A Different Kind of Kingdom with a Different Kind of King
“Not so with you; instead the one who is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is seated at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
“You are the ones who have remained with me in my trials. Thus I grant to you a kingdom, just as my Father granted to me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
“Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.””
Jesus really shows off how differently He lives in this short sequence. The hierarchy of His organization is completely revolutionary. Instead of the powerful using their power and doing powerful things, the greatest people are the servants.
King Jesus, after walking around commanding attention, healing thousands of people and even casting out demons is still not too fancy or high up to wash somebody’s feet. He’s still serving and submitting. He said at one point He didn’t do anything by His own motivation, but that He only does what His father says. That would be great for 4 year old, but if we heard of a 19 year-old that said something like that, we’d shake our head.
But not Jesus. He obeyed the Father with perfection all of the way through His death.
And then how He shares this power. Gosh! The disciples that are sitting around arguing about who Jesus likes the best are going to eat with Him in heaven. Not only that, but they are going to serve as judges for the 12 tribes of Israel?! It wasn’t the fact that they are smart or wise or rich or handsome.
Jesus said it was because they “stuck with Him through His trials.” They were faithful and they were there for Him.
Yeah, about that.
Satan has demanded to sift you all like wheat. Here is what Dallas Willard had to say about this:
…when Jesus knew Peter would deny him, he did not just “fix him” so that he wouldn’t do the terrible thing. Surely he could have done that. But it would not have advanced Peter toward being the person he needed to become. So Jesus said to Peter, with sadness perhaps, but with great confidence in the Father, “I have requested, concerning you, that your faith might not die. And when you have straightened up, uphold your brothers” (Luke 22:32). I think there is perhaps no other scene in all scripture that so forcefully illustrates the community of prayerful love as this response to Peter. — The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard
Instead of blowing away the devil, Jesus prayed to the Father that Peter would make it through. Peter would be a better man after this, and Jesus wasn’t going to prevent that from happening.
He served Peter in the best way. To prepare Him for the Kingdom He won the ultimate victory. But in the mean time,, by praying that God would help him in every way, rather than taking away his upcoming problems.
Jesus doesn’t change. He lives in us today and instructs us in the same ways.
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