Daily Readings & Thought for July 19th. “IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU”
The ego among human beings keeps occurring in the events of daily life. There is continual competition as to who will be the most important; some strive to be the greatest, but the most valuable thing is teamwork. This is only achieved as a result of a shared vision – by visionary people – and then much effort. The political scene is constantly the best (or rather the worst!) example.
Our thoughts were prompted to follow these lines by today’s reading in Matthew, it shows how Jesus tackled this spirit that at least some of his disciples were manifesting. Two of his disciples, the sons of Zebedee, urged on by their mother, had the ambition to be in the front rank of the action – and of course they were at this point in time expecting that the Kingdom would be established in the near future. They “came up to him” with their mother leading the way and knelt before him “and he said to her, ‘What do you want?’ She responded by saying to him, ‘Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one on your left, in your kingdom.” [Ch.20 v.21]
“Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking … (this) is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father” [v.23] There is indignation among the other disciples against the two brothers, “but Jesus called them all to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their great ones exercise authority … it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant … the son of man came not to be served but to serve …” [v.25-28] And that must be the spirit among his followers.
This reminded us of what we read in Psalm 84, words which demonstrated the spirit which God saw in David; “a man after his (God’s) own heart” [I Sam 13 v.14]. His Psalm tells us, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and a shield; the LORD bestows favour and honour. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” [v.10,11] Being a doorkeeper in the house of God in the kingdom would be wonderful, fascinating, don’t you think?