-Great In God’s Kingdom!
In my last post we talked about the kind of life that Jesus called great! We picked up on His conversation, with the disciples, after two of them— James & John— asked if they could sit in the seat of power, next to Jesus, in His Kingdom. “Jesus called them over and said to them, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and their men of high positions exercise power over them. But it must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many” Mark 10:42-45. In so many words, Jesus was teaching them that if you’re great in God’s Kingdom, that this world probably won’t even notice you!
-Slave Or Servant?
Jesus calls you great when you reject the world’s leadership style (v.42). He also calls you great when your ministry is measured by the people you serve (v.43). But, there are 2 more points I’d like to draw out, from this text, related to what Jesus calls great. He also calls you great when you humble yourself & become the world’s slave (v.44). We touched briefly, on this point, in our last post. The word is “doulos” in the original Greek language; and, it can only be translated accurately as “slave” in the English. So, while the Holman version actually translates it “slave”, many translations choose to use the word “servant.” And, while they can be credited with sensitivity for choosing to translate the word as “servant” because the history of slavery, in America, is so repulsive & offensive, we probably ought not change the word Jesus used.
-The Humility Of A Slave!
He meant for us to take on the humility, of a “slave,” when it comes to our ministry & service. In this way, we actually serve like Jesus did: “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,” the Apostle Paul wrote, “who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave” Philippians 2:5-11. In other words, Jesus didn’t use His title— GOD— as a BIG STICK! In His incarnation, He took the form of a SLAVE!
-Suffering For Others!
Finally, from Jesus’ words here, we discern that He calls you great when you give up your life to suffer for others (v.45). Even Jesus suffered for others, willingly, all the way to the cross! He served ‘til it hurt! ‘Til it killed Him! And, you image Jesus when you live your life similarly! That’s probably not going to get you a fancy TITLE; or, the corner office in the big corporation! But, it will get you a “Well done, good & faithful servant” from Jesus! You may have noticed that the focus, in this post, was not on spiritual gifts, the reason being, that, the greater emphasis, in Scripture, is on the heart attitude toward ministry rather than giftedness or knowledge! Jesus emphasis humility over giftedness; and, the power is never said to be in our GIFTS; but, in the Holy Spirit! So, how will you respond to needs around you? I hope like Jesus did!