Summary: It is all too easy to get our eyes on things that we do not need to be concerned about. We get off focus and cause troubles for ourselves and for others around us. Hear what Jesus has to say about this matter.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (KJV)
33 Mas buscad primeramente el reino de Dios y su justicia, y todas estas cosas os serán añadidas. (RVG04)
Mt. 20:20-27 Central Text
Mr. 10:35-41 Supplemental Text
Synomonous terms: kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven, kingdom of Christ
The psalmist David foretold that it is an everlasting kingdom (Ps. 145:13)
Daniel prophesied that it is a kingdom that will never be destroyed (Dan. 2:44)
It is a spiritual kingdom now, but one day, it will be, at least, in part, a material and physical kingdom. Revelation 5:10 speaks of us as kings and priests, reigning on the earth. This is what is called "the millenium".
From that point, we will continue in the kingdom of God, in a new location, affectionately known as Heaven.
Some would debate as to when this kingdom officially began. Jesus spoke of it both in present and future tenses. Since Satan is the prince of this world (Jn. 12:31), the entrance of this kingdom was not truly recognized on earth until Christ arose from the dead, showing Himself triumfant over death, hell, and the grave.
So let us seek the kingdom of God, but do it correctly, and with the right motives. We are not of this "Kingdom Now" group. A number of them mistakenly believe that we are literally reigning at this moment, upon the earth.
GOOD TRY, BAD WRONG
James and John, the sons of Zebedee must have been part of the "sanctified wholly" crowd. Even their mother was inclined to that idea.
17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: (KJV)
17 a Jacobo, hijo de Zebedeo, a Juan hermano de Jacobo; a quienes puso por sobrenombre Boanerges, que es, Hijos del trueno; (RVG04)
The Lord Himself named them "sons of thunder". They were zealous for sure, but sometimes hotheaded.
I. Get Momma to Do It. (Mt. 20:20,21)
They came to Jesus with their mother.
They knew how to worship, but one has to wonder if they were not trying to butter Jesus up for their request.
Surely if momma speaks for us, the Lord will be more understanding. And besides, it makes us not look so proud.
In Mark 10:35, we see how they really were. "Give us what we want" would be the southern USA terminology of 2012.
All in all, it is very clear that these guys did not understand much about the kingdom of God. Mabye they were on an ego trip. Maybe they thought it was a great retirement package. Surely they wanted to be recognized as being highly important.
Evidently, mother was willing to do it. I am sure that she was proud of her boys. She would willingly put herself out on a limb to get them a special favor. She wasn't doing it for herself, but for them.
IL.: G. Campbell Morgan had 4 sons who all became preachers. Once, a person came into their family room and asked Howard; one of the sons" "who is the greatest preacher of the family?" Howard looked across the room at his dad, whom he loved very much, and quickly replied, "Mother".
IL.: Thomas Edison was sent home from school as a youth. His teacher sent a note for his mother which stated, "your child is dumb, we can not do anything for him". His mother decided to teach Thomas herself at home. Well, you know the rest of the story.
II. The Lord's Reply
Jesus told them in short order that they did not even understand what they were asking for.
They could share in His suffering and even follow through the ordinance of baptism.
There would be no acts of favoritism. No one can pull political strings to get them a spiritual bonus in heaven.
Christ declares that God the Father will make that decision and He may have already decided on that matter.
It appears that the Lord was trying to get the focus of these disciples back to the present where they were needed for ministry.
It has been said that some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. Maybe that is where James and John were headed if it were not for this reality lesson from Christ.
III. Facing the Rest of the Team
The other 10 disciples could not believe the gall of James and John.
No one likes for someone else to sneak in ahead of them and get first dibbs on what everyone else has worked equally for.
Jealousy is an age old problem and even gets a hold of the most spiritual people.