June 28

Text: Matthew 20:25-27

But Jesus called them to Himself, and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; (NASB)

If we wanted to give these verses a caption, we might say, “Jesus Places the 12 In a Timeout.”  It is amazing to note how often Jesus hammered the point that God’s kingdom was different, and how often the 12 just did not get it.  Jesus’ positions were simply too radical, too different to be taken seriously.  Israel told the disciples differently too long.  Their reaction: “Sure, sure.  You are kidding—are you not?”

Jesus’ positions are still too radical.  We have the same problem.  “Anger over how people treat God, but no anger over how people treat us.  Forgiving enemies.  Not worrying about our material future.  Motives are as important as behavior.  Making righteous behavior and motives our number one priority.  Doing right when others around us do wrong.  Be harmless but wise.  The avenue to rest is Jesus’ harness.  God values compassion above sacrifices.  Discipleship makes a person family to Jesus.”  Do we take him seriously?

Today we often give a child a “time out” to get his/her total attention.  The “time out” says, “Listen to me!  Your behavior (or concepts) are unacceptable and will not be tolerated!”

Jesus again tried to get the 12’s attention and understanding.  “God’s kingdom does NOT function as do human kingdoms.  It is NOT about proving how much authority or power one has.  It is about serving others.  Serving others is the avenue to spiritual greatness!”  Though Jesus was plain and direct, there still will be evidence that they did not “get it”—yet!  Jesus’ patience was and is incredible!

Suggestion for reflection: How does the Lord get your attention?  Does he need to?  (Read Ephesians 4:17-24.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell