WHAT DO MILEY CYRUS and Kobe Bryant have in common? They are role models for thousands of teens. Girls try and dress like Miley, and boys try and shoot like Kobe. Who wouldn’t want to trade places with them for a day? Just the thought of thousands of fans screaming your name is a rush. With which famous person would you be pumped to trade places?
Read Matthew 20:20-28 and memorize verse 28.
Who came to Jesus? Why?
What was Jesus’ response?
What was Jesus’ requirement for greatness?
How did Jesus model servanthood?
Whom do you have a hard time serving? Why?
How would Jesus want you to serve that person this week?
Mothers want the best for their kids. James and John’s mother was no different. After all, they were some of Jesus’ best friends. Believing Jesus to be the Messiah who would set up an earthly kingdom, she wanted recognition and honor for her boys—yet Jesus told her sons to live as servants.
Jesus’ response was not expected. The most amazing thing about the whole conversation was that Jesus used Himself as a role model. He wasn’t asking His disciples to do anything that He wasn’t doing or going to do, including laying down His own life so that all could be saved. When you are looking for someone to model your life after, don’t look at celebrities. Look at the cross.
FRIENDSHIPS ARE TOUGH, ESPECIALLY AS A TEEN. You’re discovering what it means to move past childlike friendships into more mature relationships with others. As believers, we have a different standard than the world. We are to show justice, love, and faith in the way we treat others. In the world, we see a different standard. The perversion of love is manipulation, and the opposite of faith is inconsistency. For example, inconsistency would mean one day I will follow Christ, the next I will live my own way and do my own thing. Manipulation and inconsistency tend to make up the kinds of relationships we see displayed in the media or society. As Christians, these qualities have no place in our behavior toward others.
Read Matthew 23:23-26. Would Jesus have any reason to speak to you like He did the Pharisees in verse 23?
What is a hypocrite?
Why was Jesus calling the Pharisees hypocrites?
How do you display justice, love, and faithfulness in your relationships?
What do you need to clean out your life so that you shine with the light of Christ? Explain.
In today’s passage, Jesus was pretty harsh to the Pharisees for their arrogant behavior toward others. We like to think of Jesus as gentle and soft-spoken, but Jesus was fearless. He went before the religious leaders and called them out publicly. He said they put on a good act, but on the inside they were dirty and full of sin. They were greedy and self-indulgent. They were more concerned with their needs rather than the needs of those to whom they were supposed to be ministering. How important it is that we examine our own hearts before we judge the heart of another! It is our responsibility to confess our own sins to God and allow Him to cleanse us. From there we can minister to and love on those around us with an attitude of mercy and grace.