The Teaching of the King Matthew 16:13-20:34, cont’d.
Matthew 20:17-28-Servanthood is a Sign of Greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 20:17-19-This is perhaps the clearest explanation of the death and resurrection that Jesus has given the disciples, so far.
Matthew 20:20-24-Jesus had previously spoken about greatness in the Kingdom (chapter 18). Perhaps that had the mother of James and John thinking. Did she remember what Jesus had said to Peter and she didn’t want her boys to be in a lesser position of leadership. I wonder if the sons had her ask Jesus because they thought He would respond more positively to her request than if they made it, themselves? Jesus makes it clear that the Father makes the decisions for such matters. Now the rest of the disciples are upset that they requested such a thing. Jesus was aware of what they were thinking so He decides to straighten the matter out. He tells them that they are thinking like men of the world…that being, greatness is a matter of power and control over others. Jesus tells them that it isn’t that way in the kingdom of heaven. There, greatness comes from serving others. He, Himself, is the perfect model of that truth.
Matthew 20:29-34-Leadership in the Kingdom
Matthew 20:29-34-It is amazing that the crowd told these blind men to be quiet! Were they afraid that Jesus would run out of miraculous power if He healed them…and not have enough left over for the rest? Or, were they trying to get in line ahead of them. Or, could it be that they were embarrassed by them? Whatever the reason…Jesus paid the crowd no attention and healed the men. He was “moved with compassion” by their condition…while the crowd was disturbed by the commotion of their cries. It interesting that this miracle follows right on the heels of Jesus teaching the disciples about greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven being characterized by being a servant. Here is a wonderful principle of leadership. People will follow you…when they know that you care about them enough to serve them…you’re not just trying to use them for yourself. Notice that v. 34 says, “…Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.”
Prayer: Lord, we usually want to lead…teach us to serve.