I’ve learned through various job and ministry experiences that being surrounded by others too long can often lead to exhaustion, anxiety, or stress. There are other relationships, however, that create a sense of rest in our lives even though the investment in those individuals makes demands on our time and energy.
The Last Supper in Luke 22 offers an interesting window into the relational world of Jesus and His disciples. Jesus used the celebration of the Passover meal as a means of revealing His redemptive purpose in coming to earth—that He had come to heal and redeem broken humanity. Christ knew what mankind had yet to understand: God would empty Himself that we might know true and lasting wholeness (Luke 22:15-16,19-20).
Jesus surrendered His body and blood to bring us into relationship with Him (Luke 22:20), but His sacrifice wasn’t for us alone, but for an entire community of believers. As complicated and challenging as they can be, we were made for relationships. An act as well as a state of being, the communion we have with Christ empowers us to experience God-breathed connection with one another.
Just as in our lives, the Passover table wasn’t absent of betrayal, hidden agendas, or disappointment (Luke 22:21-24). But Christ’s instruction was to take what He’d given and “share it among yourselves” (Luke 22:17).
To live emotionally and spiritually distant from others is to fail to experience the joy of communion in His kingdom. If we commune with Jesus, we experience a profound and life-giving partnership with Him. Only then can we know what it means to serve others in this world (Luke 22:25-27) and live out relationships that witness to another world.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 3:12–4:4
Read 1 Samuel 20:42 and Acts 15:35-41 and consider how God worked in seasons of relational distress and separation to bring about the good of His kingdom.
How can you create healthy boundaries with those who’ve hurt you? How have you seen Christ’s character revealed in your relationships?