Luke 22:24-30               “Great, Just Great”


This is very much a two-part sermon from last week. We talked about how strings of events in our lives can lead us in a direction towards God. In other words, God does seem to have a plan for us. I am not saying that everything in life is predestined, just that God uses our trials and tribulations to build in us a faith that gives us happiness and strength to continue on in life. I thank God for that.

What we have in the text today is when that Godly hand over our lives, the movement of the Holy Spirit, actually places us into an appointment. Yes, we are faced with the idea of a divine appointment here in our text for today. The apostles are told by Jesus that they will be sitting on the thrones of the 12 tribes of Israel. Are we experiencing divine appointment today?


            When I talk about divine appointment, I just want to lift out the idea of appointments all together. You see, I have noticed that it is getting harder and harder to make appointments these days. Do you want to see a doctor for a regular check-up? You will have to plan ahead a few months. If you want a mechanic or a plumber, that could be even longer! If you want to make an appointment with a pastor–well, good luck! I am off to Germany again tonight (hahah). Why is it so hard to make appointments today? Why is it so hard to keep them? We are in the “age of information,” and we have cell phones that allow us to communicate instantly wherever we are. Why are we not connecting anymore? Why cannot we keep our appointments? I think that cell phones have made it too easy to break appointments.

            It used to be that we did not have cell phones, so we got a lot of practice stating that we will meet people at certain times and places. We showed up, trusting that the other person would show up then, too. You know what? Of course, every once in a while you get stood up, but generally not. It generally worked. ”I will meet you at six pm for dinner at the noodle shop,” and behold people actually showed at six pm at the noodle shop. Now, it is just all texting back and forth again and again, never quite knowing if the other person is going to be there, or just text belatedly that they had to do something else at that moment that has messed up a good system. 

            I will tell you a little secret–there is somebody in this church that does not have a cell phone. I met him at Kalaheo on Wednesday at noon. I took the bus out to meet him. I knew he would be there to meet me. You know why? Because he does not have a cell phone. He had to come to meet me!

When the bus arrived right on time at the stop at Kalaheo, there he was waiting for me. Do you know what he told me? “I would rather wait an hour for someone else rather than have anyone wait for me.” He then told me that he had arrived early and even went to talk with another bus driver to confirm that I would be let off at that spot.

This crossed my mind about Jesus and his disciples in this text. God has made the appointment. God is there on time and has checked to make sure our bus is coming. God is going to be there waiting for us! The question is whether we are going to make the appointment with God on time. God is always faithful. It is up to us to keep our appointment with God! Or, do we text God last minute and say “sorry, but I cannot.”

It can be troubling with not keeping appointments. As you know, I recently went to Malaysia, Cambodia, and back here to Kauai. All of this was contingent on the first flight to Honolulu that required me to be at the airport earlier than the first bus runs. So, I called on Jared to take me out to the airport early that morning. If Jared had not kept his appointment to meet me and take me out to the airport, then I would have missed that first flight to Honolulu, then the flight to Japan, then the flight to Kuala Lumpur, I would have missed Lava’s wedding, the trip to Cambodia completely, my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday, the plane back to Honolulu and the plane back to Kauai. Because Jared kept the appointment, everything else that was planned could happen accordingly. And, part of that plan was Jared preaching for me–so you all must be really happy with Jared keeping his appointments.

I was watching a documentary about the James Webb Space Telescope that noted that there were 346 points of total failure for the project. If any one of those 346 things went wrong, the whole mission would be wasted–billions of dollars and thirty years of work by over ten thousand people.

I started thinking about this with my faith: What if Jesus was never born. What if Jesus never called his disciples. What if Jesus never died on the Cross. What if all the disciples were killed before the faith was transmitted to others, in other words, no Pentecost. And, I began to realize that as complicated as the Space telescope might be, it really is nothing compared to the fact that I am a Christian today! Our faith has experienced over 2,000 years of divine appointments that made it possible for us to worship here today.  This church as it stands is a miracle of divine appointment.


Back to our text for today and this understanding of divine appointment. If Jesus says I am going to be with you and meet you in this time, then please trust that Jesus is going to meet you there. Jesus does not have a cell phone–does not need one. Jesus keeps his appointments. They are divine appointments!

            Remember four weeks ago when we had the story of Peter and John being appointed by Jesus to go to set up the Passover meal in Jerusalem. They were met by a man carrying a jar of water. They followed the man to an upper room where they were lavished upon by the owner of the house. All of this was by “divine appointment.” In fact, throughout the ministry with Jesus those last three years, they have only ever seen this divine appointment happening again and again.


            Do you believe in divine appointment in your lives?

It was either planned ahead of time in heaven, or as Carol Burnett is fond of saying: “That is certainly a coinky-dinky.” There are just too many coinky-dinkies even scientifically that we should not see God’s hand in what happens in our lives.


What is God appointing us to when we find ourselves suddenly in that divine moment of appointment? Jesus states that we are being appointed to serve, that was His appointment with us. Jesus came to serve. This idea turns the natural world upside down. The Lord is not lording it over us. Other worldly authorities love to lord it over us, but the Lord serves. That is the bare essence of this text.

            Jesus tells his disciples that if they take on the model of being servants, as Jesus himself has, then that divine appointment carries over into heaven, into the Kingdom of God in a unique way. The word used in the Greek here for service, by the way, is significant to us here in the church. The word is “Diakonoi.” We get the word “Deacon” from it. It really is the same word in Greek and in English. The deacons of the church are those who serve. Last week we had communion. Who served? Deacons!

            What is fascinating to note is that although the word “deacon” means servant, we also understand it to mean a position of respect and honor in the church. It is an honor to serve Christ in this way. In a very simple sense it means that God has made use of your life on this planet, and that honor is due. 

            Let me point out a literary device that Luke has used in writing his Gospel in this particular chapter. When first mentioned, the disciples of Jesus are called “disciples.” Then as the disciples are not merely students of Jesus anymore, they are called “apostles” as they are sent out with the message of the good news of the coming Kingdom of God.  Today we have read that the disciples are now to be called “elders.” Do you see in verse 26 where it says “the greatest must become like the youngest,” a better translation of “greatest” would be “eldest” which would then naturally match the term “youngest.” Jesus is talking about the disciples becoming “elders.”

            Another note on this text is that the words “at the table” in the following verse is in fact the word “to recline” in Greek. You mayhow it looked at the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples not sitting in chairs, but rather on the floor at a low table, reclining towards the left. In other words, the body weight of each was carried to the left hand—as was the tradition.

            Now Jesus says that the disciples will be not just reclining on the floor, they will be seated in chairs. Indeed we see in the last line that they will be seated on thrones. The Greek word here is “thronas,” same as in English. Then, they will be seated over the tribes of Israel.

            In the Book of Revelation, Chapter 7, we find reference to the salvation of the Twelve Tribes, but then these words follow in verse 11, “And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God. . . .” We know who those elders are because in Luke we hear Jesus telling his disciples to accept their divine appointment to be elders! Not just to be reclining with Jesus, but to be enthroned with Him. The angels of heaven are there with Jesus and the elders! This is God’s promise to us. If we come into service of the Lord, we will be appointed up to heaven.


            So, we are left with a choice right now. We can see the divine appointments that God has made in our lives right now. Or, we can say, “Nah, that is some kind of strange coincidence.”

            One day in heaven we see someone we know and say: “Oh, what a coincidence! A real coinki dinky!” Or, we can say: “I always knew I would see you here because God had a divine appointment in your life. And, you are just keeping that appointment.”










Disciples, Apostles, Deacons, Elders in heaven!