Once upon a New Testament time, Jesus ate a meal with his disciples.
One Passover day before dinner, Jesus asked his friends Peter and John to prepare for the meal. They said, “But where, Jesus? We can’t lay the table if we don’t even know where we’re eating!”
And Jesus said, “When you go into the city, you’ll meet a man carrying a jar of water. Follow him to a house and say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ Then he’ll show you a biiiig room upstairs. That’s where we’ll be eating, so prepare for the meal there.”
Peter and John had been friends with Jesus for quite a while by this time, and thought all of this was a very Jesus-ish sort of thing to say. So they weren’t a bit surprised when they went on their way and found the man, the jar, the house, the owner and the biiiig room exactly as Jesus had said. Then they set about preparing for the meal.
Later on, when it was time for dinner, Jesus and the disciples settled down at the table. Jesus looked around the table at his friends, and said, “I’ve been so looking forward to spending this time with you eating this meal together. This is the last time I’ll eat another Passover meal until it’s eaten in God’s kingdom.”
He picked up a cup of wine, thanked God for it, and said, “Pass this wine around and share it between you. I won’t drink wine again until the kingdom of God comes.”
Then he picked up some bread, thanked God for it and broke it into pieces. He passed it round his friends, saying, “This is my body given for you; eat this to remember me.”
And he picked up the cup of wine again, saying, “This is my blood. It’s poured out for you, and with it God makes his new promise.”
Then Jesus looked slowly around the table at his closest and dearest friends. He sighed, and said, “One of you sitting here at this table will betray me.”
Well, the disciples were all very upset by this, and they started arguing about who would ever do such a thing. Then that argument opened the door to another argument, which is what arguments often do, and they all started bickering about which one of them was the greatest.
Jesus stepped in and said, “Don’t be like powerful kings ordering people to do this and that and throwing their weight around. Instead, the most important one of you should be like the least important. Your leader should be like a servant. I know you’d like to be fed well and waited on rather than having to serve up dinner to someone else. But think of how I’ve been with you. I’ve been like a servant. And you’ve stayed with me even when things have been really tricky and sticky. So now I’m giving you the right to rule as kings, just as my Father gave me the right to rule as a king. In my kingdom, you’ll eat with me and drink with me, you’ll have royal responsibilities and you’ll sit on royal thrones.”