Character of Jesus 79

The Character of Jesus 79

Jesus’ Final Instructions to His Disciples

(Matthew 26:26 – 30, 36 – 46, Mark 14:22 – 26, 32 – 42, Luke 22:14 – 20, 24 – 30, 39 – 46, John 14:1 – 17:26)

  • Characteristic:  Consistency in the midst of chaos
    • All these things happened within a few hours, from the institution of the Lord’s Supper to the Arrest.  Rather than reading the many words of Jesus, this lesson will consider how Jesus remained consistent in the midst of misunderstanding by the Twelve, impending betrayal and arrest, the scattering of the disciples, and the disciples falling asleep instead of praying.
    • Institution of the Lord’s Supper
      • High expectations of those who followed.  He expected the disciples to make the connections between the historical Passover, the festival, and Himself.
      • Focus on the objective: Judas was present, and Jesus identified His betrayer.  Yet, He was not deterred from setting up the symbolic act.
    • Final instructions in the upper room
      • Comforting:  (John 13:38 – 14:1)  Immediately after describing Peter’s denial, He said, “Let not your heart be troubled.”
      • Positive:  Jesus could have used this time to describe everything that would go wrong.  Instead, He reassured them (14:1 – 4).
      • Patient:  Thomas and Philip (and, to a lesser extent, the other Judas) were not tracking with the lesson.  He answered their misconceptions directly and succinctly.
      • Relied on promises:  Jesus made promises about prayer and about the indwelling Spirit (14:13 – 18).
      • Focused on the unseen:  Jesus consistently addressed the viewpoint of a spirit, not that of the physical world (14:9 – 11).
    • Final instructions in the Garden
      • Teaching principles by analogy:  Compares pruning of grape vines to difficulties in life (15:1 – 6).  Identifies them as friends rather than servants (15:9 – 17).
      • Being realistic about difficulties (15:18 – 23)
      • Compassionate:  Understands what they are feeling (16:6 – 7)
      • Being realistic about what they can absorb (16:12 – 28)
    • Jesus’ prayer in the Garden
      • Focus on the overall task (17:1 – 5)
      • Not hesitant to say what went well (17:6 – 14)
      • Prayers for others with spiritual goals (17:15 – 26)
  • Application:  Consistency in the midst of chaos
    • Congregations and individuals with these characteristics
      • High expectations: make connections, understand Old Testament illustrations
      • Using symbolism to teach: the symbols illustrate, they are not the goal.
      • Comforting teaching – an expectation of success.
      • Patient with those slow on the uptake.
      • Reliance on promises (and knowing what they are)
      • Focused on the unseen.
      • Realistic about difficulties
      • Compassionate
      • Realistic about how much people can absorb
      • Focus on the overall task
      • Not hesitant to talk about what went well
      • Prayers with spiritual goals