Summary: God requires believers to be humble in terms of our service.
Life-Line For Jesus Community Church Lorenzo Nicholson Sr. 8:am 9/9/01 Matt 20:20-21 Humility, The way To Greatness
Matt 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
We live in a very competitive society wherein competition is inevitable in almost everything that we do. It is seen frequently in matters pertaining to the business world. There was a time when it was not acceptable for a company to speak or imply anything negative against another company while advertising or promoting its own product. This does not stand true today. It is common to see this kind of activity in everyday advertising. When one does this, the intention is to belittle the other company and its product while at the same time build up ones own company. The same is true in the church world and even within congregations. People seem to have inbred desires to be greater then others. There is often the desire to dominate, be above, or to be greater than others. This is the “sin nature”, which tries to dominate the believer. There is a sinful influence that drives one who strives to dominate or be greater than others in a selfish manner.
I. The influence of the first sin passed on from generation to generation and is seen in those who have the desire to be the greater person.
A. Gen 4:3 “…it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
1. Cain killed his brother in a jealous rage because of his inbred desire to be the greater person.
2. Cain did not possess a spirit of humility. He wanted to be the one who dominated in offerings. He wanted to be greater in offering giving. Sin had dominion over him.
3. In Romans 6:14 the bible says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you.” The desire to have dominion or to be selfishly greater than others comes about as a result of sin having dominion in the life.
II. There are those who worship God in an attempt to get him to gratify their selfish desires. Selfish worship is to no avail for anyone. Note the scenario in our text:
A. Matt 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
1. Jesus discerned her motive for worshiping the way that she did. People do this today. They do all of the right things in an attempt to get God gratify their desire for greatness. How?
a. They worship intensely because they have heard that you have to worship God to get a response from him.
b. They praise God, not because he is worthy of praise, but because the feel that they will get something from him if they praise him.
III. Status cannot be an issue in kingdom work. Humility is the way to greatness. This is what God desires.
A. The desire to accomplish much or to be great should not be from selfish motives but rather to be equipped to do great things for God. There must simply be a desire to serve.
B. The woman who came to Jesus requesting that one of her sons sit on his right hand and the other sit on his left had selfish motives. This would certainly make her the greatest mother of all. Her sons would have the greatest positions.
C. Jesus took the time to let the woman know that status was not an issue in the kingdom and that “humility was the way to greatness.”
1. The disciples had this same desire to be the greatest. They were upset by the thought that this woman’s sons would have a greater position that they.