Reading: Luke 22:24-30
And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. [NASB1995®]
In the previous passage we saw the disciples discuss who would betray the Lord. And in this passage they continue to argue. Who should be the most important, the greatest?
The Lord gives them a lesson that will affect them deeply.
What is the lesson? In the kingdom of God, says the Lord, we do not operate within the parameters of the world. In my Kingdom, honor, recognition or position are not what is important. Among Jesus’ disciples, the important thing is to imitate the Master; the important thing is to serve.
Jesus showed us, time and again, that the Kingdom of Heaven is higher, more excellent, with higher values. What the world holds in high esteem is ephemeral, worthless in the eyes of God.
An example is worth a thousand words. What Jesus is teaching them carries a greater weight because he himself has been an example of service and humility. Is he not about to give up his life? Didn’t he wash the disciples’ feet? It is by His loving service that the Lord can tell them: If there is anyone who must be honored and served, it is I, and you know it, but look… I have come to serve. You must do the same. Serve, sacrifice, and love. That is what my Kingdom is all about.
Paul expresses it excellently in his letter to the Philippians, reminding us that Christ relinquished His supernatural identity and glory and became a servant, humbling himself to the very lowest. What other example do we need?
The final promise is precious, filled with love. Jesus promises, “You will be with me, sitting by my side, because you have learned that to be part of my kingdom is to give yourself in service and love.”
MEDIATE: Do we really seek to serve others or do we let honors and recognition distract us? Remember, the Gospel is love expressed in service.
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader