Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. You have stayed with Me in My time of trial. And just as My Father has granted Me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.Luke 22:24-30
This segment is purely Luke. The other gospel writers don’t include this portion. They move straight to the Mount of Olives and Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s denial after the Last Supper.
The positioning and structure of this segment raises a lot of questions:
- Why is the Luke the only Gospel writer to include this segment?
- Did this really happen here or has Luke imported it from another place?
- It seems a strange time for the disciples to have an argument about who would be greatest. Am I missing something? What was the dispute about?
- Does this link to what went before or is it a totally separate pericope?
- Why does Jesus close their argument by telling them they will judge the twelve tribes of Israel?
- What have they just done to deserve the privilege of judging their fellow Jews? One would think they are not deserving of judging others when they have lapsed into a dispute at this crucial time?
- Why the reference to the twelve tribes of Israel?
- Is there a relationship between twelve apostles and twelve tribes here?
- But if so, surely they have lost Judas. Surely Judas can’t be included in the judging.
Many times the Bible raises more questions than answers. I frequently tell Deeper Biblers, it is more important to ask the right questions than the answers you get.
See what sense you can make of the detail of this unit and its placement where Luke has put it.
- Is this acting as bridge between the betrayal, the dispute and Peter’s denial?
- In what way is that the case?
I am sure it is clear to you that I am about to leave you on your own with this for a day before I conclude this segment. Take your time to stand back and look at the big picture in order to help you put the pieces together. Ask yourself the question, why does Luke include this extra material in the way he has when the other writers don’t include it. Why doesn’t Luke simply follow the story of the betrayal with the walk to the Mount of Olives and the prediction of Peter’s betrayal like Matthew and Mark do? He clearly knows the Mark’s version of events, so why doesn’t he follow it? Because he has something more to say. What is it?
We can never be greater than what we think. We have to learn to think on-purpose, thoughts that agree with God.Joyce Meyer
You are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem… and SMARTER than you think!Winnie the Pooh
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.Samuel Jackson
Tychicus, Timothy, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Barnabas, Justus, Demas, Archippus and John the Baptist were all secure to be 2nd how about you?Paul Scanlon