Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after Invocavit

Posted on February 22, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 22:24-32 (NKJV)
22:24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
28 “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Yesterday’s Gospel showed the Lord Christ fending off the devil’s temptations in the wilderness. The third temptation (using Matthew’s order) was the chance to possess all the kingdoms of the world, with all their wealth and glory. Jesus rejected such earthly greatness for Himself, choosing instead the path of the cross. But His disciples still craved it. Who should be considered the greatest? “Me!” “No, me!” “No, me!”
Jesus issued a mild rebuke to His squabbling disciples, comparing their selfish ambition to that of the Gentile kings. If they were to be His servants, then they had to think and behave like Him. Although He was greater than all, He became the servant of all. There is no place in His kingdom for snobbery or domination, no place for servants who wish to be glorified or exalted or waited upon. The one who is greatest is the one who serves the rest, with Christ Himself as both Substitute and Example.
But there will be a place for glory after this life for those who have humbly served, eating and drinking at Christ’s table in His kingdom. At that heavenly table will be seated, not “great men” by the world’s standards, but sinners, who fell often enough into Satan’s temptations and were “sifted as wheat,” like Simon Peter himself, but who returned to Christ with true repentance. For Christ’s is a kingdom of forgiveness for the penitent and of glory for those who do not seek glory here, but hereafter.
Prayer: O Lord, mercifully hear our prayer and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to defend us from them that rise up against us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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