Scripture Reading for Wednesday, March 19
Reading: Matthew 20:17-28
Do You Know What You Are Asking?
Jesus was heading to Jerusalem, and it was for the last time. In his early life Jesus' trips to Jerusalem were a mark of joyful anticipation; whether his dedication at the temple, or his family's trip to offer sacrifices. These memories and stories of his youth must have made this journey a particularly bittersweet one for our Lord. The disciples, remaining mostly clueless to what was in store at Jerusalem, focused upon their position in what they thought might be the coming of Jesus' inaugurated kingdom.
For the Israelites, Jerusalem was a battle cry. For the disciples, Jesus' imminent death was the furthest possibility in their mind. They trekked toward the city that symbolized the strength of the Israeli identity amidst the Roman Empire. 'At last', they thought, 'Jesus is going to set this place right!' You don't go to Jerusalem to die; but for victory.
How the more confusing then that our Lord stops them in their thoughts, speaks to the mother of James and John, and warns them with a portent of death of what was about to come. This is because it is a different kind of kingdom Jesus is inagurating; one where death leads to life, where service leads to greatness, and where those that would seek power and status are laid low.
To follow Jesus, to drink from his cup, is a death sentence; however that is not the end of the story. In surrendering our life, we gain eternal life. By surrendering our treasure, God offers us the blessings of his heavenly kingdom. Certainly this is the needle-hole reality of God's Kingdom.
Do you know what you are asking of our Lord? Because you may be getting way more than you bargained for.
Questions for Reflection or Journaling
- What does it feel like when we expect one thing, and something completely unexpected happens instead?
- What is the most surprising reality you have experienced of God's Kingdom?
Father, you know our hearts even before we utter a word. Speak today to our selfishness and strip away the pretense that places a veil between us and the will of your Holy Spirit.