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. Luke 22:24-24
Now it is a very crucial moment, Jesus will face the cross. The Lord has told the disciples several times, but the disciples do not know the situation or the Lord’s heart, they are not in the same mind with the Lord. They are arguing about who is greater. They did not become one with Lord Jesus yet. So they could not walk the way of cross with Jesus together.
Jesus can walk the way of the cross, for he knows the deep love of Father God and has faith in Father, and through his obedience Jesus showed his faith. Jesus said, he and father are one. Through this, we can know he has a very deep love relationship with God.
In the Middle East, many of them are Muslims. Some extremists often destroy churches, kidnap Christians, persecute Christians, and even get killed because of their persistence in their faith. How painful is God’s heart when he sees this? When we know God’s suffering, we know that our own suffering is nothing. We need to become one with God, and know God’s heart well. So that we will not complain and escape the cross we need to take with Jesus together.
Recently I heard some sharing about the Middle East, and I felt the need to step out of myself. I am now in the United States, and there is religious freedom. Compared with the Middle East, the difficult situation I encountered is nothing at all. I need to pray for the churches established in the Middle East, pray for the members who go there to preach the Gospel, and support them.
God loves me more, not because I do better. We serve God not to get the love of God, but because we got the love of God, so we serve, which is a response to God’s love. God loves us unchangingly. His love far exceeds our hearts and minds, and it is not what we can imagine. When we meet some difficult situation or something we could not understand, we always use our own standards to measure, but God’s love is so deep, even if we do not have strong faith, God is still loving us and guiding us according to His beautiful will.
Apostle Paul loves God. He encountered so many tribulations and hardships. Everywhere he goes to establish a church, there will be attacks and slanders behind him. He is not only facing the external difficulties from the outside environment, but also has a lot of pain in his heart, but still cares for the church members, continues to persuade and teach them, even in prison. Suffering did not make him doubt God’s love. Instead, he confessed, who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. I hope that the Lord will also open my eyes to understand this world and become one in love with Jesus Christ, so that we can take our own cross and follow Jesus in our daily life with faith and obedience. Amen.