We are in Holy Week which is our way of remembering the final week of Jesus before his death on the cross. (While it is important to note that Jesus death wasn't the end of the story it was in essence the end of his earthly ministry. When I refer to Jesus' last week I am not implying that it was his last week but simply it was the last week leading up to the cross.) I know that facing certain death would cause me to focus on those things that were truly important. So what did Jesus focus on in his last week?
On Monday Jesus drove out the money-changers and merchants from the temple in order to restore the proper worship of God. Tuesday had Jesus teaching in the temple where he ended up in conflict with the Jewish leaders. He made it clear to them that we should be giving all to God.
Now it is Wednesday and Jesus is teaching in the temple again. Which is interesting by itself because it means that Jesus valued teaching. But we don't have much details about the content of the teaching. The detail that we do have is Jesus spending time with friends.
"And while (Jesus) was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, 'Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.' And they scolded her. But Jesus said, 'Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.'"
Now their may be some debate as to whether or not this happened before Palm Sunday as it is reported in John 12:1-8 or on Wednesday it would seem to be in Mark 14:3-9 (quoted above) and in Matthew 26:6-13 as well. What it tells us is that Jesus was not alone during this time. He spent time with friends when he knew his time was limited.
Ecclesiastes tells us that facing life with a friend is much better than facing it alone:
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
In his last week, Jesus took time to be with those that he loved. He knew that he will be all alone soon enough. He knew that all of his friends will scatter when he is arrested. But that time is not now. Now is the moment to make time for those friends. I know that I can get busy at times and forget to slow down. It can be easy to forget to just spend time with friends. I am guessing that Jesus didn't go to the cross wishing that he had spent more of his limited time with his friends. Hopefully I learn the same thing before it is too late.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.