Text: Matt. 20: 17‑28
INTRODUCTION: With this topic: THE AMBITION OF THE UN-CRUCIFIED, we will x ‑ ray the difference between the ambition expressed in our text and that of a spiritually empowered person. Specifically, the study will brought under these 3 sub‑headings: (1) Self ‑ Crucifixion Of The Spiritually Empowered (2) Selfish Ambition By The Un-crucified and (3) Self ‑ sacrificing Style Of Leadership: The Way Of The Crucified.
(1) Self ‑ Crucifixion Of The Spiritually Empowered
From the meaning of empowerment which is to equip one to be able to take care of one=s matters and problems, and help other people, we find that it (empowerment) can be spiritual, physical, material, economic, etc.
The spiritually empowered is one who is not only fresh in the basic Christian experiences of salvation, sanctification and Spirit ‑ infilling but also equipped with the fruit and gifts of the Spirit (cons. Gal. 5:21‑24; 1Cor. 12:3‑11). From the foregoing, we find that there is no one who is not crucified to self who can rightly claim to be spiritually empowered (cp. Gal. 2:20; Jn. 12:24).
(2) Selfish Ambition By The Uncrucified (Matt. 20:17‑24)
Ambition can be described as strong desire to achieve something. What James and John, the sons of Zebedee, manifested through their mother can be termed A Selfish ambition@, arising from uncrucified self. While, for the 3rd time, Jesus was speaking to them of the agony of the cross lying ahead of Him, the disciples were rather preoccupied with their desire for the crown (cp. Matt. 16:21; 17:22, 23; 20:17‑24). This is as a result of not having been crucified to self (cp. Jn. 6:38; Gal. 2:20; 6:14). The crucified would not be so concerned about positions and status, and upset with the desire for greatness and vain glory as the disciples were, at this time (cp. Matt. 20:20‑24; Lk. 22:24). Jesus saw this aberration and went on to teach on the proper mind frame.
(3) Self ‑ sacrificing Style Of Leadership: The Way Of The Crucified (Matt. 20:25‑28)
It is evident that those who push for status and fight for positions in Church, lack the appropriate frame of mind. Such people rather have worldly view of leadership. In the world, greatness is measured by the amount of dominion and authority one exercises over others. Jesus taught that the contrast is the case in the kingdom of God. Giving Himself as an example, He showed that the way to greatness is the way of lowliness, while the approved leader is the one who is not just there to exercise authority, but the one who, through self‑sacrifice, is service‑oriented (Matt. 20:25‑28).
Let the person that claims to be empowered, particularly spiritually, ensure that he/she is exhibiting the mind of Christ ‑ as a Christian, Christian worker or Christian leader (cp. Phil. 2:5‑11).
Rise and let us pray.
Fellowship Songs: (HSCF 40 & 163)