To Follow Jesus
My (Shayne McCusker) notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
September/October 2014 Issue – ‘Property of Jesus’
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Matthew 20:20-28 (NIV-UK): “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favour of him. ‘What is it you want?’ he asked. She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’
‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’ ‘We can,’ they answered. Jesus said to them, ‘You will indeed drink from my cup, 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 by my Father.’
When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – 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.’”
Just love that last verse!
Selwyn writes: “Yesterday we started to consider another brand mark of Jesus which needs to become part of our (spiritual) personalities – a focused determination.
The whole issue of single mindedness can be seen in a clearer light when we place it against its opposite – double mindedness. Double-mindedness, as far as the Christian life is concerned, consists of pursuing two different purposes at one and same time – God’s purpose and your purpose.
… I am sure about the tendency in my own heart to use spiritual means for selfish ends. Perhaps you have noticed a similar tendency in your heart also.
If so, then join me in this prayer: ‘Lord Jesus, You whose motives and acts were pure and whose impact upon life changed the world, give me that same singleness of motive that I, too, may change my little world – for You. Your own dear name’s sake. Amen.’“
As well as the sort of double-mindedness, which Selwyn talks about there is also a related problem; the one where we assume that our will is the same as God’s will, with no evidence to support such a view, except our own selfish nature.
When we fall into this trap, we can put all our energy into following what we think is God’s will, but in reality – at the core of our actions – is a desire to satisfy our own purposes. Seeking God’s counsel, through prayer – is one way to address this particular issue.
The reference to the mother of Zebedee’s sons, as an example of double-mindedness, didn’t actually work for me. Your view?
Yet, the issue of single-mindedness of purpose in the way we live our lives for Jesus – is critical. There is no other way – to follow Jesus.