Luke 22:24-30 LK 22:24 Also a dispute 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 Benefactor 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.
How do we measure greatness? Intelligence, charisma or personality, wealth, appearance, achievement?
Jesus has just
shared the Last Supper with the disciples and told them that one of
them would betray him. This led them to discuss who this might be and
then which of them was the greatest.
summarise this passage by the sentence : "In God's kingdom greatness is
measured by humility and service evidenced by Jesus." Repeat.
Contra the world where, Jesus said rulers:
Lord it over others and
Liked to be called "benefactor", a title, suggesting that doing good was considered praiseworthy.
In Jesus day veneration/respect was given to older people.
A master was
considered greater than a waiter, who was usually a slave. Jesus said
his followers should not seek this veneration, status or service.
Jesus is the example of this. Earlier that evening he had taken on the role of the most junior slave in washing his disciples feet.
Jesus had a heart for service shown by a life of service.
There is a
contrast between Christ and His disciples. He was about to descend into
the deepest humiliation, sorrow and shame - the greatest agony and
death. Yet among the disciples, there was argument as to which of them
would be the greatest.
Jesus recognized that
eleven of his disciples will stay true to him. This includes
Bartholomew, who is celebrated in the church calendar today.
imitate him and are faithful to him will receive the most senior roles
in God's kingdom, which was pictured by Jews as a banquet.
God's kingdom is
different to the world. His rule will be established by one who came to
serve and give his life as a ransom for many, Mk. 10:45.
We should not seek status and service but be humble and serve. The
service should be for the right reasons. If we desire the title of
"servant" in other people's eyes we are like the rulers who Jesus
condemned for wanting to be known as "Benefactor".
in his book Celebration of Discipline, put together a brief comparison
of the characteristics of service that is focused more upon self and
service that is focused upon Christ. In paraphrased form, it becomes a
self-help test about people's motivation to serve.
service is concerned with impressive gains. It enjoys serving when the
service is titanic or growing in that direction.
Christ-focused service doesn't distinguish between small and large. It indiscriminately welcomes all opportunities to serve.
Self-focused service requires external reward, appreciation, and applause.
Christ-focused service rests content in hidden-ness. The divine nod of approval is sufficient.
Self-focused service is highly concerned about results. It becomes disillusioned when results fall below expectations.
Christ-focused service is free of the need to calculate results; it delights only in service.
Self-focused service is affected by feelings.
Christ-focused service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need. The service disciplines the feelings.
Self-focused service insists on meeting the need; it demands the opportunity to help.
Christ-focused service listens with tenderness and patience. It can serve by waiting in silence."
to service is the sign of true greatness. Service within our family,
community, church nation and the world. One of the ways that we can
serve is by giving time to people, a valuable commodity in our busy
age. This may go unnoticed in and by the world, but God will honour
this in eternity.
only way that we can serve is by relying upon the Holy Spirit who lives
within us. He will give us the humility to be slaves of and for Jesus.
He will give us the strength and gifts we need to serve Christ.
Prayer of St. Ignatius
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will. Two All Age talks
upon a time there was a King.
volunteer to be King on throne with crown.
King was very rich, because of the taxes he collected from his
he was transported around his kingdom in his luxurious limousine the
people would cheer him.
had power and authority. He would be waited upon, all his orders
were carried out. If he wanted something done he just had to say the
word and it would be done. So, if he wanted a chip butty at 3 am,
he got one. If he didn't like people he could give orders for them
to be imprisoned, even killed.
King was the most powerful person in the country. No-one could
argue with him. He didn't need to be polite or helpful, because he
was the King!
crown of thorns on volunteer.
Jesus was not like an earthly King. His kingdom was somewhere else.
was not rich. He owned virtually nothing. He had nothing to
transport himself but feet and, one day, a borrowed donkey.
some people did cheer him once, others opposed him. Plotted to have
him killed. Shouted to Pilate to release a murderer rather than
Jesus. Poked fun at him as he was dying on a cross.
had no political influence. He was soon to be at the mercy of Pilate
and the influence of the Jewish leaders. He couldn't and didn't
order people about. He reserved this for the winds and waves, evil
spirits, and those who misused the temple.
Jews of Jesus' day would have seen him as a failure. They wanted him
to defeat the Romans, free Israel from Caesar's rule, and bring in a
prosperous kingdom like that of King David.
would know the name of Pontius Pilate today were it not for his
shameful part in the unjust execution of Jesus. His earthly rule
was small and inferior in comparison to what Jesus achieved.
brought in a new kingdom based on humility, love, and service. He
calls people today to follow His example and follow Him into God's
saw from out first talk that Jesus' way of living is different.
Thy way or My way road sign In
our lives we have the choice of following his, God's way or our own
Give way road sign picture.
We are to give way to God. The Bible says that we are to kill our
old way of life, of putting ourselves first. We are to be humble,
like slaves, serving, Jesus said in today's reading.
we are to go one way, road sign.
God's way. Jesus said that following His way will not be easy. He
compared it to taking up a cross every day. But He will give us the
strength and support that we need to follow His one way, and that
this will lead us to the right place, which is knowing God in this
life and looking forward to being with Him forever.
we don't follow Jesus we will be cut off from God.
who follow Jesus can look forward to having God as our friend and
guide in this life, and look forward to being with Him and all who
follow Him in heaven forever. Picture
of heaven sign.
It is going to be great there. No more sickness, sadness, suffering
or death. Everyone will be united in love and praise of God forever.