Matthew 20:27
and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave--
The Moral Greatness of ServiceR. Tuck Matthew 20:27
Ambition InsatiableC. H. Spurgeon.Matthew 20:20-28
Can Ye Drink of My Cup?J. Stewart.Matthew 20:20-28
Christ's Answer to Salome's PetitionH. B. Moffat, M. A.Matthew 20:20-28
Distinction in the KingdomJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 20:20-28
Divine RewardsBishop Huntingdon, D. D.Matthew 20:20-28
ElevationJ. Vaughan, M. A.Matthew 20:20-28
Ignorant RequestsLapide.Matthew 20:20-28
Like Master, Like ServantMatthew 20:20-28
Men Sometimes Know not What They AskJ. P. Lange, D. D.Matthew 20:20-28
Nearest to ChristDr. McLaren.Matthew 20:20-28
Nearness to Christ in HeavenDr. McLaren.Matthew 20:20-28
Nearness to Christ in Heaven not Mere FavouritismDr. McLaren.Matthew 20:20-28
Place-Seeking ParentsA. Barnes, D. D.Matthew 20:20-28
Right and Wrong PrayersJohn Trapp., Matthew Pool.Matthew 20:20-28
Salome's Petition for Her TwoB. W. Noel, M. A.Matthew 20:20-28
Salome's Petition for Zebedee's SonsMarcus Dods Matthew 20:20-28
The Church SphereJ. P. Lange, D. D.Matthew 20:20-28
The Divine Preparation of Heaven for MenDr. McLaren.Matthew 20:20-28
The Law of Rank and Position in God's KingdomGeo. Macdonald, M. A.Matthew 20:20-28
Ye Know not What Ye AskMatthew 20:20-28
True GreatnessW.F. Adeney Matthew 20:25-27
Basis of True GreatnessR. W. Clark, D. D.Matthew 20:26-28
Christ Our Redeemer Because Our ServantH. Melvill, B. D. .Matthew 20:26-28
Greatness Measured by ServiceG. Anderson, D. D.Matthew 20:26-28
Pride Destroys the Best Elements of CharacterH. Melvill, B. D.Matthew 20:26-28
The Greatness of Being UsefulH. Melvill, B. D.Matthew 20:26-28
True GreatnessC. O. Bridgman, D. D.Matthew 20:26-28

There was nothing more characteristic of the teaching of Jesus, perhaps we may even say, nothing more novel in his teaching, than his reversion of the common notions of service. All the world over, and all the ages through, the ordinary man has seen dignity in "being served," and has seen a kind of indignity in "serving." This has come about in two ways.

1. Through the exaggerated importance given to self. A man has come to be of more interest to himself than his brother can ever be to him. Yet God made man male and female in order to prevent this egoism, and start man upon working the altruistic principle, each finding his or her own best blessing in caring for the other. Christianity is the recovery of the primary altruistic principle, and the mastery of that egoism which has proved the prolific parent of all the vices.

2. Through the absorbing interest of appearances; of material things - state, wealth, luxury, show of greatness. True greatness lies in character; let us once see this clearly and receive it fully, and then the kindliness and thoughtfulness which sweetly blend with humility, and ever make us ready to serve, will seem to be surpassingly valuable. The moral greatness of service may he seen if we consider -

I. IT IS THE HIGHEST AND NOBLEST VIEW WE CAN GET OF GOD. Thoughts of majesty, dignity, authority, are properly encouraged; but we must have felt, as the psalm writers felt, that only when we conceive of God as the all-ministering One do we bow in fullest reverence of love before him. "The eyes of all wait on thee. Thou givest them their meat in due season."

II. IT IS THE INFINITE ATTRACTION OF THE LORD JESUS. The charm of Christ would be gone forever if any one could show us that he ever got anything for himself. "He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." He was among us as "One that serveth." His character is the ideal character; his life was the ideal life; but its glory lies in its self-denying service - its all-ruling "altruism."

III. IT IS THE UNIVERSALLY ADMIRABLE THING IN GOOD MEN. The man who lives to get is despised. The man who lives to give and serve is commended. Christ has affected the standard of moral greatness. We are no longer dazzled by appearances. Service to our human brother is now the only true nobility. - R.T.

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Greatness a word often used, and people's ideas of it differ much. Some regard it as consisting in wealth, social position, physical strength. Christ places it in service, springing from love in the heart. Man's true greatness must be in himself.

1. The importance of a true ideal of life.

2. This true ideal can be realized by every one of us. No life need be a failure.

(C. O. Bridgman, D. D.)

I. Greatness is to be measured by service. No man lives or dies to himself. Florence .Nightingale moved other women most when she herself went to minister on battle fields.

II. The greater men are in intellect and culture, the more imperative it is that they become leaders and helpers. If a man has power to do good and refuses, he is not guiltless.

III. Those who thus labour for the good of their fellow-men are the greatest. Love is the greatest power on the earth.

(G. Anderson, D. D.)

1. Our Lord does not condemn the spirit of ambition, but simply aims to point out the basis of real greatness. He regarded His disciples, in a certain sense, as kings, but He would have them establish their regal right in a different manner from the princes of this world.

2. In how many scriptural promises do we find this principle recognized. They that turn many to righteousness " shall shine as the stars for ever and ever:' St. Paul says, "There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness," etc.

3. Rank in the kingdom of heaven will be measured by humility. Condescension is the measure of exaltation. The way up to the glory of the Exalted One is through humble, self-denying love.

(R. W. Clark, D. D.)

Yet what has the patriot made himself but the servant of his countrymen: It was in order to the ministering to the well-being of thousands, that he threw himself into the breach, and challenged tyranny to the battle. It was for the sake of securing the rights of those who trod the same soil with himself, that he arose as the champion of the wretched and injured. The case is the same with the philosopher as with the patriot. Accordingly, he who labours in the mine of truth, and presents to the world the results of his investigations, furnishes his fellow-men with new principles on which to act in the business of life, and thus equips them for fresh enterprises, and instructs them how to add to the sum total of happiness. We need not exemplify this in particular instances. You are all aware how scientific research is turned to account in everyday life, and how the very lowest of our people enjoy, in one way or another, the fruits of discoveries which are due to the marvellous sagacity, and the repeated experiments, of those who rank foremost in the annals of philosophy. And thus it is evident that the man who is great in science, is great in the power of serving his fellow-men, and that it is this latter greatness which insures him their applauses. If his discoveries were of no benefit to the many; if they opened no means by which enjoyments might be multiplied, toil diminished, or danger averted; his name would be known only within a limited circle, and there would be nothing that approached to a general recognition of superiority. The individual again who gains renown as a statesman, who serves his country in the senate as the warrior in the field, is the minister to all classes, so that the very lowest have the profit of his toils. And in proportion as the service wore the aspect of selfishness, would the tribute of applause be diminished: we should be less and less disposed to allow, that, in making himself a servant, he had made himself great, if we had increasing cause to think that his main design was the serving himself. But there is no room for suspicions of this class, when the exhibition is that of a fine Christian philanthropy, leading a man to give his assiduity to the sick-beds of the poor, or the prisons of the criminal. Accordingly, when an individual is manifestly and strongly actuated by this philanthropy, there is an almost universal consent in awarding him the appellation of great: even those who would be amongst the last to imitate are amongst the first to applaud.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

The rebel against lawful authority cannot be truly great: the slave of his own passions cannot be truly great: the idolater of his own powers cannot be truly great. And the proud man is this rebel, this slave, this idolater; for pride spurns at the Divine dominion, gives vigour to depraved affections, and exaggerates all our powers. What, then, can be more accurate than that pride destroys the chief elements of which a great character is compounded, so that it must be to direct a man in the way to eminence, to prescribe that he be "clothed with humility?"

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

But if Christ thus made Himself servant to the human race, it is this very fact which is to draw to Him finally universal homage. Had He not been their servant, He could not have been their Redeemer; and, if not their Redeemer, then at His name would not every knee have bowed, "of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth." Thus He illustrates His own precept: He became great through redeeming; but since lie redeemed through making Himself the minister to a lost world, lie became great through becoming a servant.

(H. Melvill, B. D. .)

David, Jesus, Zabdi, Zebedee
Jericho, Jerusalem, Judea
Bondman, Bondservant, Chief, Desire, Desires, Lowest, Servant, Slave, Wishes
1. Jesus, by the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, shows that God is debtor unto no man;
17. foretells his passion;
20. by answering the mother of Zebedee's children, teaches his disciples to be humble;
29. and gives two blind men their sight.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 20:20-28

     2060   Christ, patience of
     5937   rivalry

Matthew 20:20-31

     5554   status

Matthew 20:25-27

     5220   authority, abuse

Matthew 20:25-28

     2339   Christ, example of
     5395   lordship, human and divine
     5857   fame
     8115   discipleship, nature of

Matthew 20:26-27

     5153   foot-washing

Matthew 20:26-28

     5765   attitudes, to people

Matthew 20:26-34

     2036   Christ, humility

February 2. "And Whosoever Will be Great among You, Let Him be Your Minister. And Whosoever Will be Chief among You, Let Him be Your Servant" (Matt. xx. 26, 27).
"And whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant" (Matt. xx. 26, 27). Slave is the literal meaning of the word, doulos. The first word used for service is diakanos, which means a minister to others in any usual way or work: but the word doulos means a bond slave, and the Lord here plainly teaches us that the highest service is that of a bond slave. He Himself made Himself the servant of all, and he who would come
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Nearest to Christ
'To sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of My Father.'--MATT. xx. 23. You will observe that an unusually long supplement is inserted by our translators in this verse. That supplement is quite unnecessary, and, as is sometimes the case, is even worse than unnecessary. It positively obscures the true meaning of the words before us. As they stand in our Bibles, the impression that they leave upon one's mind is that Christ in
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Servant-Lord and his Servants
'Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.'--MATT. xx. 28. It seems at first sight strangely unsympathetic and irrelevant that the ambitious request of James and John and their foolish mother, that they should sit at Christ's right hand and His left in His kingdom, should have been occasioned by, and have followed immediately upon, our Lord's solemn and pathetic announcement of His sufferings. But the connection is not difficult to trace. The disciples believed that,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

What the Historic Christ Taught About his Death
'The Son of Man came... to give His life a ransom for many.'--Matt. xx. 28. We hear a great deal at present about going back to 'the Christ of the Gospels.' In so far as that phrase and the movement of thought which it describes are a protest against the substitution of doctrines for the Person whom the doctrines represent, I, for one, rejoice in it. But I believe that the antithesis suggested by the phrase, and by some of its advocates avowed, between the Christ of the Gospels and the Christ of
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Blind Bartimeus
Mark 10:52 -- "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way." When the apostle Peter was recommending Jesus of Nazareth, in one of his sermons to the Jews, he gave him a short, but withal a glorious and exalted character, "That we went about doing good." He went about, he sought occasions of doing good; it was his meat and drink to do the works of him that sent him, whilst the day of his public administration
George Whitefield—Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

Delivered on the Lord's Day, on that which is Written in the Gospel, Matt. xx. 1, "The Kingdom of Heaven is Like unto a Man That
1. Ye have heard out of the Holy Gospel a parable well suited to the present season, concerning the labourers in the vineyard. For now is the time of the material [2841] vintage. Now there is also a spiritual vintage, wherein God rejoiceth in the fruit of His vineyard. For we cultivate God, and God cultivateth us. [2842] But we do not so cultivate God as to make Him any better thereby. For our cultivation is the labour of the heart, not of the hands. [2843] He cultivateth us as the husbandman doth
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xx. 30, About the Two Blind Men Sitting by the Way Side, and Crying Out, "Lord, have Mercy On
1. Ye know, Holy Brethren, full well as we do, that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Physician of our eternal health; and that to this end He took the weakness of our nature, that our weakness might not last for ever. For He assumed a mortal body, wherein to kill death. And, "though He was crucified through weakness," as the Apostle saith, "yet He liveth by the power of God." [2870] They are the words too of the same Apostle; "He dieth no more, and death shall have no more dominion over Him."
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

Divine Sovereignty
We must assume, before we commence our discourse, one thing certain, namely, that all blessings are gifts and that we have no claim to them by our own merit. This I think every considerate mind will grant. And this being admitted, we shall endeavour to show that he has a right, seeing they are his own to do what he wills with them--to withhold them wholly is he pleaseth--to distribute them all if he chooseth--to give to some and not to others--to give to none or to give to all, just as seemeth good
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

The Private Thoughts and Words of Jesus
"And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again."--Matthew 20:17-19. YOU HAVE THIS SAME STORY in Matthew and Mark and Luke, a little differently told; as would naturally be the case
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

Particular Redemption
I begin this morning with the doctrine of Redemption. "He gave his life a ransom for many." The doctrine of Redemption is one of the most important doctrines of the system of faith. A mistake on this point will inevitably lead to a mistake through the entire system of our belief. Now, you are aware that there are different theories of Redemption. All Christians hold that Christ died to redeem, but all Christians do not teach the same redemption. We differ as to the nature of atonement, and as to
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

Sermon for Septuagesima Sunday
(From the Gospel for the day) In this Sermon following we are taught how we must perpetually press forward towards our highest good, without pause or rest; and how we must labour in the spiritual vineyard that it may bring forth good fruit. Matt. xx. 1.--"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard." THIS householder went out early at the first hour, and again at the third and at the sixth hours, and hired
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler

Augustine 354-430 -- the Recovery of Sight by the Blind
I. Ye know, holy brethren, full well as we do, that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the physician of our eternal health; and that to this end we task the weakness of our natures, that our weakness might not last forever. For He assumed a mortal body, wherein to kill death. And, "though He was crucified through weakness," as the apostle saith, yet He "liveth by the power of God." They are the words, too, of the same apostle: "He dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over Him." These things,
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume I

The Historical Books of the New Testament, Meaning Thereby the Four Gospels and the Acts...
The historical books of the New Testament, meaning thereby the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, are quoted, or alluded to, by a series of Christian writers, beginning with those who were contemporary with the apostles, or who immediately followed them, and proceeding in close and regular succession from their time to the present. The medium of proof stated in this proposition is, of all others, the most unquestionable, the least liable to any practices of fraud, and is not diminished by
William Paley—Evidences of Christianity

The Johannine Writings
BY the Johannine writings are meant the Apocalypse and the fourth gospel, as well as the three catholic epistles to which the name of John is traditionally attached. It is not possible to enter here into a review of the critical questions connected with them, and especially into the question of their authorship. The most recent criticism, while it seems to bring the traditional authorship into greater uncertainty, approaches more nearly than was once common to the position of tradition in another
James Denney—The Death of Christ

Ci. Foretelling his Passion. Rebuking Ambition.
(Peræa, or Judæa, Near the Jordan.) ^A Matt. XX. 17-28; ^B Mark X. 32-45; ^C Luke XVIII. 31-34. ^b 32 And they were on the way, going up to Jerusalem [Dean Mansel sees in these words an evidence that Jesus had just crossed the Jordan and was beginning the actual ascent up to Jerusalem. If so, he was in Judæa. But such a construction strains the language. Jesus had been going up to Jerusalem ever since he started in Galilee, and he may now have still be in Peræa. The parable
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cii. Bartimæus and his Companion Healed.
(at Jericho.) ^A Matt. XX. 29-34; ^B Mark X. 46-52; ^C Luke XVIII. 35-43. ^c 35 And it came to pass, as he drew nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 36 and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. [Jesus came from the Jordan, and was entering Jericho by its eastern gate. As the crowd following Jesus passed by, Bartimæus asked its meaning and learned of the presence of Jesus. Jesus on this
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The vineyard Labourers.
"For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market-place, and said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
William Arnot—The Parables of Our Lord

Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome.
IT pleased God, to whom all his works are known from eternity, to prepare Gregory by a twofold process, for the great and difficult work of the guidance of the Western Church, then agitated by so many storms. Destined to be plunged into the midst of an immense multitude of avocations of the most varied character, he was trained to bear such a burden by administering, until his fortieth year, an important civil office. Then, yielding to a long-felt yearning of his heart, he retired into a monastery,
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

The Blessing of Being with Good People. How Certain Illusions were Removed.
1. I began gradually to like the good and holy conversation of this nun. How well she used to speak of God! for she was a person of great discretion and sanctity. I listened to her with delight. I think there never was a time when I was not glad to listen to her. She began by telling me how she came to be a nun through the mere reading of the words of the Gospel "Many are called, and few are chosen." [1] She would speak of the reward which our Lord gives to those who forsake all things for His
Teresa of Avila—The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

Why Men do not Attain Quickly to the Perfect Love of God. Of Four Degrees of Prayer. Of the First Degree. The Doctrine Profitable for Beginners,
1. I speak now of those who begin to be the servants of love; that seems to me to be nothing else but to resolve to follow Him in the way of prayer, who has loved us so much. It is a dignity so great, that I have a strange joy in thinking of it; for servile fear vanishes at once, if we are, as we ought to be, in the first degree. O Lord of my soul, and my good, how is it that, when a soul is determined to love Thee--doing all it can, by forsaking all things, in order that it may the better occupy
Teresa of Avila—The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

The First Last, and the Last First
"But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."--Matthew 19:30. "So the last shall be first, and the first last."--Matthew 20:16. WE MUST BE SAVED if we would serve the Lord. We cannot serve God in an unsaved condition. "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." It is vain for them to attempt service while they are still at enmity against God. The Lord wants not enemies to wait upon him, nor slaves to grace his throne. We must be saved first; and salvation is all of grace.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

Christ's Resurrection and Our Newness of Life
The idea that the grace of God should lead us to licentiousness is utterly loathsome to every Christian man. We cannot endure it. The notion that the doctrines of grace give license to sin, comes from the devil, and we scout it with a detestation more deep than words can express. "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" On our first entrance upon a Christian profession, we are met by the ordinance of baptism, which teaches the necessity of purification. Baptism is, in its very
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The Compassion of Jesus
THIS is said of Christ Jesus several times in the New Testament. The original word is a very remarkable one. It is not found in classic Greek. It is not found in the Septuagint. The fact is, it was a word coined by the evangelists themselves. They did not find one in the whole Greek language that suited their purpose, and therefore they had to make one. It is expressive of the deepest emotion; a striving of the bowels--a yearning of the innermost nature with pity. As the dictionaries tell us-- Ex
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 60: 1914

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