How To Be Great In the Kingdom – Part 1

(Mt. 20:20-28)



   * The Celebration of Pride

      - In the world, in the church

   * The Words of Scripture

      - Bible clear about sin of pride. Prov. 21:4, 16:5, 8:13, Rom. 1:30, I Tim. 3:6, I Jn. 2:16, I Tim. 6:3-4

      - Consequences of pride: Jas. 4:6, Isa. 23:9, Psa. 31:23, Ex. 18:11, Ps.18:27, Dan. 4:37, Luke 1:51, Mal. 4:1.

      - The exaltation of humility; Micah 6:8, Psalm 138:6, Psalm 10:17, Proverbs 15:33. God lifts up humble

        (Jas. 4:10). Col. 3:12 - put on humility. I Pet. 5:5 - clothed with humility. Eph. 4:1-2 - walk in humility.

   * The Correction of Christ - honor comes through humility. Glory comes through suffering. Disciples needed to learn

       the same lesson. They sought prominence in God’s Kingdom. Matthew 20:20-28.


1. Regarding glory

   * The disciples forsook all to follow Jesus. Did so out of genuine love and admiration (Matt. 19:28- 29).


2. Regarding suffering

   * The sufferings of Christ: Matt. 20:17-19: Jesus gave description of His death (also in Matt. 16:21 and 17:22-23). Told

     His disciples He was going to suffer and die. Way to Kingdom is through suffering. First, death, then glory. Humility

      comes before honor (Prov. 15:33).

   * The sufferings of the disciples. Jesus also taught the disciples about their own suffering.

      - Expect nothing from the world – Mt. 8:20 - “If you follow Me, I can’t promise you even a place to sleep.”

      - Expect to die – it may be required (Matt. 10:34-39). Matt. 16:24 – “deny self, take up cross, follow me.”


3. Regarding humility -The lesson of self-denial

   * Matthew 18:3-4 - anyone who would come into His Kingdom must humble himself as a little child.

      - Matt. 19:21 – Rich ruler wouldn’t sacrifice his wealth. Important lesson about requirements for entering the

        Kingdom–humility, self-denial, and abandonment.

   * The lie of self-glory. The disciples had to ask, “what’s in it for us?” Matthew 19:27 Peter asked, “What shall we have,

      therefore?” Mt. 20:17-19 Jesus talked about His suffering and death, disciples thought of their own self-glory.

   * Jesus says still today, “Take up your cross.”  

   * God calls us to humble servitude (II Tim. 2:12, Rom. 8:18, Mt. 16:25).   


4. The New Cross

   * “The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross assures. The old

      cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. The old cross brought tears and blood; the new

      cross brings laughter.”


5. The passion for greatness: “Whosoever will be great among you…”

   * Advocates of greatness: Jesus (Mt. 20:26), Paul, (I Cor. 9:24; 3:12-13), John (II Jn. 8, Rev. 22:12).

   * I Cor. 4:3-5 – Only God can judge our motives. We must seek it for the right reasons.

   * The path to greatness is service (Mt. 20:26-27). “Servant” in v. 26 is, “diakanos” – speaks of service of Christians.

   * I Cor. 4 – “huperetes” – underrower, subordinate rower. Thorn in flesh kept Paul humble (II Cor. 12:7).

   * I Cor. 3:5 –

   * Corinthians were prideful (I Cor. 4:8-13).


6. Be a servant!

   * Our life is not our own (Rom. 14:8). Paul worked feverishly in God’s service for the good of others (II Cor. 4:12, 15).

   * The reward outweighs any suffering (II Cor. 4:17).

   * The true pathway to glory is marked by loneliness, fatigue, and criticism.

   * What sacrifices do we make for Christ? He’s our example (Mt. 20:28). We should walk as He walked (I Jn. 2:6).

   * Phil. 2:6-8 – Jesus humbled Himself and went to the Cross for us.

   * He didn’t come as other kings, confusing Pilate (Jn. 18:33-37).

   * Luke 22:27, Jesus says: I am among you he that serveth.”

   * Put on Christ in baptism and become His servant today!                                       R.W. McAlister 6/13/10 a.m.