Read: Matthew 20:17-34
Jesus, our Servant King, sets the example for us – to serve, not to be served
The mother of James and John comes to Jesus with an ambitious request for her sons – close to the King. She wanted prominent positions for her sons in the messianic administration of Jesus. Jesus’ reply reflects His remarkable submission to His Father. He would not even claim the right to choose how His servants were rewarded, but yielded that to His Father. Jesus also reminds them that to follow Him was to participate in His suffering.
Jesus’ other ten disciples were displeased. “The indignation of the ten doubtless sprang less from humility than jealousy plus fear that they might lose out.” (Carson). Jesus reminds them there is a distinction between the Gentiles and the people of God. In the Kingdom community, the criteria for leadership are never to be status, money, popularity, etc but humble service, as exemplified by Christ. Jesus is the ultimate example for us of humility as our Servant King (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus driven by His deep love for His disciples washes their feet (Matthew 26:14-39) and lays down His life for them (John 15:13).
Real ministry is focused on those being ministered to and is not done for the benefit of the one who ministers. Many people are in ministry for what they can receive – materially or emotionally. What motivates your desire for leadership and service? Are you reflecting Jesus your Servant King as you serve?