The Greatest - Luke 22

The Greatest

Luke 22:1-71

Jesus had gathered together with the apostles in a large, furnished upper room.  He instituted what is now called the Lord's Supper.  At that time He said, "Behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table."  A betrayer among the twelve?  Who could it be?  In Matthew's account of this incident we read, "Each of them began to say to Him, 'Lord, is it I?'"  Matthew 26:22.  Luke records that "they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing."  Luke 22:23.

How quickly the situation changed!  After wondering which one would betray Him, "There was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest."  Luke 22:24.  Imagine this!

Jesus made reference to "the kings of the Gentiles" as examples of greatness not to follow.  In the Old Testament we have King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who exalted himself as the greatest.  We can read about him in the book of Daniel.  God humbled him, as "he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws."  In the New Testament King Herod portrayed himself as the greatest.  "An angel of the Lord struck him...and he was eaten by worms and died."  Acts 12:23.

Jesus said, "On the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be the younger."  The younger?  But they held the lower rank in contrast to the elder.  He continued, "And he who governs as he who serves."  Luke 22:26.  The worldly great sat while others served.  Then Jesus made the most profound statement of all, saying, "I am among you as the One who serves."

Earlier James and John had already spoken to Jesus about positions of greatness.  "They said to Him, 'Grant us that we might sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in your glory.'"  Mark 10:37.  The other apostles were "greatly displeased with James and John."  Jesus had a word for all of them.  He said, "Whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."  Mark 10:44, 45.

The day is coming when those who were truly great will be revealed.  Jesus said, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on the twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."  That's the Lord's promise to the apostles.  He continued, "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or fathers or lands, for My name's sake shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life."  That's not the final word.  Then He added, "But many who are first will be last, and the last first."  That day will be full of surprises.

The greatest?  The Lord Jesus Christ is the Greatest.  Serve Him.

 

Lord, we say with the psalmist, "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised."  Your greatness is unsearchable.  There is no one like You.  We count it a privilege to serve You.  Use us for Your glory.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

Jesus Saves! - Luke 23

 
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Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
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