Notes: November 22, 2009

Greatness In Heaven

“The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Why should it be different for his followers?

Matthew 20:17-28

Jesus forewarns his disciples of His ordeal in Jerusalem (v. 17-19)

  • betrayal
  • chief priests and scribes
  • death sentence from Sanhedrin
  • handed over to the Romans
  • mocking, scourging, crucifixion
  • resurrection on the third day

A mother’s loving but misguided request for her sons (v. 20-24)

  • the mother of James and John
  • desiring positions of honor for them in the kingdom
  • Are you able ?  We are able? (v. 22). Yes they will suffer persecution, too.
  • Those positions are not political favors that can be bought or bartered. Instead, they are pre-assigned seats for those whom God the Father has chosen.

The paradox of greatness (v. 24-28)

  • The other disciples were angry with James and John for the request.  After all, weren’t the twelve equals?
  • Jesus condemns the jealousy, and likens it to the power struggles of the unsaved (v. 25).
  • This must never be among his followers (v. 26).
  • To achieve greatness, one must serve others (v. 27).
  • The example of Jesus is paramount: he came to serve others by giving his life as a ransom for many.