Posted by: glorifyhim1 | March 22, 2010

At My Father’s Table

This weekend I attended my church’s annual passion play presentation. As usual, I sat mesmerized as I watched passion scenes from the life of Christ interspersed with a present-day story line that reminds us afresh of the enormity of what Christ did for us. Every year I usually leave with one particular scene etched in my mind. This year was no different. For some reason, although this particular scene has been fairly similar every year, I left church thinking about the last supper that Jesus shared with His closest friends, His twelve disciples, one of whom would betray Him that night.

I know a few things about suppers – especially celebration suppers. Just as Jesus spoke of his “fervent desire” (Luke 22:15) to eat this meal with His disciples, I know how I look forward to special meals with my family and loved ones. In spite of all the planning and preparation, however, it is not so much about the food as it is in spending special time together. Jesus was no exception. Luke tells us that Jesus told His disciples that He desired to eat the Passover meal with them before He had to suffer (see Luke 22:14-15).  Yet even as Jesus attempted to share this time with His disciples and share His heart with them, what were they doing? They were arguing about which of them should be greatest in the coming kingdom (Luke 22:24). 

It seems impossible to us to think that while Christ was dealing with the reality that He would soon be betrayed and suffer and die on a cross, that the disciples were concerned about which of them was greatest. But just like the disciples, aren’t we guilty of doing the same thing? Just as the disciples were looking for Christ to establish an earthly kingdom, sometimes we can get so tangled up with things of this world that we forget our heavenly callings. And in the process, we not only fight against the powers against us, but we also fight among ourselves. We allow nonessential things to divide us. We compare ministries and evaluate who is “greater.” If we’re not careful instead of pursuing our callings, we spend out time defending our positions.

I cannot help but wonder how Christ felt when He heard His disciples arguing among themselves. But while the Bible doesn’t tell us how Christ felt, it does tell us what He did. Jesus explained to His disciples that unlike worldly kingdoms, in His kingdom the truly great will serve others. Then Jesus poured water into a basin and proceeded to wash the disciples’ feet and wipe them with a towel. This simple act of servanthood demonstrated not only His love for the disciples, but also the love that they should show for others. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have give you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:14-17).

But there is one more thing that Jesus did that we often tend to overlook. After talking to the disciples about true greatness and after washing their feet, He gave them a little insight into His heavenly kingdom. “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:28-30). Jesus recognized that the disciples had been through a lot and would go through a lot more here on earth. There would be trouble and tough times. Yet He gave them a vision of hope. He promised each of them a seat at His table in heaven, at the victory banquet!

Christ extends this same promise to all believers. He knows our way on earth can be difficult, but He wants us to see that we’re on our way to something better. Just as that glimmer of a happy family gathering gets me busy planning and preparing, He wants us to see that we have something to work for, too. We need to be busy working so that others we know will be able to find a seat reserved at our Father’s table. There’s too much at stake to be squabbling over greatness. And you know, it doesn’t really matter where we’ll be seated at that table. We’ll be home and we’ll be in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  

 At my Father’s table

I know I’ll rejoice to see

The perfect, sinless Jesus Christ,

Who gave Himself for me.

I’ll rejoice that I’m adopted

And no longer am I condemned,

For I’ve been washed in Jesus’ blood

I have an inheritance because of Him.

At my Father’s table,

As I gather with sinners made saints,

I’ll pause in awe and wonder

At the joy that there awaits,

I’m a member of God’s kingdom,

Ever near to Him,

I’ll never be abandoned,

I’m delivered because of Him,

I’m justified and perfect,

A partner now with Christ,

A dwelling place for His Spirit,

A branch in the Vine,

At my Father’s table,

As a child of royalty

I’ll praise my Christ forever

And worship my Lord and King.

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