March 13, 2013

The Why of His Coming

Matthew 20:20-28

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
—Matthew 20:28


With their mother’s help, James and John managed to rile their fellow disciples with a curious request. They wanted to have the most honored positions when Jesus set up his kingdom. What a misunderstanding of the kingdom of God!

Jesus used this selfish request to teach about his suffering and his purpose for coming. “You don’t know what you are asking,” he said. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” Clueless, they answered, “We can.” Considering the suffering that “cup” actually involved, we cringe at their arrogant response. How dare they?

It’s no surprise that the other ten disciples were indignant with James and John. What an attitude of self-promotion instead of serving!

Jesus quickly called them all together and gave a talk on serving instead of superiority, suffering instead of status. Can you imagine Jesus pointing a finger at each of them as he taught?

Only Jesus could drink the cup of suffering that was called for with his coming. And yet, even Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me” (Matthew 26:39). But he submitted to the Father’s will and drank it—for our sake.

What a servant! What a Savior!

Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us the way of serving, even when it includes suffering. Grant us the determina-tion to be servants in your kingdom, not status seekers. To your glory, Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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