In Luke 11, Jesus has been teaching. He started with how to pray and, in the last passage, we looked at His teaching on light and darkness. Somewhere in the midst of His teaching, a certain Pharisee interrupted Him.
Luke 11:37 And as he spake [notice how it was while He was teaching], a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.
In verse 38, we learn that this was “dinner” [ariston]. The Jews of that time had two meals during the day. One that was later in the morning, what we would call a brunch or an early dinner and then the main meal was in the late afternoon or early evening (it’s called “supper” [deipnon] in the KJV, see Luke 14:12).
Every serious Christian wants to value what the Lord Jesus values. Whether it’s politics, relationships, work ethics, or even our own relationship with God the Father, we want, or we should want, to value those things the way Jesus values them. We need to ask ourselves, “Does Jesus care about what I care about? Do I care about what Jesus cares about?”
In Luke 18, an event happened that showed the disconnect between what the disciples valued and what the Lord valued. It was one of those events where you think that you are doing the right thing, but it turns out that you are completely out of line. You were expecting praise…but you got a stern rebuke instead.
Recently, a seventeen-year-old teenager drove her pickup into oncoming traffic. She crashed into light pole and another car. What was the problem? She had blindfolded herself. One State Patrol officer said: “We shouldn’t have to say this, but we’re gonna: Don’t drive blindfolded.”
Most people will see what this girl did as foolish and lacking common sense. But how many people walk and drive while spiritually blindfolded? Unbelievers, of course, are spiritually blind, but there are many Christians who willingly place a blindfold on their eyes.
Jesus has words for both blind unbelievers and blindfolded believers—
33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. 34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. 35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. (Luke 11:33–36)
The first lesson that we learn from these words is this:
What was the first Lord’s Supper like? What did they eat? How long did supper last? These are actually questions that, because of the Jewish Passover Meal, we have some pretty clear answers to.
My goal is to take you through the Lord’s Supper as found in the Bible and flesh it out with the cultural aspects of the Passover Meal that Jesus was celebrating with His disciples. Then we’ll make some comparisons between the Passover Meal and the Lord’s Supper.
One thing I noticed as I worked through descriptions of both ancient and modern Jewish Passover meals is how God-focused their celebration was. The Jews spend hours at this meal, stopping to tell the story of redemption from Egypt, asking questions, and singing. Each part of the meal symbolizes some aspect of God’s work in their history.
We might say a prayer before a Thanksgiving Meal or read the Christmas account from Luke before opening presents, but that’s it. Perhaps there’s a lesson for us right there. How can we make our celebrations—especially those that are supposed to be about God—more God focused?