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As they were eating at the table, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here, will betray me.‘” Mark 14:18

Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, ‘Am I the one Lord?'” Matthew 26:22

When we usually think about humility and the Last Supper, the meal of Jesus with his disciples just before He was arrested; we think about the humility of Jesus Christ. And it is correct for us to do so as we ponder Jesus’s washing of His disciples feet; even Judas’s feet, the betrayer. Or the humility involved in the New Covenant where Jesus would sacrifice Himself for us and our sins, providing for our salvation.

Yet I want to look at another act or acts of humility. Acts which fly in the face of how we would probably find ourselves acting today. Think about a time where you’ve been in a meeting, it could be work related, a meeting of a volunteer group, perhaps a church or even a family meeting where some impending catastrophe is discussed. Should the meeting devolve into some aspect of responsibility for the impending disaster, how often do the participants, or at least some of them, start pointing fingers at others as the problem or blaming some aspect of outside circumstances? If we are honest with ourselves, how often to we openly reflect on whether we are partially or maybe, primarily responsible?

Let’s look at the Last Supper. It is the meal celebrating the Passover; the miraculous rescue of the Jews from Egyptian slavery many generations before. We’ve already noted the preceding act of the meal, where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and the teaching that went along with it. It was a lesson in service and humility. Though there is no specific reference to the meal time itself, there is no reason to believe it was not a pleasant gathering.

Then the pleasant, reverent mood of the evening is broken. Jesus becomes troubled and makes the proclamation that one of His beloved 12, His closest friends, His disciples given to Him by His Father was going to betray Him. Jesus knew at that moment what the disciples did not. That betrayal was going to lead to Jesus’s crucifixion.

Now please understand, this was not a historically, outstandingly humble group. More than once they had argued about who was the greatest among them. They had wanted call fire down on a Samaritan village that had rejected Jesus. Two of them had asked to be granted the place of glory of being placed at the Right Hand of Jesus in Heaven. Peter had even rebuked Jesus earlier, when he thought Jesus was wrong.

Yet now they had been with Jesus long enough to know; when Jesus said something was going to happen; it was going to happen. One of the 12 among them, was going to do one of the most heinous, despicable things you could do to someone; betray them. Thinking about how we might act today; one could imagine that an immediate blame/accusal-fest would have commenced. One could imagine Matthew being accused as he was the past tax collector and never really one of the group. Maybe it was Simon the Zealot who was trying to force Jesus’s hand in proclaiming Himself the King of Kings. Maybe Andrew was accused of being jealous of Peter and Jesus’s close relationship and wanted to bring the whole thing down. Finally, maybe Peter was still smarting from being called Satan and wanted revenge.

Yet, in the presence of Jesus the Messiah, Who is complete Truth and Light, all the disciples were humbled. All the disciples unquestioning believed in the statement that Jesus had made; plus the fact that Jesus had not named the perpetrator. In a moment of the starkest, most honest reflection, each of the disciples reflected on themselves and saw their fallenness. They each understood; they were cable of such a thing. So instead of accusing any of the others; instead of blaming the Jewish Council or the hated Romans, they humbly, with a trembling heart and voice asked: “Is it I Lord?”

Jesus Christ is alive today. Jesus Christ is the Messiah and Savior. Jesus Christ knows all too well of our weakness and fallenness. He went to the Cross to take our fallenness in sin upon Himself so that we might be redeemed by His blood. In His presence can we find the same humility? Can we turn from accusing and judging our neighbors for all sorts of imagined or even real sins as we sit high on our self aggrandizing, self righteous judgement seat?

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ; as we look to Maundy Thursday, let us reflect on our state of humility. Let us understand our broken nature, which is capable of so many horrendous acts if not for the Grace and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord. Let the Holy Spirit reign in us that we will find humility in ourselves and forgiveness toward others. Let us seek to Glorify the Father instead of seeking glory for ourselves. If Christ can be humble, if the disciples can be humble, then we; abiding in the love and presence of Jesus Christ can find our humility as well and live lives that Glorify the name of our Heavenly Father.

Our most Gracious Heavenly Father, we confess that far too often we find ourselves accusing others and making excuses for ourselves. Please forgive us, most merciful Father and pour out Your Spirit upon us. That living into the example of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, we might too humble ourselves, understanding our broken nature and the immeasurable gift of Grace that You gave us through His sacrifice and resurrection. That in living in humility, we rely on You to lift us up to Glory of Your Most Holy Name. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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