Mother’s don’t change much, haven’t changed much in 2000 years. We don’t change much either. In Matthew 20 Jesus is teaching on servanthood and talking about his impending death unjustly administered albeit for the sins of the world. He begins by telling a story of out of work laborers hired throughout a day and some thinking that it wasn’t fair that they were all paid the same as those hired first. The first comers thought it unfair that the latecomers got the same reward.
v13 says “I am not being unfair … didn’t you agree … 15 don’t I have the right …”
The issue underlying is that none of us were anything till Jesus called us and any reward is more than we had or deserve.
So then, Jesus says in vv18-19 “we are going to Jerusalem … I will be betrayed … they will condemn me to death 19 turn me over … mocked, flogged, and crucified. On the 3rd day he will be raised to life.”
Are they LISTENING? Crucifixion, was a brutal public humiliation of an execution. This SHOULD have gotten their attention.
Then did they hear him say that he would be raised to life? Resurrection talk should have gotten their attention. This conversation could have gone in many directions. If they were listening … But James and John’s Mother, Zebedee’s wife comes and says “Jesus I have a favor to ask.” v20 says she had the boys, who weren’t little boys, but young men, kneel down at Jesus’ feet.
Then if i can paraphrase, she says “Jesus can my boys have the big chair in your kingdom?”
Jesus replies “you don’t know what you are asking” he says “Can you drink the same cup as me?”
They weren’t listening earlier … this cup involved condemnation to death, mocking, flogging, and crucifixion
But they said “we can”. and Jesus says “You will, but the chair is not yours and it is at the Father’s discretion.”
v24 says that the other 10 were not very happy … I think probably because THEY wanted the big chair too. This wasn’t the first time this discussion had come up but it was the first time they had played the “mom card”
Jesus replies, and here is where we need to pay attention, “we don’t serve to be rulers or just an authority for it’s own sake …”
He says “whoever wants the big chair (to be great) must be our servant, whoever wants to be first must be your slave, just as the son of Man didn’t come to BE served but to give his life”
That is to say to appoint your life for disposal. The word didomai means give, appoint, grant, allow
as a ransom for many … ransom is the word lytron atonement … give one for another
Oh can we live as if we were in someone’s stead?
Can we fix our eyes to the cross of Christ and look away from the Big Chair?
When we become servants, servants appointing ourselves for service, we find we HAVE the Big Chair, but that is for God to give not for us to seek.
Lord give me the towel and not the chair