He Came to Serve and Suffer
Matthew 20: 17-20

17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to
happen to him. 18 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading
priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans to
be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” 20 Then the mother
of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. 21 “What is
your request?” he asked. She replied, “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on
your right and the other on your left.” 22 But Jesus answered by saying to them, “You don’t know what you are asking!
Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?” “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!” 23
Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left.
My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.” 24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and
John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world
lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different.
Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must
become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a
ransom for many.”
1) How do you feel before you serve someone, when you’re asked to do something? How do you feel afterward?

2) Jesus spent a lot of time serving. Why do you think he did this?


Matthew 5 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.
Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so
that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 7 12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.


Matthew 8 2 Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and
make me clean.” 3Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.
Matthew 8 5When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, 6“Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and
in terrible pain.” 7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say
the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.
Matthew 8 14 When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. 15 But when Jesus touched her hand, the
fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him.
Matthew 8 16 That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed
all the sick.
Matthew 8 23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves
breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 Jesus
responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

Matthew 8 28 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. . .
. 31 So the demons begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” 32 “All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out
of the men and entered the pigs . . .
31So the demons begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” 32 “All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of
the men and entered the pigs, . . .
Matthew 9 1 Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. 2Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat.
Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.” . . . 6 Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and
said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go!” 7And the man jumped up and went home!
Matthew 9 20 Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe,
21 for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged!
Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
Matthew 9 18 As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt before him. “My daughter has just died,” he said, “but you can
bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand on her.” . . . 25 After the crowd was put outside, however, Jesus went in and took the
girl by the hand, and she stood up!
Matthew 9 27 After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” 28 They went
right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?” “Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do.” 29
Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.”
Matthew 9 32 When they left, a demon-possessed man who couldn’t speak was brought to Jesus. 33So Jesus cast out the demon, and then the man
began to speak.
Matthew 10 1 Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. .
. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received! 11:1 When Jesus had finished
giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went out to teach and preach in towns throughout the region.
Matthew 11 9 Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, 10 where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. . . . 13 Then he said to the man, “Hold out
your hand.” So, the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!
Matthew 12 15. . . many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them, 16 but he warned them not to reveal who he was. 17 This fulfilled
the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him: 18“Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me.
What God knows that psychologists have figured out:
-Helping others improves social support, encourages us to lead a more physically active lifestyle, distracts us from our
own problems, allows us to engage in a meaningful activity and improves our self-esteem and competence.
-When people begin serving others and treating each other with respect, it improves the general happiness of themselves
and of those around them. Serving others will promote personal growth from the inside out.
That for us – for God’s Kingdom – it one of our mains weapons of advancement!
TABLE TALK: Be specific. Who can you serve –and- by doing what?


Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?” “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!” 23
Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup.
3) When you have suffered in the past, as time passed, did it being closer to God or push you away from God?

4) What happened to James and John? How does history say they died? (needs research)

James: Herod Agrippa I was the grandson of Herod the Great (Acts 12). He who persecuted the church in Jerusalem and
had the apostle James, the brother of John and son of Zebedee, put to death by the sword. James became the first apostle
to be martyred. Around 44 AD.
John: During the reigns of either Emperor Nero (AD 54-68) or Domitian (AD 81-96), he was banished to the nearby
island of Patmos, now one of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. John likely was assigned to slave labor in the mines of
Patmos, so he did indeed suffer greatly. He was subsequently freed and died a natural death at Ephesus c AD

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

If you join an army to fight, you do so knowing it will be hard and you might get wounded. Jesus Follower, you are!
QUESTION: A great theologian said: SLIDE You will have suffering in this world. (Jesus -John 16:33)
Consciously or unconsciously, most of us have a theology of suffering. Pain makes theologians of us all.
QUESTION: What does that statement mean? When we suffer or there is death we work through in our minds and come
up with the “reason” that it occurred.
QUESTION: What reasons do we give? What have you heard? Fate, there is no real design of things that happen. The
world is just a mess. God doesn’t care, he just let’s things happen. What has God got against me?
-God did not invent bad things (crime, disease, all the ways we suffer) Human sin brought all of that to be. Ut God allows
it. God can prevent suffering, he probably does prevent a lot of things, but he doesn’t prevent it all.
-God IS at work in all of the things that happen in our life – we don’t see how, especially in the moment – but always for
some good that can be bring us closer to Jesus -and- make us more like Jesus.
-Ultimately it all comes back to God somehow – and we can know our suffering passed by God’s counsel.
-“Should we accept only good from God and not adversity” (Job 2:20) God’s plan is to not waste our suffering.
-Acknowledge there is a lot we don’t understand that’s bound up in mystery.
How do we comfort people who are suffering? Acknowledge their pain. Offer assurance of God’s presence in it. Pray for
them to experience God’s comfort in a meaningful way. Our words aren’t strong but the Holy Spirit can empower them.
SLIDE “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful loves endures forever.” Psalms 136:1 This is hard to see in
the moment, but on the backside we can often see. On the front side we need FAITH, on the backside we can see
All through Psalms and other books we see people lamenting. Honest prayers – they aren’t to voice their hurt. Those
with the closest relationship to God seem to be the ones that pout out their pain to God the most.
“God seems to want to give us as many words with which to fill in our complaint forms as to write our thank you notes!”
II Cor. 4:7-10, 17 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this
great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by
troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned
by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of
Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. . . . For our present troubles are small and won’t last very
long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
Suffering has it’s “say,” but it doesn’t have to ultimately get it’s way. Get comfort in Jesus nail-scarred hands.
SERVE – You can advance the kingdom SUFFERING – Others will see the God carries through it.

The Kingdom will advance.