As the mother of boys, I can identify with the mother of Zebedee’s sons in Matthew chapter 20. Like her, my requests to Jesus about my sons grow out of my love; both she and I want the best for them as any mother would. This woman’s boys were two of the prominent disciples, James and John. In fact, they along with Peter were in Jesus’ inner circle. Many times in Scripture, we see these three with Jesus when the other nine are not. So she felt comfortable asking Jesus, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom” Matthew 20:21 (NKJ).
Jesus answered, explaining that she didn’t know what she was asking. A high cost came gaining those spots. Although the boys said they were able to handle it, Jesus still responded that those seats were reserved by God the Father. He went on to explain that “whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” Matthew 20:26-28 (NKJ).
That day, Jesus shifted the attention off of James and John and onto Himself. However, He told the disciples something about which they didn’t quite catch all the implications. “Whoever desires to become great…let him be your slave, just as the Son of Man [came]…to give His life as ransom for many”? What did Jesus mean by that?
Upon His resurrection, the disciples found out exactly what Jesus meant by that.
John 20:19-20 tells us of the evening after “Mary Magdalene… told the disciples that she had seen the Lord” (verse 18). It says, “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ Now when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you’” John 20:18-21 (NKJ).
In essence, Jesus was saying, “Remember that time when I told you if you wanted to be great, you’d have to become slaves? Remember how I said I would give my life as a ransom for many? Look guys. See these scars? These scars are why I was sent to you in the first place. These scars show what I came here to do. I came to get you to God. Now, for the same reason God sent me to you, I am sending you to others. I gave my life to save everybody. Now you live your lives to tell it.”
Paul later wrote that same message this way: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship” Romans 12:1 (NIV). In the rest of Romans chapter 12, Paul goes on to urge us to use our spiritual gifts. This is how we are “living sacrifices,” serving one another, giving to one another, and living our lives for one another.
Jesus was sent to be spent. As we live identified with Christ, we are sent to be spent too.
©2017 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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