Today, I am reading and commenting on Luke 21-22.
I really like Luke’s Gospel, but I find writing this blog on it difficult because of the similarities between it and the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. So that it has only been a few weeks since I wrote on the similar passage from those Gospels, which leaves me feeling like I have already covered the message. Despite that, I think it worth looking again at Jesus’ teaching on what it takes to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. When Jesus told the Twelve that one of them would betray Him, they began discussing how one of them could do that. This discussion morphed into an argument over who would be the greatest. It seems to me that this argument centered around which of them would have the greatest authority to tell others what to do. In the process of describing the contrast between the way the world views authority and leadership and the way God views them Jesus points out that despotic rulers in this world often call themselves “friends of the people” despite badly oppressing them. I believe that Jesus was making the point that even the rulers of this world recognize the eternal truth He was about to repeat, even while they refuse to follow it. Those who wish to be great must serve others. If you want to be a true leader of people find out what those you wish to lead need to be successful and provide them with it.
A few days ago I came across a column which included some interesting thoughts on what Jesus meant in Luke 22:35-38. I have always struggled with what Jesus was saying when He told His disciples that if they should buy a sword if they did not have one. What made that confusing was that, when the disciples said they had two swords, Jesus said that was enough. The writer I read pointed out that Jesus followed up the instruction to buy a sword with the comment that He was going to be counted among the rebels. How could Jesus be a rebel leader if His followers were not armed? In that context, when Jesus responded that two swords were enough He was saying that they had missed the point; He could not lead a rebellion against Rome with twelve followers who only had two swords among them. He had no intent to set up the Kingdom of God by force of arms.