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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Kingdom Greatness

We should all seek it. Luke 22.24-27

Luke 22 (1) (4)

Pray Psalm 96.1-4.
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.
For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.

Sing Psalm 96.1-4.
(Mit Freuden Zart: Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above)
Sing to the Lord! O, bless His Name! All nations tell His glory!
Salvation’s tidings loud proclaim; let earth rehearse His story!
For God is greatly to be praised; His throne above all gods is raised.
Fear Him and sing His glory!

Read Luke 22.1-27; meditate on verses 24-27.


1. What were the disciples disputing?

2. How did Jesus respond?

Jesus had just given the disciples the sacramental sign of His death and atonement, warning them that one of them was about to betray Him. All they could think about was themselves, “which of them should be the greatest” (v. 24).

Jesus corrected their misconception about life in His Kingdom. The truly great aren’t those who are served, but those who serve (vv. 25, 26). Serving others opens the spigot of God’s grace to flow through us, meeting needs and reaching souls with God’s love. The more this happens, the more God is given thanks and praise, and the more His glory becomes known (2 Cor. 4.15; Hab. 2.14).

This is how the Kingdom of God advances on earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus, the disciples all knew, was the Greatest. Period. Yet here He was serving them, rather than expecting them to serve Him. He had washed their feet (Jn. 13) and served them His Supper (v. 27). This is what Kingdom greatness looks like, and it’s what we should aspire to in every aspect of our lives.

The Kingdom of God is the rightside-up world of living like Jesus amid a self-centered, status-seeking age. What the world regards as the highest priority—being deferred to, served, and honored—Jesus instructs His disciples to forswear. Seek the Kingdom not by trying to be served, but by serving and giving yourself for others.

Just like Jesus did.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The twelve people, into whom Jesus had poured the last three years of His life, were having a discussion amongst themselves after Jesus told them of His impending suffering.

We would like to think that they were asking:
What can we do to support Him in this crisis?
How can we let Him know how much we love Him?
How should we tell Him of our appreciation?
How can we show Him that we have learned much from His teaching?
What can we do to convey our desire to carry on His teachings?

Tragically, none of these things were on their minds.
So what two questions were weighing heavily upon their hearts and minds?
1. Which one of us is going to betray Him?
2. Which one of the remaining eleven of us will be the greatest?
Bonus question: Do you suppose He feels persecuted by us?

Jesus, because He is Jesus, took their hubristic questions, and continued to teach them, love them, refocus their attention, and warn them of the dangers, and the truths of their new lives in Him.

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all…The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned” (Ps. 34.19, 22).

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16.33).

“I am among you as the One who serves” (Lk. 22.27).

“If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (Jn. 15.20).

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5.11, 12).

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Cor. 4.8-10).

God, help us to love Jesus. To serve others as He did. To care deeply about the pain we caused Him, and to think eternally about His great love for us. When we do, we will realize there is nowhere else we would rather be, and nothing we would rather be doing—in the Greatest Kingdom, serving the Greatest King.

For reflection
1. People in general, including Christians, tend to be naturally self-interested. Why is that?

2. How will you resist the temptation to live for yourself and strive for Kingdom greatness today?

3. How can believers encourage one another to seek Kingdom greatness? Whom will you encourage today?

The Lord adds to his command his own example, in order that he might persuade his disciples even more strongly. We must always remember that the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the disciple above his teacher.
Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575), An Ecclesiasticall Exposition upon Saint Mathewe 20.4

Pray Psalm 96.11-13.
Whom will you serve today to advance the rule of King Jesus and to prepare for His coming? Prepare for these opportunities in prayer.

Sing Psalm 96.11-13.
(Mit Freuden Zart: Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above)
Let heaven sing with lusty voice; let earth and sea sing sweetly!
Let fields and trees in Him rejoice, for He is coming swiftly
to judge the world in righteousness, the peoples in His faithfulness.
He comes; exalt Him greatly!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by
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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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