Matthew 20:17-28 NRSVue

17While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves and said to them on the way, 18“Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; 19then they will hand him over to the gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and on the third day he will be raised.”

20Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. 21And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

24When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 26It will not be so among you, but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave, 28just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Some thoughts on this scripture

Jesus describes vividly the degrading ways in which he will be treated in his Passion. He does this to strengthen his disciples. When we decide to act lovingly in all we do, we become vulnerable. People will take advantage of us. But the promise is that love will win out in the end. We will be raised up as Jesus was. I thank God for this.

Jesus, you abhor all forms of domination. The kingdom of God is to be a domination-free community. I can see how the Christian Churches fall into the trap of domination. But do I dominate anyone? Even in an argument? Do I even think I am better than anyone else?