Today’s New Testament reading takes place in the Upper Room with Jesus celebrating the Passover with His disciples and then instituting the Lord’s Supper. For Him, these must have been two high points of His ministry with His disciples just a few hours before His betrayal and suffering at the hands of the Jews and the Romans. Sadly, Luke’s account of the Lord’s Supper ends with Jesus’ warning that one of them would betray Him.

Seemingly in response to Jesus’ sobering words, the disciples respond (22:24) with an argument among themselves over which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. At this point, I can imagine Jesus quietly shaking His head in discouragement at their self-centered behavior, so soon before one of them would betray Him and the rest desert Him.

And yet, there is more as today’s reading ends with the account of Jesus predicting Peter’s own denial of Jesus and Peter’s empty boast that he was ready to go to both prison and death with Jesus. So, todays’ reading goes from high to low with regard to Jesus and His final meal with disciples before His trial and crucifixion.

It would be easy to be critical for the disciples, but how did Jesus respond? He patiently reminded them that He had called them to serve and that He was among them as one who serves (22:27) And so it is with us! As Peter, who denied the Lord and was later restored has said, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.” (1Peter 4:10) So let us continue to serve one another in Jesus’ name!

by Paul Schmidt, Elder

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