一起读经 | 马太福音20:17-23 高位与低位

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马太福音 20:17-23 耶稣上耶路撒冷去的时候,在路上把十二个门徒带到一边,对他们说: “看哪,我们上耶路撒冷去,人子要被交给祭司长和文士。他们要定他死罪, 又交给外邦人,将他戏弄,鞭打,钉在十字架上;第三日他要复活。”那时,西庇太儿子的母亲同她两个儿子上前来拜耶稣,求他一件事。 耶稣说:“你要什么呢?”她说:“愿你叫我这两个儿子在你国里,一个坐在你右边,一个坐在你左边。” 耶稣回答说:“你们不知道所求的是什么;我将要喝的杯,你们能喝吗?”他们说:“我们能。” 耶稣说:“我所喝的杯,你们必要喝;只是坐在我的左右,不是我可以赐的,乃是我父为谁预备的,就赐给谁。”

当耶稣如此清楚地谈论他的受苦和受死时,门徒为什么不明白呢?这一段,雅各和约翰的母亲和她的两个儿给了我们线索。原来,他们仍然认为弥赛亚将要把以色列从罗马人手中解救出来,建立一个伟大的王国。这位妈妈想要把王国中最好的两个位置,留给他的两个儿子。

如果你认为神的国是关于成功和美好生活的,那么就说明你真的不明白神的国意味着什么。一位当今很受欢迎的“布道者”说:“我相信,如果你保持你的信心,你一直信靠,你保持正确的态度,如果你心存感激,你会看到上帝打开新的大门。” 雅各和约翰的母亲渴望耶稣为她的儿子们打开新的大门。但是跟随耶稣并不能为我们在耶稣的国度赢得一个显赫的位置。跟随耶稣意味着我们将喝下耶稣必须喝的那杯。

C.S.路易斯是这样说的,“我不确定上帝是否希望我们快乐,我认为,他希望我们去爱,也希望我们被爱。但我们就像孩子一样,认为我们的玩具会让我们快乐,整个世界都是我们的幼儿园。必须要有某种东西驱使我们离开幼儿园,进入另一种生活,这种驱使我们的东西就是痛苦。“耶稣活着,是要为我们负上生命的代价,把我们从罪中解救出来。如果你跟随耶稣,你所梦想的“美好生活”将会是一种谦卑服事他人的生命,有时候这种生命甚至意味着要为此而受苦。

祷告:主耶稣,感谢你走上十字架去受死的时候,没有想到你自己,而你只想到了我们!求你指教我认识到,只有当我为别人而活,而不是实现我今生空洞的抱负时,我在这世上的生活才是美好的。奉主耶稣基督的名求。阿门!

Matthew 20: 17-23: 17 Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” 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.”

Why didn’t the disciples understand Jesus when he spoke so clearly about his suffering and death? This episode with James and John and their mother gives us a clue. They still thought that the Messiah was going to deliver Israel from the Romans and set up a great kingdom. Mom wanted the best two places in that kingdom reserved for his two boys.

If you think that the kingdom of God is about prosperity and the good life, then you do not understand that the kingdom of God is all about. A popular “evangelist” today said this:  “I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open new doors.” The mother of James and John were eager for Jesus to open new doors for her sons. But following Jesus doesn’t earn us a plush seat in Jesus’ kingdom.  Following Jesus means that we will drink the cup that Jesus had to drink.

C. S. Lewis said this. “I’m not sure God wants us to be happy. I think he wants us to love, and be loved. But we are like children, thinking our toys will make us happy and the whole world is our nursery. Something must drive us out of that nursery and into the lives of others, and that something is suffering.” Jesus lived his life so that he might give his life for us and rescue us from our sins. If you follow Jesus, your dreams of the “good life” will be a life of service to others, even if that means suffering for it.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank you for thinking nothing of yourself but only of me when you went to the cross to die! Teach me to see that my life here on earth is well lived only when I have lived for others and not to fulfill my empty ambitions for this life.  Amen.

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