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88: Kingdom Positions

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 20:17-28

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 20:17-19            Mark 10:32-34            Luke 18:31-34
Matt. 20:20-28        Mark 10:35-45


  1. The Kingdom Sacrifice                Matt. 20:17-19
  2. The Kingdom Request                 Matt. 20:20-24
  3. The Kingdom Policy                    Matt. 20:25-28


Jesus has finished His ministry in Perea and is now traveling toward Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.  His time to die for our sin has come so He explains what is to happen once again to His disciples.  After this explanation the mother of James and John together with her sons approaches Jesus asking that they have a special place of responsibility in His Kingdom.  Jesus says they don’t know what they ask.  Although Jesus has taught about His Kingdom on earth, He has said nothing about His Kingdom upon His return or His Kingdom in Heaven.  James, John, and their mother are on what we would call a “fishing expedition”.  They are seeking a special favor from Jesus as a reward for being faithful thus far.  Jesus explains that He is unable to grant such a favor.  Their request can only be granted by the Father.  He challenges them with a question; “are you willing to die too?”  We will see later that such is predicted and that James was one of the Church’s first martyrs.  John was the only disciple known not to have been martyred.

Jesus takes this opportunity to explain again that the most valued people in His Kingdom are those who serve others.  He came to serve.  We are to be like Him.  Therefore, we are to serve so that others may believe Jesus is the Son, the Savior, the giver of life eternal, and be able to enter into His Kingdom and into His Presence.  Thus, Jesus concludes another lesson on true humility.


  1. What we receive is always a gift from our Heavenly Father.
  2. There would not be a Kingdom if it were not for Christ’s supreme sacrifice on the cross for our sin.
  3. Therefore, we must serve.
  4. “Be fruitful and multiply.”  Be a servant and usher others into the Kingdom to meet Jesus.

There is no higher position than that of Servant.  In fact, there are no other position

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