Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The request




Matthew 20:20-28
The Request of the Mother of James and John
 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 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, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
 When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Who would blame a mother
for wanting the best
for her boys?
The mother of James and John
Just trying
to give her sons
a punt up.
But running alongside Jesus
demands more 
than she could ever have imagined.
To enter into the passion of Christ
To suffer as he suffered
To give as he gave.
What mother would wish that
for her son?
What mother could stand
to witness that
for her boy - 
except Mary, the mother of God
who endured the agony
of seeing her son
put to death
on trumped up charges
by authorities
establishing control
afraid of anything
that was different
or unpredictable.
Authorities who,
in the face of selfless love
chose violence
to rid themselves
of one
who threatened order
and stability
by heralding a kingdom
not of this world.
Who would blame a mother
for pushing her sons forward
even though 
she had no idea
what she was asking.
And, when the other disciples
began to jostle
for their positions too,
Jesus gently reminded them:
The kingdom of God is different,
Upside down.
To be great
means serving others.
To be first
means being last of all.
The kingdom of God- 
A kingdom full of surprises.

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