Today’s Scripture:  Luke 22:7-38

Introduction:

I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to believe God could teach us so much from a short series based upon a television game show…but here we are learning from the Master.  He has always been the greatest Teacher…and this series is just another example of how great a Teacher our God really is.

This message has to do with the Lord’s Supper…and I’m excited to get into it to find out what the Lord has to say to us through this message…so how about I follow my advice from the last message…and get out of God’s way…and let Him speak to us through today’s message. 

I guess if it needs a title it would be this: “Swords at the Last Supper Table”

Today’s Message:  “Swords at the Last Supper Table”

The Passover meal was one of the sacred times in the life of a Jew. Once a year, they remembered the night God delivered them from Pharaoh, taking the life of the firstborn, but sparing those who were covered by the lamb’s blood. Passover was a celebration of God’s power, mercy, deliverance and purpose.

The Passover meal for the Jews is probably a lot like our meal that we serve and celebrate with our families for Easter.  Ironically…the reason the Jew’s celebrate Passover…and we celebrate Easter is basically the same…they’re both a celebration of God’s power, mercy, deliverance, and purpose.

There are a lot of commentaries on the reason the Passover mean was so special, and I would recommend that if you’re interested in knowing more that you take the time to research the Passover meal…and what Passover in particular was all about.

My mother always told me, “No weapons at the dinner table.” She didn’t really, but I didn’t really have any weapons as a kid. Maybe a rubber band or a Boy Scout pen knife that was so dull it couldn’t even cut butter.

So why would anyone bring swords to the Passover meal? Did they think the lamb would be a little tough this year? Maybe provide some entertainment with some sword swallowing after the meal?

As a side note…I think it’s sad that most families today have to make rules like…no cell phones at the dinner table.  Dinner time is one of the few opportunities that we have in this day and age to gather together as a family unit…and the no cell phone rule doesn’t and shouldn’t just apply to the kids…it should apply to mom and dad as well.  I’m sure if most of us are honest dinner time takes at the very least a half and hour…and if we can’t set aside our electronic devices for those 30 minutes…maybe they have become more important to you than your family…and you need to evaluate your priorities.

Listen…I’m just as guilty.  I may not do it at home, but I’ve been guilty of sitting down when out to eat of checking my phone…and I’m right now being challenged to just leave dinner time as one of those times where the cell phone stays in my pocket.  There’s plenty of time throughout the rest of the day to  check emails or Facebook or Twitter…but family time ought to be just that…family time…and yes…friends…I’m  writing that to myself too. 

If you were sitting with Jesus Christ – and you understood precisely who He was and what He’s capable of doing – would you feel the need to arm yourself? No, because you knew right in front of you was all the power of the universe.

Can I ask you a simple, but complex question!?!  Imagine you’re sitting at the table with Jesus.  I guess I’m not done with the electronic devices at the dinner table thing…cause that’s what I sense the Lord is talking to my heart about.  So…instead of talking about swords or weapons at the dinner table…now we’re talking cell phones, tablets, and anything else we take to the dinner table with us…and allow it to over ride family time.

So…we’re sitting at the dinner table with Jesus.  Are you texting on your phone…or are you interested in hearing what Jesus has to say?  Are you concerned with the score of the ball game or are you concerned with whether or not Jesus knows you’re glad He’s there? 

Quite the thing to think about isn’t it?  I’m probably going to make you mad for a moment, but if you think about it…eventually you’ll realize I’m right…because I didn’t say what I’m about to say Jesus did.  The way you treat your family at the dinner table is the same way you would treat Jesus.

How can I say that?  Remember in the goats versus sheep story that Jesus said:  “If you’ve done so unto the least of these you’ve done so also unto Me.”  Jesus also told His disciples when He sent them out not to worry about the ones who reject them…because the people weren’t rejecting them…they were rejecting the One who sent them.

Friends…let me give you this sobering thought.  However we treat people…is how we’re treating Jesus.  If we’re rude to people…we’re being rude to Jesus.  If we’re ignoring that person who needs our help…we’re ignoring Jesus.   If we’re more interesting in checking out the latest posts on Facebook when we’re sitting down to dinner with our family…we’re more interested in Facebook than we are in Jesus.

Listen…don’t get mad at me.  I’m not the one who spoke those things in the Bible, and I had no idea that I was going to say these things in this message.  Furthermore…my heart is challenged…and this is giving me something to think and meditate upon…and desire to do better in realizing that I need to treat everyone one (including my family) like they are Jesus…because no matter what I do…Jesus should always be my focus…and I have to be honest enough to myself and you to admit…He isn’t always my focus. 

Hmm.  All of a sudden this has turned into a pretty good message.  I think that I’m going to end it on that note right there…and include one final thought from today’s message.

Our tiny swords are no match for the power of Jesus Christ. And what good would they be anyway. He just speaks and people fall down.

Our mindset ought to be that there’s nothing that matches or compares to Jesus…NOTHING. No cell phone, no Facebook post, no Twitter feed, and no ballgame.  Let’s be honest…if Jesus really was in front of us or with us at the dinner table…I’m pretty sure none of those things would matter at all…would they!?!  So why do they now?

Like I said.  Don’t be mad at me…this is Holy Ghost right here friends…and I believe He just wants us to understand that we need to realize that there is plenty of time for extra curricular activities before and after dinner…but when we gather around the dinner table…maybe it’s time to do like we were told as kids…and tell our kids…no toys or anything else at the dinner table…because I know for a fact if Jesus was at our table…I mean really at our table…He would have and command our full attention…and I think that it’s time that we as families give one another our full attention…at the very least through the duration of the meal.

Now listen…that doesn’t mean that everyone should scarf down their food Marine Corps boot camp style…it just simply means that we should take advantage of the time that we have to sit down and eat a meal with our families…and leave all the distractions away from the dinner table…Amen!?!

Conclusion:

What a message!  You know it’s a good one when you feel challenged as you’re writing it…Amen!?!  I know it’s so easy to take the distractions of the world to the dinner table, but as I was writing this message…I just got the sense in my heart that dinner time should be family time.  Even if you sit there in silence…you’re still together as a family…and eventually that silence will turn into discussion…and maybe even a quick devotional time after each meal.

I know I need to be more mindful that family time is just as important as personal devotional time with Jesus.  After all.  The Bible says that where two or more are gathered in the name of Jesus…He’s there in the midst.  That means that when we sit down for dinner, and bless it in the name of Jesus…He’s there at the dinner table with us…and that again begs the simple question…If Jesus was at your table…would there be any thing to distract you…or would you focus on Him?

Let me add this…if what you bring to the dinner table is more important to you than Jesus…you may want to take a long…hard…honest look at what your priorities are…and re-adjust them to make sure that Jesus is first…just a suggestion…but I’ve had to set aside worldly things more than once because they became more important to me then my relationship with God…but I’m trying to make sure that I don’t have that happen anymore…because to me…there really isn’t anything more important to me than God…and my family…and I have been challenged to make sure I don’t just say that…but live it.

How about you?

Prayer:

Oh Lord…forgive us for having to take a side journey like this in a message…I know this is from the Holy Ghost.  I thank You for speaking, and I ask that what You spoke You would seal in our hearts…but also forgive us for placing more importance upon worldly things then the things You have blessed us with…and more importantly You.  Lord…help us learn to keep everything in it’s proper place…and most importantly to keep You in Your rightful place in our lives.  Forgive us for putting things above or before You…and help us to surrender our lives to You more than ever before.

Lord, we love You…and give You all glory and honor.  We ask these things in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen.