Matthew 20:20-28 lead or serve?

Matt 20:20-28

Matt 20:20-28 where James and John’s mom  makes the request of Jesus for them.

Then there is infighting among the disciples.

continue the “ thinking differently” theme Jesus is bringing them too.


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.”

[The incident seems to have arisen from the promise of the twelve thrones in Matthew 19:28, and is significant as showing how utterly misunderstood was the true nature of the Messianic 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.

     [what would have been a better response?]

     [What were they missing?]

     [ What were they putting their trust in?]

23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup,

     [the reality of what happened to James and John]

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.

     [why the infighting?]

     [ What might they have been thinking?]

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.

     [ typical attitudes of “LEADERS”]

     ILLUS – amazon books


          Servant leadership

          Servant hood

26 Not so with you.

[summary or promise ]

Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave

[ prescription ]

[ thinking differently ]

        Greatest in Kingdom – Matthew 18 / child

        Forgiveness – Matthew 18:15&22/ 77 or 7×70

        Marriage value – Matthew 19 – not disposable

        Little children value – Matthew 19

        Rich, Camel, & Heaven – Matthew 19

        Generosity of God vs. earned rewards Matthew 20

      [ and what’s the trouble in this account?]

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.”

[Lead by serving]

[ just serve ]