Children’s Message for April 3 – Zebedee’s Request (ref Mt 20:20-28)

Children, wouldn’t it be great to sit next to the President of the United States? Or maybe your favorite singer or entertainer; or maybe even a famous sports legend. These are special seats because you can hear every word they say, you can look them in the eyes and you are so close that you can actually touch them.

Our story this morning is about a special request from a Mother named Zebedee who asks Jesus if her two sons can sit on either side of Jesus, one on his right, and the other on his left; when Jesus enters his kingdom. Children, this is a bold request. But Jesus’ response is beautiful. He actually says that it is not up to him to decide, but up to his Father – God the Father. This is an amazing response because Jesus is God’s own Son and He himself has the authority to decide who sits next to him. At one point in the bible it says that God the Father has given Jesus all power and authority on earth and in heaven. I’d like to remind you just how powerful Jesus really is.

He is above all powers. He is above all kings. He is above all nature and all created things. He is above all wisdom and all the ways of man. He was here before the world began. He is above all kingdoms. He is above all thrones. He is above all wonders the world has ever known. He is above all wealth and treasures of the earth. No one can measure what He is worth.

You know these things don’t you children? You know the stories, how Jesus converted water into wine, walked on the Sea of Galilee, healed blind and deaf people, calmed storms and stopped the wind, brought three people back from the dead and how he himself conquered death on the cross after rotting three days in a tomb carved from stone.

But Jesus gave up this power in his answer to Zebedee. Why? I have two reasons for you this morning. First, because Jesus is humble. Do you know what it means to be humble? I’ll give you a simple way of remembering what this word means. It means to point to someone else. To give someone else the credit. To think of someone else above yourself. That’s what Jesus is doing here.

Second, Jesus is showing respect for his Father. Do you recognize this as something? Jesus is obeying the fourth commandment. He is showing respect for his Father.

Do you know who God the Father has chosen to sit alongside Jesus in heaven? It’s himself.  Jesus will sit at the right hand of God the Father.  This, we also know from scripture.

Here’s my closing thought for you this morning. I don’t know who will be sitting on the other side of Jesus, but I believe this, when we get to heaven, we will see Jesus face-to-face. We will be able to touch him, and talk to him. We won’t have to sit next to him because his glory will be all around us. This is so much better than sitting next to anyone else that you can imagine. And the best news is that this will be forever, for eternity.

Editorial note – some of you astute readers will recognize some song lyrics buried into this message. This is really neat because we will be singing this song on 4/10 and I know that the children’s faces will light up when they recognize the wording and recall their message from a week ago.