Luke 22:24-34

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

May 15, 2002


We are at the Last Supper. Jesus has served the Passover meal and given the disciples something special, a new way to remember Him through the Bread and the Wine. We call it Communion.

And then Jesus dropped a bombshell. “One of you will betray me”.

The disciples all start asking the question, “Is it I”. But this doesn’t last too long …

:24-30 Who is the Greatest?

:24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.

strife philoneikia (“love” + “quarrel”) – love of strife, eagerness to contend; contention

should be accounted dokeo – to be of opinion, think, suppose; to seem, to be accounted, reputed; refers to the subjective judgment, which may or may not conform to the fact

the greatest meizon – greater, larger, elder, stronger; the comparative form of megas – not “great”, or “greatest” (superlative), but in between, “greater”.

I wonder if the conversation didn’t start out, “Lord, is it I”. And then it digressed, “Well Thaddeus, maybe it could be you”. “You know, it probably isn’t me after all ‘cause I’m not as bad as you”.

:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

the kingsbasileus – leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king

the Gentilesethnos – a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together; a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus; a tribe, nation, people group; in the OT, foreign nations not worshipping the true God, pagans, Gentiles

exercise lordship kurieuo – to be lord of, to rule, have dominion over; of things and forces; to exercise influence upon, to have power over; to “lord it over”

they that exercise authority exousiazo – to have power or authority, use power; to be master of any one, exercise authority over one

benefactors euergetes (“good” + “doer”) – benefactor; a title of honour, conferred on such as had done their country service, and upon princes. It was a custom among the ancient Romans to distribute part of the lands which they had conquered on the frontiers of the empire to their soldiers; those who enjoyed such lands were called beneficiarii, beneficed persons. These Roman kings, even though they may have been extremely corrupt or oppressive were called “benefactors” because they gave these lands.

:26 But ye shall not be so:


Not like the world

I think we can learn a lot from how the world does things, but we need to be careful just which lessons we’re learning from the world.
Don’t learn to “lord it over” people like those in the world. If you’re a “boss”, you can still lead and give instruction without coming across as the “almighty king of the office”.

:26 but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

greatestmeizon – greater, larger, elder, stronger; the comparative form of megas – not “great”, or “greatest” (superlative), but in between, “greater”.

let him be – imperative – a command.

the younger neos – recently born, young, youthful; new; just as the word “greatest” (above) is “comparative” in form, this word is also comparative. Not just “young” but “younger”.

Better translation, “He that is greater, let him be as the younger

It’s the youngest kid that always gets the last place. It’s the youngest kid that has to sit in the most uncomfortable seat in the car (I know, I was the youngest!). It’s the youngest kid who always has to wear the hand-me-down clothes (unless your older siblings are sisters). It’s the youngest kid who’s advice is usually asked for last.

he that is chiefhegeomai – to lead; to go before; to be a leader; to rule, command; to have authority over; a prince, of regal power, governor, viceroy, chief, leading as respects influence, controlling in counsel, overseers or leaders of the churches

he that doth servediakoneo – to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon; to minister to one, render ministering offices to; to wait at a table and offer food and drink to the guests,; to relieve one’s necessities (e.g. by collecting alms), to provide take care of, distribute, the things necessary to sustain life; to attend to anything, that may serve another’s interests

:27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat?

greatermeizon – greater, larger, elder, stronger; the comparative form of megas – not “great”, or “greatest” (superlative), but in between, “greater”.

he that sitteth at meatanakeimai – to lie at a table, eat together, dine

he that servethdiakoneo – to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon; to minister to one, render ministering offices to; to wait at a table and offer food and drink to the guests,; to relieve one’s necessities (e.g. by collecting alms), to provide take care of, distribute, the things necessary to sustain life; to attend to anything, that may serve another’s interests

Jesus sets the guys up with this question. The answer is obvious. The greater person is the one laying down having grapes dropped into his mouth by the lowly slave.

:27 but I am among you as he that serveth.

amongmesos – middle; the midst; in the midst of, amongst

he that servethdiakoneo – to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon; to minister to one, render ministering offices to; to wait at a table and offer food and drink to the guests,; to relieve one’s necessities (e.g. by collecting alms), to provide take care of, distribute, the things necessary to sustain life; to attend to anything, that may serve another’s interests

Earlier that evening, Jesus had made a point of washing the feet of the disciples (John 13:1-17). He had to have made a very strong point. Peter had objected that Jesus was going to wash his toesies. But Jesus was setting an example for all His disciples to follow.


Maturity is marked by servanthood

I think we get this idea in our heads that the more important we get the less stuff we have to do.
We tend to think that the person who has advanced is the person who has lots of people to order around.
Jesus has called us to follow His example of being a humble servant.
Don’t think you’ve arrived just because you’ve quit smoking and started going to church. His plan for our lives doesn’t just involve going to church and reading our Bibles. He wants us to be servants.


The balance – learning when to say “no”

There are a few of you who need to also learn the balance to this. You can’t do everything. You can’t do everything that people ask you to do. For some of us, we need to learn that sometimes we will be more effective if we say “no” to some things than if we say “yes” to everything.
The question is – are you saying “no” because the thing is “beneath you”? If so, then you need to be a servant. But if you are saying “no” because you can’t do everything, you are learning wisdom.

:28-30 Rewards for staying

:28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.

they which have continued diameno (“through” + “remain”) – to stay permanently, remain permanently, continue. This is a perfect tense, the action has happened in the past and the results continue on into the present.

temptations peirasmos – an experiment, attempt, trial, proving

This word is often used to describe a temptation to sin, but it sometimes is used to describe a tough time, a “trial”, such as in:

(James 1:2-4 NASB) Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, {3} knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. {4} And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
endurancehupomone (“under” + “remain”) – steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings


Keep going

Even in the tough times, stick it out. Keep going.
Tough times will cause some people to fall away.

Jesus told a parable about seed falling on different kinds of ground. When the seed fell on the stony soil, the plants sprung up quickly, only to whither in the heat of the sun.

(Mat 13:20-21 NLT) The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. {21} But like young plants in such soil, their roots don't go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word.

We need to keep our eyes on Jesus if we want to keep going.
(Heb 12:1-3 KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, {2} Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. {3} For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

The word translated “patience” is hupomone, the same word used in James 1:3. God wants to give us the ability to “endure”, to “remain under” the tough times and to survive.

:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

I appointdiatithemai – to arrange, dispose of, one’s own affairs; to make a covenant, enter into a covenant, with one

hath appointeddiatithemai – to arrange, dispose of, one’s own affairs; to make a covenant, enter into a covenant, with one

Because they have endured, they would receive rewards.

:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom,

eatesthio – to eat; to take food, eat a meal

drinkpino – to drink

tabletrapeza – a table

Jesus has just served His disciples a Passover Feast. He’s just served them Bread and Wine, and told them to remember Him.

Now Jesus says to His guys that they are going to eat and drink at His table in His kingdom.

This makes me think of the things we’ve seen in the life of David.

David took his friend’s son, Mephibosheth, and made him a part of his royal court.
(2 Sam 9:9-13 KJV) Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house. {10} Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. {11} Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons. {12} And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth. {13} So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.

Mephibosheth was given great wealth and property, but even better, he was made a regular at the King’s Table.

We too seem pretty much like Mephibosheth, crippled and good for nothing. Yet our King has a great love for us and has invited us to His table. He’s got a place set for you.

:30 and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

thronesthronos – a throne seat

judgingkrino – to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose; to determine, resolve, decree; to judge; to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong; to rule, govern; to preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions, because it was the prerogative of kings and rulers to pass judgment

Have you ever wondered if it was just a coincidence that Jesus chose twelve disciples? Why not eleven, or thirteen?

Jesus connects having twelve disciples with the twelve tribes of Israel.

This helps me understand why the disciples were so concerned about naming a replacement for Judas after Judas betrayed Jesus and then killed himself. (Acts 1:15-26)
I was wondering if each one was from a different tribe, but they can’t be – there were at least two sets of brothers – James and John, and Peter and Andrew.


The time to be served isn’t now

I’m not sure if Jesus is trying to encourage the guys by saying that one day they will rule with Him.
I wonder if He isn’t trying to say that that day hasn’t come yet.

:31-34 Peter will deny Jesus

:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

SimonSimon – This is Peter’s original name before Jesus named him “Peter”, which means “rock”. Simon is from the Hebrew word Shim‘own – “heard”.

SatanSatanas – adversary (one who opposes another in purpose or act), the name given to; the prince of evil spirits, the inveterate adversary of God and Christ

hath desired exaiteomai – to ask from, demand of; to ask or beg for one’s self, to ask that one be given up to one from the power of another

you – this is plural here. “Satan has asked to sift all of you …

he may sift siniazo – to sift, shake in a sieve; fig. by inward agitation to try one’s faith to the verge of overthrow

This might be referring to the process of separating the chaff from the wheat.

One translation (“The Message”) translates this:

“Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat.

Barnes: Grain was agitated or shaken in a kind of fan or sieve. The grain remained in the fan, and the chaff and dust were thrown off. So Christ says that Satan desired to try Peter; to place trials and temptations before him; “to agitate him” to see whether anything of faith would remain, or whether all would not be found to be chaff—mere natural ardor and false professions.

wheatsitos – wheat, grain


Satan needs permission

We know that Satan is not God’s equal. He must ask God for permission.
We saw this with Job. Satan had to ask God’s permission before the trials came in Job’s life (Job 1:6-12)



Satan wants to separate your from what’s valuable in your life. He wants to separate you from Jesus.
Get ready for the trials and tests.

:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

I have prayed deomai – to want, lack; to desire, long for; to ask, beg; to pray, make supplications

fail ekleipo (“out of” + “leave”) – fail; to leave out, omit, pass by; to leave, quit; to fail; to leave off, cease, stop

Did Peter’s faith fail?

I would say that he was tempted to fail, and he certainly stumbled when he denied Jesus. But in the end, Peter did come back.

faithpistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it

thou art converted epistrepho –to turn to; to the worship of the true God; to cause to return, to bring back; to the love and obedience of God

The assumption is that Peter would stumble and so have a need to “turn around”. This is not talking about needing to “get saved”. The idea is that when you are going down the road the wrong way, you turn around.

strengthen sterizo (“steroids”) –to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix; to strengthen, make firm; to render constant, confirm, one’s mind


Jesus is praying for you

He’s pulling for you. He wants you to make it. He’s praying for you.
(Heb 7:25 KJV) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
I wonder if we even have clue as to how tough life could be if Jesus wasn’t praying for us.


Encourage others

It doesn’t matter if you’ve stumbled in the past – do as Jesus prayed for Peter. Turn around and strengthen those around you.
Put your focus on other people. Do what you can to build up others. Use your experience to help others grow. Help the brothers.
A Carpenter
Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence. One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days work” he said, perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?” “Yes,” said the older brother, “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence—an 8-foot fence—so I won’t need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow.” The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.” The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge—a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all—and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.” The two brothers met at the middle of the bridge, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother. “I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have so many more bridges to build.”
Peter did what Jesus said. Look what Peter has to say to people who are going through tough times, people who are being “sifted”:
(1 Pet 4:1-2 NLT) So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you are willing to suffer for Christ, you have decided to stop sinning. {2} And you won't spend the rest of your life chasing after evil desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.
(1 Pet 4:12-14 NLT) Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. {13} Instead, be very glad--because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world. {14} Be happy if you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God will come upon you.

:33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

readyhetoimos – prepare ready; ready prepared; to do something

prisonphulake – guard, watch; a watching, keeping watch; of the place where captives are kept, a prison

deaththanatos – the death of the body

Matthew records that Peter thought that he was better than all the other disciples.

(Mat 26:33 KJV) Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

:34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

PeterPetros – “a rock or a stone”. Jesus now uses the name He gave to Peter.

crowphoneo – to sound, emit a sound, to speak; of a cock: to crow

this daysemeron – this (very) day); what has happened today

cockalektor – a cock, or male of any bird, a rooster

denyaparneomai – to deny; to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone

knowesteido – to see; to perceive with the eyes; to know; to know of anything


We could all deny Him

Our hearts are wicked.
(Jer 17:9 KJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
It’s easy when you’re a young believer to think that you’d never turn your back on Jesus. But it can happen.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you could never turn away from Jesus. You’re setting yourself up for a fall if you do.