Friday – November 3, 2017 –Concern for Others Defines Servants
Matthew 20:20-34 (NIV) Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21 “What is it you want?” he asked.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered.
23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first 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 as a ransom for many.”
29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
Imagine Jesus telling His followers of His imminent death one more time and receiving no support or sympathy. He had one more lessons to teach His disciples. He did it by word and by example. He had to rebuke the worldly attitude about position. All the disciples can think about is their position in the Kingdom. James and John enlist their mother to petition Jesus for the highest positions for her sons. The other ten disciples heard about the request and became indignant. Somehow what Jesus had been preaching and modeling for them regarding servanthood was still misunderstood. To be great in the Kingdom of God you must be a servant, there is no other way. Greatness would not be measured by how much authority you exercise over others, but by how much you serve them. Jesus was considered great by His Father because of how He served mankind and gave His life as a ransom for many.
Jesus illustrates this principle of selflessness as He leaves Jericho and heads to Jerusalem. He knows that He is on His way to His death, but still has compassion toward two blind men who cry out to Him and address Him as the Son of David. This title acknowledges the authority that was invested in Jesus (which He uses to serve) and is very appropriate at this point in the story, because it demonstrates Jesus’ heart of compassion toward the hurting even when He was expecting His own imminent death. Jesus asked them what they wanted, and He gave them exactly what they asked for.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us what it means to be truly great in Your Kingdom. Whether it requires washing feet, being taken advantage of, slaying a giant or healing blind eyes, we are Your servants and we want to do Your bidding.