Spiritual Success or Distress?
Quarter 2, Lesson 3

Lesson Three

The New Reality In Christ

Texts: Matthew 20:20-28; Luke 22:24-30

In no way was Jesus what people would expect God's son to be. In no way did Jesus act as people would expect God's son to act. Think of the significance of being God's son! But he was not at all what one would expect. He was different in perspective and attitude. He was different in heart and thinking. He was different in personal bearing and self concept. He was different in the way he related to God and to people. A human would expect God's son to think and behave as royalty. A human would not expect God's son to think and behave as an humble servant.

Christians are God's servants. Christians create, sustain, and nurture relationships. Only people whose minds and hearts are directed and controlled by God are committed to relationships. God's servants are committed to relationships because their God is committed to relationships. People ruled by God relate differently to all other people.

Christians do not feel, think, or behave as do people who do not belong to God. Christians have different values, different standards, different interests, a different focus, and a different life purpose. In many situations and circumstances, Christians do not "fit" in their culture or society.

Why? As God's servants, they are ruled and directed by the Lord who was a servant. This servant became the Master in heaven and on earth. They are a kingdom of servants who are ruled by the Lord who was a servant.

They are not "different" for "difference sake." The differences are not artificial. The differences are not manufactured. The differences are not a facade that they wear. They are servants who willingly surrender themselves to God's desires and purposes. To them, the eternal reality is more important than the physical reality. They keep their eyes on Jesus so Jesus can teach them how to open their eyes toward God.

The Lord who was a servant rules the minds and hearts of these people because they belong to him. He ransomed them. He purchased them with his own blood. He redeemed them. He gave his life to satisfy justice. He paid the full price of the consequences of their mistakes.

Christians exist as God's kingdom, citizens under God's rule, to be God's servants.

Matthew 20:20-28

  1. Who came to Jesus with her sons (verse 20)?

    1. Who were her sons (verse 20; Matthew 4:21)?

    2. She came to make a request of Jesus. In what manner did she approach him (verse 20)?

  2. Jesus understood by her manner of approach that she wanted to make a request. What question did Jesus ask her (verse 21)?

  3. What request did she make of Jesus (verse 21)?

  4. What question did Jesus ask her sons (verse 22)? What was their answer?

  5. What was Jesus' response to the request (verse 23)? Who would make that decision? Why?

  6. How did this request affect the other ten disciples (verse 24)? Why?

  7. What did Jesus tell them about the rulers of the Gentiles [the rulers of people who did not follow God] (verse 25)?

  8. Jesus said in his kingdom no one would lord it over others and no one would "exercise authority over them."

    1. How does a person become great [significant, important, of position] in Jesus' kingdom (verses 26,27)?

    2. Why (verse 28)?

    3. In this statement, Jesus gave two reasons for his coming. What were they (verse 28)?

Luke 22:24-30

  1. What dispute did the disciples have (verse 24)?

  2. What do the kings of the Gentiles do (verse 25)? Who are called "Benefactors?"

  3. What behavior and demeanor should the most significant person in Jesus' kingdom exhibit (verse 26)?

  4. What behavior and demeanor should the leader exhibit (verse 26)?

  5. Share how Jesus demonstrated that those in his kingdom's leadership roles behaved distinctly different from those in leadership roles in other kingdoms (verse 27).

  6. What had the disciples done for Jesus (verse 28)?

  7. God gave Jesus a kingdom. What would Jesus in turn give to his twelve disciples (verses 29, 30)?

  8. What road must they travel to receive those gifts?

  9. Do you think Jesus was stating that they would receive these positions of honor in God's kingdom on earth or in God's heavenly kingdom after death and the judgment? Why?

The path to greatness in God's kingdom is traveled by the believer who serves. God's kingdom is composed of unassuming people who serve. In God's kingdom people lead by humble example, not through authority. In God's kingdom, faith is in God's power, not human ability.

Link to Teacher's Guide Quarter 2, Lesson 3

Copyright © 2000
David Chadwell & West-Ark Church of Christ

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