My Life in Words
Check in regularly for encouragement, advice, suggestions or just a good laugh.
While Dagney was reading to the girls the other day, Matthew 20:20-28 came up and it led to Dagney and I having a brief conversation after which I have continued to think about and form more thoughts about. The verses say:
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.”
What a bold request their mother made... Now, it is true that these sons of Zebedee were among the first three that Jesus chose to be his disciples in addition to Peter. It can also be said that these three were among his favorites based on what we read elsewhere in the Bible. However, this request was a big one. She was asking Jesus for her sons to be seated in the place of highest honor at his right hand and left hand in his Kingdom. When Jesus asks "can you drink from the cup I am going to drink," he is thinking about the cross while they are thinking about their place in his Kingdom. They were missing the point at this time...
In verse 24, it says “When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.” So, although it was the Mother of James and John that originally started this dialogue between all of them and it was James and John’s desire that they hold these positions next to Jesus in his Kingdom, the response of the ten shows they were exactly like them. Despite having not mentioned it first, each of them had the same ambition to hold this place of honor in the Kingdom. So, although the ten were “indignant with the two brothers,” they were all ultimately guilty of the same selfish ambition and all missed the point at that place in time…
However, I digress from my original thoughts about this overall situation. Getting back on track, in versus 25-28 Jesus 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.” In the Kingdom, status, wealth, popularity etc are not what Jesus is using as standards for those who are chosen. Humble service is as Jesus demonstrated himself. Ultimately, these men should have just been happy to be there... When I read this passage in the Bible, this is what comes to my mind. I would hope that these men would have been able to step back from thinking about "their place" in the Kingdom and would have simply thought about how blessed they were just to be there at that time with Jesus and to have had the experiences and time they had with him as well as understanding what this all meant for their eternal souls. This is a great lesson from our brothers of long ago that reminds us not to lose sight of what is important.
As my very first post, I was thinking it would be good just to share a little about what I have been doing in my daily life recently to continue on my walk through life... Recently, I started to do some awesome free online courses at Dallas Theological Seminary. You can find these classes here: https://courses.dts.edu/
From what I can see, there are about 109 classes designed to be done once a week, covering 16 topics. I personally don't want to talk a full 109 weeks (over 2 years) to complete these classes. So, I have been trying to do one class per day 5 or 6 days a week. At that rate, these will all still take about 19 - 22 weeks (basically around 5+ months) to complete all of them. And... Had you not already noticed, I am just a bit analytical. Haha. Figured that would be good to get out there during this first post as well... So far, these classes have been pretty fantastic. I would definitely suggest checking them out.
That'll be all for today so I can save more to talk about tomorrow. Hopefully, you will come back and read some more. Based on the last 48 years of my life, I can promise there will be some very entertaining and humorous moments here in some future posts.