September 14, 2016

Mark 10:35-45

“The spiritual authority of Jesus is an authority not found in a position or title, but in a towel.” Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline.

Like us, the disciples didn’t get it. They wanted Jesus to be a conquering king—not a suffering servant. As James and John planned their spot in Jesus’ cabinet, Jesus patiently let them know they had no idea what they were asking. Jesus said he hadn’t come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. The disciples were disillusioned; Jesus had flipped their economy on its head. “The greatest is the servant,” he said, “And the first is the slave of all.” It’s as if Jesus said, “I’ve traveled heaven and earth to come here to serve you.” As we practice the discipline of service, we identify with Christ himself. And to the extent we serve others, we show our position in the kingdom of God. In his book The Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard writes, “We misunderstand this passage if we read it merely as instructions on how to become great. It is, rather, a statement on how those who are great are to behave.” What about you? Are you behaving with kingdom greatness? Are you more concerned that there are those who have not been served or that your agenda and power are exercised? Are you most concerned about serving in the ways that are needed or expressing your opinion and exerting your power over others? Have you followed Jesus’ instructions on how to become great in his kingdom? Pray he would open your eyes to someone you can serve today.