2010 Luke’s Gospel
Living As New Covenant People
Key Verse: 22:26 "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."
In the last passage we learned about the new covenant in Jesus’ blood. The blood of Jesus has the power to cleanse us from sin and to change us from the inside out. The blood of Jesus can change America and the whole world into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. We receive the new covenant in Jesus’ blood by faith. Then we must live as new covenant people. Today, Jesus teaches us how to live as new covenant people.
First, new covenant people serve others for the glory of God (24-27).
Look at verse 24. “Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.” Among the twelve, they talked a lot about who would be the leader in Jesus’ kingdom because they thought the time for his kingdom on earth would be imminent. “Who is the greatest among us?” “Who will be the second to Jesus?” Among them that’s the hot issue, not the new covenant in Jesus’ blood through his death on the cross. Actually that’s the hidden motive of the disciples’ following Jesus for their human glory and honor in the world. We also want to be great or greater than other coworkers in God’s ministry as we do at school or at work. “I am doing better than that guy in prayer, 1:1 Bible study, and Daily Bread.” But thing is that we seek not to be greatest in the eyes of God, but to be greater than others from the worldly point of view such as human achievement, or goodness, or recognition. So, when you are told “You are doing greater than others,” you would be glad and happy.
When God made man, he made him in the image of God, who is great. Therefore, man must be great. When God called Abraham, he told him, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (Gen 12:2). Here we see the word “great” twice-great nation, your name great. Likewise God wants his people to be great. Those who have no desire to be great must really repent before the God of Abraham. However, greatness in God is different than greatness in the world. Jesus wanted his disciples to be great and even to be the greatest, but not in the way of the world. So he taught them how to be truly greatest in the sight of God.
Look at verse 25. “Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.’” Jesus indicates that worldly rulers the kings of the Gentiles are not great at all in the sight of God for two reasons even though they look greatest in the world. First reason is that they “lord it over” others. This means that they abuse their power to satisfy their sinful desires. They do not lead by example. Nor do they really care about the people they rule. Their rule is based on force and they enjoy power for its own sake. North Korean leader Kim, Jung-il could be a good example. Like his father Kim, Il-sung he has been ruling it over the people in North Korea, who are starving to death and suffering physically and mentally. Now he has recently anointed his younger son Kim, Jong-eun as his successor to extend his family’s power and glory over the land of North Korea. Is ruling it over people like Kim, Jung-il really great? Second reason is that they call themselves “benefactors.” Although worldly rulers rely on force, they try to appear benevolent. They want to be regarded as benefactors and heroes to ordinary people. In fact, they are hypocrites. What is worse, they are slaves of self-glory. They give themselves awards and medals and boast about how beneficial they are to those under their reign. They expect gratitude and honor from those whom they abuse and crush. Again Kim, Jong-il North Korean leader makes his people call him great leader for honor and gratitude from them. Does making oneself benefactor by force make him great? People in the world say that that’s ridiculous. Jesus’ disciples must be different from the worldly ruler.
Look at verse 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.” Jesus says, “Do not be like the worldly leaders to be greatest.” To be greatest truly in the eyes of God is to be youngest. Here, “youngest” does not mean the most immature. A spoiled youngest mentality does not make one great. Rather, “youngest” refers to the one who has no privilege to take a position. The disciples of Jesus should not seek positions in a hierarchy thinking that it will make them great. The disciples’ greatness must come from their imitation of Christ. Their authority and influence should be purely spiritual, not political. Their greatness starts with the transformation of their own inner persons through the indwelling of Christ. The more Christ is formed in them, the greater they become. St. Paul became a truly great servant of Christ. It was because Christ lived in him. He said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Look at verse 26 again. “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.” Jesus said that the one who rules must be like the one who serves. This means that spiritual power is exercised through humble service, not by coercion. Jesus himself showed us the example. Look at verse 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.” When Jesus said this, the disciples must have been seated at the table, while Jesus–with a towel wrapped around his waist–was going from one disciple to the other, washing their feet, drying them with the towel. Jesus is the holy Son of God. But he came down from heaven and became a man. As a man, he became the servant of all, beginning with his disciples. Jesus served them, not because they were great, but because they could not help themselves. This service comes from the heart of God. When God looked at sinners, he knew we were helpless against the power of sin. In his great mercy, God sent Jesus to save us. Romans 5:6 says, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Again, Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Now we can say that Jesus is greatest indeed. Let us pray that we may grow in spirit to be great like Jesus.
Second, new covenant people stand by Jesus to the end (28-30).
Look at verse 28-30. “You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” To Jesus, their main problem was that they did not recognize themselves. Their boasting was shallow and hollow. However, Jesus recognized them and deeply respected them. He said, “You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” Of course, they could stand in Jesus by his grace. Still, Jesus respected them greatly. Here we learn that being faithful to Jesus in the time of trial is really precious to him. As Jesus respects them greatly, Jesus confers on them God’s kingdom. The word “confer” means basically to give due honor in recognition of quality performance. Jesus’ disciples had received spiritual training from Jesus in many ways. Though things became difficult from time to time, they did not run away. They remained with Jesus to the end. Now it was time for them to graduate as apostles. From now on, they had to be responsible shepherds and independent spiritual leaders. Jesus said to them, “I confer on you a kingdom.” The kingdom is not political and it is not of this world. It is spiritual; it is God’s reign in the hearts of those who believe the gospel. From now on, the apostles must do what Jesus had done. They must shepherd the lost ones by preaching the kingdom of God and healing the sick. They must advance the gospel until the kingdom of God comes on earth as it is in heaven. Finally, they would enjoy the glorious and final victory and would eat and drink at Jesus’ table in his kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, that is, the Christian church (Eph 2:20). New covenant people stand by Jesus to the end and enter the glorious heavenly kingdom.
Third, new covenant people depend on Jesus only (31-32).
Look at verse 31. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.” Jesus saw his disciples’ weakness while they disputed among themselves regarding who was the greatest even though he himself would be arrested soon. They did not know what would happen to Jesus and just fought against each other. Jesus’ disciple looks hopeless like such a child. However, Jesus did not change his mind in choosing his men and never regretted that he should have called some other people who were smarter, more educated, better in characters than they were as Roman 11:29 “For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.” Now Jesus addressed Simon on behalf of all the apostles as “you” in verse 31 is plural in Greek. Jesus began, “Simon, Simon.” Simon was his pre-Christian name. It represented his unchanged, natural man who was weak and worldly. In his natural man, Simon was vulnerable to Satan. Jesus knew that he could not stand by his own strength. And, at the moment, he was too proud to pray for God’s help. So Jesus prayed for him. Look at verse 32a. “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” Jesus’ prayer topic was that his faith would not fail. As we know, Peter would deny knowing Jesus three times later that night. It was such big failure that brought Peter to weep bitter tears. In a time of such miserable failure, there is a spiritual danger of despairing completely, which could lead to death. However, as Jesus prayed, Peter’s faith did not fail. He remembered the word that Jesus had spoken to him. Though his self-confidence and ego were crushed completely, his faith alone became the source of strength for him to turn back to Christ. Like Peter and all the apostles, the inner man of each of us will fail, and fail miserably. At that time, only faith in Jesus’ word can save us. When our self-confidence dies, true faith in Jesus can lives in us. After this experience, Peter did not boast about himself any more.
When Peter was truly changed in his inner man, he became a blessing to the other disciples. Jesus charged him, “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (32b). After the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost, Peter became the boldest witness of the gospel of Jesus. Through Peter’s fearless preaching, thousands in Jerusalem repented. Here we learn that new covenant people do not depend on their weak natural selves. New covenant people depend on Jesus only. Let us pray that we may rely on Jesus’ words and himself alone in times of failure and trials.
Fourth, new covenant people overcome the world by faith (33-38).
Look at verses 33-34 “But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”” When Jesus foretold his denial, Peter talked back, saying, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Peter was still self-righteous and confident. He really did not listen to Jesus’ words. In fact, Peter did not know himself and he did not know the world like an immature child. So he was totally unprepared for what was about to happen. To help him, Jesus clearly told him, “...before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Look at verse 35. “Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered.” Now Jesus warns that trouble and hardship would await the disciples. Jesus helps them prepare their minds to confront the world without his physical presence. In the past, they could go from place to place without purse, bag, or sandals. Many people had positive attitude toward Jesus and his disciples and were ready to cooperate with them. But after his death and resurrection, Jesus would be branded as a criminal by the Jewish religious leaders. In fact, the entire Roman Empire would consider Jesus a criminal and his disciples guilty by association. Anyone who helped his disciples would be at great risk. In brief, the world would become hostile to Jesus’ people.
Look at verse 36. “He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.’” Jesus didn’t really mean that they should fight with swords, for he stopped them from doing so later that night. Jesus meant that they should prepare their minds and hearts to confront a hostile world.
Look at verse 37. “It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.’” Jesus quoted Isaiah’s prophecy, “...because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors” (Isa 53:12). To save us from our sins, Jesus would be treated like a criminal. That very night, Jesus would be betrayed, arrested, imprisoned, tried, condemned, tortured and finally crucified. It was to fulfill God’s will. It was according to the Scriptures. Jesus was ready to obey God’s will with courageous faith. Likewise, new covenant people must overcome the world with courageous faith. However, the disciples did not understand the spiritual meaning of Jesus’ teaching. They only thought about getting swords. Surely we human beings are slow to understand Jesus’ words like the disciples. Thus, we must listen carefully to God’s words in our prayer to understand them clearly.
Today we learned how to live as new covenant people. New covenant people serve others for the glory of God. New covenant people stand by Jesus to the end. New covenant people depend on Jesus only. Lastly new covenant people overcome the world by faith. May God help us live as new covenant people.
|75||Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives (Luke 22: 39-62) by M. Peter Lim on 10/31/10 ||admin||2010.11.01||20454|
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|73||The New Covenant in Jesus' Blood (Luke 22:1-23) by 2nd M. Joseph Lee on 10/17/10 ||admin||2010.11.01||21501|
|72||The Son of Man is Coming (Luke 20:1-19) by M. Peter Lim on 10/10/10 ||admin||2010.11.01||20946|
|71||He is the God of the Living (Luke 20:20-47) by M. Joseph Sohn on (10/3/10) ||admin||2010.11.01||21062|
|70||The Parable of the Tenants (Luke 20:1-19) by M. Joseph Sohn on 09/26/10||admin||2010.09.28||10970|
|69||Jesus Rides In As King (Luke 19:28-48) by 2nd Gen M. Joseph Lee on 09/19/10||admin||2010.09.28||9780|
|68||Put This Money To Work (Luke 19:11-27) by M. Joseph Sohn on 09/12/10||admin||2010.09.15||10413|
|67||To Seek and to Save the Lost (Luke 19:1-10) by M. Joseph Sohn on 09/05/10||admin||2010.09.08||9702|
|66||Everything Prophesied of the Son of Man will be Fulfilled (Luke 18:31-43) by M. Joseph Sohn on 08/29/10 ||admin||2010.09.08||10234|
|65||Don't Give Up; Pray! (Luke 18:1-14) by M. Peter Kim on 08/08/10||admin||2010.09.08||10250|
|64||The Kingdom of God is Within You (Luke 17:20-37) by M. Joseph Sohn on 08/01/10||admin||2010.09.08||11270|
|63||Jesus Blesses A Thankful Man (Luke 17:11-19) by 2nd Gen M. Joseph Lee on 07/25/10||admin||2010.09.08||11117|
|62||The Attitude of an Unworthy Servant (Luke 17:1-10) by M. Joseph Sohn on 07/18/10||admin||2010.07.25||12201|
|61||Jesus Teaches About Our Eternal Destiny (Luke 16:19-31) by 2nd Gen M. Joseph Lee on 07/11/10||admin||2010.07.13||10638|
|60||Love God and Use Money Accordingly (Luke 16:1-18) by M. Joseph Sohn on 07/04/10||admin||2010.07.08||11072|
|59||God Rejoices When One Sinner Repents (Luke 15:1-32) by M. Joseph Sohn on 06/27/10 ||admin||2010.07.01||12786|
|58||The Great Banquet In The Kingdom of God (Luke 14:1-35) by 2nd Gen M. Joseph Lee on 06/20/10 ||admin||2010.06.30||10396|
|57||Jesus Teaches About the Kingdom of God (Luke 13:18-35) by M. Joseph Sohn on 06/13/10||admin||2010.06.17||9701|
|56||Jesus Preaches Repentance and Heals a Crippled Woman(Luke 13:1-17) by 2nd Gen M. Joseph Lee on 06/06/10||admin||2010.06.07||14851|