Come, Follow Me

  • Matthew 26; Mark 14; John 13: “In Remembrance” (May 29-June 4)

    In Remembrance of Me (detail) by Walter Rane

    On the last Thursday of the Savior’s life, He and His apostles gathered to celebrate Passover. During that event, He washed their feet, introduced the sacrament, revealed that one of them would betray Him, and prophesied that Peter would deny Him three times within the next 24 hours. It was an unforgettable experience, and even more so after the apostles experienced the trauma of His suffering and death, followed by the joy of His resurrection.

    Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from the Last Supper:

    1. A defining characteristic of disciples of Christ is that they love and serve one another.

    All of the apostles must have been perplexed as their leader dressed Himself as a common servant and began to quietly wash their feet. But Peter was troubled. It seemed disrespectful to allow the Savior to serve him in this humble way. “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” he asked, then added more forcefully, “Thou shalt never wash my feet” (John 13:6, 8). But Jesus wanted His apostles to understand that in the kingdom of God, there are no privileged leaders dominating those they lead. There are only servant-leaders, doing everything they can for those they serve, however menial the task. “Ye call me Master and Lord,” He said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:13-15).

    These words are reminiscent of a message King Benjamin gave to his people at the end of his reign: “Ye have called me your king; and if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you, then ought not ye to labor to serve one another?” (Mosiah 2:18).

    Later, Jesus challenged them to love one another as He loved them. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,” He said, “if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).

    Here is a blog post about following the Savior’s example of love and service:

    2. God knows us far better than we know ourselves.

    When Jesus revealed that one of His disciples would betray Him, they all asked, “Lord, is it I?” (Matthew 26:22, Mark 14:19). This is a good question, much better than saying, “I know it’s not me, so who is it?” But Neal A. Maxwell pointed out that we all have plenty of room for improvement and growth. “No need therefore to ask, ‘Lord, is it I?’ Rather, let us inquire about our individual stumbling blocks, ‘Lord, is it this?'” (“Consecrate Thy Performance,” General Conference, April 2002).

    Indeed, even though Peter was not the one who would betray Jesus, he was not as spiritually mature as he thought. “I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death,” he said. Courageous words, and he was sincere. But Jesus knew that his actions would not match his promise, “Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me” (Luke 22:33-34; see also Matthew 26:33-35, Mark 14:29-31, John 13:37-38).

    After Jesus washed the apostles’ feet, He told them, “Ye are clean, but not all” (John 13:10). John saw this as another indication that He knew Judas would betray Him, but it could also serve as a reminder that none of them was perfect yet and that they needed His help to be perfected. See the following blog post:

    3. The sacrament helps us to “always remember Him.”

    “This is my body,” said Jesus, as He broke bread and distributed it to His disciples during the Passover meal. “This is my blood,” He said as He gave them wine to drink (Matthew 26:26, 28; see also Mark 14:22, 24, Luke 22:19-20). And He added, “This do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

    After His death and resurrection, Jesus also introduced this ordinance to a group of people on the American continent. “This shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you,” He said, and “in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you.” And, He added, “it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me” (3 Nephi 18:7, 11)

    When we partake of the sacrament, we are reminded that we have promised to always remember the Savior, but we can take comfort in the fact that partaking of the sacrament every Sunday is one way we keep that promise.

    I hope you find the following blog posts useful as you study the sacrament this week:

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