Passionate Life in Christ is Serving

by Jim on January 30, 2013


Ministry Encouragement Podcast – Rev. Jim W. Hollis

Episode #31   January 30, 2013

Hello my friends and welcome to the Ministry Encouragement Podcast, Episode #31.  It’s my prayer that your listening to this podcast will bring you joy, grace and help you draw closer to God.  I hope it will bring encouragement to your walk as a Christ follower.  May you be encouraged in your faith journey as we go forward together in joy.

I’m Rev. Jim W. Hollis, the Executive Director of Proactive Ministries, based in Smyrna, GA.  Proactive Ministries is the sponsor for our podcast each week.  Proactive Ministries can be found at  It’s a ministry which works with churches, leaders, pastors and small businesses to help them excel in their mission and ministry reach.

In this Episode I will be sharing on the topic of:

Passionate Life In Christ is Serving

Today we will be taking a close look together at the text: Matthew 20:20-28.  This is the account of a scrap among the disciples of Jesus, fueled by a desire to be first and jealousy for others in the group.  It is a classical example of Christ-followers in conflict, while following Christ. 

We see far more of this today than we ever desire.  Congregations, leaders and pastors can find themselves in the midst of conflict and division with every “side” feeling like they are the right one.  Fortunately, Jesus makes it clear to us, a close walk with him as a faithful disciple is not a life of being first, but being a compassionate servant.

Here is the text of Matthew 20:20-28, in the New Revised Standard Version: 

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”[a] They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

24 When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 26 It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

In this podcast we will break this text down, section by section, examining each one to see exactly what took place and how it applies to our daily lives as disciples of Christ today.  We see several major themes going on in the text which we will expand on:

  • The immense love of a Mother for her two sons, asking favors of Jesus
  • Jesus’ response to her request for her sons to be first of all
  • A dialogue of what it means to “drink the cup” that Jesus would drink
  • The reaction of the other disciples present to the attempt to put James and John first
  • Jesus’ firm but loving response to all the humanity bursting out in this experience
  • Jesus clarifies the role of a true, mature disciple in those days and this age as well

And we also examine if as followers of Christ, we are to put God first, others second and ourselves third.  This is a common teaching in many circles today.  But isn’t this incongruent with some of the major teachings of Christ which would indicate the better priority order of the life of a disciple may be: God first, self second and others third.  We will examine some verses which can support both of these and talk about the importance of them in living out discipleship today.

Thank you so much for sharing in this Episode.  I want to ask you as you prepare for the next seven days, will you email, leave a voice mail on the blog page or post a comment here as to how you handle your walk as a disciple of Christ today?  Specifically, do you think that putting ourselves second after God is wise and faithful, even before others?  Or do you feel that we should always be third, with the right order being God, others and self?  Or is it both in your life?

I hope to have you join me again next week for Episode #32 of the Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  As always I would love to hear from you, talk with you, pray with you or discuss how your church or ministry can truly move to the next level in spiritual growth and reaching others in the unconditional love of Christ.  You can always contact me at our offices in Smyrna, GA:


My email is:

Blessings on your life and I covet your prayers.

Rev. Jim Hollis

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