22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. –Matthew 20:22-24 (KJV)
Start praying for greatness and we are going to be humbled. Start praying for a servant’s heart and we will be exalted – at the proper time. After this request, Jesus turned to James and John and said, “Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.” Jesus was talking about a cup of crucifixion, suffering, sacrifice, pain, humiliation, and martyrdom. How many at that point might have said, “Okay, maybe not,” and walked away. Nevertheless, what is amazing to me is that the two remained and without hesitation said, “We are able.” I will give these men an “A” for guts and courage. How many of us would endure the lashings and then the horror of the cross? I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
Jesus said something that again I am surprised did not send them running for their lives, “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with:” Again, be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it. Jesus told them they would indeed share His cup and His baptism, which was figurative language for self-sacrifice and a martyr’s death. However, Jesus reminded them that who will sit at His right and left hand in glory is in God’s hands. Do not try to circumvent God’s plan, will, or purpose. Not even one of the apostles had such power.
Are you surprised that when the other disciples heard all of this they became indignant? They began to grumble and in essence said, who do they think they are? Their response is understandable. Anytime we perceive someone’s desire is to rise above us in some way we feel put off, do we not? Jesus decided to teach them all a lesson on humility.
We are not like the world and the world’s methods for exercising authority over people. We win the world to Christ though love. Our authority is not from ourselves, but from Jesus Christ and the Word of God.
3 key truths in Matthew 20:26-28
- Whoever wants to be great must be a servant.
- Whoever desires to be first must be a slave, or be like one.
- Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. He is our example.
God bless you today.