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RUNNING ERRANDS FOR JESUS!

PETER AND JOHN TEACH US HOW!

 

 

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:1

 

LESSON 1:

Again today we begin a new Text, a new series of Bible verses to study. This one is exciting to me in a way. Because it focuses on serving Jesus! Or maybe just serving others! A life of helping those we love.

"Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover." Luke 22:7-13

Or if you prefer it from Mark's viewpoint. "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover." Mark 14:12-16

Or even Matthew's, three New Testament accounts of this one event! It must be important. "Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover." Matthew 26:17-19

I think I might title these lessons "Running Errands for Jesus!" Because that's exactly what these two disciples were doing. Peter and John even, the two most prestigious members of the whole group!

Come back tomorrow and we'll get started, Lord willing. Meanwhile review this incident in your mind and heart. Re-live it as if you were an eye-witness.

It makes me want to be "busy!"

Busy for Jesus!

Busy for the Lord's people!

Busy for my loved ones!

Busy for my best friend!

But more about all that later.

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

"Errands" for Jesus!

That's exactly what the Disciples seem to be doing in our Text. Matthew 26:17-19 gives us the briefest account of the event. Completing little details for our Lord! "Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover."

This idea, doing what He's asked us to do, is the theme we're going to discuss the next few days, doing the little things anyway.

This is part of life, caring for the trivial yet necessary chores that we all face. Serving someone we love, in mundane matters as well as spiritual ones. 

Come to think of it, New Testament Churches have this kind of structure. A whole group of individuals who "serve" others! Who serve the people of God. I am right now thinking of the "deacons." Errand runners for our Lord and His Kingdom!

The first mention of deacons in the Bible occurs in Philippians 1:1. There Paul writes, naming himself: "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons."

The "bishops" are the preachers no doubt. The "deacons" are not. They are men who "serve!"

The very noun "deacon" translates "diakonos," which just means "one who follows the commands of others!" A servant or an attendant! And even "diakonos" is derived from the Greek verb "diako," meaning "to run errands!"

Wow!

One standard Lexicon says that the term might come from "dia" and "konis," meaning "raising dust" as in hurrying to obey an order from one's master! Some scholars discount this idea now, but it sounds good to me!

Servants!

That's What Jesus chose to be!

He says so several times. "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

"To minister," in Greek "diakoneo," to be a deacon literally!

We've come full circle now, back to the Disciples in our Text. Going to town, finding a man with a water pot, and other "little" deeds!

What can each of us do for Jesus today?

Cook some food and take it to that sick lady or man down the street?

Give out a Gospel tract?

Clean the bathrooms at Church?

Cut someone's grass?

Open the car door for your Darling?

Complete that "Things I've promised to do" list?

If we really love someone, we will be glad to serve him or her!

Jesus said it best, of course. In one single verse of Scripture. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15

Love serves!

Even doing the little things!

Let's get busy!

                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

We are looking at some verses this week that appear to have the disciples doing little more than "running errands" for Jesus.

And that's just fine of course.

Although the incident is recorded in three Gospels, we're going to mostly concentrate on Luke's account. Though we shall look occasionally at the little interesting side facts that Matthew and Mark provide.

"Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples. And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover." Luke 22:7-13

Today let's just talk about the "timing" of this event.

"Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat."

Luke has Jesus using the initiative, Jesus' idea for the men to get to work! Mark and Matthew have the opposite take, the disciples ask first. "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?" Mark 12:12

Eyewitness accounts often vary according to the perception of the beholder. That's what's happening here. No contradictions really, just variations of the same story.

I really like to think it was the men who loved Jesus who spoke first!

Love and service should, and often do, take the lead!

Let me offer to serve you, rather than you having to ask me! In fact, shame on me if I miss an opportunity of doing something for my Lord! Or my friend! Or anyone I love!

Be alert for opportunities of helping others.

Look for things to do.

Let's have the attitude the servant did in Luke 17:10, the man who did "extra things" for his lord. "We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."

If all I do is what's required, I'm not much of a servant at all!

If I do more that the "list," or do things with "quickness" and "creativity," then maybe I can some day become a profitable servant!

That should be the desire of each of our hearts!

What can I do for you today?

                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

We began yesterday talking about the right "time" to serve someone, a person special to us. Or at times maybe even a total stranger, in one of those "random" acts of grace and kindness.

We had found a Text in the Gospels about two disciples, Peter and John specifically, "serving" Jesus in this way.

Matthew has it this way, "Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?"

When did they do these things for Jesus?

"When" is the question.

At the right time, at the opportune moment!

At Passover!

When the Paschal Meal was to be eaten!

The point of all this?

Some times are best of all ... at least to do certain things for those we love!

You would not cut a Christmas tree for some poor family at Easter!

Or cook a turkey at the 4th of July!

Or give some wool clothes to a family in Hawaii!

Suitability!

Opportunity!

Propriety!

Right timing is essential in serving others.

That's why it's important to look for opportunities to do good!

Jesus did!

Read Acts 10:38 with me, listening to Luke as he writes and to Peter as he preaches. "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."

See it?

Jesus "went about doing good!"

Everywhere!

Always alert!

Like Paul says in Ephesians 5:15, "walking circumspectly," looking all the way around!

The more we do this, training ourselves to serve others, and I'm especially thinking "those we love," the better we will get, the more experienced and polished!

I'll close today with a few verses that help reinforce the idea I've been preaching here.

"By love serve one another." Galatians 5:13, perhaps the best verse of all for our Theme this week!

"In honour preferring one another." Romans 12:10, let the other person be first!

Even negatively, Romans 14:13 warns us. "Let us not therefore judge one another." Wow to this one!

Even this.  "Salute one another with an holy kiss." Romans 16:16, and "salute" here can mean "to welcome, to wish well!"

"Forbearing one another in love." Ephesians 4:2, "putting up" with one another, "tolerating" one another in kindness and gentleness!

Here's a branch of serving that person you love, "Comfort one another with words!" 1st Thessalonians 4:18

And some of these "service" ideas can be done anytime!

Perhaps they should be done all the time!

Love means just that in reality, not "What can you do for me?" But rather "What can I do for you today, Honey?"

                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

No wonder Jesus once said: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." And here in John 13:35 read "have love" as "serve diligently." That's what it means really.

 

 

LESSON 5:

They did their job quite well. Really they followed Jesus' instructions perfectly. Peter and John are the two disciples involved. "Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover." Luke 22:7-13

A series of little tasks that add up to a total job successfully accomplished. A man with a pot of water, a randomly selected house, an upper room and a fellowship meal!

But can such seemingly trivial things be that important?

Apparently they were to Jesus.

I say that because Luke, just a few verses later, quotes Jesus as saying so. "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer." Luke 22:16

I was studying these words a couple of days ago, in preparation for this series of website lessons, and I saw something interesting. In the Greek text Jesus literally says, "I desire with great desire to eat this last meal with you." Or maybe better yet, "I crave with very strong cravings" doing this thing today, eating this meal.

"Epithumia epithumeo," are the words. The idea here is so strong that 31 times in the New Testament "epithumia" is translated "lust!" The root word is "thumos," meaning a "passionate longing" to do something or have something! The verb is "covet" three times in the King James Bible!

Here's what I'm saying today.

Those little "jobs" or "tasks" or "lists" to complete may at first appear to be unimportant. Insignificant, one might think.

But to the person we are serving, to the one we love, to the people we are charged to help and encourage ... these so-called "little" things may involve the greatest desires they possess at a given time!

Following a man with a water pot!

In just the right city!

To an unknown dwelling place, a house!

Asking a favor of a total stranger!

But by doing these things, one by one, the Disciples pleased their Lord very much. In fact, they fulfilled one of His greatest goals. And they did so on the last day of His life on earth, before the Crucifixion that is!

Little jobs done!

Our Loved One's biggest desires satisfied!

Wow!

Now that's service!

That's having an humble spirit!

That's success, in Jesus Own Words!

Here they are, Matthew 23:11. "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant."

"Lord, help me to never call trivial again anything I am doing for the person to whom you have called me to serve. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

Let's live the spirit of this truth today!

                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

What they did was quite amazing, instructive too. Yet they were just following a series of the Lord's commands.

Two disciples went into the city, that being Jerusalem, to prepare a meal for what we now call "The Lord's Supper."

Here's how the Gospels describe the event. "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him." Mark 14:12-13

Now Luke puts it this way. "Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in." Luke 22:7-10

Today let's notice the young man Peter and John were to follow. He is only to be identified one way. He will be "bearing a pitcher of water!"

The verb is "bastazo" and means "to carry something with one's hands." It implies a rather heavy load.

This man is the "key" to the whole Passover Meal in one way. If he cannot be found, the upper room for the Supper cannot be located.

And remember, this is critically important to Jesus.

But Preacher Bagwell, someone might ask, "Wouldn't there be hundreds of young men doing this, carrying water through the City? Especially at a holiday time like Passover?"

And the answer is, no!

Emphatically no!

Carrying water pots is not normally a man's job!

Not in that ancient patriarchal society.

Women did this.

Grandmothers.

Moms.

Teenage girls.

Even the little girls were eager to learn!

Not a man!

But one man did, the day Jesus needed an upper room!

"Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him."

This person is special.

He will be obvious, conspicuous even.

But what kind of man would do that?

Women's work?

Toting a water pot?

The only possible answer: a man with a servant heart!

A humble man.

A man willing to help others with their chores.

A man with a servant's heart!

And that's my focus today.

Without this young servant boy, Passover might not have been a reality, not the Passover meal in that home with these guests! Not with Jesus and his followers!

If you want to find Jesus, His place of residence, you will best be led there by someone who is willing to humble himself and do whatever is necessary to help those he loves!

A man with a water pot!

Leading others to the Lamb!

To the Blood of Jesus!

To the unleavened Bread of Life!

What a parable this has become!

Let's all go and serve Jesus with humble hearts!

Someone will notice!

Someone may follow us too, right to Jesus' Feet!

Wow!

                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

Once the Lord asked Peter and John to do something that almost violated a code of conduct, cultural conduct anyway.

Watch the underlined and capitalized words please, in the following passage of Scripture. The whole Text concerns "running errands" for Jesus!

"Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in." There's more to come, but this part of Luke 22:7-10 will suffice for now.

These men were being charged to follow a total "stranger" into a house! A house that was also strange to the Disciples!

Going into a home, a private dwelling, one where not a soul was previously known by Peter and John!

That would have been improper to say the least, and nearly scandalous to many first-century minds!

Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in."

Here's my thought today.

Sometimes serving the one you love may involve some bold moves!

It might entail taking some risks!

Violating cultural standards!

In order to meet a higher goal, here "serving Jesus."

And so here go John and Peter, one of whom was to deny his Lord one day soon, into a seemingly randomly chosen house!

Perhaps to be thrown out by an irate owner!

Perhaps to be arrested!

Perhaps to be humiliated!

Nonetheless, to obey Jesus!

To follow the Lord's commands, even His wishes at times!

If the Church I serve needs sermons on "Comfort and Cheer," wilI I preach "love and kindness" to them?" Or bow to my Preacher friends' convictions and only give my congregation "rebuke and reproof and denunciation?"

If I love those people of God, His children at my Church, I'll give them what they need!

In spite of the disapproval of two or three Baptist Popes or dictators or spiritual bosses!

Do whatever those you serve need!

Meet the hungers and desires of their hearts!

Regardless of man's approval!

Regardless of embarrassment!

Regardless of the risks!

Peter did.

John did.

I must do the same when I serve my loved ones.

And husbands reading here today. We must carry this to an even further level! We must not only be compliant with the idea of taking risks and facing humiliation as we serve our wives, but we are to be okay with the idea of dying for them too!

Read this. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." Plain and simple, Ephesians 5:25.

Giving ourselves, no matter what people think of us!

Meeting the needs of my dearest friend or relative or brother or sister in Christ ... no matter the reaction I may face!

That's service!

That's love, in action!

And if I may say so, that's beautiful!

                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

What a challenge!

 

 

LESSON 8:

Obeying Jesus.

Doing what He asked.

Really Peter and John were merely following a list of "things to do," a list written by Jesus Himself! "Spoken" by Him would be a more accurate term.

I have highlighted, capitalized I should say, the phrase that must hold our attention today.

"Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover." Luke 22:7-13, although Matthew and Mark tell the story slightly differently. Even eyewitnesses do not always see things "the same" in every detail!

Wow!

These men walk into a strange house, uninvited mind you, and start telling the owner, the "goodman" there, what to do! They commandeer his largest room for the evening!

All this while serving Jesus!

While running errands for the One they love so dearly!

But Preacher Bagwell, if they go into that home and start ordering the owner to yield his home to Jesus for a celebration, a group meal, lots of guests, isn't that a little presumptuous?

A little bit bossy?

Yes, it could appear that way.

Yes, I'd say for sure it looks somewhat assertive.

"Sir, a Man named Jesus is asking for your house tonight. He has no money. He is no longer a hero here in the city either. In fact, some consider Him a criminal now. But still, we must eat here tonight. A dozen or more of us!"

And to top that, the owner is apparently not even invited to the supper!

And we call this running errands for Jesus?

Or obeying the Lord?

Yes again!

Jesus, tell us again what You said please. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat."

Including the encounter with the stranger, the "ruler of the house," the "goodman," in Greek the "house" boss or "despot!" Spelled "oikodespotes," rather obvious, isn't it?

Here's my point today.

Errand runners can, and often do, seem bossy!

They are driven by a passion!

To please the one they are serving!

They can be rather strong in their determination, their will to please the one they love!

I am enjoying this thought!

If other things or people get "in the way" of your commitment to your loved one, to your master, or to your Saviour and Lord, deal with them!

Deal with it!

Just get the job done!

Fulfill the wishes of your, in this case with Peter and John, of your Lord.

Martha looked "bossy" that day in the kitchen, Luke 10:38-42. But everyone ate the meal she cooked, didn't they?

She was busy ... and bossy ... serving Jesus!

I want to be that way.

Determined to serve those I love.

Those to whom I preach night after night.

Family members.

And my best friend.

Remember Jesus washing the Disciples' feet? He had to "rebuke" Peter in the process. And He did, to get the job done!

Oh, to be more like Him!

                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

John and Peter, the two most prominent Disciples of Jesus, have been doing some "housework." They are preparing a meal, an important one. Jesus' last meal before His death.

They have been told where to do their work. The Gospel of Mark supplies the details. Watch these men as they do these little things, these small tasks, for Jesus. "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us." Mark 14:12-15, notice the capitalized words. They are today's text.

There's a lesson here, one for all errand runners!

One for all of us who minister to other people.

Pastors, Preachers, Husbands, Wives, Teachers, really all Professionals in the "service" industry.

These men have fairly easily found the man with the water pot. And the house where the room is situated. And its owner. And the "guestchamber," the upper room.

By the way, that noun "guestchamber" translates "kataluma," a compound Greek word meaning "an inn, a hotel or motel." Even "a lodging place" or at times "a large place to eat a meal."  The word is derived from "kata" and "luo," a place then where one can "come apart, loosen up, relax," rather intently too! "Luo" means "to be untied, to melt, to relieve one's stress."

But get this. The room, once viewed, is seen to be already "furnished." It's "prepared" for a gathering of almost any kind!

"Furnished" is the word "stronnumi," meaning "to spread out," as in properly arranged. The furniture or the place settings, whatever. And "prepared" is "hetoimos," meaning "fit" or "ready."

The room is perfect!

Very little to be done.

Men who were less resolved would have sat down and taken a nap!

Or less committed to the Master!

Less diligent about service to the one they loved.

But their duty involved more.

They had been asked to "make ready" the Passover meal.

Probably 90% of the work had already been accomplished.

Can't they just wait now until the Lord arrives with His followers?

Rest a bit, you two!

No!

Servants can't rest.

Not while there is work to be done, even a small amount of work!

"And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us."

The "making ready" was important too!

This verb is "hetiomazo," akin to the word "prepared" we just studied.

Here's the point today.

Errand runners are willing to do just a little more, always!

Eager to finish the job, then do those little "extras" that say "I care about the one whom I'm serving."

"Make ready," as a verb here, means "to provide, to prepare," really "to do whatever is necessary" to complete a task! Whatever is suitable, proper and complete!

As a servant to others, we need to learn the same lesson.

Do not take skimpy shortcuts!

Do not try to get through in a hurry, not for your own sake anyway.

Even if things are in pretty good shape, finish the job!

Do all that love demands!

We really today need more 110% Christians!

Errand runners for our Lord!

Everyone reading here today has a "to do" list of some kind. For the one we love. Some are longer than others, but they certainly do exist. Either mentally or visibly on paper.

How do we respond to them?

I'll do this later?

This one, is it all that important?

Maybe half the list will satisfy him or her?

No!

No!

No!

Not from a real servant!

Not from a real errand runner!

Not from someone who really loves the one he serves!

Doing all that is asked!

Then some more!

No doubt Jesus was pleased when He arrived that night! Peter and John did well, passed the test of genuine love!

May I do the same.

                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

They did what they were asked to do.

Or if we take Luke's account word for word, they did what was asked of them, exactly.

Who?

Peter and John.

Here are the options.

In Matthew 26:17-19, also in Mark 14:12-17, the Disciples take the initiative. "Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover."

In Luke 22:7-13 it's Jesus who asks the favors. "Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."

You can easily see what I mean. I've underlined the applicable clauses. Although who started this sequence of errands is immaterial really.

The real point is this, "They made ready the Passover!"

They did what was asked of them.

They completed every errand, all the way to the last bite of the meal being served, including what we now call The Lord's Supper.

"And they made ready the passover."

The verb means "to prepare," and if necessary, "to provide" the food, to pay for it all! It's hetoimazo" again, in Greek. As an aorist tense, indicative mood, active voice, third person plural, word of action!

They completed the task at hand!

They said they would. And they did!

Which brings me to today's thought.

Errand runners, servants, people who help people must fit this mold!

Must keep their word!

Must fulfill their promises!

If they "swear" they're going to do something, they will "follow through" and complete the errand!

Wow!

Faithfulness!

Dependability!

initiative!

Responsibility!

Character, godly traits in action!

Even the Old Testament commends this mindset. Psalm 15 praises the person who "sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not!" That's from verse four of that great Psalm.

What does this mean?

If you promise it, do it, even if it hurts!

Even if circumstances change, after you promised.

Do what you said ... no matter the cost!

He or she that swears or promises or even hints at a task to be done, that he will do it ... must not disappoint the special person he is serving!

That loved one!

That lost soul!

That relative!

Whomever!

Errand runners, let's all stop a minute and take inventory. Do any of us have "unfulfilled" commitments to those we love?

To those we are called to serve?

Or those to whom we have volunteered service, under God's direction?

Remember that slave in the Old Testament who did not want to leave his good Master, even when he was allowed to do so?

I don't want to bore you, but read this. It's interesting and certainly on point. "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free. Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever." Exodus 21:2-6

Volunteer service!

Because of love!

That's Christianity!

                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11:

For several lessons now we've been studying the idea of "Running Errands" for someone we love.

Peter and John did so for Jesus. Three Gospel accounts of this event exist. Mark 14:12-16 and Matthew 26:17-19 and Luke 22:7-13 all tell the same story, just with different emphases.

All the Disciples did was journey into town, to Jerusalem, and prepare a large room for a meal! But doing so involved a series of smaller steps. These duties, named one by one by our Lord, named in advance too, are what I've been calling "errands" for Jesus.

Let's list them, from a composite of the Gospel accounts.

"Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."

First, go to Israel's capital City, Jerusalem.

Then follow a certain man, the first one seen apparently, who is carrying a water pot!

Follow him wherever he goes!

Enter into the same house this man does, regardless of where it's located or who might be there!

Acquaint yourself with the owner of this home! The home they've just entered uninvited!

Ask for the use of his largest room for the entire evening!

There cook and be ready to serve Jesus and His guests, a dozen or more anyway!

Errands for Jesus!

What a "to do" list!

And, to their credit, Peter and John completed every item on the agenda!

The paragraph says, "And they made ready the passover." A task which would involved killing and cooking a lamb. By the way, this lamb usually was observed several days before it was killed, to be sure it was perfect, no spots or blemishes! Then having all the trimmings, all the side dishes ready as well! Two men doing this, wow!

Again I say, serving Jesus!

But all this today to get to a phrase in Matthew's Gospel. Specifically where Jesus said, "My Time is at hand."

"Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover." Matthew 26:17-19

Sometimes when a loved one needs us to run errands, needs us to help complete that "list," needs our help in several little things ... the tasks must be done quickly!

Expediently!

With haste!

Some jobs are just time sensitive!

This one was, that Passover Meal!

The Calendar said so. Mosaic Law dictated the day and week and month of Passover and Unleavened Bread.

A prepared room next week will mean little!

Plus, by then Jesus will have been crucified!

His Life was nearing its end, His time before the Cross and His victorious Resurrection from the grave!

Here's what I'm saying today. Those little errands we perform, those simple requests we fulfill for our mates or our friends or other family members or church folks ... are not always do-this-when-you-can things!

"I'll get around to that sooner or later."

"One of these days."

"By and by."

No, no again, a hundred times no!

Some errands need to be done now!

Truthfully, one proof of our love just might be how diligently we do those "little things" for those we love, those we serve.

Yes, Jesus. "My Time is at hand."

Other people have deadlines too.

Look at this line from Matthew too. "And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them."

These errands were done "by appointment!"

On time!

Ours should be too!

                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12, CONCLUSION:

Serving others!

Doing for them whatever they need, even menial tasks!

Running errands even!

And doing so gladly, energetically!

That's what our Text has proposed over the past week or so.

We saw Peter and John specifically running errands for Jesus, preparing a room for His Last Supper before the Cross of Calvary.

In this concluding lesson I thought it would be good to look elsewhere in Scripture for other men or women who did this, who ministered to others in the little daily issues of life!

Look at what Elisha, who later became a great man of God, look what he did to His spiritual mentor Elijah. "But King Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may enquire of the LORD by him? And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah." 2 Kings 3:11, Elisha "poured water" on Elijah's hands! He joyfully and faithfully washed the older preacher's hands, at mealtimes or whenever needed!

Wow!

Now watch Abraham and Sarah serve the "Angel of the Lord" one day long ago. Another meal is involved. "And the LORD appeared unto Abraham in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground. And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat." Genesis 18:1-8, look at the little things that were done to make the Lord comfortable!

Wow again!

Then let's watch Timothy run some errands for Paul the Apostle. "Timothy, do thy diligence to come shortly unto me. And take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And the coat that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments." 2 Timothy 4:11-13, Paul's "list" for the young preacher. And as far as we know Timothy did all that was asked! Running errands again!

By now we all get the picture.

The very essence of Christian living may be just this, loving others and serving others and doing what they ask of us. Plus at times we should anticipate our loved one's needs, see them coming ahead of time, and do those little duties voluntarily!

Yes!

There's joy and peace and victory in "running errands" for those we are called to serve!

Indeed!

                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

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