March 23, 2020

Upside Down

Matthew 20:20-28

“Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

—  Matthew 20:21

The mother of Zebedee’s sons met Jesus. She wanted Jesus to give special honor to her sons, James and John. Jesus responded with love to all three of them, but he made clear that they had missed the point of what he was doing.

When it comes to Jesus and the people who follow him, the main goal is not honor but humility. A little later Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”

To many people, this makes no sense. It seems upside down. Usually the rulers and the servants are opposites. But Jesus changed things by what he himself did. Jesus is God, and Jesus had all the power and authority in the universe. But in order to become human, like us, Jesus gave up that power. Jesus even willingly suffered and died on a cross to pay for our sin. And because of God’s great justice and mercy, Jesus’ humility and service resulted in something amazing and great: the salvation of the world and the defeat of death.

Because Jesus reigns, humble service leads to great success. It seems like an upside-down way of understanding things, but it makes sense because of what Jesus has done and how Jesus has loved the world. Let’s receive the love of God, and let’s show that amazing love to the world.

God of humble greatness, thank you for showing us the power of service in the way that Jesus loves us. Help us to love one another the same way. Amen.

About the author — Rebecca Jordan Heys

Rebecca Jordan Heys serves as a pastor at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, are the parents of two children.

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