Summary: In our hurting, sinful world there is a great need for believers to sacrificially put themselves out in service to the Lord. Learn more by reading todays message.
After having given their lives to Christ, Robert and Dorothy Hoppe wanted to serve Him. When they finished their studies at the Wycliffe Institute of Linguistics they felt called to serve the Malayo people in Columbia, South America where they would translate the Word of God into their language.They were allowed by the natives to live among them under the condition
that they lived in their huts, ate their food, spoke their language and wore their clothes. The natives didn’t think they would be willing to come under those
circumstances. But they were willing, more than willing! Two tiny mud-walled, thatched-roofed, dirt floor huts became their home. They wore Indian clothes and didn’t cut their hair in keeping with tribal customs. Furthermore, they learned to eat rotten
fish, curdled milk and rat meat. Life among the Malayo people was not easy as these missionaries faced many hardships and much hostility. But they lived their
gladly, more than willing to serve and suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Robert and Dorothy Hoppe knew what it meant to “DRINK OF THE CUP” of our Lord. In the deepest sense of its meaning, they were “PARTAKERS OF THE LORD’S CUP...”
And they did it willingly and joyfully. They never complained. They did something the Lord expects all of His followers to do: “drink of His cup.” The phrase “drink of His cup” has a double meaning. To share in one’s “cup” was to share in one’s fortunes or misfortunes. The “cup” Jesus spoke of was the cup
of suffering which He was going through, a cup which would climax on the cross. It was His “cup,” His lot to
bear in His person the wrath of God’s judgment upon sin. For the believer the cup would be the sharing of Christ’s lot with Him, a solidarity in suffering between the believer and Christ. Drinking of the
cup of the Lord involves much more than just partaking of a cup of wine or grape juice at a communion
table. Christ makes this very clear in our morning text.
During the last days of Jesus’ life, His disciples’ concerns were, unfortunately, far different from His.
As the rejection and ridicule of His people as well as the pain and agony of the cross loomed ahead of Him, He had hoped the disciples might understand the
impending crisis.But they didn’t. They were bickering among themselves about who would be the greatest. They were preoccupied with a special place they might have in Christ’s kingdom. They were thinking in terms of power, prestige, position and privilege. They were looking for ease and comfort. Christ, however, was thinking in terms of submission, sacrifice, suffering and service. Erroneously thinking that Jesus was
about to inaugurate a new government on earth, James and John had a special request. Hence, in vs. 37 of our
text they said to Jesus, “LET ONE OF US SIT AT YOUR RIGHT AND THE OTHER AT YOUR LEFT IN YOUR GLORY.” They
desired the two most prominent positions. They had misunderstood the true nature of the conflict.
They had failed to recognize what Christ was all about: what He expected of them.
They had it all wrong. So Jesus said to then the words of vs.38, “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE ASKING. CAN YOU DRINK OF THE CUP THAT I DRINK?” “The two disciples did not really know what they were asking. The way to privileged position in the Kingdom of God is not by grabbing for power but by relinquishing it through suffering and service.” Christ was asking them if they had what it takes to really follow Him. Would they be willing to pay the price of true discipleship? If the disciples were to share in Christ’s triumph they would have to share in his suffering. He was telling them that there is no crown without a cross. The word “cup” that Jesus used in His response to the disciples’ request was an anticipatory reference to His prayer in Gethsemane. Mark 14:36 tells us that while in Gethsemane Jesus prayed saying, FATHER, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU. TAKE THIS CUP FROM ME. YET NOT WHAT I WILL, BUT WHAT YOU WILL.” For Christ, the “cup” meant suffering, misunderstanding, betrayal, ridicule and the agony of the cross. The cup, symbolizing trouble and suffering as it does here, is a frequent theme of the Old Testament. (see Psalm 75:8 and Isaiah 51:17) Thus, when Jesus asked His disciples if they
could “DRINK OF THE CUP” He was asking them if they would be willing to endure trouble, suffering, hardship, sacrifice and even death for Him. He was asking them if they would be willing to “TAKE UP THEIR CROSS AND FOLLOW HIM…”(Matthew 16:24).
“PARTAKING OF THE CUP OF THE LORD” means to endure hardship and even suffering for Christ and the Kingdom of God. In our hurting, sinful world there is a great need for believers to sacrificially put themselves out in service to the Lord. The enemy is relentless and tenacious and if we are to be used by Christ to make a difference we must be willing to suffer. One aspect of the Christian life is that it is a warfare against the