Today's devotion from Matthew 20. Jesus had just finished telling his disciples about the coming trauma He would endure when he was approached by a woman and her two sons. Problem was, these were two of His followers being accompanied by their mother. She was apparently...ambitious. She had an eye for advancing their rank and position in the Kingdom that is coming.
I try to put myself in the mainframe of Jesus, but I just can't. I can't imagine the presumption and arrogance He must have perceived in this situation. I don't think we're reading too much into this. After all, when the other ten disciples heard about this, they were indignant with the brothers. It would appear that they interpreted the request the same way I have.
In this moment, Jesus doesn't scold them. He doesn't ridicule or berate them. Instead, Jesus sees this as a teaching opportunity. This woman, these brothers, and probably the other disciples had big plans for their seat at the table. Don't forget Judas is among the other ten, and many people think Judas was motivated to betray Jesus, ultimately, because he thought it would force Jesus' hand causing Him to usher in a military reign replacing the Roman intruders.
They needed to understand, all of them, that leadership in the Kingdom was about serving others, not ruling them. Jesus' work would be to replace tyrants, not empower them. To demonstrate how serious this mandate was, Jesus reiterated that He was going to lead by example. He would demonstrate the ultimate act of service by sacrificing Himself for others. In His Kingdom, this is how Kings act. This is who citizens emulate.
The question isn't if we are supposed to serve. The question is are we serving?