Table-Setting Jesus

Jill VerSteeg

READ : Matthew 26

Is it I, Lord? (v. 22)

It is the first day of Passover, and Jesus instructs his disciples to go into the city
and prepare a room where they will eat the Passover meal. At the table he warns them about
his impending arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death. Somewhere in the city stand a group
of priests, carrying thirty gold pieces because that night they will finally get Jesus.
They wait for Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, to leave the room. But before he can
rendezvous with them, Jesus gets up from the table, ties a towel around himself, and
begins to wash the feet of his disciples (John 13:1-11).

Jesus has just detailed his upcoming betrayal. He knows the path he must walk, the pain
and abandonment that is to come. So when the foot washing came to Judas, what does Jesus
do? You or I would have probably dumped the dirty water over him. But not only does Jesus
wash Judas’s feet, later they share the same bowl of food.

The psalmist wrote, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Ps.
23). At the Last Supper Jesus does just this; he hosts his enemy, the very one who will
betray him. And he continues to be the host at the table whenever we celebrate the Lord’s
Supper. Christ summons us to his table to receive and be nourished by his body and
blood—we who have betrayed Christ through our thoughts and actions. And through
Christ’s saving sacrifice we are turned from enemies to friends.


Jesus, thank you that at your table we receive the blessings of the cross and

the empty tomb. Amen.