Global Rivalries Condensed: Who Is the Greatest?
by Minister Paul J. Bern – Luke 22: 24-30
When I’m home watching TV with ‘Cloey’, my recently-adopted cat, I limit my viewing to an hour, two at the very most. So I look at about half local news and half national and international news, and all that without cable TV. I really don’t bother with anything else that’s on before the news or afterwards. Even then, every time a commercial pops up on my screen, I ‘mute’ it. But I do watch the news to keep up with current events since they are moving so fast. This is particularly true when it pertains to Bible prophecy.
Speaking of which, the global showdown between Iran and the US over Iran’s alleged nuclear warfare capability is looking more and more like a war between the combined forces of Iran with her allies Turkey and Russia, against Israel, the US and their allies Great Britain, France, and possibly Germany. It’s all in the Book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament, chapters 38 and 39, which I covered in a 2-part series that I posted last year. It is also known as the “Gog-Magog war”. As things are currently situated in the Middle East between Israel and the Arab nations, not to mention between Iran and the US, the world is sitting on a powder keg in the form of a major war, perhaps even a world war – God forbid!
All these confrontations, without exception, have to do with the natural resources of these nations the world’s elites fight over constantly. In the case of Venezuela, for example, the fighting isn’t over the country, it’s the oil contained within the country, with the largest known oil reserves found anywhere to this day. Right after Venezuela comes Israel, with oil and natural gas reserves that rival Saudi Arabia’s, except that Israel’s oil and gas is under the eastern Mediterranean sea instead of under a vast desert. And, it is the leadership of these countries that is working against each other at the expense of their own people, so that the needs of a small minority of ever-wealthier individuals and their families can be met first and foremost.
“America First!’, is the current battle cry of president Trump. America is the #1 country in the world in more ways than one. That would be a true statement. When it comes to economic opportunity and the freedoms we still have (although just barely), America is most definitely number one. But the US is also the murder capital of the world, the pornography capital, and the weapons capital globally speaking. But before I go any further on that topic, allow me to return to the original one. The disagreement among those apostles as to who would be the greatest – without the intervention of the Holy Spirit – would quickly deteriorate into an argument at best, physical violence at worst. This is what happened among the (original) 12 apostles at the Last Supper, and I quote:
“24) A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25) Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26) 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. 27) 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. 28) You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29) And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30) so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.‘ “ (Luke 22, verses 24-30)
“ Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26) But you are not to be like that…..’” Jesus was telling the apostles in no uncertain terms that God doesn’t operate the way we do. Real followers of Christ never “lord it over” people because they know they don’t have to. Authentic Christ-followers are never bossy or domineering people, nor are they ever overbearing in their dealings with others. The Spirit of the risen Lord exercises all the authority that is needed. No additional input is ever required if God is right in the thick of things. Jesus then continued, “Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27) 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….”
So you want to be the greatest? Then you must become the greatest servant. This applies to all the people in government, in the business world, and especially in education. This means lazy people will never last in a healthy business climate. They’ll never last in the kingdom of God, either. Only the most dedicated, the most determined and the most passionate will make it into His kingdom. “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.” The ones at the table represent the kings of verse 22, and the ones who serve represent the people of the Gentile kingdoms in the same verse. But in God’s kingdom which is soon coming, it will be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who will serve those who performed a good service and never wavered in their faith, or in their devotion to their Savior.
“ 28) You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29) And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30) so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom….” OK then, since the Twelve had been with Jesus for the entire 3 ½ years of his ministry, their eternities had been sealed from long ago. So much so, in fact, that they would “sit on thrones” and judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel. This was probably not strictly for Israel only, but Jesus was speaking of the believers of all the nations combined. So for us today, as we live our lives like Christ would have wanted us to, and if we devote each and every day to loving the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and with all our strength; then we must – now more than ever – love our neighbors as we love ourselves. The entire Law and all the combined prophets can be summed up in those two commandments.
So we can now see that in the divine Kingdom soon to come, the way of things and how they operate, combined with an absence of hierarchy, would be the hallmarks of this entirely new system of government. Competition would be replaced with cooperation under such a Christ-like system like this if only it could be implemented. We need to organize as a united people to generate the political will to get these things done. The future of our country, like our own eternities in heaven, may well depend on it.