This Is Not Mine

“He said to them, ‘My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” (Matthew 20:23)

It may be of some relief to you to know that you do not have to answer every question, solve every problem, or make every decision.  In this passage, Jesus has just been asked by the mother of James & John to command that her two sons sit on His right and on His left in the Kingdom of God. This was a controversial request, as the next verses demonstrate: verse 24 says that the ten became indignant at the two brothers.

But Jesus’ response should be instructive to us:

He didn’t really answer the woman’s request. Instead He told her: “This is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”  Jesus basically deferred the question to His Heavenly Father.  These spots were not His to give — it was up to the Father to assign those coveted places, not Him.

Some of us would do well to remember Jesus’ approach here.  If we are not careful we can feel like we have to decide every controversy and answer every question. What pressure we sometimes put on ourselves!  And there are times when we legitimately need to make responsible decisions.  But there are other times when we should model our response after Jesus’ answer here: we don’t have to decide everything, do everything, understand everything.  There are times when we need to defer to God.  We are not God. We can’t answer everything for Him — and we need to remember that we are not His “press secretary”!  God does a really good job of taking care of Himself.  Ultimate answers and solutions are in HIS hands, not ours — thank God!

There is a peace to be found in surrendering that “control” to Him. Part of the problem is that too many of us want to be in charge, know everything, plan everything, be everything — but we bear the weight of that with stress and both physical and emotional wear and tear.  Instead, we need to give that up, and let God be God.  Don’t attempt to control or answer everything; be His humble servant who entrusts what is His, to Him. There are things of which we need to say, like Jesus did here: “This is not mine …”, and leave it in our Father’s most capable hands.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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1 Response to This Is Not Mine

  1. Marie-Anne Webster says:

    Love this: We are not God’s “press secretary.” It is really enlightening and encouraging to be reminded of this!

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