NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 23
Luke 22:1-38; John 13-15
- Jesus institutes the sacrament.
- After washing their feet, Jesus command the Apostles to love one another.
- Jesus teaches "I am the way, the truth, and the life" and
"I am the true vine."
A study of this lesson should inspire us to follow Jesus' example by
loving and serving others.
Preparing For Crucifixion
- Preparing the Disciples for His death.
Judas and the Jews plot His death.
- Matthew 26:1-2: "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished
all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days
is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified."
- Following his teaching to his disciples on the Mount of Olives (see
25) Jesus announces his betrayal and crucifixion.
- This is the last of many times that the Lord has prophesied of His
Bruce R.McConkie: "This night the Son of Man, will lay down
his head in sleep 'for the last time on earth.' On the Thursday morning
he will awake 'never to sleep again'." (Mortal Messiah, 4:18)
- READ MATTHEW 26:3-5,14-16. A plot to kill Jesus.
- Judas Iscariot:
- As noted in v14, Judas went to the chief priests and volunteered his
services as the betrayer.
- Fulfilling the prophecy of the prophet Zechariah (Zech. 11:12), Judas
agreed to do it for 30 pieces of silver - the legal price of a slave.
- Why did Judas become a traitor?
- Mark: "He turned away from him, and was offended because of
his words" (JST Mark 14:31).
- Luke: "Then entered Satan into Judas" (Luke 22:3).
- Matthew: "What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto
you?" (Matthew 26:15).
- John: "He was a thief" (John 12:6).
- Bruce R. McConkie: "...Judas was an evil traitor because of
personal wickedness, because he preferred to live after the manner of the
world, because he 'loved Satan more than God.' He truly had become 'carnal,
sensual, and devilish' by choice." (Mortal Messiah, 4:15)
- Elder McConkie quotes F.W. Farrar: "The sudden crisis of temptation
might seem frightful, but its issue was decided by the entire tenor of
the traitor's previous life; the sudden blaze of lurid light was but the
outcome of that which had long burnt and smouldered deep within his heart."
(Mortal Messiah, 4:17-18)
The Paschal/Last Supper
- Peter and John make ready the Passover.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PASSOVER CELEBRATION?
- READ LUKE 22:7-13. Peter and John assigned to
prepare the Passover supper.
- Note: Only the Twelve were invited to this supper. None of the Lord's
other disciples, the women that followed Him, or any of His earthly family.
This was an important moment of preparation for those who would lead the
kingdom after the Lord's death.
Note Jesus concern for those around Him.
- Moses time - the destroying angel passed by the homes of those that
had smeared the blood of a lamb around the door, thus saving the first
born of every family in Israel that heeded this instruction.
- Atonement - it was a representation of the blood of the Lamb (Jesus
Christ) being shed to save all mankind from physical and spiritual death.
- WHY IS THIS PASSOVER SUPPER SO SIGNIFICANT?
- It marks the last Passover before the true Lamb is slain for the world.
Luke 22:14: "And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the
twelve apostles with him."
- Howard W. Hunter: "To the very end of his mortal life Jesus
was demonstrating the grandeur of his spirit and the magnitude of his strength.
He was not, even at this late hour, selfishly engrossed in his own sorrows
or contemplating the impending pain. He was anxiously attending to the
present and future needs of his beloved followers. He knew their own safety,
individually and as a church lay only in their unconditional love one for
another. His entire energies seem to have been directed toward their needs,
thus teaching by example what he was teaching by precept." (Ensign,
May 1974, p19)
- WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS TO HELP US DEAL WITH OUR PERSONAL CHALLENGES?
Jesus Introduces The Ordinance Of The Sacrament
- Bruce R. McConkie: "No single account of the institution of
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, standing alone, contains enough to
let us know the reality and the glory and the wonder of what happened in
that upper room as the Pachal supper died and the sacramental supper was
born. Nor for that matter do all the biblical accounts taken together reveal
the glorious mystery of it all." (Mortal Messiah, 4:57)
- READ LUKE 22:15-20. Jesus administers the sacrament
to the Twelve.
- Important notes the scriptures teach regarding the sacrament (see Mortal
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR US TO TAKE THE SACRAMENT EACH WEEK?
- We eat and drink in remembrance of the ransom paid to deliver men from
temporal and spiritual death.
- It must be administered by legal administrators. It is not a prerogative
men can assume without divine approval.
- It is administered only to those who believe and have been baptized
(except in the case of little children).
- It is a perpetual, continuing, everlasting ordinance; the faithful
always observe it's rites and provisions.
- Those who partake testify to the Father that they will always remember
- They also repeatedly renew their covenant to take upon them the name
of the Son, to be the Lord's own peculiar people, to set themselves apart
from the world, to live as becometh saints, to hold his name in everlasting
- The solemn promise is made to keep the commandments of God.
- In consequence of all this the worthy partakers of this blessed and
sanctified emblem receive the promise that they will always have the Lord's
spirit to be with them.
- If any partake unworthily, they thereby eat and drink damnation to
- "...see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily"
- "For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily
eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a
man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid
him" (3 Nephi 18:29).
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PARTAKE UNWORTHILY? AREN'T WE ALL SINNERS AND
- Joseph Fielding Smith: "The sacrament meeting is the most sacred
and the most important meeting required of all the members of the Church.
If any of the members are not in good standing; if they have in their hearts
any feeling of hatred, envy, or sin of any kind, they should not partake
of these emblems. If there are any differences or feelings existing between
brethren, these differences should be adjusted before the guilty parties
partake; otherwise they will eat and drink unworthily and bring upon them
the condemnation spoken of by Paul. We should all see that our hearts and
hands are clean and pure." (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:343)
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT WE PREPARE OURSELVES SPIRITUALLY BEFORE PARTAKING
OF THE SACRAMENT? HOW CAN WE DO THIS?
WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT, WE COVENANT TO REMEMBER THE LORD
ALWAYS. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
- Matthew Cowley: "The administration of the sacrament...is so
essential that the words in the prayer of sanctification have been given
by direct revelation from God.... In the blessing pronounced upon the sacred
emblems of the Master's great sacrifice, the priest repeats God's own words....
"The Sabbath is the day appointed
for sacrament service. In the religious worship of this day every member
of the Church is expected to present himself before the sacrament board
and renew his covenants with his Redeemer. For those who neglect this duty,
there is no covenant renewal, and the Lord will not hold them blameless.
The vitality of the Church lies in the obedience of its members to the
divine plan, and this vitality comes from...meeting together often, and
with contrite spirits, partaking of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper."
(Matthew Cowley Speaks, pp191-192)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN WE TAKE UPON US THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST IN
THE SACRAMENT ORDINANCE?
HOW HAS PARTAKING OF THE SACRAMENT AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH
- Jeffrey R. Holland: "Since that upper room experience on the
eve of Gethsemane and Golgotha, children of the promise have been under
covenant to remember Christ's sacrifice in this newer, higher, more holy
and personal way.... If remember is the principal task before us, what
might come to our memory when those plain and precious emblems are offered
to us?" (Ensign, Nov. 1995, p67, 68)
- In this same address, Elder Holland suggested some things that we should
remember about the Savior (Ensign, Nov. 1995, pp68-69):
- His love and strength in the Grand Council of Heaven.
- That he is the Creator of heaven and earth.
- All that he did in his premortal life as Jehovah.
- The simple grandeur of his birth.
- His teachings.
- His miracles and healings.
- That "all things which are good cometh of Christ" (Moroni
- The unkind treatment, rejection, and injustice he endured.
- That he descended below all things in order to rise above them.
- That he made his sacrifices and endured his sorrows for each of us.
- HOW CAN WE BETTER REMEMBER HIM IN ALL THAT WE THINK, SAY, AND DO?
Love One Another
- Luke 22:24: "And there was also a strife among them, which
of them should be accounted the greatest."
READ JOHN 13:4-17. Washing of the feet.
- READ LUKE 22:25-30. Jesus teaches who is the greatest.
- The Lord must have been frustrated at this moment. I am sure He wanted
these last hours to be a spiritual feast and was disappointed when these
disciples began arguing over who was the greatest.
- WHY DO YOU THINK THE TWELVE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS?
- This question had arisen on a previous occassion.
- Jesus' response to this question becomes one of the last messages to
the Twelve before his death. The fact that he took time to answer it, tells
us the importance of this teaching.
- WHAT INDICATIONS ARE THERE THAT A SIMILAR CONCERN EXISTS AMONG SOME
CHURCH MEMBERS TODAY?
- WHAT DID THE LORD TEACH ABOUT THE NATURE OF GREATNESS?
- V26: "...but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the
younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve."
- Consider the inspired teaching of King Benjamin to the Nephites in
the twilight of his life. He had been a king dedicated to his people and
not concerned about power and its trappings. He had labored to provide
for himself so that the people would not be burdened down with taxes. Why
did he do this? "I have not done these things that I might boast,
neither do I tell these things that thereby I might accuse you; but I tell
you these things that ye may know that I can answer a clear conscience
before God this day" (Mosiah 2:15). He then continues with this
inspired wisdom, "I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom;
that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings
ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17). King
Benjamin was one of the most beloved kings in the history of the world.
How did he become a great man? By serving his people. But he didn't do
it to achieve greatness, he did it to honor and service God. Our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ, is the ultimate example of this principle. He has
served us since the beginning of time. He came to this earth as the most
humble of men. He taught, he loved, he served. Ultimately, he went through
the greatest pain and suffering known in the universe to redeem us from
a fallen life. And truly, he is the greatest among us.
READ JOHN 13:31-35. Jesus disciples commanded
to love one another.
- As if to respond to the previous question, Jesus teaches the high principle
of humility and servcie by example.
- The Greek word for 'the towel' denotes the towel used in washing and
at baths. Such girding was the common mark of a slave, by who the service
of footwashing was ordinarily performed.
- The Lord has reinstituted one of the holy ordinances of the everlasting
gospel. Joseph Smith: "The house of the Lord must be prepared,...and
in it we must attend to the ordinance of washing of feet. It was never
intended for any but official members. It is calculated to unite our hearts,
that we may be one in feeling and sentiment, and that our faith may be
strong, so that Satan cannot overthrow us, nor have any power over us here."
- Elder McConkie asks: "Is not this holy ordinance one of the
many signs of the true church?" (Mortal Messiah, 4:41)
- John 15:12: "This is my commandment, That ye love one another,
as I have loved you."
- John 15:17: "These things I command you, that ye love one another."
- HOW DOES LOVE UNDERLIE THE PLAN OF SALVATION?
- Ether 12:33-34: "And again, I remember that thou hast said
that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for
the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the
children of men.
"And now I know that this love
which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except
men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared
in the mansions of thy Father."
- WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC THINGS WE CAN DO TO FOLLOW CHRIST'S EXAMPLE
I Am The Way, The Truth, And The Life
- In My Father's house are many mansions.
John 14:15: "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
- Jesus and the Twelve have concluded the passover supper and the sacrament.
- There only remains before Jesus begins his agony:
- Some private sermons.
- The Intercessory prayer.
- Conversations with Peter about the testing to which they will be subjected.
- READ JOHN 14:1-6. I am the way, the truth, and
- Jesus here endorses the Jewish concept that there are degrees of reward
in eternity; that those who enter the kingdoms of glory shall have different
abodes; that they will be rewarded as they merit.
- In v6 Jesus states his role: "I am the way, the truth, and
the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
- The way = He charts the course and invites all men to follow him.
- The truth = His word is truth and truth alone saves.
- The life = Life exists because of him; he is the creator. And life
continues after this life because of him.
- He is our Advocate with the Father: without him we are nothing; because
of him we can attain all things. There is no other way.
READ JOHN 14:15-26. Jesus teaches of the two comforters.
- HOW DOES OUR OBEDIENCE DEMONSTRATE OUR LOVE FOR THE LORD?
READ JOHN 15:1-15. The true vine.
- WHAT GREAT PROMISES DOES JESUS MAKE TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND KEEP
- They will be loved by the Father and the Son.
- V23 - "We will come unto him, and make our abode with him."
- V26 - The Father will send the Holy Ghost or Comforter.
- He will teach you all things.
- He will bring to yur remembrance that which the Lord has taught.
- WHO ARE THESE TWO COMFORTERS SPOKEN OF IN THESE VERSES?
- The First Comforter = The Holy Ghost.
- The Second Comforter = The Lord himself.
- Joseph Smith: "After a person has faith in Christ, repents
of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives
the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter,
then let him continue to humble himself before God, and the Lord will soon
say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has throughly proved
him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards,
then the man will find his calling and election made sure, then it will
be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised
the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John....
"Now what is this other Comforter.
It is no more no less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the
sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last
Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or
appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father
unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of
the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to
face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom
of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when
they had such glorious visions--Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of
Patmos, St. Paul in the tree heavens, and all the Saints who held communion
with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn." (TPJS,
God's enemies hate Christ and His work.
- WHAT HAPPENS TO A LEAF OR BRANCH THAT IS CUT OFF FROM THE REST OF THE
- I have growing in my backyard a 100+ foot Douglas fir tree. Almost
every fall we have strong windstorms here in western Washington. Almost
without fail, I lose a branch or partial branch from the tree during these
strong winds. Often I have so much foliage, it takes me a while to cut
it up and place in my yardwaste bin. When these branches lay around, they
begin to wither and die. Even with all of our Northwest rain, they cannot
survive once they have been detached from the tree. They may stay green
for a few weeks or even months, but eventually they die and stop producing
new growth. I have one branch that broke off, but got caught in the higher
branches. It has withered and the needles turned red. Bit by bit they are
falling from the branch to the ground, leaving a dry, barren branch hanging
in the tree.
- HOW IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE SAVIOR LIKE THE RELATIONSHIP OF A LEAF
OR BRANCH TO THE MAIN BODY OF THE PLANT?
- Like the branches of my fir tree, if we do not stay close to the Lord
through prayer, study, keeping the commandments, and serving others, our
testimonies will wither as surely as the branches that fall from my tree.
- IN THE SAVIOR'S COMPARISON, WHAT DOES THE GARDENER DO TO THE BRANCHES
OF THE VINE THAT DO NOT BEAR FRUIT?
- "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away"
- Off to the yardwaste bin.
- WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BRANCHES THAT DO BEAR FRUIT?
- "...and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that
it may bring forth more fruit."
- Jesus taught, "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same
bringeth forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing"
- The branches that remain attached to the tree continue to flourish,
remain green, provide beauty, and continue to grow and provide sub-branches.
- AS YOU REMAIN FAITHFUL, HOW HAVE YOU FOUND THIS PRINCIPLE TO BE TRUE
IN YOUR LIFE?
- READ JOHN 15:18-27. The world and the Lord's chosen.
- HOW DO YOU THINK THIS KNOWLEDGE AFFECTED THE DISCIPLES AT THIS TIME?
- It another another bit of grimness on an ominous night.
- HOW DO YOU SUPPOSE THIS KNOWLEDGE HELPED THEM PREPARE?
- Having this information, I am sure they made every effort to stay close
to this Spirit in order to be prepared and comforted when those difficult
times came. c
- V19: "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you."
- ARE WE ALSO SUBJECT TO BEING HATED BY THE WORLD? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT
- WHO ARE THE ENEMIES?
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Everywhere--on every hand, among all sects,
parties, and denominations; everywhere--among every nation, and kindred,
and tongue, and people; everywhere--from one end of the earth to the other--everywhere
those who hate and persecute the saints do it because they reject Christ.
No matter that they may give lip service to his holy name; no matter that
they think he is their God; no matter that they follow what they falsely
suppose is his plan of salvation--they in fact are rejecting the living
Christ when they reject and persecute those whom he hath called and sent
forth to preach his word. And all of this is because, regardless of what
false assumptions they may make as to their own forms of worship, they
know not the One who sent Christ into the world." (Mortal Messiah,4:90)
On this sacred night, many important instructions were given to the
Twelve. They were introduced to the ordinance of the sacrament. They were
taught the importance of humility and giving of themselves in service to
others. They were instructed to love one another. The Master made it clear
that he was the only true path to eternal salvation and that they must
stay close to him, the true vine. They were taught about the two comforters
and warned of the opposition of the world. Though these sacred teachings
were given to the Twelve, they are important doctrines that are of vital
significance to us in our day. We need to nourish our souls by partaking
of the sacrament and staying plugged in to the true vine, then we will
have a place in the mansions of the Father.
Lesson 24: John 16-17
Additional Reading: John 14:16-31; 15:18-27; 3 Nephi 19:19-36;
Doctrine and Covenants 132:21-24; Bible Dictionary, "Comforter,"
648; "Holy Ghost," 704
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Changes last made on: Sun Jun 6 1999