Jeremiah had a tough gig. You’ve heard the old expression “No good deed goes unpunished.” Well, Jeremiah was a living example of that. He was a prophet, a messenger. All he did was stand up and say what God wanted him to say. And what did it get him? Only the wrath of the people. “Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah…let us destroy him by his own tongue.” With friends like that, who needs enemies?
Our Gospel reading today from Matthew 20 features an interesting story. The mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, comes and asks Jesus that her two boys “sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” This request didn’t sit too well with the other ten Apostles. So Jesus has to give them all a lesson. “Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jeremiah stood in the gap between heaven and earth for the people. Jesus did the same. And He was instructing His disciples that they must do so, too. We are called to do the same. We must serve our brothers and sisters in any way the God sees fit. We must speak the truth, no matter the cost. And we must be willing to give our lives in service to God. Will you stand in the gap for someone today?
Father, give us the boldness to proclaim the truth, and the grace to serve. May we, as did Jeremiah and Jesus, offer our lives in service to you. Amen.