Following Christ in prayerful, non aggressive strength, surrendered to His will.
Still in the Upper Room Jesus is going to give His followers a lot of direction as to how to specifically follow Him. He give them and us HIS Kingdom Leadership Paradigm and explains the reality of Hard Road of His Discipleship. He shares how Christ’s Disciples prepare for Spiritual Opposition. He gives us some insight into tactics Satan used and will use on us! (that is why it is in the Scripture, to help us!) We are charged with following Christ in prayerful, non aggressive strength, surrendered to God’s will. His true disciples will operate with honesty and integrity when dealing with conflict. We are to be mindful of how satan operates and avoid going with the flow of the ‘spirit of the hour’ so as to avoid gettin caught up in the ‘time when the power of darkness reigns’.
24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.
- The disciples quickly move from self examination to argument about status
- Christ identifies the corrupt way of leadership in our world…(it is accepted)
- He says: ‘You, my True Disciples will be different’…he redefines what status is
- Jesus is explicit regarding this matter (Matthew 20 / Mark 10 / John 13)
- Servant Leadership is the only Biblical way to leading Christ’s Church
27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.
- Normal way is that the greater importance belongs to the one being served
- When you follow Christ you do as He did; you sacrifice your needs for others
- Doing for others is how WE measure importance / STATUS in Christ’s kingdom
- We can’t fudge on His example…”well our church is so big we need a CEO…”
28 “You have stayed with me in my time of trial. 29 And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right 30 to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
- They have made the cut… based on Gospel of John, Judas has left the room
- What belongs to Jesus belongs to His ‘True Disciples’
- The right to eat & drink is about family and community (partnership)
- The 12 will condemn the rejection of Christ by the Jews (- Judas + Matthias)
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
- Christ calls him Simon, telling him he has a ways to go to become Peter
- 1st part of this is about all the Disciples (plural of you in V29, V30 & V31)
- Then it becomes focused on Peter (singular of you all three times in V32)
- You are all going to go thru some mess, then use what you learn to help others
- Servant Leadership is born of experiencing humility, as in being humiliated!
- When you have been there and done that, you want to help others not go there
33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” 34 But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
- Peter is earnest in his declarations, but naive as far as to how hard the road is
- Jesus let’s him know that his sin will take him where he can’t believe he will go
- What Peter lacked at that point was the indwelling Holy Spirit
35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler’s bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?” “No,” they replied.
- Based on how hard things are going to get Jesus wanted to prepare them & us
- Prior to the Crucifixion the forces of Hell didn’t organize against the threat
- Disciples were not considered a threat a couple years ago
36 “But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! 37 For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’
- Post Crucifixion the game changes drastically, protection instead of fashion
- It was foretold the true messiah would be labeled an insurrectionist
- To the Jewish authority Christ & His Followers will now pose a threat
Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.” 38 “Look, Lord,” they replied, “we have two swords among us.” “That’s enough,” he said.
- Christ alludes to what is going to happen over the next three and a half days
- They say, we have two in our midst who can protect, who are armed
- Jesus says, that’s good, we don’t need material offense, just defense
39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” 41 He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
- They went to the usual place so Judas would know where to find them
- He tells them and us directly: Pray for God to enable you to fight temptations
- He goes out of earshot and prays this model prayer for us! V.42
- He gives us an example of how we should look at everything in our lives
- Since we have given our lives to Him why would we not submit to His will?
- It is hard to say sometimes honestly, the more you believe it the more you do it
43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
- The God / man Jesus The Christ relied on & got strength from heaven (model)
- Resignation to God’s will brings strength and empowerment
- Resignation to God’s will brings the ability to persevere, physically & spiritually
45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”
- At last means: when the struggle was finished…some time had passed
- They were sleeping because they are like you and me: weak humans
- Jesus tells us we can overcome temptations, it takes persistence & connection
47 But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. 48 But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
- The crowd was made up of ‘Temple Guards’, the Sanhedrin’s private army
- Since it was dark they needed a sign to get the right guy…
- Satan will use the cover of ‘love’ to get what he wants (any means necessary)
- ‘Test the Spirits’ Those opposed to Christ will erect elaborate facades of lies
49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” 50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
- Now that Jesus was identified, the guards moved to take him into custody
- The High Priest’s slave was probably giving orders
- A strategic strike to defend their leader, John 18 identifies Peter as swordsman
- Jesus ended it and restored what had been hurt
- We all do dumb stuff in anger, we must stop when we hear Christ say stop!
52 Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? 53 Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.”
- He demonstrates that their actions prove the evil intent they have
- If they had a legitimate issue they would approach Him publicly, legally
- Acting at night and violently is a mark of how Satan operates
- People who act like this CAN NOT be honest about what their goals are
By His example, Christ clearly defines leadership among His Disciples as opposite the world’s way, calling the leaders of His people to be servants not overlords.
Christ’s Disciples will partner with Him in His Kingdom; but the journey includes hard tests and even the best of us will fail to honor Jesus every time.
Jesus warns His Disciples to be prepared for the opposition from HELL we face as objects of Christ’s redemption & forgiveness. Prepare to be attacked, not to attack.
Christ models for us HIS way to be proactive with temptation: He is real with His Dad and He resigns His will to that of The Father.
Evil that opposes Christ & His Disciples will not always do it overtly, they will claim the mantle of love. ‘The denial of Christ Jesus as God’ cannot contain any real love.
Achieving goals by whatever means necessary is not Christ’s way. His Disciples don’t do subterfuge or aggression; we do honesty and self defense.
What part will you play in encouraging and valuing the ‘Biblical Culture’ of servant leadership @ Midtown?
How well do you specifically identify the temptations you are facing in your life?
Why is it important for YOU to constantly pray: ‘God, I want Your will done, not mine’?
Should Christ’s Disciples agree with the social & political views of those who’s beliefs and actions contradict Jesus Christ’s ways and words?