A modern English blending of the New Testament

Table of Contents



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23


Gospel Index

Charles Templeton Home

Anecdotal Memoir

Brad Templeton Home
Brad's Photo Pages

Brad's Panoramic Photos

RHF Home


Jesus - A blending of the New Testament - Ch. 20 - Last Supper
Previous [19] Next [21]




The Passover supper  -  who will be first in the kingdom?  -  Jesus washes the apostle's feet  -  Judas leaves to plan the betrayal  -  Peter's denial is predicted  -  the bread and the wine  -  the holy spirit is promised  -  the vine and the branches  -  the command to love each other  -  Jesus speaks of his death  -  he prays for the apostles and their successors.


It was Thursday, the day before the Passover began. Peter and John went to Jesus.

"Do you have any special instructions on where you want to eat the Passover meal?" they asked.

"Yes," he said."Go to Jerusalem. When you get there you'll be met by a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him. Notice the house he goes into and go and talk to the owner. Say to him, 'The Teacher told us to ask you where the room is in which he's to eat the Passover meal with his apostles.' He'll show you a large, furnished upstairs room. Make the necessary preparation there."

That evening Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table.

"You don't know how I've looked forward to this Passover meal with you before my agony begins," he said. "I shan't eat the Passover meal again until everything it implies has become actuality in the kingdom."

As the meal progressed, some of the apostles got embroiled once more in the argument over who was going to be prominent when the kingdom was set up. Jesus broke in on the dispute.

"Among the Gentiles," he said, "the lives of the people are controlled by their kings, and the authorities are called 'benefactors.' It must not be that way among you. With you, let the eldest be the youngest and let your leader be the servant of all the rest. Normally, who would be more important - the man seated at a table or the man serving him? Wouldn't it be the man being served? Yet here we are, and I'm your servant. You have stayed true to me through my trials, so - in the same way that my father granted me a kingdom - I'm going to grant a kingdom to each of you so that you may be entitled to sit at a table with me in my kingdom. Each of you is going to be made a judge of one of the twelve tribes of Israel."

Jesus was aware that this was his last night on earth. From the moment he had met each of the apostles he had loved them dearly and would continue to do so until the end came. He was aware, too, that the devil had put it in Judas' mind to betray him. Now - in the full realization that God had entrusted everything to him and in the knowledge that he had come directly from God and was about to return to him - he got up from the table, took off his outer robe, tied a towel around his waist, poured some water into a basin, and began to wash the apostle's feet, drying them with the towel.

He came to Peter.

"Are you planning to wash my feet?" Peter asked.

"You don't understand what I'm doing, Simon," he said. "You will, though."

"You'll never wash my feet."

"If don't, Simon, you can't share my lot."

"In that case, don't just wash my feet; wash my head, my hands. . . all of me."

"When someone has bathed he's already clean and needs no more than to have the dust washed from his feet. And you, my little band, you are clean." He thought of the one who would betray him and added. "But not all of you."

Having finished, he stood up, put on his robe, and sat down.

"I want you to think for a moment of what just happened," he said. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord' - and that's appropriate because I am - yet I, your Teacher and your Lord, have just washed your feet. Surely then you should be ready to wash each other's feet. What I've done is simply to set you an example. You must surely realize that a servant isn't more important than his master, just as a messenger isn't more important than the man who sends him. Once you realize this and act on it, you'll find happiness in it. I should make it clear that what I'm saying is not addressed to all of you. I knew what I was doing when I chose you; it was necessary to fulfill the scripture, He who ate my supper has turned against me. I'm telling you this now so that, when it happens, you'll know I am who I claim to be."

Suddenly he was in deep anguish, "It's true," he said. "One of you is a traitor, one of you here at the table with me. My end has been predicted by the prophets, but alas for the man who is the instrument by which it is achieved. He'd be better never to have been born."

The apostles looked at each other sadly and with doubt in their eyes. Each of them asked, "Is it I, Master?"

"The traitor is the man who dipped his bread in the dish with me," he said.

John, the disciple for whom Jesus had a special affection, was seated closest to him, so Peter signaled to him, "Find out who he means?" he said.

John leaned close. "Who is it, Master?"

"The man to whom I give this chunk of bread after I dip it in the herbs," he said. He dipped it and gave it to Judas.

"Is it I, Teacher?" Judas said

"It's as you say, Judas," he replied. Then he said to him. "Go do what you have to do."

The significance of what he had said did not dawn on the others. Since Judas was the treasurer, they assumed that Jesus was telling him to buy something needed for the Festival, or to take something to the poor. Judas, however, knew, and he went out quickly.

It was night.

When Judas had gone, Jesus spoke to the apostles.

"The time has arrived for me to be glorified and for me to glorify God. If I honor him he'll honor me, and soon. My little children, I have such a brief time to be with you. When I'm gone you'll go looking for me but, as I told the crowd the other day, you can't go with me. I have a new commandment for you. It is this: love each other as I've loved you. Your love for each other will set you apart as my followers."

He looked around at them. "You will all betray me tonight," he said. "It has been written, you know, I'll strike down the shepherd and the sheep will scatter. Regardless, when I rise from the grave I'll go on ahead of you to Galilee."

"Everyone else may let you down," Peter said. "I won't."

"Simon, Simon," he said. "Satan wanted you. He wanted to sift you as wheat is sifted, but I've prayed for you, prayed that your faith doesn't run out. When you do get straightened out, Simon, strengthen the others."

"Tell us where you're going, Teacher," Peter said.

"It doesn't matter. You can't follow me - although you shall later."

"But why can't I? I'm ready to die for you."

"The truth is, Simon, that before the cock crows the dawn you'll have denied that you even know me . . . three times."

"No, Teacher! Even if it means prison. Even if I have to die by your side, I'll never let you down."

All the disciples echoed his words.

"When I sent you out without a wallet or a knapsack, without even an extra pair of sandals," Jesus said, "did you lack anything?"


"Now I'm telling you that if you have a knapsack or a wallet, take it along. And if you don't own a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. The scripture reads, He was classed as a criminal, and everything that has been predicted about me must happen."

"We have two swords here."

"That's enough," he said.

As they were eating he picked up a piece of bread , gave thanks for it, broken it into pieces and gave it to the apostles.

"Eat this," he said. "It's my body, offered up for you. In eating it, remember me."

When they had finished dinner he picked up a cup of wine, gave thanks for it, and passed it around the table. "This is to seal the new covenant - my blood, shed for you and for many others. Drinks it all. I won't drink wine again until we drink it together in the kingdom.

"Now, now," he said, "don't despair. Believe in me as you believe in God. Where my father lives there are any number of homes, and I'm about to go there to prepare yours. Would I say it if it weren't true? When everything is ready I'll come back for you so that we may be there together. You know where I'm going . . . you know the way."

"But we don't," Thomas said." We don't even know where you're going, so how could we know the way?"

"I am myself the way," he said. "I am the truth. I am life. The only way to God is through me. If you had recognized who I am you would have known who my Father is. But from now on you'll known him because you've seen him."

"If you'd Let us see the Father," Philip said," We'd be convinced."

"Have we been together all this time, Philip, and you still don't realize who I am? How can you say, 'Let us see the Father,' when to see me is to see the Father? Don't you believe that he and I are one? When I speak, you're not only hearing me, you're also hearing the Father carrying out his work through me. If you find it impossible to believe in my oneness with him, then believe on the basis of what you've seen me do. The fact is that if you believe in me you'll be able to do not only what you've seen me do but more, because I'll with the Father. Ask for anything - ask for it on my authority and ask for it so that God may be honored - and I'll do it. Understand me now; ask for anything and I'll do it.

"If you really love me you'll live by what I've taught you. I'm going to ask the Father to give you someone in my place, someone to counsel and encourage you and to stay with you forever. Who? The Spirit of Truth. The world won't welcome him because it hasn't the capability to recognize or comprehend who he is. You'll know him though, because he's with you now and, in the future will live in your hearts. I'm not abandoning you; I'll be back. Very soon now the public won't see me any more, but you will. My being alive is the guarantee that you will live. You'll realize when the time comes that my oneness with the Father is the same as my oneness with you. Prove your love for me by your obedience. Show your love for God and me and I'll return your love and reveal myself to you."

"Sir," said the other Judas (not Iscariot), "you said you were going to reveal yourself to us but not to the world. Would you explain that?"

"It stems from your love for me," he answered. "Your obedience will bring you the Father's love and mine. We'll both share your daily life. And, as I said, the evidence of your love is your obedience. That's not only what I say; it's what the Father says. I've taught you a great many things in the time we've been together, but when I'm gone the Father will send you in my stead that Counselor of whom I spoke a moment ago - the Holy Spirit. He'll be your teacher. He'll remind you of what I've taught you.

"My legacy to you is peace - my peace - a very different thing from what the world calls peace. Don't be worried, don't be frightened. I told you a moment ago that I was going to leave you but that I'd return. If you really loved me you'd be happy for me because I am going home to my Father. He's greater than I. The reason I tell you this in advance is so that when it happens your faith won't falter.

"There is not much more time to talk now: the unseen ruler of the world draws near. It's not that he has any authority over me, but simply that I am being obedient to the Father so that the world may see my love for him.

"Let me explain our relationship with an analogy. Think of me as an actual vine, of yourselves as branches, and of the Father as a gardener. If a branch doesn't bear fruit he cuts it away. Fruitful branches he prunes to improve their yield - as you have already been pruned through my teaching. Remain attached to me, as I shall to you, because just as in nature a branch can't bear unless it's attached to the vine, so you can't bear fruit apart from me. If we remain together you'll be exceeding fruitful; apart from me you won't be able to produce a thing. More than that, you'll be thrown away as a broken branch is thrown away, to wither and to be gathered and burned. Live each day attached to me and my teaching will thrive in you. Then you may ask for anything and have it granted. When you are fruitful you bring honor to my Father and demonstrate that you're my disciples. I have loved you in the same way that the Father has loved me. Keep on living in my love. How? By being obedient to my Father's commandments just as I, having been obedient to my Father's commandments, keep on living in his love. I'm telling you all this so that you may give me reason to rejoice and so that your happiness may be complete.

"Here's what I require of you: that you love each other as I've loved you - and who can love more than someone willing to die for his friends? You are my friends if you follow my teaching. I shan't refer to you any longer as servants because a servant doesn't share his master's confidence. That you are my friends is shown in the fact that I've let you in on everything the Father has told me. You didn't choose to be joined to me; it was I who choose you and determined that you should be fruitful and that your fruit should endure. The commandment is: love each other.

"Now, although you are to give love to each other, don't be surprised if you are hated by the world - they hated me first. They'd love you if were like them, but because you aren't and because you're joined to me, they'll hate you. I told you that the servant isn't greater than his master, remember? Well, my persecutors will be you persecutors just as those who heeded me will heed you. The things they will do to you because of me will be done because they don't realize who sent me here. It's because I've been sent by God and they've heard me that they stand guilty. Otherwise they wouldn't be guilty, but now they're left without excuse, having chosen to live in their sins. Hating me, they are guilty hating the Father. They stand guilty because they've seen me do what no man in history has done. Despite that, they still hate me and the Father. Actually, it's the fulfillment of that prophecy: They hated me without cause.

"When the Holy Spirit comes from the Father - he who is the very essence of truth and who will be counselor and strength to you - he'll tell you about me. Your job will be to tell others. And who could do it better? You've been with me from the beginning.

"I tell you all this so that you'll hold steady. You're going to be excommunicated - indeed, the time is coming when the man who kills you will believe he's doing God's will! They'll do what they do because they've never understood the Father or me. I tell you this so that it will be in your mind when they have their day. I didn't say these things earlier because we were together, but the time has now come for me to leave."

He paused. "None of you has asked me where I'm going? It's because the things I've been saying have made you very sad. Realize that it's to your advantage that I leave. If I don't the Counselor won't come. He'll come only if I tell him to. When he comes, he'll make clear to the world what sin is, what goodness is, and what the judgment is about. He'll show them that sin is to reject me, that goodness stems from my departure to be forever with God, and that judgment is to be seen in the sentencing of the invisible ruler of this world.

"There is still so much to tell you it would be too much for you right now. When the Sprit of Truth comes, he'll lead you to the whole of truth. He won't be speaking on his own, but will only be passing on what he's been told. He will show you what lies ahead. He'll honor me by passing on to you what he's drawn from me and - since everything of the Father's is mine- he'll be telling you what I received from God.

"I must leave soon," he said, " but I'll be back soon."

"The apostles talked among themselves. "what does he mean by soon? How soon? And what precisely does he mean when he talks about going to the Father?"

"You're puzzled," he said. "You don't understand when I say that I must leave you soon and that I'll be back soon.The fact is that you will mourn and be in tears at the very time the world is rejoicing. Then your tears will become tears of joy. For instance, when a woman is in labor she is in anguish, but her anguish is forgotten and replace by happiness when her baby is born. In the same way, you are going through a time of sorrow now, but that will change to supreme happiness when you see me again - a happiness that nothing can remove. When that time comes you won't have any questions. In the meantime, I repeat, ask the Father for anything you want, ask him in my name, and he'll give it to you. You haven't done that before; do it now, and you'll get what you ask and your happiness will be complete.

"I've been using figures of speech. The time has now arrived to speak about the Father in straightforward language. When you approach the Father in my name, understand that there will be no necessity for me to intervene on your behalf. He Loves you himself. First, because you love me and, second, because you now accept the fact I am here at his bidding and am about to return to him."

"That makes more sense," they said, "Now we understand. We now know that there is nothing you do not understand and that there is no need for further questions from us. We're convinced that you have come from God."

"You believe now, do you?" he said. "I fear that the hour is coming -indeed, it's here - when this little band is going to be scattered, each of you to his home, leaving me alone. No, not alone, the Father will be with me. All that I've told you has had one purpose; to bring you peace. There are times of great testing ahead in this world, but cheer up, men, I've already conquered the world."

Now he addressed himself to God. "Father," he prayed, "the hour has come. Honor me so that I may honor you. You gave me authority over all mankind, the authority to give eternal life to each of those you gave me, the knowledge that you are the only true God and that I am the Messiah you sent to the world. I have honored you by doing what you gave me to do. Now, Father, restore me to the state I had with you before the world began.

"These men you gave me: I've told them of you. They've been obedient. They now realize that everything I have comes from you. I've passed your world on to them. They accept it as yours and accept the fact that I have in truth been sent here by you. I pray for these men - not for the world but for these men. They're yours - as everything of mine is yours, as everything of yours is mine - and they've brought honor to me. I'm about to leave this world to rejoin you, but they must stay here. I ask you, holy Father, to sustain them. Give them that same oneness that we have. Here on earth I have kept them in your name, kept all of them, other than that child of hell, and he was the fulfillment of scripture. I've explained what's ahead for me so that they may glimpse the happiness I feel. I've given them your commandments and it has led to their begging hated by the world because they're different, different in the same way that I am unlike the world. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world but only to protect them from the evil one. They don't belong to the world any more than I do. Purify them through the truth, the truth of your word. In the same way that you sent me into the world, I've sent them. I hereby consecrate myself for their sake so that they, too, may be consecrated by the truth.

"But it is not only for these men that I pray, I pray also for those who will come to believe because of them. My prayer is that they may all be one with us as we are one, so that the world may be convinced that you sent me. You honored me and I've passed the honor on to them so that they may be one as we are - I with them and you with me - as a proof to the world that you sent me and that you love them as you love me. Father, I want these men with me. I want them to see how, out of your love for me, you honored me before the earth was created. Oh righteous Father, the world doesn't know you as I do, but these men know I came from you. I've made you known to them and will continue to do so, so that your love for me be in their hearts even as I shall be."

Then Jesus said, "Get up, men. Let us go." And they sang a hymn and went out.
Previous [19] Next [21]