The Chosen film series is gaining popularity by giving the disciples of Jesus personalities that you and I might have. The writers, producers and director are driven by the Biblical account while presenting what the followers might have felt when hearing Jesus’ words of teaching. We see Jesus as a patient, loving man, always delivering a lesson while knowing what lies ahead for him as the Son of Man as He calls Himself.
Jesus is also God’s Son. He is saddened with righteous anger at those who claim to know God but use their power to oppress God’s chosen people. The claim of what they think God wants by the religious elite does not fulfill God’s Law. In fact, their way sets aside the intent of God’s Law while replacing it with their manmade laws and small thinking along with their unholy actions and judgements. Jesus came to set things right. Jesus came to show the world who God is and what He really wants from all of us. Jesus came to fulfill God’s Law as well as God’s words given to the Prophets proclaiming the Savior Messiah centuries before Jesus came.
Yes, Jesus is the Son of God and He is on earth for a little while and He is also Son of Man with human emotional feelings and physical traits of man. Jesus is Son of God, sent by God with a mission to seek and to save the lost. Jesus, Son of Man, goes to the Father before doing or saying anything concerning His mission so He will accomplish it exactly the way God tells Him to be and do it. This is who Jesus is.
Jesus reminds The Twelve again of what is going to happen, but they still can’t quite comprehend the sacrifice part of the mission of Jesus…yet. Remember that Judas, who will betray Jesus is among The Twelve who hears what Jesus is saying but is going his own way in his heart. Judas wants revolution of a different kind. Jesus wants the revolution of souls saved and restored to God. Judas cannot get used to different.
In the meantime, human selfishness and power-hungry attitudes they have grown accustomed to among religious leaders, rises in the hearts of the disciples. How sad, that just as Jesus has finished reminding them how He will suffer a sacrificial death according to scriptures, the mother of James and John butts in to ask for position in the Kingdom for her sons, James and John! Friends, are we not embarrassed for her? Talk about inappropriate timing, wrong thinking, not to mention the rest of the disciples thinking of James and John as “momma’s boys”. So, then they all argue about who will sit with Jesus in His Kingdom!!
We might get disgusted at this scenario, but don’t we occasionally do the same? Don’t we sometimes feel we are beneath some of the “dirty” work of ministry, the suffering and pain and the mocking while we serve at times? We want appreciation and less judgement. We crave a pat on the back instead of a slap on the face. Get used to different thinking, Jesus points out.
Matthew—God’s Law Fulfilled
Matthew 20:17-28, NLT
Jesus Again Predicts His Death
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. 18 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romansto be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”
Jesus Teaches about Serving Others
20 Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. 21 “What is your request?” he asked.
She replied, “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”
22 But Jesus answered by saying to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?”
“Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”
23 Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”
24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
PAUSE TO REFLECT
How is our serve?
Do we seek self-satisfaction with that “feel good” feeling for bending down to serve?
Do we serve simply because the Spirit of God prompted us to serve?
Do we serve well, in the most excellent way, for the audience of One, God, Himself?
Is our serve given to others because we love God?
Does our serve bring glory, honor and praise to God who invited us to serve?
This is a lot to think about but it is important to ponder. Samuel, priest of God, explains what God truly desires from a servant’s heart;
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22, NLT
Jesus fulfills this scripture with His very life… “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus left the throne of glory with perfect submission to God’s mission, laying down His life for ours. Jesus, perfect Savior, showed His perfect servant attitude that He wants us to follow. Be different in our attitude of serve, he teaches. Be like Jesus.
Paul elaborates the attitude of servanthood;
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:1-11, NLT
Get used to serving with a different attitude says Jesus. Get used to different thinking about the Kingdom of God. To those who believe, we are called children of God. His Kingdom now lives in us! Serve like our Savior!
Thank you for your lessons of obedience with servant attitudes of grateful submission to You. What you invite us to be and do is always perfect. Help us to respond with quick holy obedience to your Spirit’s promptings. To YOU be all glory, honor and praise for the outcome!
In Jesus Name, Amen