Lent is the 40-day period before Easter, and it is “a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal when Christians are invited to prepare themselves for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.” This Lent, we are doing a 40-day study from the American Bible Society to focus our time in God’s Word and prayer on His renewing power (click HERE for the reading plan). Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
|Lord God, by your Word fill me with a spirit of love and servanthood…
The Request of James and John
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
39 “We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Servant Leader | Becky Newman
This passage just makes me laugh in the midst of a serious gospel, but boy does it show our humanity. James and John have the opportunity to physically walk with and learn from the Son of God every day, but they want more. After requesting a reservation for the best two seats at the Feast, they don’t shout, “April Fools!” Nope, they seriously want to figure out how to use their friendship with Jesus to their advantage for eternity. Then the rest of the 12 kick themselves for not reserving these seats first, and jealousy fits start flying. Jesus should just throw up his hands and walk away — have you learned nothing? But he doesn’t give up on them. Instead, it’s time for a teachable moment. Jesus seizes the opportunity to teach servant leadership to his friends by example. They may not fully understand the example at this moment, but the AHA! will come later. And after learning this from Jesus and spending the rest of their lives as servant leaders (except Judas of course), guess where the 12 will land in eternity? Likely, they’ll be part of the 24 elders sitting in thrones encircling the throne of God (Revelation 4:4), not one better than the other, all equidistant to the ultimate Servant Leader.
My husband has had a great opportunity to have a Christian Brigade commander who has mentored him during his Battalion command and taught and led by example servant leadership. I have seen the resulting transformation of my husband and am so thankful for how God is working. I want to be Your servant leader too, to shine Your light wherever You lead me. I think more so I want to be Your servant, but I’ve seen You make me a leader through serving You. As long as it’s Your will making it happen and not my will forcing it to happen, that’s where I want to be.
Lord God, by Your Word fill me with a spirit of love and servanthood. As I seek You first, may I serve You first, and where You want me to lead, may I lead well for You.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.