Their mom was just trying to look out for her boys; every loving parent longs to do likewise. But her request? For Jesus to place one of her sons at His right hand in heaven, and the other son at His left.
When the other disciples heard what had been requested, they became indignant. Yet Jesus’ response suggests that perhaps what they were most upset about was not making the request first! Knowing the hearts of everyone, Christ took the opportunity to address the bigger issue – human pride – the desire for the best, to be first, and so on. Listen to Jesus’ wise answer:
…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — 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. (Matthew 20:26-28)
I once heard a brave preacher say, “Every Christian is on board one of two ships. They’re either on a cruise ship or a battleship. Those on a cruise ship expect comfort and to be served by others. Those on a battleship are willing to serve because they know they’re at war with an enemy.”
Please don’t get me wrong. There are times to relax and be refreshed – we all need such times. Even Jesus took time away to be by Himself (Mark 1:35). But some of us need to be reminded that our Christian journey isn’t to be lived out on the deck of a cruise ship. Jesus can use “all hands on deck” because the harvest is great, but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37).
Be honest with yourself – which ship are you currently on? A cruise ship or a battleship? –Dave
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