John 13

John 13: Washing of the Feet

                After Supper was over; Jesus, knowing that His hour had come and that He would soon go down to take upon Himself the Sins of the World and knowing that Judas would betray Him. He put aside His garments and girded a towel around Himself and began to wash the feet of His Apostles. As Jesus was washing the feet of the Apostles, Simon Peter asks Jesus; “…Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” (John 13:6) Peter was shocked that Jesus would do such a thing, seeing that He was the Son of God! Jesus tells Peter; “…What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” (John 13:7) Peter is shocked that someone like Jesus would be washing his feet! After all, he felt like he was nothing in the sight of Jesus, he tells Him; “…Thou shalt never wash my feet…” (John 13:8). But Peter forgot the importance of the work of the Lord, just because Jesus was the Son of God, did not mean He couldn’t serve His Apostles. Jesus responds; “…If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” (John 13:8) Upon hearing this statement, Peter asks God to wash also his hands and head. Jesus explains that he did not need further washing, for he was clean. However, Jesus points out that not ALL of the Apostles were clean.

After washing the feet of all the Apostles, including Judas Iscariot (who would soon betray Jesus), Jesus teaches them; “Ye call me Master and Lord and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you… I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” (John 13:13-16) Jesus taught that we should LOVE one another, and treat each other with kindness and respect. We should never take on a role of superiority that puts down others. Leaders, lead best when those they are leading are their equals. We need to follow the example of the Lord, and do as He would do.

Upon addressing the Apostles, He boldly proclaims; “…one of you shall betray me.” (John 13:21) The Apostles immediately started to question one another and themselves, they all asked who it was, Jesus responded; “…He it is, to whom I shall give a sop [morsel or mouthful], when I have dipped it…” (John 13:26), immediately Jesus dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas and said to him; “…That thou doest, do quickly.” (John 13:27) Upon receiving this, Satan entered into Judas and he immediately left. Some of the Apostle wondered why he left, but thought that maybe Jesus had commanded him to buy things for the feast.

After Judas had left, Jesus turned to the remaining Apostles and said; “…Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:31-35)

Peter asks Jesus why he cannot go with Him, and Jesus explains that he wouldn’t lay his life down for Him. He tells Peter that before the cock crows, he will deny him three times.

Luke 22

Luke 22: The Atonement

                The Passover was approaching, and Judas Iscariot was possessed by Satan, who led him to the chief priests who desired to kill Jesus, Judas agrees to betray Him for money.

In preparation for the Passover, Jesus commands that Peter and John go to a nearby city where they would meet a man with a pitcher of water who would lead them to an upper room that was furnished for them. Peter and John go, and find the man with the pitcher and the furnished upper room, as Jesus had described. Later, Jesus meets up with them and instructs the Apostles on the Sacrament;

“…he took the bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Likewise also the cup… This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:19-20) Jesus instructed them saying that the Bread was His body and the wine (or water) was a representation of His blood, which was shed for them (or would be soon shed for them).

In the Book of Mormon we are given specific prayers that should be used today for blessing the bread and water;

Bread:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may have a remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have the Spirit to be with them. Amen.” (Moroni 4:3; The Book of Mormon)

Water:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine [water]  to the souls of all those who drink of it; that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.” (Moroni 5:2; The Book of Mormon)

Jesus predicts that evil shall befall his betrayer [Judas Iscariot]. Jesus intervenes in an argument about who is the most important disciple; Jesus explains to them that he who does the most service is the greatest among them. Jesus goes on to explain that the disciples will sit on thrones in God’s kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus tells Peter that before the night is over he will betray Him three times, by denying Him.

Jesus goes to pray on the Mount of Olives, and asks His Father; “…if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42) An Angel was sent from heaven to strengthen Jesus and support Him. Jesus finishes praying and finds His Apostles sleeping, when they were supposed to keep lookout. Jesus tells them that they will need to pray, during this discussion some men come with Judas and Judas kisses Jesus to help the men he was with identify Him. Peter cuts of the right ear of the high priest, trying to protect Jesus. Jesus then heals the ear immediately, but is still arrested, taken and beaten. Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin and is mocked and is asked; “Art thou the Christ?” and He responded “…If I tell you, ye will not believe.” (Luke 22:67)

Jesus is smitten and mocked, all because the people’s hearts had been hardened and could not see the amazing miracles performed by Him.

Luke 6

Luke 6: Blessing for the Obedient… woes for the Wicked

                On the second Sabbath, Jesus and His Apostles travel through a corn field and plucked ears of corn because they were hungry. Without having stepped much further the Scribes and Pharisees were ready to find fault and begin questioning Jesus; “…Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?” (Luke 6:2) Jesus responds; “…Have ye not read so much  as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the showbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? …the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:3-5)

The Pharisees wanted to catch Jesus doing anything wrong, but even their so called mastery of the scriptures and the word of God was no match for the Son of God himself. The Pharisees did err, because they knew not the scriptures. How could they not see that Jesus was the Christ? The Son of God!?

Jesus continues His journey and enters into a Synagogue to teach, while He was there He saw a man whose right hand was withered. The Scribes and Pharisees again stood by waiting to see if Jesus would heal the man on the Sabbath, and therefore find fault for having healed on the Sabbath. Jesus of course knew their intentions and asked the man to come near and stand up, He then asked the man; “…Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? To save a life, or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9) Jesus then asked the man to stretch forth his hand so he could heal it, and the hand was restored to a perfect condition.

The Pharisees were angered and communed with one another to figure out what to do with Jesus, for He was clearly violating what they had made up or misunderstood about His own law. The Sabbath day should be kept as a reverent, holy day unto the Lord. If at all possible we should avoid activities that draw away from the Savior or do not bring peace into our homes. Sabbath days are meant to be a day of rest, but also a day of service. The Sabbath is the time to go to church, worship God and spend time with Family. We should avoid working or shopping on this day, so that others can honor the Sabbath day.

Jesus leaves the Pharisees and goes to a mountain to pray (where He prays all night to decide who to call to be His Apostles), those chosen the next day are; Simon (who is also named Peter), Andrew, James, John, Phillips, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Simon, Judas and Judas Iscariot. Jesus speaks to His apostles and those gathered;

“…Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.” (Luke 6:20-22)

Jesus taught that all things will be made right for those trials we go through in life. Jesus continues to address the people gathered; “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-28) Jesus taught that we should love our enemies, regardless of what they do to us.

Jesus explains that we must be charitable and give unto others. For what we sow, so shall we reap; “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” (Luke 6:36-37)

Jesus continues by explaining that:

  • The blind cannot lead the blind (Luke 6:39-40)
  • Do not judge others when you, yourself are not perfect (Luke 6:41-42)
  • Every tree brings forth its own fruit, and is known by that fruit (Luke 6:43-45)

Most importantly Jesus explains that those who follow Him, and actually do as He has taught will be like a wise man who built his house upon a rock, with a solid foundation. However, those who don’t listen to Jesus or follow His teachings will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. When the floods come the one without a foundation will be washed away. This metaphor can be used in our own lives, if we do not ground ourselves in the doctrines of Christ and follow Him each day… when the storms of Satan come and he tempts us, we might just give into those temptations and wash away.

Jesus asks those who follow Him; “…why call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46) Earlier in Matthew we read that Jesus taught; “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in haven.” (Matthew 7:21) Because of this, we are Saved by grace and good works. We cannot simply say we believe in Christ. To believe in Jesus, means that you believe His teachings, and if you believe His teachings you are a follower. Therefore if you follow Jesus, you believe in Him, are a follower of Him and do the will, and good works.

Mark 14

Mark 14: Jesus is betrayed

                After two days was the feast of the Passover in Bethany, and in the house of Simon the Leper a woman came to Jesus to anoint Him. The woman poured spikenard ointment on His head, which was very valuable at 300 pence. The Apostles murmured amongst themselves wondering why the woman wasted this ointment, instead of selling it and helping the poor.

Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said; “…Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them goo: but me ye have not always.” (Mark 14:6-7)

Meanwhile, Judas Iscariot speaks to the scribes about how to deceive Jesus, and they discuss his payment for doing so. The other Apostles come to Jesus and ask Him where they should prepare for the Passover. Jesus instructs two of them to go on the first day of unleavened bread to meet a man holding a pitcher of water. Jesus instructs them to follow the man, wherever he goes. The man leads the two Apostles to a furnished room that is ready for the Passover.

                The Last Supper:

Jesus meets up with the two Apostles and partakes of the Passover and more specifically as it is more commonly known as the ‘Last Supper’. While eating, Jesus tells the Twelve that one of them who sits with them, will betray Him. All of the Apostles begin to get nervous and ask Jesus if it is ‘I’ who will betray Him. Jesus tells them that whoever it is (Jesus already knew who), it would have been better for them to not have been born.

Jesus instructs the Apostles about the Sacrament and blesses and brakes the bread and has the Apostles partake of the wine. Peter assures Jesus that he will not betray Him, Jesus tells him that before the cock crows, he will have denied Him three times.

The Apostles and Jesus leave to Gethsamane, where Jesus asks Peter, James and John to sit and keep watch, while He went to pray. Jesus walked a little ways a way, and then fell to His knees and said; “…Abba Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: neveretheless not what I will but what thou wilt.” (Mark 14:36)

Jesus goes back to find that Peter, James and John are all fast asleep. Jesus wakes them and asks them why they couldn’t even stay and keep watch for an hour. He tells them that “…The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38) Jesus left them and returned to praying; when He came back He found them to be sleeping again! Jesus speaks to the Twelve and while speaking, Judas Iscariot and a group of armed men came to arrest Jesus. Judas even had told the men that whoever he kissed, would be the man to take away.

Jesus is carried away and placed before a court, where false witnesses came and told lies about Jesus, every single one of their stories did not match each other’s stories. Immediately outside of the court Peter was found and accused of being with Jesus. But he denied having even known Jesus. After a he heard the cock crow and realizing the words of Jesus, Peter wept.

Matthew 26

Matthew 26:

Suffering in the Garden

Jesus reminds his Apostles that in two days time the feast of the Passover will occur and some will come to betray him. Those who are against Jesus meet at the house of the high priest, Caiaphas, but decide not to act during Passover, for fear of an uproar by the people. Instead they decide to take Jesus “…by subtilty [by treachery], and kill him.” (Matthew 26:4)

While Jesus was in the house of Simon the leper, a woman comes to anoint Jesus with expensive oil. When the Apostles complain about the waste of the oil, and the money that could have gone to the poor, Jesus replies; “…ye have the poor always; but me ye have no always.” (Matthew 26:11) After this occurred, Judas Iscariot goes to the chief priests and agrees to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

During the Passover meal, Jesus says to His Apostles; “…Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me… Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.” (Matthew 26:21-23,25)

Jesus breaks bread and blesses it and gave it to his disciples, representing His body. Then he has them partake of wine (or water) and tells them that it represents His blood that will be shed for the remission of sins. Jesus explains that after he is gone, that the sheep shall be scattered. Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him 3 times that same night. Jesus goes up to Gethsemane and asks His disciples to take watch, while he goes and prays. At Gethsemane, Jesus prays for the cup to pass from him. “…O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39) Jesus tells His Father that he will do what He is commanded, regardless of what He will have to go through.

Jesus comes back from praying about an hour later to find Peter sleeping, he scolds Peter; “…What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:40-41) Judas comes with a small group of men to take away Jesus; Judas identifies Jesus with a kiss. Jesus is brought to Caiaphas to be “tried” before the elders, high priests and scribes. A false witness comes forward to say that Jesus claimed to be able to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days (which Jesus did say, but this is being used out of context). Jesus keeps silent, and then tells Caiaphas that he is indeed the Christ, and that Caiaphas will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the Father, and coming in glory. Caiaphas rents [tears] his clothes. The group of high priests decides that Jesus is guilty of death. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit on. The people around him say: “… Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?” (Matthew 26:68)

The council tries to identify others who were with Jesus, and ask Peter if he was with Jesus. Peter, however, denies Jesus three times, then the cock crows. Peter remembers that Jesus had said unto him, “…Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:75)

Matthew 10

Matthew 10:

12 Apostles – Authority from Jesus Christ 

Jesus calls Twelve Apostles; Simon, Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Simon, Judas Iscariot. He “…gave them power…” (Matthew 10:1), or in other words Jesus gave the twelve Apostles “Authority” to act in His name. Therefore YOU need Authority to be an Apostle of the Lord.

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6)

Jesus commanded the twelve to go among the lost sheep that they might be brought back into the fold. Jesus commanded them to; “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)

Jesus also reminds them that they have no need for money, for they would be provided for in the service of the Lord. He tells them to “…enquire who in it [the city] is worthy…” (Matthew 10:11) and that any house which rejects them to “…shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matthew 10:14), essentially leaving behind no blessing on the house.

Jesus reminds the Apostles, that as missionaries they need to move forth as sheep amongst wolves, wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove. Missionaries need to always be cautious and wise, yet caring and harmless. Jesus tells them that many will reject them, and if that be the case to not worry about what to respond with, “…for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.” (Matthew 10:19) Sadly, those who follow Jesus and His gospel will be persecuted, Jesus said; “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22)

We are reminded of the importance of REVELATION, when Jesus said; “…for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hi, that shall not be known.” (Matthew 10:26) Everything that we don’t understand will someday come to light and we will understand. Revelation is not dead, and the prophets continue to give us revelation in these Latter-days!

Jesus tells His Apostles that no one should love anyone or anything more than God, for “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:39)