Jesus told His disciples in private of His impending death and resurrection. In Matthew each prediction of Jesus’ suffering is connected to instruction about discipleship in light of suffering.
After the private meeting with His disciples, the mother of James and John came to Jesus and requested that her sons sit at Jesus’ right and left hands in His Kingdom. Jesus replied that was a decision made by the Heavenly Father.
When the other disciples heard of the request, they were indignant and probably argued among themselves. Jesus then called them together and defined the primary qualification for leadership in His Kingdom: a leader must be a servant.
Jesus told them to look at the example He had set for them. He, the Son of God who called Himself the Son of Man, came to this earth to serve others and His example of servant-leadership would culminate in the sacrifice of His own life for the redemption of all humanity (vs. 28).
According to Jesus, sacrificial service is the mark of true leadership. In God’s Kingdom, leading people is equivalent to serving people. The path to leadership is paved with service and sacrifice.
Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5:25, NLT)