Luke 22: 24 – 38 The Last Supper – Part 2

Luke 22: 24 – 38 The Last Supper – Part 2

A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’

But he replied, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.’

Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.’

Then Jesus asked them, ‘When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’

‘Nothing,’ they answered. He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: “And he was numbered with the transgressors”; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfilment.’

The disciples said, ‘See, Lord, here are two swords.’

‘That’s enough!’ he replied.

*       *       *

Simon Peter is starting to realise what is to happen.

‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.’

He has realised that Jesus hasn’t come as a king in majesty but to suffer at the hands of the authorities. He thinks he’s worked it out and prepared himself, but Jesus knows otherwise.

Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.’

There are parallels between this and Peter’s earlier declaration that Jesus is the Messiah. Once again Peter has realised a truth about Jesus before the other disciples, but he hasn’t realised the full implications of God’s plan.

All three of the synoptic gospels describe how Peter confesses Jesus as Messiah. St Matthew, though, couples Peter’s confession of faith with a stern rebuke from Jesus.

St Matthew describes how, immediately after Peter’s declaration that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus tells the disciples that he is to go to Jerusalem and suffer and die. Peter says to Jesus, ‘Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!’ Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan” You are a stumbling block to me…” (Matthew 16: 13 – 23)

Jesus response to Peter’s mistake during the Last Supper is different. In the first place, Jesus takes the initiative. Before Peter has made the mistake, Jesus says this to him: ‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’

It is such a gentle reprimand. It shows Peter that the door of redemption will remain open to him. Jesus wants him to strengthen his brothers; he can’t do that unless he receives forgiveness for his betrayal – and Jesus, by implication, promises that to him.

Indeed, Jesus is treating all his disciples gently on this night. For even as they were eating the Passover together, the disciples were arguing about which of them was considered to be greatest.

Jesus must have wondered whether they had understood anything! In a matter of hours he will be arrested and his ordeal will begin – and his disciples are arguing about status. Jesus reminds them that  ‘Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.’

And he reassures them that, yes, he understands that they have stood by him in his trials, and a reward awaits them. In the kingdom of heaven, they will eat and drink at his table, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The meal ends.

The company gather their belongings and leave together for the Mount of Olives.

The ordeal has begun.

Prayer

Heavenly Father

Jesus showed such love to those around him, even under the extreme stress of his Passion. Please help us to reflect that love to those around us.

In Jesus name, Amen

Published by pennygadd51

I write. I've written many pieces of flash fiction, dozens of short stories and two novels, with a third in progress.

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