Wow, what a crazy time we are living in! It’s Easter week, one of the most significant times for the church in every year, yet here we are living in quarantine and about to experience an Easter like never before.
The real question is though, IS THE EASTER BUNNY IN QUARANTINE? Just a small look into how the mind of a parent of four kids thinks… can I save a few dollars and blame it on the Easter Bunny’s quarantine status?
Our scripture today for this devotional is from Luke 22:25-30. This takes place right after the last supper and right before Jesus is crucified. He has just announced that he will die and that one of his disciples would betray him. This sets the scene for the disciples to respond… the natural response you would imagine would be for them all to start trying to discover who that person would be? But this wasn’t what happened. They actually moved straight on from Jesus ’declaration of a traitor in the camp to trying to work out which one of them was the greatest. To be honest, it seems strange to me. Why didn’t they spend time on the former rather than the latter!?
The only conclusions I can come to are either one of the two thoughts:
1. They already knew it was Judas – it wasn’t rocket science to them that Jesus had finally seen what they had seen and were expecting. Judas had sown signs of self-serving and lack of being able to see the bigger picture.
2. The ones who started to argue over who was the greatest were very confident in who they were and had no doubt that not only were they NOT going to betray Jesus but they were going to finish at the top of their class – they were going to come out of this looking better than everyone else.
I think both are traps. The first is thinking you know better than God, that your own conclusions have finally been endorsed by Him and you can stand pointing the finger saying, “I TOLD YOU SO”.
The second is focusing on completely the wrong thing. The thought that they were finally going to get to have a crack at building the kingdom and they were pretty confident that they would pass this test with flying colors. They had no idea of what was ahead of them but were pretty confident that when the dust settled, they would be standing there holding the victory trophy aloft wearing the badge of being the greatest.
Both of these conclusions fail to understand the sovereignty of God and His ability to work in the unknown and unseen. Both also forget the frailty of man and how reliant we are on God to lead us and guide us through difficult seasons.
Luke 22:25-30 NKJV
 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’  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.  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.  “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.  And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,  that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Here’s a few thoughts to consider:
1. We are reliant on God in all seasons, good and bad.
2. If greatness or fame is our focus, we are missing the point completely.
3. Serving is not just for the lowest rung on the ladder. It’s actually one of the signs of greatness.
4. If we manage to press through the trial, there is greatness that awaits us. Not our own version of it but one thrust upon us by God far greater than we could imagine.
I think if I am honest, the struggle to stand out from the crowd, be better than my peers or my perceived competitors started for me at a very young age. Being one of four boys, this conversation by the disciples and Jesus reminds me of many sibling disputes growing up with my father or mother playing the role of Jesus, steering us to see things at a different level.
You see my mom and dad were looking down the road to seasons like today where I would not need to be greater than my siblings but that I would need to be their greatest servant. They would need me to be strong for them, available for them and in return they would do the same and we would become the very people who could be heavily relied upon to actually carry each other through these tough seasons like the one we are currently experiencing.
So looking forward in life, (which is all we can do) what debates, arguments, judgements are we facing right now that we could change our approach with to ensure that we are laying a great foundation for the future? Here’s a few I am deciding on:
1. Never underestimate how much I need God. Things may be going great and I can fall into the temptation of self-sufficiency, but I am committed to not doing so.
2. Never undervalue the genuine desire to serve the people around me and to see them flourish. Their strength developed and grown could well be my sustenance in tough times.
3. Never seek my own version of greatness and reduce what God sees for my life. I am not even able to imagine what He has mapped out for my future. (Ephesians 3:20)
So those are mine… what are yours?
Take a few minutes to write in the comments section below some of the decisions you are making in this season that will make sure we don’t just revert back to former patterns and behaviors.
Love you church, can’t wait till we can awkward side hug.