Flawed Participants at the First Lord’s Supper- John Chapter 13

Coming to communion to remember the death of Jesus on our behalf is special and serious observance. We are instructed in 1 Corinthians 11 to examine ourselves before partaking of the bread and wine or grape juice.

 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup

In 2 Corinthians 13 Paul again instructs to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.

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This can lead to us feeling we need to come to communion having been nearly perfect before we can partake of the elements. However, when I reflect on who was at the first Lord’s Supper, it sheds some light on who can come into his presence during communion.

There was a former tax collector, rugged fishermen, and among them was one who would betray Jesus and one who would deny Jesus.

Judas was there. We read in John 13:

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus

Judas would go on to betray Jesus with a kiss as Judas led the soldiers and religious leaders to the garden where Jesus was arrested.

Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him.

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. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 

Jesus also knew that Peter would deny him three times and told Peter it would happen.

Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

So what is the difference between Judas and Peter? They were both sinful and flawed. One betrayed Jesus and the other denied Jesus out of fear. The difference was in how the two responded after they sinned.

Judas only felt remorse and hanged himself but his remorse did not lead to repentance.

In contrast, Peter felt regret and guilt when the rooster crowed. His regret led to repentance. He came into the presence of Jesus after his resurrection even though it meant at least one awkward moment when Jesus asked Peter three times in front of the other disciples if Peter loved him.

King David expressed something in Psalm 51.

My sacrifice, O God, is  a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

and in Psalm 34

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Peter was broken in his spirit. He knew his need for Jesus’s forgiveness and grace. He came to Jesus seeking that. Judas never did.

We are all flawed. No one is perfect. No one comes into the presence of Jesus, whether in prayer, reading the bible, or during communion, with a spotless record.

When I partake of communion, before partaking of the elements, I come to Jesus in prayer. He knows all about me, so there is nothing to hide. He knows all about us and loves us even though we have sin in our lives. What he is looking for is a broken spirit and a contrite heart.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

18 thoughts on “Flawed Participants at the First Lord’s Supper- John Chapter 13

  1. ”No one comes into the presence of Jesus, whether in prayer, reading the bible, or during communion, with a spotless record”

    Amen and Amen. This is such an eye opener.

    Being born naked is symbolic of who we are before the Lord, ripped, naked with nothing to hide. Oh how unfortunate we are.

    May we make repentance and confession of sin our lifestyle.

  2. Bro, I have one request. Please indicate the full scriptural reference in your bible study e.g. Psalms 51:17 and Psalms 34:18 etc..I hope this is not too much to ask.

    Otherwise God bless you for the spiritual feeding.

    1. Good suggestion.
      Out of curiosity, did you go the the chapter and find the verse? Maybe it is an old teacher trick I use to encourage people to read their bibles too 🙂

      1. Thank you. And that’s great news. In what way are you improving? I can’t imagine living with constant pain and discomfort. When I go through short periods of pain and discomfort I get very grumpy. LOL. But I suppose God gives grace where it’s needed.

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