"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Matthew 20:17-34 -- That Strange, Strange Jesus!

Continuing on in Matthew 20, we have Jesus predicting his death and resurrection. He told his disciples it was coming, but I suppose it was so, ummm, radical to talk about your own death and being raised to life, that they likely dismissed what he had to say or pondered it as just one of those eccentric things Jesus sometimes talked about.  Perhaps it was one of those parables he was so fond of that the disciples didn't always get at first listen.  Maybe they were too literal to "get" Jesus' more spiritual meaning.

Speaking of oddities, how about the moral at the end of this little exchange? I'll bold it for you. I want you to see this strange talk.

 20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
   21 “What is it you want?” he asked.
   She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
   22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”
   “We can,” they answered.
 23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
 24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 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.”

Jesus called attention to how the rulers of the Gentiles lorded over people, but he said "not so with you."  Jesus told them if they wanted to be great not to ask to sit at his right or left hand in his kingdom, but to serve others.  For Jesus, the way to be great was to serve!  Radical!

No wonder he is so great!

I also noticed from this how Jesus asked if the brothers were prepared to drink his cup (vs. 22) and then how he said they indeed would drink from his cup (v. 23).  That could be nothing but the way it was translated or a nit-picky thing I noticed during this reading, but still.  Jesus drank the cup, we drink from it.  Maybe only small sips or a gulp or two here and there. But he drank it all.  What does this cup represent to you? And drinking from it?

Don't you love how Jesus didn't come to be served, but to serve others!  He's so different from most leaders who want special privileges and exceptions to the rules. I respect people who lead by example.

The chapter ends with two blind men calling out for Jesus to restore their sight.  The crowd told them to hush, but instead they hollered louder.  Jesus stopped, asked what they wanted and when they asked for their sight,

 34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

I love this Jesus who can give sight to the blind and wants to serve others rather than be served! 



Suroor said...

I understand all that you wanted to say but didn't :)

Agree with you. Jesus is the best!

Susanne said...

Ha, ha....you made me laugh.

You know me well! :D

Lat said...

I understood too! :)

And yes Jesus is an awesome strange man!

Amber said...

My notes on the verses where Christ reminds them that the Gentile rulers lord it over their followers says that He was calling them out on the inappropriateness of their dispute. He had just revealed a great mystery - the foundation of their salvation and they were bickering about who got to be on which side - a very earthly concern. :)

I thought this note from my Bible was interesting too: "Christ calls His Crucifixion a cup and His death a baptism. The Cross is a cup because He drank it willingly (Heb. 12:2). His death is baptism, for He was completely immersed in it, yet it cleansed the world (Rom. 6:3-6). Christ's prophecy of John and James participating in the same cup and baptism shows the life of persecution and martyrdom they would lead after Pentecost."

Excellent post!

Susanne said...

Lat, ha, ha! Your last line made me smile! :-D

Amber, oooo, thanks for what you shared. Yes,I always figured it had to do with their being persecuted and/or killed for their faith. I appreciate your adding this from your Bible notes!

observant observer said...

I love Jesus so much, anytime I imagine Him standing in front of me, I'd rush to kneel down, bow or perhaps lay to the ground....(LOL), I mean I can see Him as a brother, a friend, a teacher, a Divine authority at the same time. At least everytime I remember Him, my heart melt, and all those hardness, ego,self consciousness , anxiousness, have to be reconsidered and find peace instead.
I guess, for Jesus having these qualities to be admired so much, I wonder how can I be blamed for noticing Him as the Lord of my soul, heart and mind? I can't imagine that God the Father would punish me to hell for recognizing His Son as my saviour.....

Susanne said...

I enjoyed your reaction to Jesus, OO! Thanks for sharing that. So sweet. :)