Summary: Jesus talks with the mother of two of His disciples about being a servant.

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Fourth In The Series: “Conversations With Christ”

Matthew 20:20-28


20 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- (last)

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."


Verse 21: “What do you want?”

Verse 22: “You don’t know what you are asking.”

Verse 26: “Not so with you.”

· Verse 28: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Maybe we are so tired because we forgot that Jesus stands asking “what do you want?”

Maybe we all need to get our “asking” straightened out?

Maybe we need to rethink our model…is it Gentile or Kingdom?

Maybe we need to ask ourselves if we are looking to be served or to serve?

Maybe some of us here need to be ransomed?

We are learning that a conversation with Jesus usually doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would before we began.

We are learning that Jesus has the ability to identify our heart attitude rather than to just address the obvious question or the apparent issue.

Illustration: Potted Plant (SLIDE)

It seems to me that the basic issue Jesus is dealing with here is what it means to be a servant.

· When this conversation took place, Jesus was at the height of his popularity in Israel.

· His disciples were anxious bout being recognized as members of His chosen insider-group.

· The story is made more interesting by the presence of Mrs. Zebedee, wife of a Galilean fisherman and mother to James and John.

· She was proud of her sons and looking out for their best interests.

· She wanted her boys to have thrones #2 and #3.

· The other disciples were livid…they weren’t about to give up those coveted thrones without a fight.

· You see, at this point they were confident that Jesus was going to set up a literal kingdom and they were going to be big shots.

· Boy, were they in for a big surprise!

This whole business of looking out for one’s self…this me-first thing is certainly prevalent today…even among Christ’s followers.

One might argue; “It’s just the way it is.”

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