The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 15

Welcome to Passion Week. We will begin with the Last Supper where Jesus and His disciples celebrated Passover in the upper room. He established the New Covenant of grace and gave a new meaning to the Passover Seder. As Christians, we observe communion to remember the death of our Lord. But the story doesn’t end there–Resurrection Day follows His crucifixion three days later. Hallelujah! Christ is alive forevermore and we, the Redeemed, will spend eternity in His presence.

“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you’” (Luke 22:19-20 NKJV).

Click to read separate accounts in the Gospels: Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-23 and John 13-17.

The three accounts of the Last Supper in Matthew, Mark, and Luke are almost identical. Jesus directed his disciples as to where they should prepare the Passover meal. That evening as they were eating, several significant things happened. He established the New Covenant of grace by breaking bread and sharing the cup with His disciples.
“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise, He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you’” (Luke 22:19-20 NKJV).

Jesus’s spirit became troubled as He announced that one of them at the table would betray Him. “Now as they were eating, He said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me’” (Matt. 26:21 NKJV). The gospel of John paints a complete picture of this event as Jesus dipped bread and then gave it to Judas, saying, “‘What you do, do quickly’” (John 13:27 NKJV).

Jesus also predicted Peter’s denial in Matthew 26:34. “Jesus said to him,
‘Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’” Peter declared that he was ready to follow Jesus to prison and to death, if necessary.

Have you ever sent children off to college or perhaps their wedding day? Think back to that last meal together as a family. As parents, you remind them of everything you taught them in preparation for this pivotal life change. You make predictions, explaining what they can expect as they enter this new phase of life, as well as warnings about coming pitfalls. Speaking into their spirits, you declare your love, support, and that you’ll always be only a phone call away. You pray over them, committing them into the Father’s loving arms. You reassure them that even though they may not understand everything you’re saying now, they will remember and fully understand later. After blessing them, you kiss them, and then let them fly away.

Jesus prepared His disciples to continue in His absence that night during their last supper together. The Lord explained that He would not drink of the vine again until He did so with them in heaven (Matt. 26:29). At that table, He established the New Covenant, which fulfilled—not replaced—the Law (Luke 22:19-21 / Mark 14:22-26).

The book of John tells us the details of what the Lord proclaimed to His disciples during their last supper. In Chapter 13, Jesus began by washing His disciples’ feet before the meal, demonstrating complete humility and exemplifying servanthood. (Click HERE for our previous lesson about foot-washing.)

Knowing all things that were about to happen, the Lord encouraged His disciples before His departure. (To read, click on each verse in parentheses. All are taken from the NKJV.)

  • The Present
    • He manifests Himself to anyone who loves Him and keeps His commandments by giving them His peace, which is unlike the world’s (John 14:23-27).
      He is the vine, we are the branches. By bearing much fruit, we prove to be His disciples (John 15:5-8).
      Love one another (John 13:34-35).
  • The Future
    • He will prepare a place for them and come back to receive them. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 14:1-6).
    • He won’t leave them alone but will send them another Helper—the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-16).
    • Ask anything in His Name and He’ll do it (John 14:12-14.).
  • Warnings
    • The world will hate them as it hated Him (John 15:18-25).
    • They will put them out of the synagogue (John 16:1-4).
    • He foretold His betrayal and Peter’s denial. (Mark 14: 27-31).
    • He told them ahead of time so they would believe when it came to pass (John 14:29).
    • A servant is not greater than his master (John 15:20-21).
  • Comfort
  • Prayer

Do you celebrate with a Seder or Passover meal at your church or synagogue? If not, the details of what people eat during Pesach (Passover) and their significance are a fascinating study. Click HERE to read a detailed Messianic Jewish perspective of its history and present-day practices.

Dear Father, we humbly thank you for fulfilling the Law by establishing the New Covenant of grace. As we eat the bread and drink the cup, may we always remember Your death until You return. We look forward to the day when we will take communion with You in heaven. In Jesus’s Name we pray, Amen.

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens
Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

The Last Passover

The Last Passover by Karen Jurgens

 While they were eating, He took some bread, and [j]after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is My body.’  And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.  Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God’ ~ Mark 14:22-25 NASB.

I’m eagerly anticipating the day we take communion with Jesus in heaven. Are you?

Wishing you a blessed Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.


Easter: Seeking Messiah (Part 3)

Simon departed from his brother’s house and headed straight for the temple, the most likely place to find Messiah. Soon the Passover lambs would be slaughtered for the feast, so early today would be the best time to seek Him. A picture of his suffering son flashed through his mind. Hopefully, I can make my petition to the Lord before the people assemble.

Outside the temple small crowds gathered and voices inquired, “Where is Jesus, our King?” Electricity sparked their emotions. Although Simon searched, He was nowhere in sight, but in the midst of the confusion was a man carrying a pitcher of water while moving purposefully through the outer court. Curiosity drew Simon to follow, and two blocks later, he caught up with the man.

courtesy of

courtesy of

“Sir, do you know who Jesus is?”

The man looked over his shoulder at him, out of breath with sweat glistening on his forehead. “I don’t know Him, but I must prepare for a supper at the direction of my master. His upper room is rented tonight for Jesus and His disciples.”

“Can you tell me where?” He pleaded.

The man offered no response as he swept away and disappeared around a corner.

Simon’s heart wrenched at this revelation. There was no hope of finding Him until after the supper with His Twelve. Shuffling back to the temple, he entered, intending to pray. He found a discreet corner and knelt, when the sound of men arguing behind a curtain interrupted his petitions.

courtesy of

courtesy of

“How dare Jesus confront the chief priests by refusing to answer where He receives His authority to preach and perform miracles.” A deep voice hissed.

“Timaus, we all agree. What I can’t understand is how He outwits us with every question we ask. In order for Him to answer us, we have to first answer Him. He outwits the Sadducees the same way.”

“Tricks! All tricks! Asking us if John’s baptism was from heaven or from men. He knew we couldn’t answer …  we must follow political protocol—or be stoned.” The volume of Thaddeus’ voice rose, followed by the sound of shushing.

“Calm yourself. We’re not about to set ourselves up to be stoned. There must be a way to trap Him for our purposes. Unfortunately, the masses believe John was a prophet.”

Another gave a short laugh. “His relative who is a cousin, I believe? A family of prophets.” The voice dripped sarcasm.

“I, for one, do believe that John’s baptism was from heaven. Why couldn’t we just say that to get His answer? Wouldn’t it have been worth it? Perhaps we could have trapped Him after all.” A dissenting voice shrilled.

“How naïve of you, Stephen. Don’t you have any pride at all?” This new voice was full of drawn swords. “That would force us to admit He was right all along.”

Silence. Simon waited, holding his breath.


Just then distant footsteps approached the concealed group of men.

“Quickly! We are going to have this Messiah—the One who masquerades as the Christ.” The voice exuded urgent joy.

Simon tensed and his heart galloped. Dear God! What evil are they planning against Him?

“The High Priest has again spoken with one of His disciples. The one who keeps the money, apparently, is quite interested in hoarding silver for himself.” His tone jangled like heavy coins.

courtesy of getty images

courtesy of getty images

Simon started. Judas? He sat at my table many times with Jesus when they were in Bethany. His memory searched. Had a love of money shaped him into a traitor? Impossible. Yet, he did recall Judas holding tightly to the money bag, which was always in his possession.

“What did they say? Will Judas cooperate with us?” He recognized the voice as belonging to Timaus.

“It looks promising. The High Priest has spoken with him on many occasions, offering to pay. He always refuses. It’s never enough. But this time, his offer was more silver—thirty pieces.”

“If he has always refused, why does he now agree?” The shrill tone condescended into a scoff.

“Because this time … this time, he said he would look for an opportunity to betray Him away from the crowds. Tonight is the first day of Unleavened Bread, and he claims Jesus and the disciples have a Passover Supper planned. We are readying our group of men, arming them with clubs and swords.” Viciousness wrapped around his words.

“But why go with violence? The Teacher has never been anything except peaceful. Just because He outwits us is no reason to take swords and clubs.” Stephen’s voice whined.

“Whose side are you on? This prophet is turning the people away from the authority of our High Priest! The crowds just led him into Jerusalem, intending to crown Him as their King! That. Is. Treason.”

“Yes, and if there is a political uprising, we will take the brunt from Rome. They hate us and find any excuse to tighten the bars of our prison. It’s better for one man to suffer than for all the Jews to be tortured by these cruel Romans. This Jesus must be sacrificed for the good of all.”

“We have no king but Caesar!” His tone rang with finality.

Simon’s energy surged, and he leapt to his feet. All the more reason to locate Messiah to warn Him of this evil plot, planned against Him by one of His own.

God help me find Him!