When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 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. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—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.”
Not So With You
Devotion based on Matthew 20:24-28
See series: Devotions
Government officials are a good gift of God, and God has called us to respect such leaders (Romans 13:1-7). But during an election year, it can be hard to watch all the backbiting and nastiness among politicians.
Jesus saw this same kind of attitude among his disciples. They were filled with envy, jockeying for positions of honor. He said that’s how the government officials of their day acted. They fought for places of power and control at any cost. But then he looked at his disciples and said, “Not so with you.”
You see, Jesus’ kingdom has different values than the kingdoms of this world. In the kingdoms of this world, it is all about power and prestige. It’s about lording control over others.
Jesus says that his kingdom is completely different. In Jesus’ kingdom, the first are last and the last are first. The greatest are those who are servants and slaves to all.
Jesus didn’t just preach these values, he lived them to the extreme. He did not take a throne of power, but he was lifted up on a cross in weakness. He did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life on the cross to buy our freedom from our sins.
Now Jesus calls us to live in his kingdom and spread the values of his kingdom to everyone. This means we protect and care for children and all the marginalized. It means we love those who have lost their way. It means we forgive others as we have been forgiven by Jesus. What a different, and wonderful, way to live!
Lord God, thank you for the blessing of government to keep outward peace in society. Thank you for the even greater gift of my King, Jesus Christ, who rules in my heart with love. Amen.