The Unlikely Path to Greatness
Today’s reading: Matthew 19:1-21:22
My selection: Matthew 20:25-28
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
My reflections: The disciples showed again and again how out of sync they were with the Lord. Peter had tried to pin Jesus down on a maximum requirement for extending forgiveness to others (18:21). Jesus had shown him that those, who are forgiven, forgive freely. The twelve had rebuked those who brought the little children to Jesus (19:13-15). Jesus welcomed and blessed them. The disciples jockeyed for positions of power among themselves (20:20; Mark 10:35-45). Jesus taught them that should not be like the Gentiles, seeking to lord it over others, but that they should seek to serve and be slaves to others.
The disciples, minus Judas, would go on to learn these lessons and be faithful in the days following the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord. But the character changes were not instant.
My challenge: How are you out of sync with Jesus Christ? Is it your goal to forgive freely, to welcome others even though inconvenient, and to give your life as a servant and slave? Ponder what that means for you today. You may not attain greatness in this world but you will before the Lord. That is the greatness that really matters.
Tomorrow’s reading: Matthew 21:23-22:46