Sunday, May 14, 2017

Devotion 5.15.17

I had a friend a long time back, early in my career, who pursued the principalship around the same time I did.  We had studied together, and he was an intimidating figure in terms of his overwhelming intelligence.  His biggest problem however was himself. To make matters worse, he was very competitive and didn't handle rejection well.  He placed himself on committees and in some cases demanded to be considered for positions of leadership, rather than waiting to be asked.  What made it awkward was no one really liked working with him.

Imagine, then, the strain on our relationship when I was asked to move into administration well before he was (both home grown products of the district to boot).  I was 10 years his younger, and I had only been in the classroom for about five years.  He agonized aloud to me after I was selected to become an assistant principal about his perception that people didn't recognize his potential.  It was, in a word, difficult.  I said little other than maybe one day he would get his shot. 

Jesus is placed in that situation when the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, comes to him and kneels before him and asks him to consider that one son sit at His left and the other at His right.  "Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand, and the other at your left, in your kingdom."  (Matthew 20:20 and 21)  Kneel before Christ out of humility and tell him to appoint her sons as his favored counsel because, hey, he's clearly moving up in this world.  Christ says she doesn't know what she's asking and that they don't know if they can drink from the cup he's to drink from.  James and John insist they can, so Christ says, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right and left hand is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." They continue to be indignant, indicating they truly do not understand what they are asking, and Christ finally says the leaders of the Gentiles exert great authority over their people;  however, "It shall not be so among you.  Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (26 - 28)

Jesus leads by serving.  We learn that those who are great leaders among us are those who understand that critical role, that of service.  We trust those in our midst who are willing to get dirty with the rest of us.  Christ showed beyond that with His love that He was willing to die for us, dirty as we are.

Pray that we learn from Christ the role of service as we seek to teach and share the message of the good news of Christ.

Hope Men's Ministry

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