Jesus is the light that came into this world of darkness to shine so that we could
see. The world of light is so different from everything we know and have been
exposed to that it sometimes takes our eyes time to adjust. We see this in the
disciples throughout the gospels. In this text, we see it in the request of the
mother of James and John. In all this talk of humble sacrifice she asks for places
of honor for her sons. Notice that Jesus does not condemn, but He certainly
corrects her, and her sons.
Perhaps, like the other disciples who become indignant when they found out
about her request, we can jump to conclusions about her motivations. She had
seen Jesus do so many miracles for others why shouldn’t she courageously make
her request known? Jesus lovingly looks past the mother and speaks directly to
her sons, for the question was about them and ultimately from them. In the
upside-down world of the Kingdom of God, true greatness is not about receiving,
but about giving. Don’t act like the leaders of this world and build yourself up.
Instead, give your life by serving others. In other words, be like Jesus. This is
what greatness looks like in eternity.
It is not by accident that a miracle account is given in this chapter immediately
after this altercation with James and John. We haven’t seen a miracle account
since the beginning of chapter 17. Why does Matthew relay this account to us
while he has skipped so many others? He wants God’s people to see the truth.
He wants blinded eyes open. He wants us to see Jesus for who He is. May the
compassion of Jesus reach us. May we call out after Jesus in spite of the rebukes
of the crowd. May our eyes be opened to Jesus and His Kingdom. May we follow
Prayer: Father, God thank you that you are a good God. You are so patient with
us and never give up on us. Help us to emulate your servant-heart and pursue
greatest that is defined by God and not of us world. Please give us eyes to see
you for who you really so that we can live lives of humility and trust. Amen!