Matthew 20:26-28 NRSVue
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.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
How easily we ask God for the wrong things, as James and John and their mother did. How quickly we apply the world's standards to the church, and see her rulers, Pope, bishops, priests, on the lines of presidents and politicians. We need your reminder that authority is a form of service, and that those who exercise it must be prepared to suffer.
Lord, you put that cup of suffering to your lips in Gethsemane, as you foresaw all that was to happen to you. Let me see the suffering in my life as a sharing in your cup.
Greatness for Jesus is in serving. Greatness of spirit lies in moving from being caught up in our concerns to engaging with the real needs of others. Greatness of soul is expanding the soul to allow God and the concerns of God become first in life. This is best seen in the life of Jesus. Watch him through the gospels as he empties himself and spends himself for others, and finds refreshment in his relationship with his Father. That is what prayer can do for us - it expands our concerns to include the whole world, and opens us to the Spirit of the living God.