S (Scripture): Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called the disciples and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. 26 It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave – 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
O (Observation): The mother of two of Jesus’ disciples (James and John) just asked for her two sons to sit directly at Jesus’ side in his kingdom. This would be a position of power. The other disciples are frustrated at the request, but Jesus puts this argument to rest with the words he shared above.
Jesus reminds the disciples that their role is not to control, but to serve.
A (Application): Serving has a very humble nature to it. To be humble is to NOT count yourself as more worthy than another.
And yet, one can sense authority in the midst of being a servant. The authority we are given comes from God. That allows us to take action to follow our callings. But following these callings can be done in a humble manner.
As a parent, I am to show my children boundaries, but I’m also not to lord myself over them. That doesn’t mean I let them do whatever they want, but I can serve them in a fashion that shows that I love them and prepare them to live in the world.
None of us is called to be “above” another, even as we follow our callings and use the authority given to each of us.
What sense of authority have you sensed? Who has lorded themselves over you? How did that affect you? How has that shaped your sense of authority?
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to discern the authority you give us and to balance that with the posture of a servant. Amen.