In Matthew 20, we find an ironic juxtaposition of Jesus' call and our ever-present desire for our own greatness.
In the very next verse, look at what happens.
(20:20-22)It's ironic to say the least. "I am going to be killed and will rise from the dead to deliver you from your sin." "Wonderful. Could you please give us power and prominence in your kingdom?"
As much as I hate to say it, this same self-important, kingdom-ignorant attitude is far too often lurking in my own heart. And lately, as I watch the Christian world tear itself apart on social media and our "Christian celebrities" appearing with cringe-worthy headlines next to their names, I wonder what our Lord Jesus would say to the modern American church.
In His kingdom, the first will be last. In His kingdom, we become great by being servants. In His kingdom, we are called to die to our ambition and self-importance and self-preservation and longing for notoriety and lose ourselves in Him and for Him.
When did we begin to settle for social media influence over personal discipleship and sacrificial love displayed in our local churches?
When did we swallow the lie that building our brand is the same thing as building His kingdom?
When did we decide that expanding our voice and platform is what it means to die to self and lay down our lives for Him?
Oh, Father, forgive us. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.