Servant Leadership (Luke 22:24-38)

Dense, dim-witted, thickheaded, obtuse, simpleton, nincompoop and/or dolt are words that I hope no one ever uses to describe me; well, at least not to my face anyway. But I’m sure there have been more than a few moments in my lifetime when one or more of those words could have been used to describe me.

Tina knows the look immediately. We’ve been married almost 39 years now and she can see it in my eyes. She knows instantly whether I’m tracking with her or not, without me ever speaking a word. I’m sure glad that she’s the only one in the world who can read my mind, or I would be in big trouble a lot of the time, especially in the business world these days. A college professor once told me; “it’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”  

Now, I’m quite sure he wasn’t the first one to coin that phrase, but it’s stuck with me for decades, nonetheless.  Those sage words of wisdom have served me well throughout my adult life. But hey, I’m afraid I just told you my secret, so I hope you will be kind to this simpleton the next time you get that look on Zoom or in the classroom.

I guess I’m in good company though, at least that seems to be the case to me as I read Luke 22.  In our focal passage this week, Jesus and the apostles are in the upper room having the Passover meal, which He transformed into the Lord’s Supper.  And it’s getting late and they are about to head out to the garden to pray.  Jesus knows that they all have a huge day ahead and there’s nothing better to do before a big day than to pray.  So that’s what they’re fixin to do (in simpleton speak).

But, before they head out to Gethsemane, Jesus is using the time together to prepare them for what’s ahead.  He knows that time is short but the apostles can’t seem to get their heads wrapped around it.  He’s trying to warn them about important things ahead, but they aren’t listening very well.  In fact, I quite sure that more than one of them had that look on their face.  You know the look that says; “I don’t get it.  That went completely over my head but let me tell you what I think I heard you say anyway.”  Yep, that’s it, the part where you speak and remove all doubt. 

Well that’s exactly what happened in the upper room that night.  The comment was so far off base that Jesus got frustrated and shut down the conversation rather abruptly.  I’m sure that frustration was part of the anguish that He felt as he knelt to pray a few short hours later.

Candidly, it was a bit surprising, given what He had said to them and what He had just done for them.  How could they be so far off base with their thinking.  At that moment, they looked like anything but world-changers. What was it that had Jesus frustrated and the apostle’s scratching their heads? Join us for the study tomorrow and find out.

For those unable to join us in person, please feel free to download the Bible study materials for your personal use by following one of these links: PowerPoint SlidesPDF File. Also, you can download files for previous weekly studies by visiting the following page on my blog: Doubtless Living: The Gospel of Luke.