Welcome to Day Five of this Holy Week devotional journey as we follow 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?
Before we focus on the scripture, let’s make space to be still and pray. Take some time to pause, slow down, be still, and 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…”
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.
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.
What stood out to you? What captured your attention? Usually, this is what God wants you to think about, consider, and focus on. 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?
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, the wisest, 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 and we like to be in positions of authority and control.
We want to be important or significant. We also like to win arguments and 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). Jesus also says greatness is characterized by being child-like, not childish (Luke 22:26; Matthew 18:1-5). Jesus is challenging us, as God’s children, to see the Father with that child-like faith and to live boldly as servant-leaders giving our lives away for others and the good of the world.
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.
Next, 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? 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.