Posts in Diana Macias
Be Mindful of your Agenda

Matthew 20:23

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.”

Jesus shows that He is under the authority of God the Father. God alone makes the decisions about who will sit in those prime seats. These rewards are not granted as favors, though we often think that if we are good enough or nice enough or give away enough then we can accomplish winning favor with God.

Instead, we are to stay in a committed relationship with God and to do these things without an agenda. We need to do these things willingly because we want to do the good and hard Kingdom work of loving our neighbors as ourselves. 

God wants us to find a regular dwelling with Him where His character is second nature to us. Where we follow his character because we are overflowing with His love and mercy. God wants us to be like His Son Jesus. Nothing is worse than a tainted act of service. What matters more than the service is the heart and intention behind the service. Jesus’ heart is peaceful and pure. Today is a good day to reflect on the intentions of our actions. Can you ask Jesus to help you keep them pure? Can you look to Jesus as your example of how to do this well?

God Listens

Matthew 20:20-21

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor 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.”

In this passage we hear the mother of James and John asking for a favor. She is asking for the best seats in the house. Why? What is the undercurrent of emotion that is provoking her request? Could it be that she is scared of not being heard? Is she scared that her sons will be overlooked? Is she ruminating over her missteps in parenting? One could imagine that any of those reasons could be true.

The good news is that God listens. He is very interested in you. He is interested in your thoughts. Your voice matters. He takes you very seriously. When you are in His presence, He turns to listen to you, to look into your eyes. You don’t need to fear that you will be ignored.

He listens to your painful plea. He listens to your dark confessions. God’s listening is intentional. He will never avoid you or ignore you. Your pleas will not go unnoticed.

Remember your worth. You have been chosen. Meditate on this radical love that God has for you. Begin a conversation with Him. Start that conversation with Him now.

Jesus Understands

Matthew 20:22

“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.

Being fully human means that we must drink the suffering that is in our own cup.  It may seem overwhelming at times, and often we tend to avoid it. But Jesus tells us in this passage that He knows it is hard.  It is downright excruciating! Jesus seems to know that we will want to avoid the reality of our pain. We constantly try to step over or around it. But the only way forward is to sit down and drink.

Jesus did this for us. He traded in His royal status for earthly poverty. He often went without food. He knew what it felt like to be physically violated. He was often homeless and at the mercy of a handout. Some called Him crazy, and even His friends weren’t always faithful.

Jesus understands our suffering. We are not alone. Our King was a suffering servant. Our King, who was full of grace, never ever turned from the suffering. He took the cup of suffering and drank it for us.

What is in your cup? Is there a place where you are avoiding suffering? Can you look at it honestly with Jesus? Can you look to him as your example of how to be fully human? Take some time today and ask Jesus to help you drink the suffering that is in your own cup.

The Cost of His Freedom

Matthew 20:28

“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.”

Jesus came to earth for one purpose: to give his life as a ransom for us. He made this great sacrifice in order to give us a second chance.  He went to great lengths for us. He knew that suffering was to come, and He did it anyway. He went to the cross, where human hearts abandoned him. Yet His unbending grace was ever present for us. 

Our compassionate servant King always had the power to say no. Instead He submitted to His Father’s order. He, who was perfect, took the hit for our imperfection. As a result, we get to drink endlessly from the fountain of freedom. Oh what a gift!

Jesus did what was right and good for us. He took on our suffering at the cross. Cloaked in His humanity, He cried in pain, yet He still offered up petitions for us, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Oh what a scene, Jesus our suffering King, cloaked not in religion, but in humility. Oh what a loving Father that would give up His only Son before He would give up on you.

Take some time today and remember Jesus on the cross. Remember that the pain in our personal lives is a suffering Jesus can relate to. Can you talk with Him today about your suffering? Can you ask Jesus to meet you there?

Changed to His Likeness

Matthew 20: 25-28

25 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. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 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.”

Jesus the human, son of man, calls the disciples to him and lets them know that they are to be different than the rulers of the Gentiles.

Jesus is giving His disciples the actions required for following Him. He refuses to be guided by anything other than His high call. He is purposeful in letting the disciples know that they are not to power up. This is not the way among believers. Instead we are taught that to become great we must serve. By following Him, we will have a different kind of authority. Jesus our Servant King basically says, “If you want to be great, then serve, and if you want to be first, serve first.”

This may not seem appealing, considering our innate need to power up, but if you have given your life to Christ then He is already in you. He has made your heart His home, and He is ready to change you. Are you willing?

Is there a certain situation where you have been exercising your ability to power up?  Would you consider powering down a bit?  Would you consider asking Jesus to meet you there?