.
John was boiled in hot oil (and somehow survived).
All twelve suffered great persecution.
God promises rewards for us as well, but we need to endure, even in the
Listen to what Jesus wrote to the suffering church in Smyrna:
2:10 NKJV) Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.
Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you
may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
Sometimes as we are going through difficult times, things just don’t make
sense. We don’t understand what is happening.
One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one
of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed
his head and said, “Lord, I hate buttermilk.” The pastor opened one eye and
wondered where this was going. The deacon continued, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now
the pastor was totally perplexed. The deacon continued, “Lord, I ain’t too
crazy about plain flour. But after you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em in a
hot oven, I just love biscuits.” He paused, “Lord help us to realize when life
gets hard, when things come up that we don’t like, whenever we don’t understand
what You are doing, that we need to wait and see what You are making. After you
get through mixing and baking, it’ll probably be something even better than
We need to trust that the Master Baker knows what He’s doing with the
ingredients He’s putting into our lives.
4:16–18 NKJV) —16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is
perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our
light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things
which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are
seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are
Keep going. See
what kind of biscuits God is baking.