Serving others As Jesus Did - Matt 20:19-28

Serving others As Jesus Did - Matt 20:19-28

Having been chosen and privileged to be in the ‘inner circle’ of the disciples of Jesus, that seemingly wasn’t enough. The apostles continually argued about which one of THEM was the greatest*.

Jesus had just made a promise unto them: “And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28) James and John move first to procure the end of the discussion by having Jesus declare them his main men. It appears that although their mother did the asking, they ‘put her up to it’ as Jesus switches from ‘her’ (vs. 21) to ‘ye’ (plural) and THEY answered.

The 10, upon hearing what had happened, were indignant! I wonder, because James and John asked or because they asked BEFORE the others could get around to it.

The request, the indignation, and the very attitudes that prompted this are wrong!

·       It is selfish.

·       It displays a lack of thankfulness for what we have already received.

·       It causes division.

·       It prevents serving (read again John’s account of the last supper!).

It is opposed to the very heart of Jesus’ life and teaching. He came to SERVE, and performed the ultimate service in laying down his life for us (cp. John 15:13).

John reminds us: “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)

Paul stated: For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;  and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. “ (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

Paul instructs us: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4).

Just looking at our own lives, we should see how far short of this we often fall! Who are you serving today? 

Hugh DeLong

*While it is difficult to put these in a chronological order, we see this argument time and again among the apostles: this is recorded by Matt and Mark (10:37-41), but other instances include Matt. 18:1; Luke 9:46; Mark 9:34; Luke 22:23; and of course, their unwillingness to wash each other’s feet in John 13.