Summary: Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. It doesn’t matter how skilled or talented you are. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t need to be an expert in any particular field to serve. All you need is a humble heart and the desire to be like Jesus.
Key Scripture (Matthew 20:28): “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.”
Main Text: (Matthew 20:20-28)
20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
21 “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.”
22 “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.
23 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.”
24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 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. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—28 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.”
Desire for Greatness:
Parents want what is best for their children...
The Israelites wanted to be a great nation again…
James and John thought they were close enough to Jesus that he would never say no to them…
What are you wanting to be great at in your life? Are you striving at this for God’s glory, or yours?
Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote:
“A great man is always willing to be little.”
Scripture: John 13:5
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
- the price of release, often used of the money paid to release slaves.
Who a better example of how we should serve than the King of Kings!
We must serve like Jesus served to reach those around us with the Gospel.
What impacted you, or was the most memorable thing you heard from the Pastor’s sermon this week?
Is there anything that you are afraid of, but you know you should not be? What is it?
Did that fear originate with a particular experience? What was it?
What do you think are some common fears Christians have related to their faith?
How might fear hold us back in our relationship with God or in our relationships with others?
What words come to mind when you hear the word “servant”? What are some common assumptions we make or hear about serving?
How did Jesus serve? Is it possible to serve in a way that’s not like Jesus served? How might fear hold us back from serving as Jesus did?
Can you think of any specific examples in your own life when fear made it difficult to serve like that?
Read Matthew 20:20-21.
Do you think James and John (the sons of Zebedee) knew their mom was going to ask
Jesus this question? Do you think they put her up to it? Why or why not?
What kinds of things might have motivated this request for greatness?
Specifically, how might fear have motivated this request?
Read Matthew 20:24-28.
What was the reaction of the other ten disciples when they heard about this request?
What does this reaction suggest about what was in their hearts?
Have you ever felt like the other disciples? Afraid that you were going to miss out on
something? How does that attitude prevent you from serving others?
How was “greatness” most commonly demonstrated or pursued in Jesus’ culture?
How is “greatness” defined in our culture today? What does Jesus say about true greatness?
In what ways are Jesus’ words here counter-cultural both today and in Jesus’ day? What does this say about the condition of the human heart and our natural assumptions about service?
Read Philippians 2:1-4.
If we are going to serve like Jesus, why must we think of others as better than ourselves? How did Jesus exemplify this attitude?
What is one area of your life in which fear motivates you to think of yourself first? In your job? Your friendships? Your finances?
What is one practical way this week you are going to declare that you will serve like Jesus served?