1) God is not shocked by today’s events
Vince Manna “I guess God did not see that coming.”
Going up to Jerusalem
This is Jesus third time telling them of His impending death and resurrection. What is going to seem like the biggest debacle in human History was really a planned out and coordinated event. Not that man did not have a choice in the matter, but God knew exactly what would take place, how they would respond and then used it to accomplish His will.
The disciples still did not understand the concept of a Messiah that would die for our sins therefore not understanding what Jesus was saying or not paying attention to what He was saying. Jerusalem is where the Jewish leaders were conspiring to kill Him. (Mark 10:32) When Lazarus died and Jesus had to go back to Judea the disciples knew that going was a possible time to die.
John 11:16 So Thomas, called the Twin,[b] said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
In the gospel of Luke account He says it this way
Luke 18:31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.
I know many of us wish we knew exactly what each day held so we could be prepared for what was about to happen. I would stay in bed if I knew that during the day I would be in a car accident, flat tire or even worse, injured in some way. Many of us try to predict what our day or even our year will look like but they never seem to go exactly how we vision them to be. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus lays out exactly how it is going to be accomplished and what is going to happen.
Jesus knew what He was going to face
Delivered to Chief Priest and Teachers (Matthew 26:47-56)
Condemned (Matthew 27:57-68)
Turned over to Gentiles (Matthew 27:1-14)
Mocked (Matthew 27:29, 31)
Flogged (Matthew 27:26)
Crucified (Matthew 27:33-50)
Raised to Life (Matthew 28:1-20)
Jesus knew His life was in His Fathers hands and He trusted Him just like we should. God was giving His son over to them for the purpose of saving mankind. Even when things happen that are confusing or do not make sense we can trust God that He is using our situation for His purposes and His Glory.
Jesus knew His purpose for this life was not to serve Himself but to lay His life down for others and He calls us to do the same.
John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Delivered to Chief Priest and Teachers (Scribes)
The people that should have understood who Jesus was missed it because they were more about a position of Power instead of truth. The Scribes prided themselves on learning and moved up in position because of knowledge they had attained. These Old Testament Scholars missed what the Old Testament said about the Messiah
A few of the Old Testament Predictions of the Messiah’s Death
No Bones Broken (Exodus 12:46)
Betrayed with 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12)
Betrayed by friend who ate bread with Him (Psalm 41:9)
Cry out “My God my God why have thou forsaken me (Psalm 22:1)
Pierced hands and feet (Psalm 22:16)
Cast Lots for His Garments (Psalm 22:18)
Vinegar to Drink (Psalm 69:21)
He would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10)
If they missed the signs while Jesus was walking around then they should have figured it out after His Death and resurrection. The point in showing this is that people missed the messiah because they were more about their religious systems of power. This is important because it was this mindset of power that not only caused the Religious leaders to miss Jesus but it was this same mindset that controlled the disciples minds as well.
Read Matthew 20:20-28
Jesus just got done talking about His upcoming death for a third time and it was as if they did not hear it at all. In their selfishness they missed what Jesus was saying because they were only thinking about themselves. There is no indication in the gospels that they even acknowledged what Jesus just said.
Not only did they not hear it they pulled the family card to try and manipulate Jesus into a position of power. James and John were Jesus cousins and their Mother was Jesus Aunt and she is the one who came to ask Jesus about a position of power for them.
Ego has always been a problem with mankind. “you will be like God” is what the serpent told Adam and Eve in the garden and it appealed to them. When the disciples think of one on the left and one on the right they are thinking of position of power. When Jesus thinks of one on the right and one on the left He thinks of crosses and dying to self.
We live in a self-promoting society where people use others for their own benefit and gain. Jesus calls His followers to be different and not look at people for our gain but for us to be a benefit to them.
2) God calls us to Humbleness not Greatness
Drink the cup of Christ: Do what He does
If we are going to not use people but to be used by people we have to be humble. When the Bible speaks of clothing yourself with humbleness (1 Peter 5:5) that means you put on the servants robe.
These disciples thought that they knew what Christ was about but Jesus was going to show them differently by laying down His life. They saw the miracles and heard the great teaching and thought it was leading to be a part of a Kingdom on earth.
To drink the cup meant to finish its contents no matter what it contained.
It carried with it the idea of finishing no matter how difficult it became. Jesus would later ask God if there was a way for this cup to pass from me (Matthew 26:39)
My Cup you will drink: Every true follower of Christ will drink the cup of Christ
Because Jesus knows everything, He lets them know that they will have to drink the cup He drinks. James would be killed (Acts 12:2) and John would be banished to an island (John 21:23) Christians in Egypt are having their churches and homes burned and many of them have been killed. They are drinking the cup even though it is tough.
Jesus clearly tells them they are not to be like the world
People debate many times what Jesus really meant when He spoke but this is clear that arrogance, power, and position is not to be tolerated by Gods people. We should be more interested in serving than authority or power.
Whoever wishes to become great among you, must be a servant
Greatness in Gods eyes will only be attained by serving
Servant: Person of low position doing the jobs no one else wants to do but still has some freedoms.
Our job is not to stand on the shoulders of others but to lift others up on our shoulders. We should be the first ones to volunteer for the jobs no one else wants to do. It did not mean that they were people of lesser importance but they carried out the task that no one else wanted to do. To recognize a true servant you only have to see if they are willing to suffer.
Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave
Slave: a person who does not belong to themselves but only their master
Jesus now takes it a little further by calling us to be slaves. A slave had to do what they were told when they were told to do it and they had no say in the matter. A slave was bought and paid for and therefore was considered property not a person.
1 Corinthians 7:23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants[a] of men.
Do you see yourself belonging to Christ who paid for you?
Jesus did not come to earth to be served and neither should we. We should not go to church to receive but to give. We should not serve because everyone appreciates all that we do but because we are doing what God asks us to do. We give because we are drinking the same cup of Christ.
3) God calls us to live for the many (Read vs 28)
Jesus Christ died for everyone but not everyone is saved.
1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
Ransom: When we give ourselves to others it cost us.
To be a ransom will Cost us Time, Energy, Mentally, and financially.
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Jesus is calling us to be on His right and His left but they are on crosses not thrones.