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Called to Servanthood 051811
Leave to a mother to argue for her sons. In today’s scripture from Matthew, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James (not the author of the book of James) and John. She pleads with Jesus to award her sons the seats on the left hand and right hand of God.
So, we’ve got the message that those two seats are not to be awarded, but there’s a message for the rest of us also (those who never thought we’d ever be in the running for a seat next to God anyway).
Jesus speaks of his own servanthood, and that he was brought to earth to serve, and to be the ransom for many.
In our own small and humble lives, service and servanthood is our life’s mission, and not to be exalted. The world tells us to seek rewards, and to seek awards, but our real purpose, our real work is to serve. This service takes many forms and paths; perhaps we are called to be a good parent or grandparent. Perhaps service to the church, or to the poor may be our calling. That choice is between you and Jesus.
But we are called to servanthood. Quiet, simple, humble servanthood. There is no publicity or pride in this. We are to serve, and to keep it quiet.
Pray for peace and pray for your own direction from God in how to be a servant.
1Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
3Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
5For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
23Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. 2Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. 3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord. 5The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.” 7Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, “As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,” 8but “As the Lord lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.” Then they shall live in their own land.
17While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, 18“See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; 19then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised.”
20Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. 21And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 26It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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