Who Is the Greatest? There Is No Such Thing As Far As Christ Is Concerned
(Or, why human equality is Scriptural)
(Luke chapter 22, verses 20–38)
Last week when we left off at verse 19, Jesus and the Twelve were seated at the Last Supper as they celebrated Passover together. Today as we take up where we left off, Christ celebrates the occasion with the breaking of bread and the consumption of two cups of wine that was symbolically passed around between them. This little ceremony Jesus performed with the Twelve has enormous significance, as we will soon see. So let me skip over any further commentary for now so we can get right into this, beginning at verse 20.
“In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.’ They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be the greatest. Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles Lord it over them, and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 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. For who is greater, the one 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. 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 any table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’” (Luke 22, verses 20–30)
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” There is an entire Sunday morning sermon in that one solitary sentence! Those who have studied the Old Testament understand the meaning of these words. Those who have not yet done so should refer to Leviticus chapters 1–7. This passage of the Law of Moses, as it was called in those days, specifies the various kinds of offerings and sacrifices that were to be made for their respective categories of sin. You will notice right away that the shedding of blood…