Expository Communion Sermonette on Luke 22
Bellevue SDA Church 04/14/18
©2018 by Maylan Schurch
(To hear the audio for this sermonette, click the white “play” triangle on the line below.)
If you happened to glance at the title of this sermon, you saw that it is “Double Desire.” Why did I use that title? Because it’s a direct quote from Jesus. Let me show you what I mean.
Luke 22:14 – 15 [NKJV]: When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;
Do you see where it says, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover”? Literally in the Greek it says epithumia epethumesa. Desire-desire. Double desire. Those are two different forms of the same word. In New Testament Greek, and I think this was also true for Hebrew, when somebody wanted to emphasize and intensify a word, they said it twice.
In other words, when Jesus said this to His disciples, He wasn’t merely expressing a mild preference for celebrating this Passover with them. And He didn’t merely “desire” to celebrate it. He desire-desired to eat this Passover with them.
Keep in mind that Jesus was on death row. And He knew it. He knew that in less than 24 hours He would have already breathed His last upon the cross. Yet He double-desired to keep this Passover meal.
Why this intense desire? Was it for companionship against the darkness? Maybe that was part of it. Except that Jesus didn’t dwell on what was about to happen. He did mention that Judas was about to betray Him, but if Jesus had wanted sympathy from His friends about His own fate, He would have given them details. He would’ve said, “Do you remember how I told you that I would be captured and killed?”
But He doesn’t do this. A few verses back, He sends Peter and John to prepare the Passover meal, but Jesus Himself has done far more preparation for this event than they have.
Let’s go back to verse seven and see how this happened.
Verses 7 – 9: Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?”
At this point, Jesus could have said, “That’s your responsibility. See if you can find a room big enough for us all.”
But no, Jesus Himself had already done some preparation. Watch the fascinating events that happen in the next few verses.
Verses 10 – 12: And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.”
Now, the Bible is mysteriously silent about how Jesus did this. How could He know that, just at the moment when the disciples stepped through the city gates, they would see a man carrying water?
For one thing, as a seminary professor told a class I attended, it wasn’t a man’s work to carry water. Women – like the woman of Samaria – were the ones who transported water from wells to houses.
So here is a double mystery – a man carrying water, and the man carrying that water at exactly the time and place to be visible to the disciples when they come through the gates. We can explain this, of course, by saying that since God knows the future, His Son would know the future as well. And I believe that is true.
But another mystery struck me as I read these verses this week. This is not just your average ordinary Jerusalem citizen carrying a jug of water. This is evidently a servant – after all, he’s carrying water – but he is not a servant in an ordinary Jewish household. Instead, he is the servant of a householder who has a huge guest room, a “large, furnished upper room.”
And again, the Bible doesn’t say whether or not Jesus and this hospitable householder were previously acquainted, but Jesus knows that this man is so openhearted that he not only creates a large guest room in his house – so that many people could stay overnight at once if needed – but this man is willing to open his home to the controversial traveling Teacher and His disciples.
So this householder has apparently allowed the Holy Spirit to prepare his heart to be this generous.
And of course Jesus has made many other preparations for this night. Back before the foundation of the world, the Bible says, He understood that He was to be the Lamb that would be slain for the sins of humanity. And He gladly accepted that fate—He double-desired to offer Himself to save us.
And Jesus prepared and inspired the hearts of many Old Testament prophets, and eventually John the Baptist, to get people ready for when He came.
Jesus Himself knew exactly – probably to the day – when he would die, and where. Early in His ministry, He would say things like, “My hour has not yet come.” But on the very week of His crucifixion, He said in John 12:23, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” And a few verses later He said, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)
So, Jesus had an intense desire – a double, multiple desire – that His friends be with Him at that Passover meal. Part of the reason was probably to look back on God’s deliverance and liberation in the past, which was what Passover was all about.
But more importantly, on this night He would teach them that His body would be broken for them, and His blood be spilled for them. And even more importantly than that, Jesus wanted to make sure His friends took their Savior into themselves. The bread and the pure juice of the grape were not simply to be set on the Passover table and gazed at. They were to be consumed.
And maybe, when it comes to humanity, Jesus’ most intense desire of all is to be so close to us that He inhabits us, and we inhabit Him. After He and His disciples leave the Passover meal and begin their walk to Gethsemane, He tells them, in John 14: “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” John 14:19 – 20.
That’s what Jesus wants. He doesn’t simply want us to come here, eat the little square of bread, sip the little glassful of juice, feel solemn for a moment, and go away. Jesus loves us so much that He wants to be within us, in our hearts. “Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Come in to stay, come in always, come into my heart, Lord Jesus.”
And He will come into your heart today, if you ask him to. As you act out receiving Him into yourself, ask Him to make it real. Will you do that, for the first time or as a recommitment, during our communion service in the next few minutes?