January 6, 2022 – Mark 10: 35-45 – Not So Among You

Today we are reading from Mark 10: 35-45:

35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42 So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

The first part of this passage almost makes me laugh. It’s almost like James and John are trying to trick Jesus.  They say, do what we ask before we ask it. It’s almost like kids trying to trick their parents into something.  I almost feel like Jesus is humoring them.  

So they ask to be in charge in His kingdom (they are still looking for that earthly kingdom).  He says that’s not His to give. Then everyone gets mad at James and John.  

Once again, they aren’t getting it. They are looking for earthly power and earthly might.  And Jesus says, no, that is not how WE do it. That is how the world works, yes. 

But not so among you. We as Christians, we do not think as the world thinks. We do not live as the world lives. We do not seek power as the world does. Yes, that is how the world works. That is how the world strives.  But not so among you.  

Greatness for us comes from serving. From giving. From laying down our lives.  The world seeks power.  Not so among you. We seek service. 

I saw a quote by Beth Moore yesterday – in a world where bullies win, lose.  That is how we should live and operate.  Yes, the world seeks greatness.  Not so among you. Our greatness comes from service.  

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