Luke 22: 28-30 – Reward for Faithful Disciples


After the announcing of his betrayal by one of the Twelve (Lk 22: 21) and after instructing them on the meaning of authority (Lk 22: 24-27), Jesus speaks of the reward for his faithful disciples (Lk 22: 28-30). They have been faithful to Jesus during his ministry; they stood by him in his trials. Trials and temptations came to Jesus not only from the devil but also from opposition, enmity, and rejection that he experienced during his ministry. The Passion itself is a trial for Jesus and the disciples will continue to persevere with him, and gospel of Luke does not say that the disciples deserted him. For their fidelity Jesus promises them a reward and this reward is a share in his own kingship. The verb “diatihemai” in Luke 22: 29 has also a covenantal nuance; it means ‘to assign,’ ‘to confer,’ ‘to bequeath’ etc. The promise of a share in his kingly rule may be looked upon as Jesus’ last will and testament given in favour of the disciples during his farewell discourse.

Jesus specifies further their share in this kingship. It enables them to have table-fellowship with Jesus in the heavenly banquet (Lk 22: 30a). Jesus not only compared the Kingdom of God to the festal banquet, but the thought of a meal or table-fellowship is often associated with the end-time fulfilment of the Kingdom (cf. Lk 13: 29; 14: 15; 22: 16, 18, etc). It is the fellowship with him at his table in his Kingdom (glory) that Jesus first promises his faithful followers. Second, their share in his kingly rule will give them the right to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Here, “the twelve tribes of Israel” is to be understood as the new Israel of God, the new people of God. Jesus had intended his disciples to be the symbol and nucleus of the newly constituted people of God, the new Israel. Jesus now promises them authority to judge the new Israel. Judging is an exercise of royal authority and the disciples are promised such a share in Jesus’ kingship. In the light of what Jesus had already told them in Luke 22: 24-27, it may be added here that the disciples have to understand the meaning of authority in terms of service before they can share in Jesus’ kingship and his authority.


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