There are 85 separable instances of “kingdom” in the Synoptic Gospels; we have three left and two of them are in our text today:
24 Also a dispute 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.
1. Kingdom ethics are not the same as Roman ethics: power and honor shape Roman ethics; service and love shape Jesus’ ethics.
2. Jesus “confers” on his followers a kingdom as his Father conferred one on him.
3. What Jesus seems to be conferring is two-fold:
His followers are permitted at the table: fellowship with Christ
His followers will rule alongside him over the twelve tribes of Israel: judgment
4. Again, kingdom is intimately — never more so in fact — connected to fellowship with Jesus and it is also clearly associated with Davidic expectation of an earthly rule of the Messiah; disciples are his viceregents.