Yesterday I preached on this little scene in Matthew 20 between Jesus, a Mom and her two boys. Momma Zebedee had just overheard Jesus as He’d pulled her boys, and the other 10 disciples, aside to specifically and clearly tell them about the next phase in His mission. “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” I only spent a few moments on this yesterday, but notice how patently clear Jesus is about what’s going to happen next: condemned to death, mocked, flogged, crucified and raised to life. You’ve got to have some exceedingly powerful assumptions racing through your mind not to understand the vivid and memorable things Jesus was saying. And yet the pre-assumptions that Jesus was about to become King, lead a revolution against Rome, and rule Israel were so mighty in the imaginations of this mom and her boys, that she gets on her knees and requests of Jesus, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” How in the world did she get “sitting on thrones” from Jesus’ words about mocking, flogging and crucifixion? The answer lies in the power of her assumptions. She was so sure of her desires for God’s kingdom, and for her boys, that what she wanted Jesus to mean as He described the next phase of His mission was what Jesus actually meant He intended to do.
Ouch! I don’t know about you, but I definitely can see that same behavior in myself. What about you?