When we moved into our home seven years ago, it was the first in the second phase of our new sub-division. Our home sat away from all other homes or objects. Because our area was used for farming and mining, there are few trees. Even more so when we first moved in. It is a fairly sparse landscape.
On July 4th of that first year, we were able to walk around our home and view fireworks from cities and towns on the horizon. It was quite a show.
As the years have passed, houses have been built up around our home and some trees have grown. We are unable to view fireworks from far off cities, but the Tri-towns area is certainly able to pull off some wonderful celebrations with fireworks included.
The best part? These fireworks can be seen from my back yard!
Yesterday was the Carbon Valley Music Festival and the fireworks for this event are the best of year for us. The fireworks are set off in a field directly behind our home. Last night, I curled up on my swing and enjoyed the festivities.
I had the best seat in the house. My house.
There is an incident in the Bible where Jesus taught a lesson about the best seat in the house.
The mother of Zebedee’s sons had a little chat with Jesus. She took her two boys and went to the Master. She asked if her boys could sit on either side of Jesus in His kingdom.
Now let’s back it up. Can you imagine the dinner conversation the night before?
“Oh, James and John. You have worked so hard for Jesus. I think it is time for a promotion! Perhaps I’ll just have a little conversation with him to let him know that you two are his best options for these prominent roles in his kingdom. Yes, that is exactly what I will do.”
The thing is, she had James and John believing it!
She approached Jesus, asked her favor, and then Jesus turned to the boys and said, “You don’t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” (Matthew 20:22 – NIV)
Then the boys answered, “We can.”
Jesus with all of His wisdom and knowledge probably shook His head a bit and maybe even let out a weak chuckle. He then turned to the boys again and made this prophecy.
“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.” (Matthew 20:23 – NIV)
Jesus knew what their obedience in following Him would cost these young men. His role would be to prepare them for the upcoming events of their lives. He needed to make an impression upon them that would take their hearts and minds from this point to the moment they would be martyred. He used this teachable moment. He couldn’t waste any time.
Of course, the other disciples were indignant. They were annoyed. Perhaps with the mother and her sons, but maybe at themselves for not thinking of it first!
Jesus called them all together and spoke again. I believe He spoke with urgency, but I also believe with a pleading for them to understand what was about to take place. With His gentle words, Jesus wanted them to get it. This is what He said.
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for man.” (Matthew 20:26b-27 – NIV)
You see, having a servant attitude places us in the best seat in the house. Why? Because it is nearest to Jesus.
I have read this passage many times over the years, but to be honest, this is first time I really got it. My eyes are filled with tears. There is a lump in my throat. My heart gets it.
I pray that you get it too. That you’ll gain a better understanding of what it means to have the best seat in the house. Today I am truly thankful to be able to serve God and others. Are you?
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,