Wednesday

“… the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (vv. 26-27)

Luke 22:24-30 Wednesday 24 August 2016

Psalm: Psalm 145


Background

This is the second time that Luke's Gospel records the disciplesof Jesus arguing among themselves as to who is the greatest. Thefirst time, following Jesus' ominous warning about his comingdeath, they were about to set off for Jerusalem; on that occasion,Jesus took a child, made him stand in front of them and declaredthat those regarded as least were the greatest (Luke9:46-48). Clearly, the disciples did not get the message,because, in this incident during the Passover meal, they were stillarguing about status and position.

The Passover meal was - and is - one of the most solemn andsignificant of Jewish ceremonies. The participants are reminded ofhow the Lord, their God, rescued them from persecution in Egypt, ofhow God cared and continues to care for them. Along with lamb andbitter herbs, they partake ceremonially of bread and wine. Jesushad just shared bread and wine with his friends, referring to theseas his body and his blood (Luke22:19-20). He had served them, and given of himself tothem.

Jesus referred his disciples to patterns of authority in theworld around them - some rulers exercised power; others, rathermore subtly, used benevolence. Jesus, both by example and in word,showed that moral authority lies in a life of service. This is thethrust of much of his teaching. The teacher of the law, forexample, whose question led to the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke10:25-37), was urged to "Go and do likewise". Service is aboutaction. The prophet Micah asked, "What does the Lord require ofyou?" and concluded, "To do justice, and to love kindness, and towalk humbly with your God" (Micah6:8). Perhaps this is what Jesus had in mind when he spokeabout the fulfilling the law and the prophets as being foundationalto his teaching.


To Ponder

  • When you hear the words 'Go and do likewise', to what are youchallenged?
  • Who do you feel are the people who are most difficult to serve?Why is this, do you think? And how might you try to servethem?
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