2nd week in Lent, Wednesday – 11th March 2020 – Matthew 20, 17-28
Cup of Salvation
The metaphor of drinking the cup refers to the suffering. Elsewhere, Jesus speaks of his anticipated passion as a cup that he must drink, which means simply to accept one’s God-appointed death (Mt 26,39.42; Jn 18,11). The cup, here, signifies the internal, mental, and spiritual sufferings which Christ endured. In the Old Testament the metaphor of cup often denoted joy and sorrow, blessing and affliction (Ps 11,6; 23,5; Is 51,17; Jer 25,15). In the prophets we see frequently the figure of the cup of God’s wrath brought on people (Is 51,17.22; Jer 25,15-28; 49,12; Eze 23,31-34), which reappears in Rev 14,10; 16,19. However, it does not follow that the cup that Jesus must drink represents God’s anger at sin; since James and John are assured that they will drink the same cup. But, cup can also denote God’s salvation (Ps 16,5; 116,13), which Jesus is able to take on for the world. Through His sufferings at the hands of the Jewish leaders, Jesus accomplished God’s salvation. The disciples participate in His victory through faithfulness in the present distress (10,16-39; 24). The mother and the two disciples affirm that they can remain faithful. The true son, Jesus, proves his sonship by always submitting to the Father’s will; his disciples, the true sons, must imitate the Son’s humility and obedience.