Losing Track in Discipleship (Matthew 20:20-28)
By Gifty Abane, SHCJ
The Zebedee brothers left their father to answer the call to be disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, a radical decision of abandoning who they were and who people knew them to be in order to follow the unknown Messiah.
They went to Jesus with great zeal and enthusiasm to be part of the mission of sharing the Good News to all people. Regrettably, in the process, they lost their focus of what had attracted them to this man, Jesus. They began to seek after recognition: wanting positions of honor. The Zebedee brothers lost their sense of self-worth as followers Of Jesus. Instead they felt their value or self-worth depended on a position of honor in a hierarchy. They felt that by occupying a position of prominence in the group they would have established their worth. Their minds were so preoccupied with the idea that they needed a recognized position that they failed to get it right. In their presence, Jesus had modeled His mission, day in and day out, on humility, service to others, and self-abasement.
We, like the Zebedees, oftentimes fail to recognize that our gifts are meant to be developed and used judiciously for the growth of our brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, we become obsessed in seeking undue recognition and fame. We miss the point of becoming our best selves, in order to serve others with a sense of purpose and joy. In all humility, may we seek to serve instead of desiring to rule and may we allow God Himself to exalt us.
We are living in a world where ambitious people use relatives, friends, and contacts of all kinds in a manner similar to the Zebedee’s to achieve their desired success or positions of honor. It is becoming a norm in society and is gradually creeping into our circles if it is not already in. May we strive daily to walk in the footsteps of our model Jesus, trusting Him to assist us as we move against the currents of position, prestige, power and fame.
Does servant-hood and humility characterize my ministry, relationships, and dealings of all kinds?
How often do I prefer to serve rather to rule?