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Mercy Extended

A Journey With Matthew  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.

21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.”

22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.”

23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.

25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.

26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,

27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,

28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

29 And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him.

30 And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”

31 The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”

32 And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”

33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.”

34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.

TITLE: Mercy Extended!

Verses 18-19 reveals to us the 3rd and final time Jesus will predict (reveal) his death and resurrection.
(1) (2) (3)
Chapter 21 starts the decent into Jerusalem.
Jesus is just over a week away from the Cross.
I think you would agree with me, on this Journey with Matthew we have come to understand that everything He has written about Jesus was for a reason.
Let me add this footnote ...... everything that has been written in scripture is for a reason ...... for US today!
I have actually heard people say they believe the word, preaching, is obsolete for today’s culture.
Oh what a slippery slope we are on when we start to believe that lie that is straight from Satan himself.
What Matthew writes and what we have been studying over the last 3 years is all for a reason (A divine Reason)!
With that said, as I was studying this passage I asked the question, “Why these 2 stories leading up to the decent into Jerusalem.”
Let’s quickly take a look at these 2 stories.
Mother of the Sons of Zebedee (John and James)
This is the first time Mom has been mentioned in scripture.
We know she is also one of the 3 ladies mentioned at the death of Christ (27:56).
We know she is part of the crowd.
What I find very humorous is the depiction of this scene:
You have a MOM (one could say somewhat over zealous) approaching Jesus on behalf of her 2 sons.
I don’t know why but I have this picture of a reality TV show (moms of those pageant kids)!
She kneels before Christ (reverence) to ask him a favor!
I love what Jesus says, “What do you want?”
Not in a condescending way or a perturbed way.
He asked her this questions as to say “What is your desire?”
You know what this tells me, “JESUS CARES.”
Look what she says!
(vs 21 - She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.
She is not saying, ..... if its possible ..... if you could ..... if you find favor with me!
The Greek word used here for “SAY” is used as a COMMANDMENT.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
She is basically saying “You say it be so and it will be done.”
You know what this tells me, ...... She Believes! She has faith that the Kingdom of heaven is coming.
The right and the left was considered positions of highest honor.
(Vs 22) Look what Jesus says, “You do not know what you are asking.
You almost get a sense of heartbreak in Jesus’s next question as he turns to the 2 sons and asked .... “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”
The Message paraphrases their response to say, “SURE WHY NOT!”
Jesus understands they will drink for this cup later (Except John) as a martyr.
But as for the highest position this was left up to the Father to decide.
(Vs 24) reveals a very pivotal moment for the disciples as well as the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven.
After hearing this mother and her 2 sons make this request the other 10 disciples get ticked.
The word used here is “Indignant” (Greek meaning outraged, angered)
Used else where in (Let the children come to Jesus) and (Chief priest get upset at the children praise Jesus).
Here is where things could have come unraveled.
(Vs 25-28) Jesus pulls them close to him and he pours his truth into them.
The position they should be seeking is the same one he will demonstrate on the cross.
He tells them “Don’t jockey for prominent position but become the least of these (Servant).
This is the first Story Matthew inserts between the 3rd pronouncement of Jesus’s death and resurrection and his descent to the cross.
2 Blind men on the side of the road.
These guys are on the side of the road leading out of Jericho.
There is a great crowd following Jesus as well as His disciples.
They hear that Jesus is passing by.
Probably from the crowd
They cry out “Lord, have mercy on us.” (Vs 30)
The crowd rebukes them, telling them to be silent.
They cry out even louder again stating, “Lord, have mercy on us.”
Jesus stops and asked, “What do you want .....” (Sound familiar?) .... me to do for you?”
Are you not glad we serve a God that when we cry out He STOPS? He Hears us! He responds!
They ask, “Lord, Let our eyes be opened!”
(Vs 34) Jesus took pity (Felt Sympathy) and touched their eyes and they were healed.
They followed Jesus to the cross.
So I go back to the question, “Why does Matthew insert these 2 stories between Jesus 3rd pronouncement of his death and resurrection and his descent to the Cross?”
Its simple: to reveal MERCY!
Definition of mercy is the quality in God that directs him to forge a relationship with people who absolutely do not deserve to be in relationship with him.
This mom and her 2 sons who were seeking “Self exultation” (A place of highest honor!)
Jesus reveals what they should be “Mercy to others.”
They should be the least among others, should be servant to others, should be willing slaves.
Jesus shows them what Mercy really is (Vs 28) .... “a ransom for many.”
That word ransom is the Greek word lytron, from lyo, “loose.” So the essential idea is that of a release; then, that by which the release is obtained.
“For” is anti. It carried at the time the idea of substitution. For Many!
Therefor mercy is that which is extended to those who do not deserve what is being extended to them.
The ultimate example of MERCY will be evident in the sacrifice Christ demonstrates to us all on the Cross.
These 2 Blind men cried out for Mercy.
This is exactly what Christ gave them.
There are 3 things we can walk away with from these 2 stories.
In order to receive Mercy you must have faith. (Faith in Christ)
All you have to do is ask.
You can’t understand Mercy if you don’t know Jesus!
This mom/2 sons and these 2 blind men knew/believed in Jesus
Who He was and what He was preaching.
Understand that as followers of Christ its what should flow from us to all.
Mom believed Jesus’s Kingdom was coming (even though it was not going to look like the way she thought it would.)
Understand that for those who feel unworthy (as these blind men may have felt) all you have to do is ask and then receive it.
These 2 blind men believed Jesus could heal them!
Christ hears all!
Satan can’t detract you from it.
No matter how much Faith you have there will always be obstacles (people or things) (in this case people) who will get indignant with you.
Just draw closer to Christ in the midst
The 10 disciples got indignant with the 2 sons of Zebedee
The world (the crowd) can’t drown you out.
Just cry out louder.
The crowd got indignant with the 2 Blind men.
Let your faith be Seen by all!
This mother (no matter how wrong her request was) had faith Christ could do it!
No matter how insignificant you may feel Jesus will always .....
These 2 blind men had faith that Christ could heal them.
.... Hear you!
.... Care about you!
When you look at the story of this Mom
She is a woman! (Insignificant in that day and time in that culture)
They were handicapped individuals! (Insignificant in that day and time in that culture)
Jesus stops listens and when needed, got close.
What is I told you today Jesus cares about you today?
All that is needed is Faith, realizing that Satan has been the obstacle between you and Jesus.
Finally, Jesus is calling you to Him today!
He hears you! He has stopped and is drawing you close to him today.
You are significant to Him.
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