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.