"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."Does any of this make sense?
How does Jesus "bestow" all his students a "kingdom?" And why would they each be sitting on "thrones," "judging" (judging? really?) the twelve tribes of Israel?
Jesus just got through saying (even according to the New King James version) that the greatest among them would be servants - as Jesus was a servant. And now he says they will each rule over a kingdom and sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel? Does this make any sense? Here is the statement he made just before this one - from the New King James version:
"For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the one who serves." (Luke 22:27 NKJV)There has been a continuing mistranslation and misinterpretation of this statement by Jesus within these sectarian translations - and the teachers of these institutions.
As revealed in the Devotional Translation above, Jesus is not indicating that God has given him a "kingdom" - rather, that the Supreme Being has given him "sanctuary." God has given him refuge. This is what is bestowed onto a servant of God.
The word "sanctuary" is translated from the Greek word βασιλείαν (basileian), which can indicate a "queen" or "princess" - accepting the authority of a king.
This is accepting or coming under the authority of the ruler of a kingdom - not actually becoming that ruler. This is the situation of both a princess and a queen - they are both being given sancutary - protection - by the king.
During ancient times, when a people accepted the authority of a king, they were protected by that king as they took shelter within the kingdom. These were feudal times, where tribal armies would frequently attack villages to try to take them over. This is why many villages were fortified by walls. But if a certain king was strong, and had the armies to protect the people, then people would take shelter - or sanctuary - within the confines of the king's territory.
Such a situation - of taking shelter, refuge or sanctuary within the jurisdiction of the king - made that kingdom a sanctuary - a place where they were given protection.
Jesus is conferring this language into his teachings regarding the Supreme Being, because this is what the people understood. He was informing his students that they would be given sanctuary just as Jesus had been given sanctuary by the Supreme Being. This means the Supreme Being would protect them. God would give them shelter.
This is how a loving servant of God feels. The loving servant of God doesn't desire a kingdom, or to sit on thrones. Such interpretations are a perversion of Jesus' teachings. A loving servant of God is feeling that his only protection is the Supreme Being. His only refuge is God. Such a dependency upon God was reflected by David - whom Jesus followed and often quoted:
"I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:2)Taking sanctuary or refuge in the Supreme Being is critical in spiritual life. Where else can we take sanctuary? Is there any sanctuary here in this material world?
No. Everything in this material world is temporary. Our physical body will last for only a few decades. Then the body will die, and everything we have taken refuge in here will be taken from us. That includes our house, our car, our family, our money, our job or profession - everything will be snatched away at the time of death.
How, then, can we take refuge or sanctuary in the things of this world? For example, one might devote considerable time and energy building or buying a dream house in the hopes it will provide a sanctuary or refuge. Yet a hurricane, flood or tornado could tear the house down in an instant. Or maybe it lasts a lifetime but then the physical body dies and we have to leave it behind.
One might devote considerable time and energy finding and then keeping a spouse, thinking the relationship provides refuge or sanctuary. But then they could break up. Then one or both of them dies.
Or one might devote considerable time and energy into having a family, thinking that a family will provide sanctuary or refuge. But then the kids grow up, or the family breaks up, or a disaster kills some family members. If not, each of the family members dies one by one - and soon the family is gone.
Or one might spend a decade becoming a doctor or politician or another profession, thinking this profession will provide sanctuary or refuge. But then the body gets old and cannot practice the profession anymore. Then the body dies and the profession is moot.
Or one might devote ones life to becoming wealthy, thinking wealth or fortune will provide sanctuary or refuge. But just as one's wealth typically becomes concentrated - during old age - the body dies and all the wealth is snatched away from the spirit-person at the time of death.
The phrase, "can't take it with you" is appropriate when it comes to the things of this world. When the spirit-person leaves the body, everything is left behind in an instant.
But just as God has given Jesus sanctuary, Jesus can parlay that sanctuary to his students. How can he do that?
By teaching them about God and how to re-establish their loving relationship with God. By teaching them how to come to know and love the Supreme Being. Once they do this, they will take refuge in God, just as Jesus did.
What does Jesus mean by "you may eat and drink at my table in my sanctuary"?
Jesus is using these as a metaphor. These are analogous to being able to share in the loving activities of the spiritual realm. The reason why Jesus offers him the ability to "eat and drink at my table" is because Jesus has taught them about his loving relationship with God. This puts them in a subordinate role to Jesus.
This is natural. For example, let's say a business manager takes a young man under his wing and trains him to do a certain job in a business. Once the young man is properly trained, he would then have the ability to do what he was trained for, but under the supervision of the business manager.
In the same way, Jesus trained his disciples. Then, when they leave their bodies at the time of death, he will guide them back to the spiritual realm.
But what about the last part - "and you will sit in divinity, presiding over the twelve tribes of Israel" ?
The sectarian translations have translated the Greek word κρίνω (krinō) to "judge" - yet "to judge" is a more obscure meaning of the term. The lexicon describes the primary meanings as, "to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose;" "to approve, esteem, to prefer;" "to be of opinion, deem, think, to be of opinion;" "to determine, resolve, decree."
Jesus is not speaking of his disciples (of whom he had hundreds) becoming judges over the twelve tribes. Nor is he speaking of them sitting on thrones: As if they would just all sit around on thrones all day like a bunch of fat kings. Rather, Jesus is speaking of them being raised to the spiritual realm - that divine place that presides over the practice of devotion throughout the universes.
The citizens of the spiritual realm - angels - preside over devotional practice because they epitomize love for God. They are in love with God, so they preside over the element of devotion: Because the spiritual realm is that place where everyone is devoted to the Supreme Being.
It is not that the hundreds of disciples of Jesus each become a king of their own kingdom and then start judging everyone - let alone the twelve tribes. No. They have taken shelter in God, and thus have become devoted to the Supreme Being. They become the Supreme Being's loving servants. But with regard to loving service, they become God's representatives - His ambassadors.
One of the main doctrines presented by many sectarian institutions and their teachers is that Jesus is the Supreme Being. This is completely false. If Jesus was the Supreme Being then who was he praying to?
And why did he state clearly that he was a servant? ("Yet I am among you as the one who serves.")
Jesus is quite obviously serving the Supreme Being. He was praying to the Supreme Being when he prayed:
“LORD, if it pleases You, take this cup away from me, but let Your will – not mine – be done.” (Luke 22:42 DT)Naturally, a servant wants to please his master. In Jesus' case, we are speaking of loving service. Serving the Supreme Being out of love.
This reveals something that sectarian institutions and their teachers cannot enter into: The loving relationship between Jesus and the Supreme Being.
It is this relationship, that provides Jesus sanctuary as stated in Luke 22:28:
"And just as my LORD has given me sanctuary..."So why can't the sectarian institutions and their teachers understand or even enter into this sanctuary? Why can't they enter into this relationship of love between Jesus and God?
Because they have tried to utilize the teachings of Jesus for their own purposes - their own agenda. They have attempted to capitalize upon Jesus' teachings. In their quest for power and authority, they have missed the real message of Jesus.
Let's use an example. Let's say a child approaches his parents to get some extra allowance to buy some candy at the store. The child is very focused upon getting that money. And let's say the parents are giving the child some instruction at the same time. Will the child learn the instruction from the parents? No. Because the child has an agenda. The child's focus is on getting something for himself.
This is the same issue - why so many teachers of so many sectarian institutions that claim to follow Jesus have missed his central message.
Some of these teachers are focused upon gaining many followers. Some are focused upon climbing the hierarchy and becoming a cardinal, bishop or pope. Some are focused upon using or abusing their followers in some way - such as we found among many Catholic priests and others. Others may simply want to keep their well-paid jobs, so they tow the line of their institution's doctrines.
For most of their followers, their agendas are often a bit different. They might be wanting to be saved so they don't go to hell. Or they might be going to church so they can impress their friends and family with their religiosity - or perhaps they just want to fit in with the church scene and be accepted.
Whatever the agendas - these allow blind teachers to lead their followers into blindness. Jesus discussed this same scenario that was taking place among the Jewish teachers and followers of his time:
"Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matt. 15:14)Jesus was teaching us to put our love upon the Supreme Being. This was his purpose for coming to this planet. And he was showing his love for the Supreme Being within his words and actions. In the verse above we find he pledges that "my LORD has given me sanctuary."
He also teaches:
“Put your trust in God." (Mark 11:22)And Jesus' most important teaching?
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’" (Luke 10:27)