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The Desire for Authority (Matthew 20:25-28)

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord warned His followers about the wickedness of those who have an inordinate desire to be in authority over others. “The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them” (Matthew 20:25). The people of God should not be controlled by such men (or women). Those who know and love the Lord should sincerely desire to serve others rather than to be in authority over them. The chief example is the Lord Jesus Christ who “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). John gave a similar warning when he spoke of “Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence” (3 John 1:9).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The Lord has the right to be served. Yet, He gave His disciples a great lesson on service (John 13:12-15). Paul wrote about the Lords example (Philippians 2:5-8). We should be more willing to serve than to be in charge (1 Corinthians 9:19; Galatians 5:13c).
  • (For everyone): Do you feel the need to be in charge? Do you feel the need to have others listening to you and following your lead? How can this be rooted in pride?
  • The Lord Jesus had authority. How did He give Himself as a servant in spite of His authority? How should this be an example to all who are presently in authority?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Thank the Lord for the example of service He has given us.
  • Ask God to guard you from an ungodly desire for authority.