Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 14, 2018

“whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 20:17-28.  Here is a link to this Scripture –

I quote only the following verses.

“Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him.  And He said to her, “What do you wish?”  She *said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.”  But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking.  Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”  They *said to Him, “We are able.”  He *said to them, “My cup you shall drink;  but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”

And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers.  But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.  It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:20-28.


“So the last shall be first, and the first last.”  Matthew 20:16.

We have seen this theme three times in the last three Scriptures.

In Matthew 19:27-30, the disciples questioned Jesus about what they would receive for their sacrifice and service.  In the eyes of the world, the disciples were last for leaving everything to follow Jesus.  But, Jesus assured them that they would receive rewards causing them to be first.

In Matthew 20:1-16, to illustrate the generosity of God, Jesus used a parable of the landowner who paid first and equally his laborers who entered his service last and who worked the least amount of time.

And, in today’s Scripture, Matthew 20:20-28, Jesus used the desire of the mother of the sons of Zebedee for first preference for her sons in standing in the kingdom of God to teach that those who want to be first in the kingdom of God must be a slave (last in standing) to others.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33.


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