Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kingdom Without Hierarchy

Continuing my series on the secrets of the kingdom. Hierarchy is common in earthly kingdoms or realms of influence. Most governments, workplaces, sports teams, and even families operate with different people holding different levels of authority. It seems to be a natural way to organize ourselves.

But when Jesus talks about His kingdom, somehow he expects things to be different.

Matthew 20:20 - 28 (HCSB)

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons approached Him with her sons. She knelt down to ask Him for something. “What do you want?” He asked her.
“Promise,” she said to Him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom.”
But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”
“We are able,” they said to Him.
He told them, “You will indeed drink My cup. But to sit at My right and left is not Mine to give; instead, it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” When the 10 disciples heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must 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.”

So we have the mother of James and John making a pretty big request. She wants her two sons to be second in command in this new kingdom Jesus keeps talking about.

She doesn't realize this kingdom doesn't work that way. It is not about climbing the ladder to gain positions of authority over others. In fact in this upside-down kingdom it is the opposite.

Jesus rules by serving, and by giving His life to free us from sin.

If you want to be great in this kingdom, you must simply start serving and caring for others.

What about the 10 disciples that got indignant when they heard others were trying to climb the ladder of hierarchy to gain authority over the rest? Yes, we too can get indignant when we see our brothers and sisters claim to be higher up the ladder than we are. But I'm trying to understand Jesus' advice here to me. I need not worry - that's really not how the kingdom works. Let others do their thing, but my task is to serve others.

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