[The Gospel According to…] Matthew 20:17-28

Bible opened to Matthew 20 with Green & Black's 70% cacao organic dark chocolate and a shot glass of milk

Today’s passage: Matthew 20:17-28


Here’s another spot where Jesus takes his disciples aside to let them know of his upcoming death and resurrection, then has to correct some of them when they miss the point almost immediately afterward. Last time it was just Peter, but now James and John’s mother goes to bat for her sons, trying to get them the prime seats of honor in Jesus’ kingdom, and James and John are on board with it, but then all the disciples get frusty when they hear about it.

Jesus first asks James and John if they’re able to drink the cup that he’s about to drink. Even when they say they’re up for it, though, he responds: “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father” (v.23). It’s like he’s saying, “If you’re really up for this, you’ve got to be willing to suffer with no guarantee of honor or recognition. You’ve got to really believe it’s worth it, even with no glory for yourself.” I think we can safely infer that the “cup” Jesus refers to is suffering for others’ well-being, especially based on what he says next.

Jesus rebukes his disciples for seeking their own glory before men. What he says next will blow your mind!

Clickbait headline parodies aside, Jesus’ words give us what may be our deepest insight into the gospel yet. He points to his own example of being all about others’ well-being instead of your own self-aggrandizement. He states: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (v.28). This is how he intends to mend the fissures in our broken world, this is how he’s going to liberate the captives: he’s going to give his own life to buy us back from our captors of sin and death. The Greek word translated as “ransom” is λύτρον: the price of a slave.

If Jesus is in fact divine, God in the flesh, then his sacrifice has infinite worth. It’s more than enough to pay the price to free us from all that’s wrong with the world, even from what’s wrong with ourselves. And that’s good news.

For today’s chocolate, we’re back to the Green & Black’s dark, which remains crazy delicious even on repeat eatings. And who’s that hanging out on the shot glass of milk? Why, it’s our old friend, Bad Decision Dinosaur!

Bad Decision Dinosaur shot glass of milk, chocolate and Bible in background

The only reason why drinking milk out of a shot glass would be a bad decision is that you can’t fit more than a few bars’ worth of milk in a shot glass.

3 thoughts on “[The Gospel According to…] Matthew 20:17-28

  1. James’ actual name was Jacob but the KJV scribes decided to honour their king when translating the texts.

    Does your chocol8 come in diabetic version as well?

    Scotts are known to be stingy which is why you were given a small glass. They should really learn to serve!


    1. Thanks for the info about the James/Jacob name translation. I didn’t know about King James’ involvement in that precedent!

      Sadly, Green & Black’s product lineup doesn’t appear to have specially diabetic versions. Their FAQ does note that chocolate eaten in moderation may be suitable for people with diabetes, and they advise all people with diabetes to consult their doctor about their chocolate questions. And though I’m not diabetic myself, should I get my hands on specifically diabetic-friendly chocolate to eat while reading the Bible, you can bet you’ll hear about it in this blog. :)

      Liked by 1 person

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