‘A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.’ – Luke 22.24From Sam Lomas:
I’d like to begin by encouraging you to read Luke 22.14–27. As we gradually begin to turn out attention towards Easter, look closely at the argument that breaks out over the Passover meal.
Jesus and His disciples sit and eat the Passover meal together, remembering how Yahweh had delivered their ancestors out of Egypt, sparing the lives of the Israelites first born son thanks to the sacrifice of a lamb whose blood was painted on the doorframe.
The group are reclining at the table when Jesus tells His disciples that one of them will betray Him (verse 21- 23). Immediately we read that a dispute arose among the disciples and they begin to argue with one another (verse 23-24). Jesus has said something deeply shocking and upsetting to His disciples.
But notice how quickly the focus of their argument turns. The investigation into who the betrayer could be quickly ends and their focus is moved to the topic of who among them is the greatest. This is very amusing me, as it really highlights something of our human nature to strive for recognition.
It is clear that the disciples didn’t understand how greatness was attributed in the kingdom of God. And so Jesus tells them by asking a question that He immediately answers.
‘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.’ – Luke 22.27
In saying this, Jesus is teaching that in His Kingdom “greatness” is seem most evidently in humble service. Jesus could be considered great in many ways. Take His power or His wisdom for example. But it is not these things that would demonstrate His greatness. Instead it would be the opposite. Through service and perceived weakness – Jesus’ greatest act would take place as He died on the cross.