There are places in the Bible that give us a sneak peek into the life of Jesus and allow us to see the various ways He interacted with people. When given this kind of access, we would do well to pause and observe what God is really like. Be careful, though - if you spend enough time looking at the Saviour, you just might end up having your life changed forever!
If you have your Bible and I hope you do, please take it and turn with me to the book of Matthew, Chapter 26, verses 17 to twenty five, and be our text for this study. And as you find your place, let me read our passage for us, Matthew. Twenty six starting in verse 17. Now, on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus the same. Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?
He said, going to the city to a certain man and say to him, the teacher says, My time's at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them. And they prepared the Passover. When it was evening, he reclined that table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me. And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him, one after another, Is that I Lord?
He answered, he who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The son of man goes as it is written of him. But woe to that man by whom the son of man is betrayed. It would have been better for that man if he had not been born. Judas would betray him, answered. Is that I, Rabbi? He said to him. You have said so. And so our scene here is taking place on a Thursday and Jesus is going to die on the very next day, but for now, he's celebrating Passover with his disciples.
If you're unsure what Passover is, is the is the feast, is the celebration that the Jewish people observe, observed every single year to commemorate the time, the event when God delivered them from their slavery in Egypt. At this point in history, they had been celebrating the Passover every year for centuries.
Up until this point here in this text, in this scene, we get a sneak peek into this particular Passover meal that Jesus was able to experience with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion.
Now, my hope for this message is a simple one, is I hope this will be a simple message. I'm going to make three simple observations of this text and those simple these observations are enough to teach us the challenge, us to encourage us as we continue to follow Jesus as his disciples today.
And so here's observation. No one is actually going to be the first fill in on your outline. Jesus had access to this man's house, Jesus had access to this man's house. Let's take a look again at Verse is Verse is, 17 to 19. One more time says now, on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus saying, where will you have us prepared for you to eat the Passover? He said, going to the city to a certain man and say to him, The teacher says, My time is at hand.
I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and they prepared the Passover.
That's what we're seeing here, is that Jesus is basically commandeering this man's house, kind of like the way a police officer commandeers a civilian's car in an emergency. And if you spend any time on Netflix watching any kind of police, television shows or movies, you know what this scene looks like. A police officer is chasing down a suspect in the street and the suspect is getting away. And then the police officer jumps in the middle of the street and and stops a moving vehicle, flashes the badge and says, excuse me, ma'am, I need your car right now.
This is a police emergency. And then usually they give the car and the police officer pursues the suspect. Oh, Jesus, Jesus is kind of doing the same thing with this man's house. Jesus sends his disciples to this man's house and they tell this man that Jesus needs to use his house. Because they want to celebrate the Passover together. Now notice what the man doesn't say to the disciples. He doesn't say, you know what, I would love to help you and Jesus out, but I have plans already four miles from my house tonight.
I got dinner plans. I got guests coming over any moment now. And so if you want to come back tomorrow, you can use it or come back the day after that. And I can maybe, maybe fit you in. But I would like to use my own house this evening. This man doesn't say that now. Matthew doesn't tell us the exact words the man says in response to the disciples requests, but we know that he agreed to their request.
This man, this unnamed man in Matthew's gospel defers to Jesus request and lets him and his disciples use his home to celebrate the Passover together that night. This is such a great picture for us, this serves as a great example for you and me question.
How would you respond if Jesus did this to you? What if he asked to use your house? What if he asked for something else, would it be asked for anything else? What would you say to Jesus if Jesus revealed to you that he wanted to have something from your life?
Does Jesus have access to any part of your life that he wants to use?
Think about everything in your life, both physical and non-physical things. I'm going to list a whole bunch of them and think through these things as you hear them. Think about your house, your car, your clothes, your food, your money, your family, your friends, your job, your hobbies, your time, your energy, your will, your sexuality, your relationship, your truth, your plans, your successes, your failures, your dreams, your fears.
Think about it all. Now, ask yourself this question. If Jesus ever came to you and asked you to give him any one of those things.
What would your response to him be? Yes, Jesus, you can have whatever you want, whatever I have in my life is totally at your disposal. Take it all, take whatever you want, whenever you want. Or Jesus. I'm sorry you can't have that thing. I know you've asked me to give it to you, but I don't want to give it to you. I want to keep it. I want to use that one thing that you've requested.
I want to use it for my purposes. And I want to use that one thing the best way that I see fit. What does a readiness, a readiness or a willingness to give anything to Jesus reveal about a person's heart?
And on the flip side, what does a refusal to give something to Jesus reveal about a person's heart?
See, this is the first and simple observation I want to make with you. Jesus had access to this man's house. Now, simple observation number two, it's going to be the second fill in on your outline, Jesus enjoyed a meal with his disciples. Jesus enjoyed a meal with his disciples. We see this in verse 20 again says When it was evening, he reclined at a table with the 12. On this night, Jesus and his disciples sat around the dinner table and enjoyed a meal together and eating together is a timeless expression of friendship, hospitality, conversation, laughter, crying, trust, knowing one another, love, peace, joy, all can be experienced when we break bread with one another.
This is what we need to see happening in our text. There is a friendship around this table now. Who's this friendship between? Well, there are 12 regular Joes. And then there's God. In this picture, we see regular people enjoying friendship with the God of the universe. Now, how how did this happen? How did the disciples ever get to the place in their life where they got to have and enjoy a privilege like this? Remember, they didn't seek Jesus out.
They didn't have to earn a spot with him. They didn't have to win a contest. Some of you may have heard of the TV show American Idol.
Well, there wasn't any reality show back then called Jerusalem disciple, Jesus didn't gather a bunch of potential disciples together to make them battle each other to see who would come out on top.
He didn't have a contest to determine who helps the poor, the best, who preaches the best or who fasts the best, or who endures persecution the best. No, there was no contest to see who was the best qualified to be at the table with Jesus.
You remember how they got there? There, there, there. Right now, by way of his invitation and his invitation along, Jesus wanted them around the table with him. The disciples were only there that evening because three years earlier, Jesus invited each of them, each of them to follow him, and they took Jesus up on his invitation.
Now, do you know that this is what God offers everyone in the world? Everyone without exception. He offers them a seat at the table with him.
In the Book of Revelation, the apostle John records Jesus saying these words revelation. Chapter three, verse twenty.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone here is my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me. If anyone responds to God's invitation, God will come in and eat with them. God will be your friend. When you share the gospel with people, Christian, do you and share this vital piece of information with others when you share the gospel? I hope you include the contents of the gospel.
The news of the life, the death, the burial and the resurrection of the son of God who did all of that to pay for our sins.
I hope you include something about the free gift of eternal life that was purchased at the cross.
I hope you will include the call to repent of sin and to place all trust in the finished work of Jesus alone. I hope you include all of those things, but when you tell people the good news, when you share the gospel, I do. You tell people that God has made a way for them to become his friend.
That the point of the gospel is a relationship with God. That's what our sin kept us from. Jesus is a friend of sinners, and he died for our sins so that he could remove our sins completely and totally from us.
And he made a way. He has made a way for anybody to come into a relationship where they can know God and enjoy God as a personal friend. That's what he died to offer us. That's good news.
As disciples of Jesus, we do a lot of things, we learn his word, we obey his word, we tell others about his word, we spend our entire lives doing these things.
But at the heart of everything we do is the reality that we enjoy a relationship with God now in this life and in the life to come forever.
Our relationship with God is front and center of it all. Jesus is our friend. That in a spiritual way, we are seated at the table right now with him.
And there's room at this table for others to come and be friends with Jesus, too. That's our second observation. The Verse 8 20 is a picture of what the gospel offers people. We can be friends with God. There's a seat around his table. Which brings us to our third simple observation in this message. And this is your next fill in on your outline. Jesus loved Judas. Jesus loved Judas. Verse is, twenty one to twenty five.
One more time, and as they were eating, he said, Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me. And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him, one after another is that I can't sort of he's dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The son of man goes at it is as it's written of him. But woe to that man by whom the son of man is betrayed. It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.
Judas, who would betray him, answered. Is it I, Rabbi, he said to him. You have said so. See here Jesus reveals to Judas that Jesus knows that Judas is going to betray him.
But this is not the first time that Jesus has come into this realization. No, Jesus has known from the beginning in an earlier scene in John's Gospel. Reread these words in chapter six, verse 64. Jesus speaking, however, there are some of you who do not believe for Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
Jesus had known about Judas for a long time. Jesus has known about Judas even before. Judas is known about Judas.
And here's what strikes me every time I read this text. Jesus was the only one that knew about Judas, none of the other disciples had a clue, no clue, none, nada whatsoever. Just let that sink in for a minute. Let it sink in. Jesus knew for three years that Judas was going to stab him in the back and Jesus didn't treat him differently than he treated the other disciples.
He didn't treat Judas in a kind of way that would have tipped off the disciples to what Judas was going to do.
Jesus didn't give Judas any weird looks, no off the cuff comments directed to Judas about loyalty, no gossip, nothing.
Jesus said or did tipped off the others that Judas was a rat. John tells us in his gospel that before Judas left this meeting, this dinner that we're in, that Jesus even washed Judas his feet.
What a display of love.
Jesus love Judas right to the very end. And what can you and I take away from this? While Jesus tells us to love everyone, even our enemies, Jesus also demonstrates how to treat people who mean to harm us.
His whole life, Jesus, his whole life was a demonstration of how to love people who don't love us back.
Now, I don't want to think that there isn't a time and a place to put up healthy boundaries in our life. There is healthy boundaries are important, and that's another topic for another time. But this does mean that we're to show every person a level of respect and honor, regardless of what they've done to us or what they're going to do to us one day in the future if we're going to grow in the way we demonstrate love to people as disciples of Jesus.
Here are some questions we must pay attention to in our own lives. Do we gossip? Do we show favoritism, do we show partiality? Are we rude to people? Do we hold grudges and display unforgiveness? Do we roll their eyes at people and give them dirty looks? Do we show respect only the people who like us or do we show respect even to those who don't like us? Now, if someone were to if someone were to follow each of us around and they saw the way that we listened to people, the way that we spoke to people, the way that we showed patients to people, the way that we talked about people when they weren't in our presence with the person who was following us around come to the conclusion that we love people.
See, the disciples saw Jesus love Judas for three years, he treated Judas in such a way that the disciples had no idea that Judas was the one who was going to betray Jesus.
That's the that's the impact on the way that Jesus loved Judas. That when Jesus said someone was going to betray him, they know one of the other 11 didn't oswal their heads and look at Judas.
They didn't know. They didn't know. And here's the takeaway for me anyway. This is really personal for me, and it might be for you as well.
Whatever of that kind of love is that Jesus demonstrated towards Judas.
Whatever kind of love that is, I want it in my life. I want more of it. I want all of it. I want all of that kind of love that's available for me to have. I want that kind of love to fill my own heart. I want to be loved that way.
And I want that kind of love to flow out of my heart, to love and affect and impact other people, whatever Jesus has to do in my heart, to change me so that I can love people the way that he love people.
I want him to do it. I want him to do it. How about you? How about you, do you want to love people the way that Jesus loves people? Let's ask him to do a miracle in our hearts so that we could become more and more and more like him in the way that we love.
So let me let me close this message. We've made three simple observations coming from our text, and I want to leave you with three questions that summarize these observations that we've made here tonight. These questions are for you to chew on for yourself and chew on on this week as we head into the into the new year. Question number one, does Jesus have access to every single thing in your life to do you realize that God wants to be your friend?
And number three, do you want to love people the way Jesus loves people? Father, we pray as your church, we pray as your body, as your bride, as your people who have been saved, who have been washed, who have been redeemed, who have been filled with your very presence of the holy the Holy Spirit, we come to you, Lord, and we say we want these things that we've heard tonight, Lord, we want individually.
But as a group of your people, as your family, we want to have hearts that are free and willing to lay anything down at your feet upon your request, whatever you want, tangible or intangible things, whatever they are.
Lord, free us to say to be able to say honestly and with joy, Jesus, you can have it all. Whatever you want. My house or my will or anything in between is yours. Do that in your people, Lord. We pray free us, free our hearts to be able to worship you like that. Lord, we also want to grow in our friendship with you.
Some of us get burdened down by just doing things for you all the time, doing our good Christian diligent duty all the time. And we forget that you just want to have a relationship with us. You want us to sit around the table with you and enjoy you. So revive that in your church, Lord, a desire just to know you better, to sit at your feet, to sit at your feet and to hear your voice and to enjoy you.
Mark your church, mark your people with that, that people look at us and say, oh, man, they just look like they're friends with Jesus. They really love him. Do that. And as we pray and then finally, Lord, we just pray that we want to love the love that you love us with.
We want to love people more and more all the time. And so work whatever miracle you need to work in your people's hearts that we could be free to love, like you love.
It only comes by way of your spirit. And Your Grace will do that. And as we pray, equip us for the New Year, Lord, get us ready to to hit the ground running in twenty twenty one to live and to be and to enjoy and to experience everything you want your church to be in your powerful name. Jesus, we pray. Amen. Amen.