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And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. [1]

Source: Matthew 20:24-28

I can see my mom doing this. The mother of James and John wanted Jesus to bestow on her two sons the honor of sitting next to him in the Kingdom. Why not, I am sure she is thinking. Somebody is going to sit there. Why not my sons? And of course, Jesus had said ask and you will receive. Jesus set her straight that she did not know what she was asking for.

Then Jesus had to address the riot that ensued with the other 10. Man were they bent out of shape with James and John. Jesus is going to use this as an object lesson. This is what we call a “teachable moment” for the new covenant (aka contract, agreement, or plan).

How is it going to be in the Kingdom of God? That is a central question I should concern myself with. I need to devote my energy to the passion that will bring in my life. The way of Jesus in the new covenant is radically different from the normal religious life. Just read the Manifest of Jesus (Matthew 5 – 7). May I let it sink into my heart.

What is my goal in the Kingdom? I am to be a servant. That needs to be the core of what is in my heart, what I think and what I do. As much as I can focus on that goal, the better aligned with God’s purpose I will be. It is not simple, and it is not easy. I am ok with it for a little while, but it gets tiresome being a servant day in and day out.

How will I learn how to be a servant? Jesus shows me the way and will show me the way. All Jesus focused on was doing what God, his Father, wanted him to do. Jesus has given me the Holy Spirit to provide me the power for what I cannot normally do myself. Thank goodness for the mercy of God on me, someone who misses God’s goal (aka sin).

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 20:24–28). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.