Read: Luke 22:21-38
The second half of the Last Supper narrative in Luke is much more controversial. Jesus starts out by talking about the betrayal that has been planned for some time, then the disciples quibble over designated parking spots followed by Peter’s bold assertion, Jesus’ prediction of his denial, and then some final warnings. Whew! There’s a lot going on in this section.
Jesus tells this small group gathered in a private room for the Passover meal that His betrayer is there amongst them.
But woe to that man who betrays him!” They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. Luke 22:22-23
It’s not a large crowd, so why the confusion? Was Judas playing along with the “who me?” game? In reading Luke’s narrative, this debate doesn’t seem to go on for very long. The very next verse changes to a discussion about who will be the greatest among the disciples.
Not So With You
Jesus attempts to adjust the focus of the discussion. His Lordship is not like that which we see in the world. In fact, it’s pretty much upside down. The greatest will be the least, the first will be last, etc. To hammer home the point, He tells His disciples, and us by inference, that His kingdom is different.
But not so with you. Luke 22:26
At Exponential earlier this year, Andy Stanley made this one of his most important points: Not So With You. If I were ever to consider getting a tattoo, this would be high on the list of words to engrave on my body. I must not be like others in society. Leading as a servant is counter-cultural, but it is what Jesus calls us to be, demands this is what we do, then sends us out to go and make it happen.
Peter’s boldness is often talked about when we study his character. I love the guy! We think he’s all about, speak first, think later, but I like to think he is just in high gear all the time. He’s not concerned about what people think about his actions — only that he would serve Jesus first.
But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Luke 22:33
Prison in those days was not a joy ride with 24-hour TV. And the thought of being put to death was not a surgical process, to say the least. Peter’s statement here is a confession of his willingness to suffer greatly for Christ, even if he doesn’t quite get it all right at this point.
Once again, Jesus peeks into the future and explains what Peter will actually do, the infamous 3-time denial scene, but Jesus doesn’t tell people not to be bold. He does reset reality, but it’s not because Peter acts first and thinks later. I would rather have Jesus reset my expectations than any human. How about you?
Jesus warns them that times are about to get rough. He explains the challenges that will arise by reminding them of the previous times when they were out spreading the gospel. They didn’t need anything, but very soon this will all change. Jesus paints a picture that the disciples take literally.
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied. Luke 22:38
Enough! The night is not over, but the teaching session has ended. I picture Jesus letting out a sigh as He knows the hearts of those who will lead the world into a new day.
This crazy band of disciples who seem to get it wrong so often are Jesus’ select few. This is the group He chose. The handful He used to change the world. In each was planted the seed of greatness for the Kingdom.
I truly believe that within each of us is the capacity to do wonderful things for the Kingdom. The great tempter would like us to remember how we got it wrong last time, but Jesus does not give up on us. He continues to explain that it will not look like the world expects.
Don’t back off of the vision God has planted in your heart. Not so with you!