“You [disciples] are those who have stayed with me [Jesus] in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 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 says these words just after he and the disciples have eaten the last supper in the upper room. He commends the disciples for remaining with him in his trials. Their reward will be great. In Jesus' coming kingdom, they will eat and drink at the head table with Jesus. They will also rule over Israel for 1000 years and perhaps into eternity. They are not perfect by any means. They will shortly abandon Jesus, and even Peter will deny him three times (vv. 61-62). Nevertheless, their loyalty has been proven. Of hundreds or even thousands of believers and disciples that Jesus had developed over three years of ministry, the consistent loyalty of these eleven men has stood out. He chose them (Lk 6:12-16), and they have not disappointed. Judas, of course, is the exception (vv. 3-6, 21-23, 47-48).
Loyalty. That is the mark of disciples of Jesus in every generation. He is looking today for loyal men and women who will count the COST (Lk 14:28) and be Committed, Obedient, Sacrificial, and Time-intentional disciples. How can we be more loyal to Jesus in our lives?
Father, please challenge us to move from being simple believers in Jesus to dedicated disciples of Jesus who remain loyal in tough times. Help us not to get distracted by the things of this world, but to stay focused on the Great Commission and fulfilling our calling and ministry. Some day we want to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant." I pray that every believer in our church will hear these words from Jesus. Finally, Lord, thank you for the cross and the empty tomb. Jesus has won the strategic victory for us, and we praise him today for what he has done. In his name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman