Daily Scriptures

Wednesday, September 17: Whoever wants to be first must be your slave


ReframeJesus often taught by saying, "You have heard it said... but I say to you..." as a way to reframe truth about God and about life in new ways—kingdom ways. Join us as we follow the Reframe teaching series and pay attention to God's desire to renew our minds through his word, so that we can live renewed lives in the world.

Read Matthew 20:20-28

Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

"What is it you want?" he asked.

She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."

"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?"

"We can," they answered.

Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father."

When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."


We're not the only ones who want to promote ourselves, but others often do as well! What was this mother's motive? Do we do this with our own kids? Also, pay attention to the sons' ridiculously quick and trite answer to Jesus question about drinking the cup he's about to drink, referring to the cross. They didn't even know what they were talking about. What were they seeking? And why do you think the other disciples were so indignant?


Jesus answered and answered this question in the Gospels: Who is the greatest? After you read the second part of this passage, why do you think that both his disciples and we modern-day readers simply refuse to take him at his word and live as servants? In what ways are you ignoring Jesus' call?