The Plague of Pride

October 6, 2021

Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom" (Matthew 20:20-21).

Scripture is clear. Pride is the mother of all sin. (Job 35:11-13) Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?' There they cry out, but He does not answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not listen to empty talk, nor will the Almighty regard it. (Proverbs 8:13) The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. (Proverbs16:18) Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

One of the chief characteristics the disciples needed to learn under the discipline of the Lord was humility. As pride was their chief enemy, so humility would be their endearing characteristic. “It was not so much limited intelligence but excessive pride that prevented them from understanding and accepting Jesus’ teaching about such things as servanthood, sacrifice, humility, persecution, and His clear and repeated predictions about His own forthcoming suffering and death” (John MacArthur).

All through their training under Jesus, the disciples continued to believe He was to be a political Messiah who would deliver the Jews from Roman domination and return Israel to the glory days of Kings David and Solomon. And it was their desire to reign with Him in that Kingdom. This was the motivation behind the request to have James and John sit at the right and left of Jesus in His Kingdom. It was a selfish request. It was an arrogant and prideful request.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:3-11. For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. That’s the power of salvation - it replaces pride with humility.

“Lord Jesus, give me a humble heart that I might serve You only, Amen.”


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