AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #32
Be a Servant
25 “Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,
27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall 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.” (Matthew 20:26–28).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Let’s step back and read these verses in context: v20 “Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him.
21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She *said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.”
22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They *said to Him, “We are able.”
23 He *said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers.
Simply put, Jesus is both reminding and reprimanding the mother of James and John and her sons for seeking a position and an authority for which they are neither qualified nor eligible. Worse yet, James and John don’t ask for themselves, but have their mother make a request which comes from a self-serving attitude.
It is very common for people to “ride the coattails” of a great leader or teacher without having to earn the position of leadership and authority. Many people even prefer to act on the authority of another and some will attempt to usurp the authority rather than earn that right. These ‘usurpers’ rarely have the ability to fill the role they desire.
It is equally common for ineligible or incapable people to assume roles of authority or titles which confer authority within the Church. Many Church leaders have simply completed educational courses or are selected through an urgency or by way of favoritism but are ineligible and incapable.
Many church leaders revere the title or moniker of ‘pastor’ but few pastors, now-a-days, are eligible or capable or even desire to fill the role and responsibilities of a Biblical pastor.
Jesus, rather than offer a ‘curriculum or a course of study for leadership positions’, makes an astounding statement in response to this mother’s request: “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
The word for ‘servant’ is ‘diakonos’ from which we get our word deacon. It is also used to mean minister; one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use; a waiter, one who serves food and drink.
The word for ‘slave’ is ‘doulos’ which is a man of servile condition or one who gives himself up to another’s will, especially those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men; devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests. Voluntary servitude in the cause of Christ.
Jesus, with His words, had turned their worlds upside down. He is, in essence, saying that the things you seek you neither understand nor desire.
The magnitude of the Cause and Mission of Jesus is incalculable. The soul of every person to ever breathe the breath of life, hangs in the balance. As Revelation 7:9 puts it “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues.”
Jesus, alone, was Called, Capable and Qualified for His role as Savior of the World, and He called Himself a “Servant of many”.
Therefore, we, His followers, must and should eagerly desire not only to be called a servant and slave in the Cause of Christ, but we should eagerly desire to made capable and qualified to fill that role.
We could, once again, see the world being won to Christ if we, the follower of Jesus, would but humble ourselves and have the attitude in ourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, although existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Now, it is your turn:
HOW MUST YOU DO IT?
HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: I am saddened, as I have written this devotional today, that I know I am incapable and ineligible to fill the role I read about and teach about. Let’s please pray for one another, as the day draws near, that we will be found as willing and obedient servants to Christ and to one another.