2020-10-18 

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

 

Matthew 20:20-28 (CSB) Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons approached Him with her sons. She knelt down to ask Him for something. 21 “What do you want?” He asked her. “Promise,” she said to Him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” “We are able,” they said to Him. 23 He told them, “You will indeed drink My cup. But to sit at My right and left is not Mine to give; instead, it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”  24 When the 10 disciples heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. 26 It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”

 

1. The desire for status

Vs 21b “Promise,” she said to Him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom.”

  • She may have been made aware of what Jesus said in Matthew 19:28 that the
    twelve “would sit on twelve thrones, judging the tribes of Israel”
  • She was advocating that her sons have the most important spots, the right and the left
  • Today, things are no different. Many times, we all angle for positions and status in order to convey the image of greatness and power

2. An empty pursuit

Vs 22 But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”

  • Jesus clearly conveyed they had a false sense of what greatness is
  • They answered in the second part of the verse, “we are able” but they had no idea Jesus was speaking of His death on the cross
  • Jesus used these words to convey the path to greatness is not found in status, it is found in serving

Matthew 23:11-12 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

 

3. The right way

Vss 25-27 But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. 26 It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”

  • Jesus used the contrast between the world’s rulers and what Jesus said was true greatness
  • The world’s rulers abused their power and abused their people with their status
  • Jesus clearly gave the order, “it must not be like that among you”
  • Jesus is our example

 

Stuart Weber said, “The person who is truly great, by heaven’s definition, is the one who chooses an attitude of submission to others in the family of believers.[1]

 

[1]Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 324.

 

Phil. 2:3-8 (CSB) Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross.

 

 

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