Matthew 20:17-28

Matthew 20:17-28

You want to be great? Just simply follow Jesus' example. That's all you've got to do. You're never going to follow His example, though, unless you know what's in this Book; unless you take the time to study...the life of Jesus Christ.We think everything should be “fair” rather than filled with God’s grace and God’s mercy. And as I said last week, I praise God that He is not “fair” because if God was fair and gave me what I deserved, guess what? It would not be heaven, and I think if each one of us in this room took a long, hard look at our lives, how we live, who we are, how we think, because guess what? You’re not judged by God on just what you do, but you’re judged by God also on what you think; what goes into your mind and then dwells in your heart. You know what? I don’t want to get what I deserve, and I am very thankful that God is gracious and merciful. That He is generous. And that’s how we evangelize. We evangelize in the mercy and generosity of God to bring people to a place of understanding that no matter who they are, no matter where they’re at, no matter what they’ve done, or no matter how short their time is, that God desires to bring them into salvation; that God desires to bring them into a love relationship with Him that is going to bring them into eternity and into life. And then those petty things don’t seem to matter so much any more…

We may think about it and say, oh, I would never tell God what to do, well, except for, you know what, a new car would be nice, Lord. And you know, a nice $100,000 job would be really nice, Lord, and you know what? Most of our prayers are not seeking God’s desire for us. Most of our prayers are telling God what we want Him to do for us, but we don’t quite see it in that context… But it is not about what we’re able to tell the Lord. It’s not about what the Lord can learn from us. It’s about what we can learn from the Lord.

And He’s now told them, you want to be great? You know what it is to truly be great? You know who these guys are that will be sitting at My right and My left? They’re going to be the ones that have been found by My Father to be the greatest servants of all. Those who sacrificed the most. Those who loved even when people didn’t reciprocate. Those who offered blessing even when their blessings were spat upon. Those who stood up and said, “I don’t care what the world does. I’m going to love God, and I’m going to love my neighbor.” It boils down to those two great commandments. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, with all your strength, and the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself…”

But it’s about serving, not being served. It’s about taking that lowest position, not taking the high position… It’s now not just being a servant, but it is actually giving up your rights… Serve one another. Step up and serve… “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.” See, once again, He’s saying, “Guys, don’t just take My word for it. Follow My example. You know what? I’m not going to ask you to do what you don’t see Me doing.” That’s what He’s saying to them…

You want to be great? Just simply follow Jesus’s example. That’s all you’ve got to do. You’re never going to follow His example, though, unless you know what’s in this Book. Unless you take the time to study, and especially study the life of Jesus Christ… Like He said, He didn’t come to be served. He didn’t come in a castle or a mansion. He said the Son of Man doesn’t even have a pillow to lay His head on. He came to be the example of what it is to serve even in the harshest of circumstances.

Pastor Dave Elkins