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Lesson # Matt. 20:20-21
Study Material - Matt. 20:20-21
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
20 Then [tote] came [proserchomai] to him [autos] the mother [meter] of Zebedee's [Zebedaios] children [huios] with [meta] her [autos] sons [huios] , worshipping [proskuneo] him, and [kai] desiring [aiteo] a certain [tis] thing [para] of him [autos] .
21 And [de] he said [epo] unto her [autos] , What [tis] wilt thou [thelo] ? She saith [lego] unto him [autos] , Grant [epo] that [hina] these [houtos] my [mou] two [duo] sons [huios] may sit [kathizo] , the one [heis] on [ek] thy [sou] right hand [dexios] , and [kai] the other [heis] on [ek] the left [euonumos] , in [en] thy [sou] kingdom [basileia] . KJV-Interlinear
20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons, bowing down, and making a request of Him. 21 And He said to her, 'What do you wish?' She said to Him, 'Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left.' NAS
Jesus has just finished explaining that it is far better to pursue Bible doctrine and ones advancement to spiritual maturity, than to pursue ones own selfish interests. Jesus has just finished explaining that His purpose in this First Advent is to go to Jerusalem and be seized and hung on the Cross, to make the payment for all of humanities sins, then die and be resurrected in three days, such that all of the human race would have the opportunity to be saved.
But what do James, John and mom do? They consult with each other (see the related passage in Mark) and then approach Jesus and begin their little political power play for position and power in the kingdom they perceive is just around the corner. After all, they are heading to Jerusalem for the last time as Jesus has stated, or they perceived He stated.
Just as Eve did not listen in the Garden, so the disciples did not listen very well in all their time with Jesus these many months. When one does not listen, then the learning process is short circuited and clarity of thought is confused. 'Self' inevitably comes to the forefront of ones mind.
When self is the issue, then others get pushed to the back of ones priorities. Ego and self centered attitudes are great threats to society. One centers his life and thoughts on 'self.' Standards are compromised and issues are formed around ones own advancement usually at the expense of others.
Politics are full of this approach to life. Dictators and those who would abuse others suffer from this attitude in life. Masses of peoples get hurt, but the self centered person cares nothing for the masses.
Liberal thought which is so prevalent these days, at least with the label 'liberal,' compromises all that is good and right and seeks to lower standards of life in order to advance or retain power. That is the ultimate goal - retention of power or position. Whether something is right or not is of no importance. Only the confusion a liberal can make out of anything that his opponent does is of concern to the liberal. The right and wrong of an issue is of no importance.
The first and most obvious place for self promotion comes from family and friends. What connections does one have in order to promote ones self? Do you deserve that promotion? Do you need to be in the position you seek? Are you qualified to have the position? Is society or history better off with you in the position you seek? Or, do you care? Do you want that advancement regardless of whether you are qualified or deserving?
None of us are qualified to follow in the footsteps of Christ. None of us can do the Work of Christ. Were that so, then there are many people in history who are far better qualified than any of us - Adam, Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Abraham. If we really knew the names and qualifications of all peoples who have ever lived, then we probably could come up with millions of people who are far better qualified in the human realm than ourselves.
Here James and John and mom approach Jesus only because they happen to be living in time during His First Advent. Do they deserve what they are asking? No. None of us do. But arrogance and the pursuit of ones own selfish interests always sacrifice right for self.
Anytime you promote your own standards (rejecting Gods) then you are in effect saying that you know better and that you do not care of that which is right. Your interests are first in your mind rather than Gods interests.
A self centered person seeks security through things or position or relationships. They measure themselves by what they have, who they know, what they have accomplished. They laud themselves over others.
A humble person seeks security through confidence from knowledge of Gods wisdom. They have no need to measure themselves, but rather continue in their acknowledgment of God and the wisdom they have learned. God places them in the position of His choosing and at His convenience.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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