August 14, 2005

Love Is Not Self-Seeking (1)

Scripture Reading — 1 Cor. 13:5b; Matthew 20:20-28

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” — Matthew 20:26

The mother of James and John was looking out for the best interest of her sons when she approached Jesus. Convinced that Jesus would soon be to establishing an earthly kingdom, she made the first bid on two of the better positions of power in Jesus’ kingdom. James and John, who fully supported their mother’s request, assured Jesus that they were whole-heartedly willing and ready to fight for, and even die for the establishment of his kingdom. When the other ten disciples heard about this self-seeking request, they were furious. Why? The two brothers had beaten them to the punch!

This power struggle, if allowed to continue, threatened to destroy Jesus’ inner circle. So, Jesus acted quickly and decisively to restore order, while teaching them an important lesson on how one achieves greatness in God’s kingdom.

Jesus reminded them that far too many rulers of this world use their power to manipulate, dominate, and oppress people. These tyrannical rulers are all self-seekers. But in God’s kingdom, anyone who aspires to positions of power must be a servant. Like Jesus, they must be willing and ready to use the their power to help people become all that God wants them to be.

The love God pours out into our hearts is not self-seeking. It empowers us to “look not only to [our] own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). 


Heavenly Father, increase your love in my heart, so that I may be willing and ready to serve others, like Jesus did. I ask this in his name. Amen. ​


Devotion topics: Christianity, Discipleship