Friday, 27 March 2015

Matthew 20: Humility and gratitude

Hello girls! Here we are at the weekend again and almost at the end of ANOTHER month! Where is the time going? I feel as though I have missed two whole weeks of my life in March with being sick and off work! I'm so glad to be feeling well again and back to normal. Thank you to all of you who texted, emailed and even sent flowers (thanks, mum!) saying you were thinking about me. Your thoughts were all very much appreciated.

How are you finding the book of Matthew? I'm enjoying it but there is so much to learn in each chapter that it might nearly be better breaking it down into smaller chunks; but I suppose if we did that, we would take about 10 years to get through the whole Bible! I'm sure you are learning many different lessons to me because the Lord will speak to you in different ways depending on what your present needs are.

The main things I learned in chapter 20 are these:
Jesus asks the same question, worded slightly differently but meaning the same thing to two different sets of people. These people came to Jesus with specific requests (as we do in prayer) and they received very different answers, since Jesus meets each person at the point of their need. In verse 21, He asks "What wilt thou?" and in verse 32, He asks "What will ye that I shall do unto you?". Both questions mean, "what would you like me to do for you?"

Verses 20-28. Zebedee's wife came to the Lord Jesus with a specific request on behalf of her two sons, James and John. She didn't seem to be worried that others were listening in on this conversation (the other disciples) and she didn't even seem to be embarrassed about the request. She wanted great promotion for her two sons. Of course, any mum will want the best for her child/ren but there seems to be a degree of pride and ambition here, both on the part of the mum and the two boys (verse 24, the other disciples were cross with them for asking this). The main desire that any Christian mother should have for her children should be firstly, that they are saved and secondly, that they would be content to serve God, wherever He places them in this life. The Lord Jesus said that such a request was not His to give; these things are already in the hands of a gracious heavenly Father. But He did go on to say that the two of them would certainly suffer during their lifetime. It seems from religious history that James died a martyr's death as did his brother John (author of the book of Revelation). We need to be careful what we pray for on behalf of other people. I'm always very conscious of this fact when I pray for my children and for others. The boys' mum wanted them to have the glory without necessarily having to suffer first, as Christ had to do. The lesson that Christ was teaching here was that the greatest person will be someone that the world would never imagine; the greatest Christians are the humblest of people, servants of Christ and others.

Verses 30-34. These two poor blind men simply wanted, not glory for themselves, but the ability to see. This was a humble request that Jesus was happy to grant. These men both acknowledged Christ as Lord, King and Messiah; they were humble and they begged for His mercy. When they were healed, they didn't just go on about their business, doing their own thing. No, they stuck close to Christ and followed Him. They served Him out of love and gratitude. This is what the Lord Jesus Christ wants those of us who are saved to do. Simply give up our own notions and follow Him, serve Him and glorify Him.

Prayer matters:

  • Ask the Lord to help you to pray in His will; that what you ask for is in accordance with His desire for you, things like humility, love, joy, contentment
  • Ask the Lord to help you to appreciate the simple things in life that so many of us take for granted, things like our health, eye sight, the ability to go where we like
Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday, DV.
Hugs, Karen x

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