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On Wednesday of Passion Week Jesus celebrated His last Passover with His disciples.  After numerous predictions in the days leading up to the feast that He would be delivered up to the religious leaders and handed over to the Romans to be put to death, He shocked His followers at this meal that it would be one of them closest to Him who would betray Him.  Also during the Passover, which was eaten in remembrance of how God delivered them from their bondage in Egypt, He instituted the Lord’s Supper, which would henceforth be eaten in remembrance of Him as the Lamb of God whose death delivers them from their even greater bondage to sin.  After singing the remaining Hallel Psalms 115-118 that all Jews knew by heart and that culminated in a clear description of the salvation Jesus was about to accomplish, they made their way out of the city to the Mount of Olives where Jesus was accustomed to stay during the crowded festivals (Luk 22:39).  On the way He warned the disciples that Satan had demanded to sift them like wheat and they would all fall away that night and be scattered as sheep whose shepherd is struck down.  To this Simon Peter answered that even if all fell away he would not, and was ready to go with Jesus to prison and death.  But although His spirit was willing, his flesh was weak, unseasoned by the sort of prayer Jesus would bid them to take part in the garden of Gethsemane.  And so, in spite of his affirmations to the contrary, Jesus warned that that very night he would deny Him not once, or even twice, but three times.

What final exchange of words does Luke record between Jesus and His disciples on their way to the Mount of Olives?  See Luk 22:35-38.  Although they didn’t understand at that time what was about to happen, what do Jesus’ words indicate about a major change that He foresaw was coming that would be precipitated by His death and impact His disciples?  What do His words in Luk 22:35 indicate about the general favor they had experienced in their previous ministry experience with Jesus?  Cf. Luk 9:1-6, 10:1-12,17-20.  Although the disciples would have supposed their previous ministry experience was normative, what do Jesus’ words in Luk 22:36 indicate about how that was about to change and get harder?  What exactly was the change that was about to take place?  See Joh 15:18-21, 16:1-3,33, 17:14, and consider how the enemies of Christ’s kingdom would henceforth portray Him and His followers as malefactors; cf. 2Ti 1:8,12.  What does this teach us about there being different seasons of ministry that require different actions or approaches on our part?  From this change in ministry that Jesus warns His disciples about, should we necessarily suppose that just because something is found in Scripture, even from the words of Jesus, that it is therefore normative for all time?  How then do we discern any potential difference?  See Joh 16:13.  What does this remind us about the Word of God being much more than just mere words in the Bible, but the Spirit inspired and directed words of life of which the Bible is a record?

What do Jesus’ words, “When I sent you out…” in Luk 22:35, and then His words, “but now…” in Luk 22:36 indicate about them being sent out again, not just as if on a training mission, but in a real battle to establish the kingdom of God upon earth?  See Mat 28:18-20 and note that “sent out” in Luk 22:35 is the Greek word ἀποστέλλω, from which we get our word apostle.  Although the disciples did not lack anything in their former ministry experience, what do Jesus’ words in Luk 22:36 indicate about the potential for their needs to be unmet in the change that was about to take place?  Rather than defer their ministry to a more opportune time or place, which is what the world would always have His disciples do, what does Jesus indicate they should do instead?  In what ways did the apostle Paul understand and practice what Jesus was getting at in these words to His other apostles?  See Act 18:3-5, 20:34-35, 1Co 4:11-12a, 9:4-7,15, 2Co 11:27, Phil 4:12, 1Th 2:9, 2Th 3:7-9; cf. 1Co 15:9-10.  What do Jesus’ words and Paul’s example teach us about the importance of obtaining an education and developing skills that are valuable in the world in order to have the means to be able to carry forth the gospel even when it is not favorably received by the world?  How is this attitude very different from the motivation of others to obtain an education and develop skills that are valuable to others?  Rather than carrying forth the gospel in more favorable times and places as was the disciples’ previous experience, in what way does God’s kingdom message in fact often spread best in less favorable circumstances?  Cf. Mat 5:10-12, 1Co 4:9-13, 2Co 4:6-12, 11:24-29, 12:9-10, Jam 1:2-4.  What words did Jesus emphasize to His disciples as He approached the cross that would have helped prepare them for this change?  See Mat 16:21,24-25, Luk 14:26-27,33, Joh 12:24-26.

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