Posted by Communion Church

MATTHEW 20.17-34

“… 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.” V. 27

As Jesus nears Jerusalem, he pulls the twelve disciples aside. Fort the third time, Jesus describes to the twelve disciples in clear language that he will suffer, die, and be raised from the dead. Jesus knew the pain and anguish that awaited. We can be sure that his message to the twelve was delivered with some soberness as he anticipated the betrayal and rejection he was about to endure. The conversation that ensues immediately afterwards boggles the mind. James and John (and their
mother) are asking to have positions of special honor in the kingdom, seated to the left and right of Jesus. They were so consumed with basking in the glory Jesus they did not consider the need to share in his suffering. We, likewise are quick to expect glorification while ignoring the call of
Jesus to pick up our cross and follow him, but it should not be so. We should look to serve rather than to be honored.


1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, or challenged?

2. What does Jesus mean when he asks, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”

3. Jesus again emphasizes that the order of greatness in the kingdom of heaven is opposite of what is common in the world. Why would God want you to hear this message again and again?

4. Read 1Peter 2:21-24. Spend a moment in prayer thanking Jesus for suffering willingly for you.

5. What might it look like for you to participate in the sufferings of Jesus?