Who is the Greatest

Welcome to Day 05 of this Holy Week devotional journey.

We are following Jesus during the week leading up to his death and resurrection. 

 

What did Jesus focus on? 

What was He concerned with? 

What does God want us to see? 

And how will we respond?

Ok, let’s get started.

 

Pause and Make Space

Before we focus on the scripture, let’s make space to be still and pray.

As we enter prayer now, take some time to pause. Slow down. Be still.

Make some space by taking time to breathe deep and pray. 

Take 5 deep breaths in and out. 

Don’t skip this practice.

Take a moment to cast your cares upon God.

The Bible says he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). 

Do you have any cares, hopes, pain, or lies you need to let go of? 

Are there people and circumstances to give to God? 

Take some time to do just that, by praying, “Jesus I give you…”

 

Read the Scriptures

We will be making our way through the Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus’ week leading up to His death and resurrection

Take a few seconds to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the scriptures:

Today Let’s Read Luke 22:24-30:

“Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest. But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who have authority over them have themselves called ‘Benefactors.’ It is not to be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you should become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving. For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. You are those who stood by me in my trials. I bestow on you a kingdom, just as my Father bestowed one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. And you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Jesus had already taught his disciples about the same topic on their journey to Jerusalem in Matthew chapter 20. James, John, and their Mother approached Jesus with a request that her sons could be in positions of power and authority. 

The other disciples became angry upon hearing about this request and Jesus used it as a teachable moment.

Read Matthew 20:25-28

“Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Pause and Think

What stood out to you?

What captured your attention? 

Usually, this is what God wants you to think about, consider, and focus on.

Don’t rush. If it is one verse or a phrase within a verse, that is okay.

Take a few seconds and ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight into the scriptures

What verse, verses, or phrases stood out to you. Why?

 

Let’s read Luke 22:24-30 again

“Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest. But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who have authority over them have themselves called ‘Benefactors.’ It is not to be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you should become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving. For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. You are those who stood by me in my trials. I bestow on you a kingdom, just as my Father bestowed one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. And you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Again, Matthew 20:25-28 says:

“Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Some Thoughts

Put yourself in the middle of the disciple’s dispute for a few seconds.

 

Imagine the disciples debating and dreaming about being in places of authority and control once Jesus ushers in his new kingdom and reign.

 

Who is the most talented?

Who is the wisest?

Who is the best leader?

Who has the characteristics Jesus’ wants?

Who deserves to be by his side?

 

We often do the same thing.

We value power. We like to be in positions of authority and control.

We want to be important. Significant.

We also like to win arguments. Prove our point.

 

But just like the disciples, we can often forget Jesus’ teachings that confront this type of thinking and living.

 

His kingdom is different. 

His rule and reign are distinct.

 

Jesus challenges the disciples and us to see leadership in his kingdom differently. Jesus came not to be served but to serve. Jesus gave his life away as a servant, not held on to it like a tyrant. 

 

What are the characteristics of greatness in Jesus’ kingdom? The Bible records things like genuine love for God and others (Matthew 22:34-40), and the fruit produced by the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Tyrants are not known for those characteristics.

 

But, with the Spirit of God’s help, we can.

 

Jesus also says greatness is characterized by being child-like, not childish (Luke 22:26; Matthew 18:1-5).

 

Kids have energy and a zeal for life that is not pessimistic or cynical. Kids often see wonder where adults don’t. Kids invite others into relationships freely and don’t obsess about trivial things that usually divide adults. Kids have a massive belief in their parent’s ability to do something and think they have unlimited resources.

 

Jesus is challenging us, as God’s children, to see the Father like that and, with that child-like faith, live boldly as servant-leaders giving our lives away for others and the good of the world.

 

Even though he was getting closer to his brutal death, Jesus took the time to love and teach his disciples this vital kingdom principle for the second time. He is so patient and kind with them and us.


Our Savior-king is the perfect example of a bold servant-leader.

 

Pray

Now we want to pray back to God what stood out to each of us in a personal way.

What insight, challenge, opportunity, promise, truth, or step to take with Jesus stood out to you?

Take some time right now to personalize and pray back to God what he has shown you in today’s scriptures….

 

Your ‘I Will’

We want to come away from our time with Jesus in the scriptures with an “I will statement”.

What is God inviting us to do? To practice? To surrender?

Remember, we are not saved by what we do…

But our obedience is vital to be fruitful disciples. 

Take some time to pray and write down your “I will statement”.

Then share it with someone you trust and who will encourage you to do what God has said to do.