The Way of the Kingdom

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, You came as a servant. Help me seek to serve You with the heart in which You served.

 

Read: LUKE 22:24-38

[24] A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. [25] Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. [26] But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. [27] For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. [28] You are those who have stood by me in my trials. [29] And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, [30] so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. [31] “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. [32] But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” [33] But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” [34] Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” [35] Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. [36] He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. [37] It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” [38] The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied. 

 

Reflect: WHAT IS THE EXAMPLE JESUS IS CALLING HIS DISCIPLES TO FOLLOW?

Jesus has told his disciples that the path to his kingdom is through his death. Yet the disciples are arguing over who gets to be number one in this kingdom. They have not understood that in Jesus’ kingdom it’s not status that matters, but servanthood. Jesus, their Lord, served them in life and commits the ultimate act of service by dying for them. The purse, bag and sword in verse 36 represent the new status of Jesus and his disciples in the coming hours: they will be numbered among the lawless, the disciples will flee for their lives, and Jesus will be executed as a criminal. There doesn’t seem to be much kingdom glory in that.Like Peter, we may object. Following Jesus may be hard now and again, but we think we can manage. This self-reliant attitude is another variation on the disciples’ dispute over greatness. Peter’s faith may not fail him, but his courage will. Our talents, skills and expertise are not given to us so that we may prove ourselves worthy. They are given to us so that, like Peter, we might serve other people, and thereby build the kingdom. We don’t achieve a position in the kingdom but receive it from Jesus, who already values us so much that he died for us.

 

APPLY

Evaluate what motivates you to serve within the church. Ask Jesus to help you.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, the Suffering Servant of God, help me not lose track of what it means to follow You.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
www.scriptureunion.org