Shaking things up
…But I am among you as one who serves.
Luke 22:27 (NIVUK)
Have you ever been so frustrated with someone you want to shake them? There you are trying to tell them something really important and they are just not getting it! Instead they interrupt and give you unsolicited advice, all the while missing the point.
I think we can all identify times in our lives when we feel like that. But what if it is us who are missing the point? How good are we at actively listening and understanding what others are telling us?
I wonder if Jesus felt frustrated with his disciples during the Last Supper. He is telling them something vitally important: he is going to be crucified and die. And it’s not the first time he has raised this topic. After several attempts, they are still not getting it. Jesus is ushering in the New Covenant. He is introducing new meaning to the symbols of bread and wine, which now represent his body and blood given to forgive humankind’s sin, theirs included.
What is their response? Luke 22:24 states, ‘A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.’
We might be forgiven for being a little stunned by their response. But before we judge them too harshly, we should remember that we can be a bit like them, often more concerned about what is happening to us than to others. We view things through the lens of self-interest, with a worldly point of view which is not in any way similar to God’s.
This is difficult for all of us to fully grasp because Jesus came and turned everything upside down. He wasn’t the king people expected him to be. He didn’t overthrow the occupying forces with a dazzling display of power but instead he relinquished control and submitted himself to the cross, dying in our stead. He came to serve instead of being served. And when his disciples weren’t getting it, instead of shaking them, he patiently got up from the table and washed their feet, giving them an example they could see and understand.
Let us truly grasp and hold on to the main points of this narrative: Jesus is one who serves, and he served all mankind by dying on the cross, before being resurrected. We should be shaking with joy when we understand that Jesus has destroyed the power of sin and death forever!
Father, we ask for your Holy Spirit to better understand the message that Jesus is teaching us. Help us not to be distracted by all that goes on around us and by our own desires. If necessary, shake us up so we can see you more clearly. In Jesus name, Amen.
Study by Jackie Mill
About the writer:
Jackie Mill is a Minister and Pastoral Worker for Grace Communion International in Scotland and Ireland and Camp Director for SEP summer camp.
Gilmerton New Church
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