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Monday, April 4, 2011

4-4-11 John 13:22-27 Unworthy Communion

22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

(Leonardo Da Vinci Last Supper- Judas)

Thoughts: Paul said there are dangers in taking communion in the wrong way- in an unworthy manner (1 Cor. 11:27,34).  Judas certainly set a precedent of taking communion with fake faith.  Before we take the Lord's Supper we are called to examine ourselves. The Old Presbyterians took this so seriously that they restricted communion to only four times a year and each person was examined by an elder and given a token if they passed the spiritual examination.  We take communion lightly today, but should seek this Supper as an opportunity for repentance and holiness.
     Yet, there is also a sense in which none of us are worthy- or perfect.  We come to the Lord's table humbly, in need of grace to make us better.  If we waited until we are perfect, none of us would take communion.  Martin Luther shook when he first gave communion because he knew he was unworthy. Perhaps- the balance is we need to have sincere faith, but also come humbly to meet with our Lord.

Prayer: When I come to commune with you, may I come with true gratitude in my heart and sincere faith.

John Calvin Abridged: Why did Jesus give a dipped sop to identify the traitor when He could have openly pointed to him by name?  This teaches us that when hypocrites are concealed, we should be patient until they are seen in the light. Judas sat among the other apostles, but was condemned by the mouth of the Judge.  No one who holds a place among the children of God is in any better place than was Judas.

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