The Lords Supper
The Lord’s Supper, Act 1
1. Use the map and the timeline from the NIV Study Bible to locate ourselves. This would be Thursday during the day. Remember that Jewish “days” begin the evening before. It is also true that the Passover meal needed to be eaten within the city boundaries of Jerusalem so finding a place to celebrate this meal requires some planning.
2. Read the first verses carefully. What are some of the subtleties in terms of who is leading and who is following. Who is stressed and who has things well in hand? What does this remind you of?
3. Before we continue we should talk about the Passover meal. Why was it instituted? What are some of the nuances and overtones of the Exodus that the people would experience? What are some of the overtones that would feel poignant for first century Jews living under Roman occupation? What might they in fact be hoping for that very night? How does this contrast with what Jesus will do?
4. We are initially going to study Matthew and Mark. Look carefully at Luke’s chronology, the printout is deceptive because it puts the pieces together.
5. The copy from the commentary shows how a Passover meal would normally play out.
6. There are echoes of Psalm 41 in this passage. What is Psalm 41 about? Notice verse 9. How does the story of Jesus’ anointing connect also with Psalm 41?
7. The word that is translated “betray” is a common word that is found often in the Old Testament. It’s basic meaning is “to hand over to” and it’s most often used in the context of being handed over to one’s enemies or handed over to some terrible fate. “Betray” is certainly very appropriate to the context but the “to hand over to” is striking given the context here. Everything has gone right this week. Who in the Exodus gets “handed over” to whom? There is a great irony here that highlights the irony of Jesus’ whole ministry.
8. This word translated as “betray”, or turning over/handing over is also found in Isaiah 53:6,12.
9. Notice the details and difference between Mark, Matthew and Luke in terms of the question of the betrayal. In Mark he isn’t mentioned. He isn’t mentioned as leaving in any of the Synoptics like he is in John. Why does Jesus go through the drama of saying “one of you will hand me over” when he already knows who it will be? He isn’t going on a “fishing trip” here. What force does this give the setting? Who of them won’t “hand him over” when the time comes?
10. How does the “Son of Man” saying add to it? Who is the “Son of Man” in Daniel 7?
11. In Mark there is no “revelation” of Judas. In Matthew what does Judas say? We already know what he and Jesus knows. What are his options? What does his answer reveal? Jesus will say these words in three different places. Here, in Matt. 26:64 and Matt 27:11. What are those two contexts? What does it mean?
12. What should we take away from this passage?