Yeah, Hello everyone. My name is Pastor Roderick caesar the third on the lead Pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york. And my prayer is that you would be blessed, you would be encouraged and strengthened by this word. Hope you enjoy God bless. Amen, Amen, Amen. What a blessing. After you’ve done all you can to be able to stand on the true and living God to stand on the foundation that christ has laid for us. What a blessing to be able to stand. What a blessing to be able to run to the fortress in whom we trust jesus the christ, the son of the living God. So after you’ve done everything after you’ve given it all, just be sure to stand and the great thing about standing on christ as he calls us to rise and we’re standing on a firm foundation that’s able to, uh, there will be standing on when he calls us higher. Um, and so it’s such a beautiful thing to be able to know that we can turn to God and run to God in times of difficulty. Thank you so much everyone for tuning in to our sunday morning service here at Bethel Gospel Tabernacle where our mission is to exalt, jesus, equip his people and expand his kingdom. I’m so thankful that you took time to join with us today, my name is Pastor Roderick season third. I’m so excited for what God is doing in this house and how he’s going to continue to move throughout this service. Uh, november 3rd is quickly approaching. If you have not voted yet Uh, please please make your way out to make that happen to vote. It’s very, very important and cannot be overstated. Uh, just the importance of making your voice be heard. Uh, in proverbs chapter 16 the text says the lot is cast into the lap, but every decision is from the Lord. So cast your votes, but every decision is from the Lord and this lets us know that God is not nervous, whoever ends up in office throughout the next four years. God is not nervous. He’s not biting his nails. He’s not shaking in his boots just because he’s not nervous. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. Uh, he does care. And so for us as believers, it’s our responsibility to uh first uplift our nation in prayer. But then the bible says that faith without works is dead and if you’re praying for something, you might as well go and have your voice be heard. It’s very, very important to do that. So my prayer is that if you have not voted yet, you would go out On November three and make your vote count. Uh, let’s turn our attention to the text at this time. I’ll be coming from the book of luke, chapter 22 luke, chapter 22 vs seven through 13, Luke. Chapter 22 vs seven through 13 man. Um all right. When you have it at your home, you can say amen or you can type it in the chat. Hey man, I haven’t. I found it. Um All right. Here we go. Then came the day of unleavened bread on which the Passover limb had to be sacrificed. So jesus sent peter and john saying, go and prepare the Passover for us that we may eat it. They said to him, where will you have us prepare it? And he said to them behold you have entered the city. When you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house. The teacher says to you, where is the guest room? That I may eat? The Passover with my disciples and he will show you a large upper room furnished, prepare it there and they went and found it just as he had told them and they prepared the Passover uh something I just wanna highlight here for us is that this was we’re going to have our communion, this is our communion sunday. And we in in our Communion sunday we read a scripture in the book of Matthew, these are synoptic gospels. So you’ll see this story pop up again in the book of Matthew where it speaks on the last supper and that’s what this is the last supper the time when jesus ate and and had his his time of fellowship with his disciples right before he was crucified right before he was betrayed And it’s interesting because his last meal wasn’t with his mother, it wasn’t all right, mom was going to spend some time with you and thank you for for raising me and thank you for all these things. It wasn’t by himself, You know where he could just sit in solitude and just think about his 33 years and knowing what’s coming, knowing that they’re coming to an end. And I know his last meal was with his friends was with his community was with the disciples. And I think what this shows us is now the only person in the room that knew that that was the last supper was jesus, everyone else was dining, thinking they were going to eat again and jesus knew my time has come. Um and so what we realized is since this was his last meal he had with his disciples and he was the one that knew the need for friendship and community in our lives is very important. It’s very important and sometimes we minimize the importance of the need for friendship with the need for community. Uh, but it’s very important. And so the sermon title for today, if you’re taking notes is called better together, better together, let’s pray. Dear God, I thank you so much for this time, I thank you for your word, thank you for who you called us to be for how you’ve called us to live for. Um it’s just what you called us to father. I pray that Lord, you would be glorified, that you would be exalted that your name would be lifted high and that we father would come to trust you that we would come to uh, relationship with you that we would come to fruit for relationship with others. We thank you. We praise you. We give you glory. We ask all of these things in the name of jesus christ, we pray Amen, Amen and Amen. There’s a phrase that says, uh, if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go faster or if you want to go far, go together. You want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Uh, if you want to kind of make it on your own or, or push through and, and go fast at a good pace, you can go alone, but that’s only gonna get you. But so far if you actually want to go far and and have longevity or have maintenance maintenance or go the distance, you can go together, go with someone else or with others for the context of this sermon and this, this series that we’re in ongoing higher this season. If you want to go high, go alone. But if you want to go higher go together. We need people, we need one another. We need community. We need friendships as people there’s a poem that says no man is an island. Everyone is a part of the whole. Now I got this, this the idea for this message as I was praying through what to speak on by our brother, reverend Lennox Stuart who was talking at six a.m. Prayer for those of you who 10, 6 am prayers continue to be a blessing. Um, but he was speaking on the importance of friendships and how Jesus had friendships and what he said really resonated with me. And as I was praying, it really jumped out that this is the direction I should take our text this morning. Because when you read through the story of jesus and you read through the decisions that he made. Uh right after he was baptized and right right after he was tested in the wilderness. The text says that the holy Spirit uh led him into the wilderness to be tested right after he was affirmed by his father. Right after this is my beloved son, in whom I’m well pleased. Right? Right after all of that takes place, he goes out to be tested. But right after that, right before he starts his earthly ministry, right before his miracles and all of these wonderful things that he does, He assembles a group of individuals. He realizes that the first thing that he does is assembles a group of individuals. 12 men from different walks of life at different points in life at different ages in life. They all are different. They have different things about them, different temperaments, different ways of relating different ways of seeing the world, they’re in different fields, but the common thing is that they left all they knew they left their normal to follow Jesus, they left their normal to follow jesus and jesus realized that okay, I’m I realized that my time here on this earth is limited and more can be accomplished if I pour into other people more can be accomplished if I I uh connect and have relationship and friendship with other people and I believe that the mission was vital, but jesus also understood that people are important as well. When you see the glory of God in others, you understand to value people, to value relationships, to value friendships, to value community and what we have to understand about the disciples is that they did life with jesus. They didn’t just All right, I’m just gonna come here, you’re teaching all right, I gotta go. Thanks. Thanks for talking for an hour, I’ll see you later. No, no. They did life with him. They left their normal to follow him. They traveled with him long distances, They ate with him, they had life threatening circumstances with him. They listened to him and they were taught by him. They fought and wrestled for his attention and for a spot to be close to him. They wrestled to understand his teaching and asked him when they didn’t understand. So what we realize is this wasn’t just a transactional relationship like okay I do this for you and and you just do this for me, you teach me and and then I I feel better because of that. No, it wasn’t just a transactional relationship, it wasn’t just a mentor or mentee relationship, they were being mentored, they were being taught, but it wasn’t just that I believe that jesus considered the disciples each one to be his friend. He says this in the book of John Chapter 15, he says Greater Love has no one than this that someone would lay down his life for his friends. And what we realize is he’s talking to his disciples, knowing that that down the line, he’s going to do exactly what he’s speaking about, he’s going to lay down his life for those that he would consider his friends. He says you are my friends. If you do what I command you no longer do. I call you servants for the servant does not know what his master is doing, but I called you friends for you for all that I have heard from my father, I have made known to you. So everything that God has downloaded to me, everything that God has spoken to me, everything that God has shared with me, I’m not just keeping it a secret, I’m sharing it with you and that makes you my friend and there’s no greater love than this one who lays down his life for his friends. Now, if jesus had friends of jesus lived in community of jesus walked and did life with others. What makes us think? Especially in this time of pandemic, especially in this time of difficulty, especially in this time of constant stress weighing down and walls closing in. What makes us think we can go through this life alone. What makes us think? We can travel and traverse these peaks and valleys of life by ourselves. Song says, we all need somebody to lean on, right. We all need somebody to lean on. We all need somebody to to anchor ourselves to entire ourselves to and and lean on in difficult times. You may say, oh jesus was God and God don’t need nobody right? And there’s there’s there’s truth to that God doesn’t need us. That is true. God does not need us. He did not create the earth out of necessity. God didn’t create the earth because he was bored and had nothing to do. He didn’t create the earth because he said, uh I just need people, I just need them. I need them. No, no, God doesn’t need people. He doesn’t need us. God chooses us. That’s the beauty of having a relationship with God. And knowing God that God doesn’t need us, but he chooses to be with us. He chooses to love us. He chooses to pursue us. He chooses to create us. He chooses to be in relationship with us. The Holy trinity God, the father God, the son God, the Holy Spirit God God jesus and the Holy Spirit. They were in perfect unity, content with being with one another before we the creation were even created. But get this jesus didn’t stay without a physical body, jesus came to earth and wrapped himself in flesh because you do know that Jesus was here and before he was here on earth right? He was a part of the trinity, the God that said let there be and there was and so he said, look we’re going to step out and wrap myself in flesh. And so he was fully God. But he also became fully man. And as 100% God, he understood okay what it was like to accomplish what it was like to speak things into existence and what it was like to be all powerful and all knowing. But as a man as fully man, he had to know number one what it was like to live without sin because he had to accomplish the mission Number two what it was like to to be uh to to to take on things that we take on every day. Imagine God wrapping himself in flesh and saying, oh you know what I’m tired, I’m sleepy right now, I’m gonna go take a nap. The God that the bible talks about, it says he who does not slumber nor sleep. Feeling fatigued, feeling tired, feeling thirsty and to drink, feeling hungry and needing to eat, feeling what it’s like to be fatigued and needing to rest. Now, those are those are physical attributes, attributes of humanity and what it means to be human but emotional as well. We see that Jesus cried at the death of Lazarus cried at the loss of a loved one, he was angry, we see him flipping tables at those that are making his father’s house into a marketplace or using it for their personal gain. He’s angry at the Pharisees and suggestions for distorting and twisting the word. You see, he loved his his mother and loved his disciples. So we see all these range of emotions from jesus and to be human and experience that range of emotion. You have to be acutely aware of the fact that you need other people. You need to belong in community. We are not designed to do it by ourselves. If the person that designed the blueprint became the creation, it became the creation and we see how he operated as the creation, that’s how we should operate. If the one that created everything and designed the whole blueprint said, you know what, I’m a step in the creation. So they know how, how to walk it out, that’s how we should behave, just how jesus behaved, just how jesus moved, Jesus was in community, we need to be in community, Jesus had friendships, we should have friendships, jesus value to others. We should value others. Now you say, look, there’s different personality types and I’m an introvert and I don’t really work well with people. I don’t really do this or that with people, but still you have to have somebody, you have to have some people. And if we, if we switch it up a little bit, you realize that no matter how powerful superman is, he needs the Justice League, right? No matter how strong iron man is, he needs the avenges, right? No matter how great a basketball player, Michael Jordan’s is, he needs the Chicago bulls, no matter how wonderful basketball player Lebron James is, he needs whatever team he’s leading at the moment and tom brady needs the patriots. You can do all these sports and all these different things. But those are team sports that can’t be done by one person alone. There’s a team sports that can be done by one person alone in the same way life is done best and it’s something when it’s done best as a group, as a team as, as people working together. Yes, there are moments, do not get me wrong, don’t say, oh well I guess I’m never gonna be alone. I gotta, there are moments when God calls you higher by yourself, when God calls you higher and you have to walk on the water alone. Yes, there are moments when God needs you by yourself in a secluded area. To hear his voice, jesus, when the spirit led him into the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy. He was by himself. He didn’t have somebody to call. It was just him and God. And there are those seasons when God, God, God uh pulls us away by ourselves to get closer to him, pulls us away by ourselves. Maybe to be tested and realize, okay, I know that I can lean on God on all things. Just like we spoke about last week when peter walked out of the water, he had to separate himself from the group. He had to be alone in stepping out. And it was probably difficult. It was probably made him uneasy, but it’s something he had to do in loneliness in solitude and being alone. He could not ask for assistance. He could not walk hand in hand. He had to lean on God and lead on faith and there are seasons for that and that’s a beautiful and wonderful thing. But there are also times and seasons when we must be in community. We have to be in community, We have to be in friendship. We have to be in relationship. No, man is an island. God calls us by ourselves, but he also calls us together. Do not neglect the importance of community Hebrews chapter 10 verse 25 says do not neglect meeting together as as it is a habit of some, but encourage one another all the more as you see the day. Drawing near now, meeting together and assembling the assembly of the saints has been a very difficult thing as of Covid 19. And the restrictions of social gathering and everything that’s been taking place. Uh, there’s been a very uh, churches have have closed their doors and begun to stream online and different things, but there are still ways to be connected even if you can’t be present. And I encourage you, I’m thankful for those that are watching. But we want to continue to check in to continue to uh stay connected. To continue to relate and form form stronger bonds of community so that that tiny you are ella link, fill that out. We want to get your information on there. But I think it’s so important for us to realize, especially in this season of difficulty how important it is to not neglect community, whether it’s picking up the phone and being in a consistent uh conversation or ongoing conversation, checking in with people whether it’s texting whether it’s through a social media, different different aspects. We need to be connected, but we need to be in community. And sometimes, you know, in a season, especially like this, it’s so easy to fall back and not be in community. It’s so easy to just fall back and say, well, you know, I mean, this is a quarantine right now. This is I’m in solitary right now. So I’m chilling in my solitude. I’m doing this. I’m doing that. But it’s so important, it’s a trick of the enemy because sometimes in our solitude, we can grow weak and oftentimes when when you see a hunter that’s hunting, it’s the a lion or a lion that’s hunting an animal or something like that, it’s the one that’s away from the rest of the group that gets picked off and if we look especially in how we uh punish people in our our prison system, one of the worst forms of punishment, solitary confinement and you removed from the general population, and you’re put into a place where you have limited contact with anyone, you’re just alone with your thoughts along with your feelings, your mind can begin to play tricks on you and all these different things and so we are not wired to be in solitude. Long, long, long term. We need community. Do not neglect community. Why? Why? Because # one community gives you a place to belong. It gives you a place to belong. You can feel accepted in community, you feel accepted in friendships, you feel accepted and valued, You have people speak affirmations over you, you feel uh like you belong to something, you feel like you are a part of something that is bigger than yourself when you are in community and in friendships, it gives you a place to belong, a place that feels like home, a place where you can be yourself and it’s so important because when you’re being yourself, you can also realize and remember that you feel a part of something bigger than yourself. So community gives you a place to belong. Secondly, community helps to keep you accountable, helps to keep you accountable. There’s transparency in community. True community, there is honesty, there is vulnerability and you can be yourself and share with others and they will love you just the same. Accountability is extremely important, especially in this walk, especially as believers because if you’re not answering to someone, if you’re not sharing with someone, if you’re not walking in the light with God and others, then what is it we’re doing here? What is it we’re doing here? We need to be accountable because uh there’s a quote that says you’re only as sick as the secrets you keep and we need to walk in the light, not just with God but with others as well be accountable because secrecy and sin, excuse me because secrets and and sin can thrive in solitude in solitude. It’s so important for us not to just stay stuck in and doing our own thing and not necessarily bring it to the light, but walking in the light, both with God and with men. So we need to be accountable and community helps to bring that out. Good friendships that helps to bring that out. 3rdly, community challenges you to grow to grow because many of us, we want to just stay the same. I want to just coast want to just be like, okay, this is it, this is me, I got my my habits, I got my ways about me, I have the way I view the world and that’s that’s the way it’s gonna be. But there’s another quote that says, if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room, you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room, get around individuals that will challenge your thinking, that will challenge your habits, that will challenge your decisions. That will challenge the way you view things so you can grow and elevate and be higher as a, as a result of the conversation, as a result of the dialogue as a result of you connecting with someone community and friendships are a great thing. So they, they uh they cause you to give you a place to belong, they keep you accountable, they challenge you to grow and they’re wonderful, but you know, like I know they’re all friendships are not created equal, All right, all friendships are not created equal in the chat, just say levels, levels, levels, there’s levels to this, there’s levels to this right. Uh We realize in jesus life that there are levels to even his friendships, even his relationships, even his community, jesus, we see he separated the three, He spent time with the 12, He sent the 72, Jesus separated the three, He spent time with the 12 And he sent the 72, jesus separated the three, spent time with the 12 and sent the 70 72 what has separated the three separated the three out of the 12 disciples, there are three that he kind of separated and drew closer to himself and leaned on a little bit more peter James and john, he kept them separate, he had a bit of a deeper relationship with them, he took them with him to the mount of transfiguration when they were being, when he was being transfigured and uh seen seen in his glorious body with with elijah and with moses, uh he took them with him and showed them a part of himself that the others did not get to see when he was doing specific miracles, he would have everyone leave everyone leave and say oh peter James and john come on, you guys stay here, I mean the other disciples like what, what’s going on here, but he was closer with them, he leaned on them a little bit more and if we read through the text, we see a lot of his conversations with peter pop up and john referred to himself as the disciple whom jesus loved, so jesus poured into peter poured into James, poured into john and deposited uh more and a lot of himself within them, they got to see him from a closer vantage point from a closer perspective, they walked with him just a little bit closer than the others did, so you say, oh it’s not okay to play favorites, so it’s not okay to alright fine, but look at jesus example, we realizes he leaned on those three for strength, even watch and pray with me, but lest you enter into temptation, watch and pray with me, he leaned on those three for strength even in difficult times and for us it’s important also so realize, yes, we love everyone the same, but there are levels to your friendships, there are levels to individuals and community, there are those that you share maybe more with than others, there are those that maybe you you give more of yourself to than others, there are more that there are those that you maybe lean on or run to or call up in difficult times more so than others. That’s who Peter James and john was for jesus, so he separated the three and so in our lives and our friendships where we have to realize is okay, you maybe, you know try and treat everybody equally and all that stuff and that’s great, you can love everyone equally, but not everyone should have the same amount of access to you, not everyone should have the same amount of of of access. So what we have to understand is jesus, even in his relationships put up healthy boundaries, even in his friendships put up healthy boundaries and gave uh V. I. P. Access, so to speak to Peter James and john, so we separated the three, But then he also spent time with the 12 with the disciples, he took them with him everywhere he went, he said okay, we’re going here, go across to the other side, I’ll meet you, there’s a storm coming, jesus like um you know, walk on this water real quick, that’s something that they got to witness, that the 12 got to witness. Yes, of course, because of that separating three, peter’s relationship with jesus, if it’s you bid me come, he steps out and walks on the water, that’s a completely different component. But all of the disciples were in the boat, all of the disciples got to witness jesus walking on the water and mastering the water and the waves once again, just as he had done before, because before we see Jesus says, go across to the other side and he goes to sleep, he says let’s go to the other side, he goes to sleep And the storm is raging, all 12 are there and they see him, they get to witness Jesus speaking to the winds, speaking to the wave saying peace, be still and in nature says, I know this voice and submits to the voice of Jesus Christ, they got to witness that And that drew them closer to him, they worshiped him, saying truly, this is the son of God, what man is this? They got to witness these miracles water into wine, the healing, they got to witness, feeding and feeding the 5000 and breaking the bread and the loaves and seeing the food multiple the bread and the fish and seeing the food multiply again and again. They got to witness all of these miracles and hear his teachings and they poured, he poured into them because he spent time with them. He spent time with them. And so what we realize is he gave them even a different level of access than everybody else, Even the 12, he gave them a different level of access. And what we have to understand once again is we’re putting up these boundaries and giving a specific level of access to people and friendships in our lives. These friendships are needed. These friendships are necessary, but not all friendships are created equal. And so it’s so important for us to realize that with jesus and his disciples, he still valued them. He still loved them, he still poured into them. He still deposited great truths and wisdom with them and was patient with them and was helping them to learn and was helping to call them higher And he spent time with the 12. So he separated the three. He spent time with the 12 and he sent the 72. He sent the 72 and Luke chapter 10 talks about Jesus appointing 72 people and he sent them on ahead of him to buy two into every town and place where he himself was about to go And he said to them, the harvest is plentiful, plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way behold I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. So there are 72 other individuals that maybe that would call themselves disciples of jesus decide, let’s just say jesus has this discipleship school And there’s 12 main disciples that are following him every single time. And there’s a gathering of about 72 other individuals that joined him from time to time that consider themselves followers of Jesus and he trusted them with his mission. He trusted them with his gospel even though he did not pour into them on the same level as he poured into the the apostles and the disciples. He still gave them some truths, he still taught them some knowledge, he still equipped them for the task and sent them out and the text says they came back excited because of the miracles that they did, excited because of the fact that they trampled on the heads of snakes and scorpions, excited because of the authority that they have in jesus corrects them and says that’s wonderful, but don’t get excited about that, get excited that your name is written in the lamb’s book of life. So what we realize is jesus is still depositing into these people on a different level at 72 he’s only one person, He’s God wrapped in flesh. He’s God who emptied himself so he cannot be everywhere at once. He can only give so much of himself to so many people. And so he speaks to the 70 72 he teaches them, he equips them and he sends them out, Teaching them equips them and sends them out. He trusts them with his mission. But the relationship here is completely different than it is with the 12. And the relationship here is definitely different than it is with the three. And so what we realize is even in his friendships, even in his relation, all dynamic. It does not mean he valued their relationship any less, or valued them as human beings any less created in the image of God. No, no, the value is the same. It’s just the deposit that was different. The value is the same. It’s just the deposit that was different. He still valued their friendship and and valued his influence over over their lives. But the deposit was different because as jesus limiting him limiting himself, God wrapping himself in flesh. He can only do so much. That’s why the most important relationship that we see jesus have is the one with his father God before he even deposits into the three before he gives of himself and teaches to the three. We see him withdrawing to a solitary place and praying with to his father and speaking to God and the bible will often say, Jesus got up earlier and withdrew to pray, Jesus got up earlier and went here and prayed, Jesus did this earlier and sat here and prayed And talk to his father and then he was charged up. Then he was ready to go and say, Okay, you three, come on, two separate, you were gonna do this miracle here 12. Let’s go here. You’re going to witness this miracle here 72. I’ll see you when I see you and it’s gonna be great and I’m gonna send you and you’re gonna witness this miracle here. And so it’s amazing that jesus was able to deposit and to give and to be in relationship with these individuals. But we see it all stemmed from the source and the source of his strength came from God, the father. And what we realized is that he never neglected his time with God and still was able to deposit into the lives of others. And so what we realized is we’re better together. If jesus did not just come down here and say, all right, time to go die and let’s go do this. Boom! Father forgive them. Boom, die! Resurrect. I’m done. I don’t know he lived, he lived a life he had a relationship, he realized that we are better together and and we have to do this with others. That if I’m gonna be the model that sets the blueprint for all of this. I need everyone to realize how important relation allele relationships are. And what we realized with the with the 72 uh is that that’s a lot of people. Honestly, that that is a lot of people for one person to to be friends with. That’s why that’s a bit more of a community aspect, a smaller church aspect if you will. But what we see is some people are close or excuse me, some people are connected to everyone but close with no one. So some people you’re connected to everyone, But you’re close with no one you put on a face for the large majority of face for everyone you interact with, but that’s not friendship. That’s just a facade. And so what we realize is you’re connected to everyone. Yeah, I know this person. Yeah, I know this person you say you’re mixing nowadays, right? It’s like, oh I’m cool with this group, I’m cool with this group. I hang with these people, I hang with that people. But are you getting love for being the real you or the person that you’re pretending to be or the facade that you’re putting on, The love that you’re receiving is is only is only reaching the mask that you’re putting on and so maybe the real you is in need of deep community and deep friendship because the only person that you will maybe get close enough to know the real you is you and you’re always at at a deficiency when that takes place, that’s no way to live. What we realize is even jesus put his walls down, even jesus let others close to himself knowing that he was going to be betrayed. Knowing that he was going to be uh denied knowing that he was going to be hurt. He still loved, he still showed peter his transfigured itself on the mountain. So I’m gonna show you my glory before I ascend. Knowing that you’re going to deny me three times knowing that you’re going to reject me again again and again. And so we have to understand in our lives, we need to find people that we can trust be prayerful, find people, we can trust, let our walls down and be in true community because we don’t want to be connected with to everyone, but close to no one, we need to find people. If jesus is the blueprint, we need to find people that we can be close with, that we can trust that we can let our walls down with and that we can glorify God with. So let’s turn our attention just just to the text again. I want to um to highlight something. Then then came the luke chapter 22 7. Then came the day of unleavened bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Now the beauty of of of this time period as jesus was crucified during the Passover and this is the time when the lamb was sacrificed. So it celebrated Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and its celebrated the passing over when they when they when they killed the lamb put the blood on the door post and the angel of death passed over the Children of Israel and went to Egypt and as a result of that the firstborn was spared because of the death of that lamb and it is in this season and this time that jesus christ is killed. Do not miss this imagery. Do not miss what is happening here, Jesus christ is this Passover lamb and he is now crucified so that the death that is ours that should be ours, it gets passed over passed over. So now because we accept jesus christ sacrificed now because we now because he said it is finished and said into thy hands, I commit my spirit, he did that for us. So today we can be with him in paradise and it’s very important that we realized that the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. And in this season jesus knew that he was that lamb, the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world and then jesus sent peter and john and he said go prepare the passover for us, prepare the room for us that we may eat it. And jesus says wait we’re excuse me peter and john watch this peter and john remember I said the three, those are two of the three, he trusts them with this responsibility. Uh they said to him, where will you have us prepare? Where are we going to do this? Where are we going to prepare this and watch this, jesus being full of the holy spirit of course, having that discernment, having that wisdom knows exactly what’s going to take place. He says behold when you have entered the city, a man, this is so specific when God speaks to you specifically, when God speaks to you in detail, listen, listen, because he knows what he’s talking about. Uh he says, when you have entered a city, the man carrying a jar of water will meet you, The man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Now that’s why it’s so important to follow instructions. Follow him into the house that he enters, it’s not about him, don’t speak to him, just follow him, then tell the master of the house, the teacher says to you where is the guest room that I may eat the Passover with my disciples. So they follow this man with this jar into this house, They asked to speak with the master of the house. The master of the house comes and says, the teacher, they say the teacher, jesus says to you, hey I need a guest room so I can eat the Passover with my disciples and they’re showing this large upper room is furnished, its ready, prepare the Passover there and when they went, they had found it just as he had told them and they prepared the Passover and that is where they ate this last supper meal. That is where they ate this last supper meal. And so it’s so important for us to to to realize I made a connection, if you would allow me to um make this connection here, it says he’ll show you this large upper room furnished, prepare it there, prepare it there. Now there was a table prepared, there was a room that was prepared. Yeah, and this is why it’s important to to have unity. Jesus lays out the whole scene and says, you guys prepare this table, prepare this room, They come and they have this Passover dinner and as we know as we’ll continue to to read and as we see in scripture, Jesus famously says on this night I’m going to be betrayed, one of you will betray me. Yeah, but this table is prepared before Jesus says this, everyone’s looking, they say who is it, who is it? Who is it? But everything was prepared psalm 23 says, yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Why? Because you are with me, Your rod and your staff, They comfort me, thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. The wonderful thing I think about this text is That there were 12 men who journeyed with Jesus up until that point, but only one of them would betray him judas Iscariot, he’s consistently uh seen throughout the text. That is the one who would betray jesus as the one who would betray him and the deceiver and all these different things. And what we realized is that the table was prepared and he dined with someone who we would consider an enemy. He ate with judas. He dipped his hand in the same jar as judas. And what this shows us is even those who are against you can sometimes help push you to your purpose, even those who are against you can sometimes help push you to your purpose. Now Jesus says many different things and look at how he responds to to to judas or look at how judas is mentioned, it says, yeah, Uh in John Chapter six, Jesus says, did I not choose you 12. And yet one of you is a devil. He speaks of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the 12 was going to betray him. And then John chapter 12 it lets us know the heart of Judith Judas, Judas says, Oh, we need to give this money to the poor and he said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief having charge of the money bag. He used to help himself to what was put into it. So, we see throughout his time with jesus, him walking with jesus, him being a part of the community of believers of these disciples with jesus. He was still engaging in sinful practices time and time again walking with jesus in the flesh And I watch this in Matthew chapter 26. We would consider judas to be an enemy that prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. But look at what Jesus says in Matthew 26, he says now the betrayal had given them a sign saying the one I kiss is the man, so go and seize him. They came up to jesus at once and said, He came up to jesus at once and said greetings rabbi and he kissed jesus and jesus said to him, Friend, do what you came to do. Then they came up, laid hands on jesus and seized him. What we realize is that yes, we may consider Joe Giudice, excuse me to be an enemy of jesus because of what he did. But we too were enemies of jesus. We too, were enemies of jesus, jesus. We were hostile to God. We were hostile. We were lost in our sin. We were focused on following through with our own plans for our pleasure for our gain, but Jesus still looks at us and calls us friend, Jesus still looks at us and says, look my top priority is to glorify God the father and because of that, he’s calling us higher into community, He’s calling us higher into relationship. He’s calling us higher into fellowship with him. We are better together. We cannot close ourselves off. So as I close it as the team comes up, I think it’s very, very important for us to realize that just as jesus was in community, we should be in community, just as jesus had very close friendships. We should have close friendships. Just as jesus forgave those who wounded him, forgave those who afflicted him, forgave those who who tried to knock him down. We two should forgive. We too should be in a place in a season when we can can forgive and look at the one who we would maybe consider an enemy and say, look, all things work together. You’re pushing me towards my purpose regardless of how you treated me, regardless of what you said about me, regardless of how you’re trying to connive and pull me down. God forgave me so I can forgive you. God forgave me so I can forgive you because think about this the same grace that was extended to peter would have been extended to judas. The same grace and forgiveness that was extended to peter would have been extended to judas. But judas, judas so wallowed in his pity and wallowed in his grief and wallowed in his mistake that he took his life so that forgiveness was not able to be received by judas. And so for us, I think it’s so important for us to realize that community is one of the top things on the list of jesus christ unity, friendship. That was one of the first things he did before I started his earthly ministry. And so for us we cannot go through through this life, not forgiving, we cannot go through this life alone without friendships without connection. We cannot go through this life without putting first things first and trust me, God calls us higher, calls us to new life in him and we are better together. Yes, maybe we want to ascend alone and their seasons for that. But God calls us sometimes to ascend together. God calls us to rise up together. God calls us higher together. So let’s be prayerful saints of God be prayerful for your friendships. God who do I allow in my circle, a great poet of our day, Big Sean says I have many people in my circle but not many in my corner. And so for us it’s important to realize, look, I have people in my circle but who’s who’s who’s in my corner, who’s for me, who wants to to to push me to excel push me to to go higher. And so let’s just be prayerful saints of God because God has friendships for us. God has community for us and it may it may, it may be right here in this church, but it may not be you don’t have to be buddy buddy and friendships with every single every single person in the house of God, but you do have to have a sense of community, a sense of belonging, pray pray pray let God order your steps that God directs you to the right people and also be mindful of the right levels as well. If you need to put up boundaries, pray and say God, do I need to put up some boundaries with this person or boundaries with these people? Or do I let to let do I need to even let this person closer in and maybe put this wall down? That’s stopping me from having a true and genuine friendship in connection with someone. So be prayerful saints of God, that’s my prayer. God is calling us higher in all things and even in our relationships and friendships as well. Right, So let’s pray dear God, I thank you so much for this time. Thank you for your word. I thank you for your people. I pray father that as you have called us to a new life in you, as you have called us to be higher and stronger in you. I pray Lord that you would be glorified as we move forward, be glorified as we rise up, be glorified as we give your name. All the power, all the all the praise, all the honor and all the glory because you have all the power. We ask these things in jesus name, Amen if you’re here and you’ve heard this word and you realize you are not a friend of God, you don’t know jesus and you want to have a relationship with him and you say you know what I want to to know this God who calls me friend, this God who wants to have a relationship with me and wants to have fellowship with me. If that’s you, there’s a text that should flash on the screen. I want you to text save to that number. We’re gonna have somebody follow up with you. I just want to pray. Dear God, I thank you so much for those that are listening. They maybe don’t know you. I pray Lord that you would be with them and strengthen them in this time. Help them to come to know you as son. I mean no us father and help you to know them as son, know them as daughter, forgive them of their sins and cleanse them with their own righteousness. We ask all these things in jesus name, Amen and Amen. Give God some praise, give God some praise. The decision you made for christ today is the best one you’ve made in your life. So we look forward to seeing what God will do. Hello again, Pastor roderick CAesar third here, thank you so much for watching my prayer is that you were blessed. You are encouraged and strengthened by that message. If you would like to be a blessing to the ministry, you can text B G T f i 277977. Again, you can text b g t f i 277977 to sow a seed into the ministry and we thank you. Thank you so much for your generosity. Or you can visit our website at b g t f i dot us for more information. Thank you so much. Once again, I hope you are blessed. I’m praying for you. We love you here at Bethel God bless Yeah.