Are You able?

Scripture reading for July 26th: Matthew 20

Key Scriptures: Matthew 20:17-22 “And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way He said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and He will be raised on the third day.” Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before Him she asked him for something. And He said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in Your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what your are asking. Are you able to drink the cup I am to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.””

Jesus was leading His disciples to Jerusalem for His final Passover with them. While on the way, He again took them aside and carefully explained in even more detail His coming betrayal, trial, flogging, and death by crucifixion to be followed in three days by resurrection. It is not clear if the mother of James and John overheard this conversation, but clearly she suspected the coming kingdom of heaven and asked Jesus a favor for her boys. She asked for positions of honor in the kingdom. Jesus did not deny this request, but stated that she did not know what she was asking! There would be a cost involved, the drinking of a cup! What was in this cup required God’s grace and empowerment. They replied, “We are able!” Jesus stated that they would indeed drink His cup but the honor of seating belonged to the ones chosen by His Father alone. Their boldness was not condemned by Jesus, but it aggravated the other disciples. Jesus admonished them all to not seek greatness but to become slaves to God, chief servants.

Matthew 20:23 “He said to them, “You will drink My cup, but to sit at My right hand and at My left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.””

Faith confession and prayer: Father, all reward and glory belongs to You alone! I am blessed to be Your son and a servant of others for Jesus’ sake. Give me grace to drink Your cup and enjoy the fellowship of Your sufferings with a grateful heart. Being with You for eternity is my most amazing gift!

Matthew 20:26-28 “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.””

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