Luke 22:24

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Luke 22:24 

“And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.” – Luke 22:24

In today’s focus verse, we see there was an argument regarding which of the disciples should be considered greater than the others.  This is not the only time something like this occurred, for we see in Mark a request from James and John, Zebedee’s sons who asked Jesus to make them the top two disciples. “Grant that we may sit in Your glory, one on Your right, and one on Your left.” Mark 10:35. The difference between these two events is that here, they were arguing regarding which of the twelve would be designated the top person where the event in Mark speaks of two brothers requesting the top positions.

Now, I believe Jesus saw where this was going.  “And He said to them, The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’” Luke 22:25. The term ‘benefactor’ frequently was used to describe gods, heroes, and kings who were in fact at times quite despotic, so that there may be some irony in this statement. Then He continues.  “But not so with you but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.” Luke 22:26.  He was telling them this was not the type of leader they were to become for  His kingdom will be greatly different than those of this world. The rulers here were for the most part despots, requiring their people to do anything and everything.

Now these words of Jesus were directed to the disciples, the future leaders in the church. And they definitely apply today as well. The following words do not deny that there are leaders in the church. What they do is describe how such leaders are to lead. The greatest in the church are not to behave as the greatest in the world.

Next He makes the following statement. “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.” Luke 22:27. He asks the question, who is greater, the one who is served or the one who serves? He then answers with the statement, is it not the master of the feast who is at the table?  But look at my example I show you. “But I am among you as the one who serves.” Although Jesus is clearly greater than the disciples, his behavior during his earthly ministry was one of serving them. John, in his gospel, writes this example. “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God, rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:3-5. The washing of another‘s feet was one of the lowliest deeds that could be done. This lays out clearly that those who would follow Jesus should also be a servant of all.

Jesus closes this with the following, “And 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.” Luke 22:28-30. They were granted access to eat at Jesus’ kingdom, as well as a throne for each of them. And we will be blessed as well if we serve God and His people as Jesus served the Father and His people while here on earth.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Proverbs 15:18

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 15:18 

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute.” – Proverbs 15:18      

Have you ever been in a discussion with someone on a topic where the two of you did not agree?  I have at times.  Everything starts out ok, but then something happens and suddenly one or both of you begin showing signs of animosity.  It can start out slow, but if things do not change, then the possibility of an intense argument becomes more probable.  This was likely not the direction either of you anticipated.  You were simply wanting to discuss a topic, and suddenly everything blew up. 

This is especially true if both are looking for a win and will do anything possible to be successful.  Especially if both parties have the same goal.  At this point, the possibility of an amiable conversation becomes less likely.  And the more entrenched both parties are, the possibility becomes stronger each will leave angry at the other.  However, the second part of this verse describes how we are to handle any discussion, no matter how much we differ regarding the topic.  We are to be slow to anger, not trying necessarily to win the debate, but to be calm and present our case.  Anger does little in presenting what we believe, in fact, it will probably harden them to their own view of the topic.  Meekness is a better attitude in these situations.  You can bring up your opinion or belief, but not in an argumentative way.  Present all arguments on both sides, and if there is no agreement, leave as is.  There may be reasons why each sees things the way they do.  It is not worth arguing because all it will do is close minds.  Then, even if they come to believe you, they may never admit it or act on it.

This is especially important when we, as Christians, are one of the parties in a conversation.  Doubly so when not everyone involved is a Christian.  The issue in either case is our witness.  It would not be good for others to see us being angry and offensive during a discussion if they know we are a Christian.  What if we, in the process of trying to prove our point, call the other person a derogatory name?  Not only will this undoubtedly close the mind of the person, it can also cause others hearing our conversation to question our faith, to the point where they may even see us as a fake Christian.  They will see us as someone not living the life we profess.  Paul says it this way.  “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29. He also adds, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”  Ephesians 4:30-31.  Note, we are not to exhibit bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, malice, and slander.  This pretty much does away with all negative expressions we could present.  In fact, we are to do all to God’s glory.  “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

We are to show love to all we come into contact with, whether we agree or not.  To argue does not help our cause, in fact, it degrades our ability to be a consistent witness.  We are to go out and be Christ’s hands and feet on the earth.  We are to show the love of God to a world that needs to hear it even though they may not think they do.  We are to be a light in the darkness.  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.  It is our calling; it is our mission.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.