Matthew – Fulfilled.
A little boy steps up to the batter’s box in his own backyard. He yells, “I’m the greatest batter in the world!” No one else is around to hear him except the fans in his mind who are cheering him on. The boy throws the ball up in the air with one hand then tries his best to hit the ball with the bat that is resting on his shoulder. He swings with all the power in him. In his head, the crowd goes wild. He misses the ball and shouts, “Strive one!”
He does not quit. He throws the ball up into the air again. He hears the cheering crowd in his head yelling, don’t give up! He swings…and misses the ball. “Strike two!”, he yells with the enthusiasm of the greatest announcer. One strike to go. Will he get it this time? He throws the ball into the air. He swings…and misses again. “Strike three!”, he shouts with the same confidence he had when he started. He then yells so the whole neighborhood can hear him, “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”
It seems to be in our nature from human birth to be the greatest. It doesn’t matter what it is we are doing or who we are with at the time. We want to be known as the greatest, the best, the one who has the inside track to all information. Wow. We are very much alike the little boy at times.
Jesus sets us straight about greatest and what is means in His Kingdom. How easy it is to lose focus of Jesus. When we take our eyes from Him, we begin to think like the world thinks. God’s Kingdom thinking is just the opposite of the world. Listen…
Matthew 20, The Message
To Drink from the Cup
17-19 Jesus, now well on the way up to Jerusalem, took the Twelve off to the side of the road and said, “Listen to me carefully. We are on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. They will then hand him over to the Romans for mockery and torture and crucifixion. On the third day he will be raised up alive.”
20 It was about that time that the mother of the Zebedee brothers came with her two sons and knelt before Jesus with a request.
21 “What do you want?” Jesus asked.
She said, “Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand.”
22 Jesus responded, “You have no idea what you’re asking.” And he said to James and John, “Are you capable of drinking the cup that I’m about to drink?”
They said, “Sure, why not?”
23 Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. My Father is taking care of that.”
24-28 When the ten others heard about this, they lost their tempers, thoroughly disgusted with the two brothers. So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”
What do we learn?
–Jesus served. To think and behave like Jesus, our LORD, we serve.
–God, the Father, is the One and Only greatest. We are not.
–Ready to drink Jesus “cup” of sacrifice? Ready to serve?
Dear Heavenly Father,
I repent of striving to be “great” in this world. Heal my eye sight and help me stay focused on You, dear Jesus. Help me to think and behave more like You taught us. Help us to serve without thinking of any reward, but to just serve. Peace and joy follows serving. Being like You in this way gives us pure contentment. Thank you for this lesson. Now, help us live it today. All day long. In Jesus Name, Amen