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Around The Table
John 13: 21-30

Gathered around the table with the Saviour were twelve men.
They were truly individuals.

Gathered around this table today are all of us. Some of the things seen at that first table can be seen around this one.
With whom would you identify?

Those to whom it means nothing.

Judas Iscariot has to be at the bottom of the scale.
To him the Last Supper with the Lord meant nothing.
He had already decided to betray Jesus.

But notice -- as Jesus made appeal after appeal to Judas, the other disciples were apparently not aware of what was going on.
To them, Judas had given the appearance of loyalty and love.
Only Jesus knew exactly how he felt.

There could be some gathered here around this table to which this means nothing to them.
Only you and the Lord knows how you feel about it.

Those to whom it means examination.

It has always interested me that the disciples were so unsure of their own commitment that they had to ask,
"Lord, is it I?"

It was a time to examine and to rethink their own loyalty.
Paul (1 Corinthians 11: 28) says that each person ought to examine himself before partaking of the meal.
It is a time of examination.

Those to whom it means love.
The gospel of John identifies one disciple as "the disciple whom Jesus loved."
This is certainly a reference to John himself.

Obviously, Jesus loved all the disciples.
But there was some special bond of love between Jesus and this disciple.
This may have been the person whose love was so strong, so sure, and so certain that he gave Jesus support
and affirmation when He needed it.
He did not need to ask, "Lord, is it I?"
This kind of total commitment in love is necessary for Christ and His Church.

Those to whom it means loyalty.

Three disciples are mentioned by name.
There were nine others. What of them?
They were persons who served with loyalty, faithfulness and obedience.

For the most part, after their choice by Jesus, their names dropout of the Gospel record.
Does this mean they dropped out?
No indeed!
In every advance of Christianity, they were there.
Unsung heroes perhaps, but they were there.

In football, for instance, people know the names of quarterbacks, the running backs, but what about those linemen
who man the trenches?
They are essential to any team and to any victory.
The Church must have these kind of people -- people who are loyal.

Those to whom it means forgiveness.

Any meditation at the Lord's Supper must center on Jesus Christ.
For Jesus this supper meant forgiveness of sins of mankind.
He gave His life so that we can be forgiven of our sins and given new life.

The elements of the supper are visual reminders of this. And today, we share this table with Jesus Christ.

With which people do you identify: Come openly to this supper and remember Jesus!

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
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