A Final Word
Day 5 – A Final Word
Read Luke 22:1-28
With only a couple hours left until Jesus was to be arrested, tried as a criminal, beaten and crucified, He had one final meal with His disciples. He had one final opportunity to share His heart with them. His last night on earth before He bore the sin and shame of the world on His shoulders, and what does He do? He teaches His disciples. He teaches them one final time about servanthood.
After breaking the bread and passing the cup, the intimacy of the moment quickly turned into a dispute–a dispute, Luke tells us in verse 24, over which one of His disciples would be the greatest. I can imagine the heart of Jesus breaking in that moment, because they still didn’t get it. His disciples were still as oblivious to the truth now as they had been three years earlier. Yet, what we notice about Jesus in this moment is the enormous patience and tolerance that He has for their ignorance. Instead of being frustrated, He lovingly and wisely saw one last opportunity to teach them about servanthood.
He said, “let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves…I am among you as the one who serves.” Jesus knew that what they needed most in this moment was not some new truth. They didn’t need some kind of new revelation of Himself. What they needed was the repetition of what He had been teaching for the past three years. They needed to be reminded that the last will be first–that a leader is one who serves.
Ken Blanchard in his book Lead Like Jesus, writes about this event. He says, “He (Jesus) did not give in to the temptation to despair over their slowness to grasp the essence of what He had repeatedly taught them about how they should lead.” He says, what the disciples needed most was “to be taught one more time” (Ken Blanchard & Phil Hodges, Lead Like Jesus, Thomas Nelson, 2008, p. 109).
As a father of five, I confess that I can easily become impatient with my children when I repeat the same things over and over again and they still don’t get it. I often feel like a broken record,
wondering if perhaps they have suddenly forgotten the English language. Perhaps you feel my pain. I’m often left wondering where the communication breakdown was from point A: when every toy bin in the house vomited its treasures onto our living room floor; to point B: when I find myself on the eighth verse of the hit song, “Please Pick Up Your Freakin’ Toys!” (to the tune of “Mary Had A Little Lamb”)
What’s so amazing about Jesus is that He never loses his cool. He patiently strives with and walks with His disciples through the essence of the Gospel over and over and over again. He teaches them. They forget. He teaches them again. They forget. And the cycle continues.
Isn’t that the way you and I live? The Spirit of God teaches us His truth, and then we forget. And He patiently walks with us through it again and again. Take some time to thank Him for His patience toward you. Take some time to let this idea of servant leadership sink in.
● Are you leading your family in this example?
● Are you serving your wife?
● Are you serving your kids?
● Are you patient toward them as your Father is toward you?
● Are you patiently teaching them the Gospel as the Spirit of God teaches you?
● Are you repeating the truth of God’s Word over and over with patience and endurance to yourself and to others?