What Does 1 Corinthians 11:23 Mean?

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;

1 Corinthians 11:23(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Unlike the rest of Christ’s apostles who walked with Jesus throughout His earthly ministry, Paul was called to be God’s apostle to the Gentiles following the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Ascension into heaven.

Because of Paul’s unusual calling and unique ministry, there were many who criticised his teaching and challenged his authority, which is why he so vigorously defended his calling and frequently made reference to the direct revelation he received from the Lord.

Here in first Corinthians, Paul found it necessary to severely admonish the believers in Corinth for their disgraceful conduct which discredited the Lord, tarnished their witness, and rendered them carnal Christians and spiritual infants.

The unruly disunity, riotous behaviour, greedy indulgence, and disregard for the needs of their brothers and sisters in Christ, was even displayed during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper – which Paul had already taught was a time to reflect on the reality of Christ's sacrificial death, until His coming again.

And so in this passage, Paul is preparing to criticise and correct the shocking behaviour of these carnally minded believers - by reminding them of his own unique calling and the direct revelation he received from the Lord, which had already been taught to them on an earlier occasion.

He reminded them that he had been called personally by God, and delivered a specific message regarding the importance and seriousness of the Lord's Supper, which they were currently disregarding.

"For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you," Paul reminded them, "that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and gave thanks, and broke it and said, 'This is My body, which is given for you – do this in remembrance of Me.'"

May we never forget the enormous price that was paid for our redemption, at the Cross. May we reverently eat and drink of the bread and cup, in humble submission and grateful thanks – and give witness of the Lord’s death, until His coming again.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the institution of the Lord’s Supper. Thank You that we are called to remember the high price that Jesus paid for our sin and for our communal remembrance at the communion table. May I never become complacent about the enormous price that was paid for my sin. Help me to honour Your holy name when I meet together with my brothers and sisters in Christ. May I continue to remember the Lord Jesus' death in this way, until He comes again. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

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