Sermon 15 Matthew 20 20-28 We have this ministry to be ministers for God

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →


Bible Text: Matthew 20:20-28

Subject: Ministers

Title: We Have This Ministry…To Be Ministers For God


Biblical Orientation:

Chapters 19-22 are during what we call Jesus’ ministry in Perea. Perea is the east of the Jordan river and north of Jericho. This area would have been safe from the scribes and Pharisees yet gave Jesus access to Jerusalem quickly. Chapter 21 is Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem and begins to being His earthly ministry to a close

We do say that Christ ministered while on earth. God gave Him very specific duties and Christ was sure to accomplish all that His Father had assigned to Him. In John 17:4 Jesus said, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do

In high school I worked at a gas station. The worst of all the jobs was to empty the barrel that held the used oil from oil changes. It was heavy, it was dirty, and it required two people. Whenever the owner told us to empty it, we complained. We griped so much you would have thought he was killing us. In all honesty, we did not act as if he was the owner and we were the employees

Finally, one of the other guys and I changed our minds about it and began to do the job because it needed to be done. We actually started doing it before it needed to be done and quit getting so dirty because we spilled a lot less oil

Have you ever needed to get something done for someone else or for God but did not have a right attitude? We can sure make ourselves miserable about doing the things that we ought to be doing with joy

Sermon Orientation:

In this section of Scripture, Jesus reveals the need for a right attitude and gives an illustration of how He ministered and served for the right reasons



A. The Request v 20–21

1. James’ and John’s mother comes to Jesus

2. She asks Jesus to allow her two sons to sit on his right and left side in the Kingdom

a. This signifies the desire for position

b. Those that sit on the side of a king are considered important themselves

3. We do not know where she got the idea to ask this but…

a. James and John did not seem shocked

b. The indignation of the disciples was towards them

B. The Response v 22–23

1. Jesus gives an illustration of the incredible fellowship they already have

a. He uses the picture of the “cup” and “baptism”

i. To drink from another’s cup means that you are close
ü You know a person very well before you will drink after them
ü This means you are sharing at the deepest levels
ii. The picture of baptism is of immersion
ü James and John were immersed in the ministry of Christ
ü They were part of what we call the “inner circle”
ü They were a part of all that Christ did

b. In His own way, He is saying: they already have enough

i. They are part of what the prophets prophesied
ii. They walked the earth with God

2. Jesus denies the request on two counts:

a. First, their ignorance

i. Neither the mother nor the sons really understand what they are asking!
ii. They are asking Jesus to commit God to something He may not wish to do

b. Second, His inability v 23

i. Seating arrangements in the Kingdom will be assigned by the Father, not the Son!
ii. Not only that, God has already has plans for those seats
ü Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold
ü Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus…

C. The Resentment v 24

1. The ten other disciples are indignant when they hear what James and John asked

2. Were they angry because they knew God was saving those or because they wanted them for themselves?

a. Probably because they wished for such position themselves

b. Jesus then taught them all the real attitude we should have

3. It is a lesson we all need

a. Ministry is not about how you are served

b. Ministry is about how you serve


A. A Servant Is Not To Be Like The Gentiles

1. Exposition

a. The princes of the Gentiles

i. They try to exert and rule over many people
ii. They judge the greatness of their kingdom by the number of people they rule
ü This is often used by managers to show their use to a company

b. They want to have a large dominion

i. Dominion is total control or lordship
ii. Caesar called himself god so that others would worship him and call him “lord”

c. The Gentiles wanted to have total authority over others

2. The church and its disciples are not to pattern themselves after the Gentiles

a. They are not a good example of how we are to live

b. We do not need that type of authority because we are under authority: Jesus Christ

c. The head of our church is God Himself

3. Jesus says, but it shall not be so among you

a. The first word in verse 26 is “but”

i. In the Greek language, this is a conjunction, it connects two thoughts
ii. However, in this case it is an “adversative” conjunction
iii. It means these two thoughts stand in opposition to each other

b. How you gain greatness in the world is not how you gain greatness and stature in God’s economy

B. A Servant Is To Minister

1. Exposition

a. Jesus tells the disciples how to be great

i. Not great like the Gentiles think great is
ii. Great like God thinks great is

b. God says to be great, become a minister

i. The word minister is the Greek word where we get deacon
ii. To be a minister you execute the responsibilities of an office
iii. Ministers have assigned duties
ü The pastor is often called the minister of the church; he has specific tasks and duties in the position
ü All of us minister in the fact that there are certain requirements of all who are God’s children

2. How does one minister?

a. Ministering has to do with spiritual things of God

b. You minister by doing spiritual things for others

ü Teaching, helping, praying, befriending

c. The irony is that the person who is busy taking care of the needs of others is one who is great in God’s church

C. A Servant Is To Serve

1. The word used for “servant” is the Greek word that means “slave”

a. A slave differs from a minister in that a slave holds no office

b. A slave is only subject to the whims of a master, they have no rights nor thought of what comes next

2. Peter learned from Jesus the meaning and difference

a. He begins his second epistle by saying Simon Peter, a servant (slave) and an apostle (office) of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ 2 Peter 1:1

b. While Peter held many offices as a minister, he knew the most important thing that he could be was a slave of Christ

i. This is a big change from his days with Jesus
ii. He was much like James and John at that time

3. Each of the disciples learned what it meant to be servants

a. None of them kept their life for their own sake

b. They each gave their life for the service of Jesus Christ

c. It is the most noble thing a person can do, serve Christ


The Wrong Attitude

I am not going to serve, I am not going to lower myself to them or any other person

In churches people can get the attitude, I am better than him/her or all them

Children of God can sometimes think, they are sinners, I am not going to lower myself to get involved with them

Consider how you act and react towards those in your church and those in the world

It is not our responsibility to judge others

It is not our place to decide who gets the blessing of having me minister or serve them

The Right Attitude

Paul told the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me

Jesus told us the servant is not greater than his master

All that we are is because of Jesus Christ

To have a ministry, we must minister

This means not being high and mighty

It means getting into the dirt of people’s lives

When God’s people serve and minister to others, their lives are touched by God

Is there something you will not do in God’s service?

Are there areas you say, I will not serve?

Is there a ministry you will not do?

Until you give up your pride God cannot use you

You must be willing to serve in any ministry this church has

When you are asked, people know your heart and attitude by the answer you give


Therefore, Ministry is not about how you are served, ministry is about how you serve

Do you have an I serve attitude or an I need to be served attitude?

Jesus teaches we are to be ministers for God

Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more