Luke 22:29Posted 10/08/21, by Dan Vis
One of the most important promises related to the kingdom of heaven, was given by Jesus at the last supper. In fact, Jesus made several references to His kingdom, there in the privacy of that upper room, alone with His disciples.
He promised to not eat or drink with them again, until the symbols of the communion were "fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Luke 22:16,18For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. . . . For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.). And He taught them that the foundational principle of His kingdom was service, not lordship, modeling that, by taking a towel and washing their feet (Luke 22:25-2625 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.). But He also made an important promise:
And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
In the previous verse, He had reminded them how they had continued with Him all those months, in his various temptations (Luke 22:28Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.). The difficulties they had experienced. Their tests and trials. And how they had stayed with Him through those times. Suggesting this kind of close walk with Jesus is key to admission into the kingdom.
And in the verse after, He makes it clear the reward He was talking about was going to be quite impressive. They were going to "eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:30That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.). Whether these thrones were over the tribes of physical Israel, or over the much larger tribes of spiritual Israel, is not fully clear, though I suspect the latter. After all, the New Jerusalem which will house all God's people, is built on "twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles" (Revelation 21:14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.). Regardless, these thrones, and this work of judging certainly seems very literal.
But today's verse is not just talking about future scenes during the millennium. The kingdom they were to inherit also exists in the here and now. The word translated "appoint" is a legal term often used in a will or testament. In other words Jesus was bequeathing them a kingdom, just as His Father had bequeathed one to Him. It's a particularly appropriate word given the context of the Last Supper and Jesus' impending death. It's as if Jesus were passing the responsibilities involved with leading this kingdom to the twelve.
The language is certainly reminiscent of His apostolic prayer in John 17:18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. where Jesus said He had "sent them into the world" in the same way the Father had sent Him into the world. That just God had given Jesus men out of the world (His first disciples), and they had received His Word and were committed to keeping it (John 17:6,8I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. . . . For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.), others were soon to follow, who would believe on Jesus "through their word" (John 17:20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;). In fact, God was soon going to give them more people than they would know what to do with. Three thousand souls in one day, and that would be just the beginning!
In other words, Jesus was entrusting them with the kingdom. And as their lives one by one came to an end, they in would be forced to pass the kingdom on to other leaders still. And on and on from person to person--the kingdom would be passed down through the generations.
New leaders would arise, and be given specific areas of responsibility--God giving each of them men and women, perhaps children, to whom they could teach the principles of the kingdom. And through them bequeath those treasures to another generation still.
That process still continues today, doesn't it? "Wherefore we [each] receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:). That is, grace is critical, if we are to take the principles of the kingdom entrusted to us, and faithfully pass them on to the next generation. To "commit" them "to faithful men who shall be able to teach others" (II Timothy 2:2And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.). Or as the prophet Joel put it: "tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation" (Joel 1:3Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.).
This is how the kingdom has survived for nearly 2000 years. Each generation passing on the principles of the kingdom to the next. And if it is to survive into the future--this is how it will work. There is no other plan.
What are you doing to advance the kingdom of heaven? Where are the men or women God has given you, who are keeping the Word you have given them? And which ones are are you equipping to pass those principles on to the next generation? Important questions, aren't they?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 10/12/21|
|I love your use of Luke 14:23And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. in this context, and bringing in the parable of the vineyard. I hadn't thought of the latter in connection with the kingdom, but it's definitely another parable illustrating what the kingdom is like. Good post Denise!|
|Posted by Denise Buglino on 10/11/21|
|Those are sobering questions Dan. We often forget that we are to be Jesus' hands, feet and voice and to be His witness to others. We are not here to serve ourselves or just focus on our lives and what we want out of this life. This life is not forever but is to test our desire, character and fitness for God's kingdom which is based on love and forgiveness. Do we earnestly desire to bring others to Jesus, showing them God's love and mercy by our own life, so that they want to go with us so that heaven will be filled with as many as possible? That should be first on our mind, that is our true reward as workers in the vineyard, or another way of saying we will have stars in our crown. We will bear fruit if we are connected to the vine and others will be drawn to the fruit. Otherwise, heaven would be a rather lonely place without others to share the joys. Luke 14:23And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. tells the intent of God is to fill heaven and Jesus will work through us to fulfill that purpose. Its like you said, Jesus has entrusted the care of the kingdom / His vineyard to us. Once heaven is filled with as many as will come to dine/partake of the body and life of Jesus, the bread of life and fruit of the vine, Jesus will come and again dine with us at the table. Let us be faithful stewards.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 10/11/21|
|That's a good cross reference Karen. Appreciate you sharing that. Definitely fits right in with today's topic, and the whole theme of the Kingdom of God in general. Good post!|
|Posted by Karen Yang on 10/11/21|
|I suspect the latter that we have entered the spiritual kingdom and already made to sit together with Jesus in the heavenly places according to Ephesians 2:6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:.|
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