Today’s readings: Isaiah 24:14-23; 1 Peter 3:13–4:6; Matthew 20:17-28
It is a bold request that the mother of the sons of Zebedee made of Jesus: asking for places of honor for her sons within the kingdom of God. Amazingly, Jesus did not rebuke her or her sons. Instead, Jesus put forth his own question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” Jesus knew the cup he was given by his Father meant he would suffer and die for the sake of God’s people. The cup he is to drink is the cup of God’s salvation, a cup that comes with a cost.
Jesus asks, “Can you drink the cup?” In faith, we answer, Yes, but how? Jesus gives clear instructions: deny yourself and take up your cross. Drinking the cup of Christ means suffering with him, serving others, enduring hardship, and having faith that God will equip us to do these things. It means putting away our selfish ambitions and extending our hands to meet the needs of the poor, hungry, and lost. Drinking the cup means loving God and loving neighbor first, offering our lives to Christ in order to gain life in God’s kingdom.
Can you drink the cup? With God’s help, yes, you can.
Prayer: O Lord, give us the strength and the will to drink your cup, that we may follow Jesus’ example of love and service for the sake of others. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila, Pastor of Union Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC.