THOUGHTS ON THE LORD’S DAY
“Servants Who Rule and Rulers Who Serve.”
The Gospel of Mark is the most translated book in the Bible. No other book appears in more languages. Mark was fascinated with two qualities of Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth, a carpenter, a human being. Jesus, Son of God, the Divine. Mark seemed overwhelmed by this combination. The Ruler who knows how to serve and the Servant who knows how to rule.
It’s worth noting the authority of the Servant and the humility of the Ruler. The foundation for great relationships, regardless of where they are, is found in this principle. In Mark 9:33-35, the disciples were arguing about who was going to be the greatest in the coming Kingdom.
How did the argument start? Could have been after only three were invited to the special meeting on the Mountain of Transfiguration. What motivated them to ask, “Who’s the greatest, who will hold the place of power and authority along side Jesus?”
Jesus reveals the truth about ambition. He did not rebuke them for wanting to be great, but He did rebuke them because of their desire and motivation. God wants us to succeed in life, however, not at the cost of losing our heart to serve when our authority increases.
Life lesson: The way to greatness is not seeking to be first, but by a willingness to be last. Not by getting others to serve us, but being the servant of all, including those who may be following you. The higher you are in a position of authority simply means you have the biggest mop bucket.
Ambition comes in two flavors. Be approved and applauded by men, or be favored and elevated by God. Greatness in the world is measured by how many serve us. How much power, position and authority we command and the extent of our influence. Greatness in God’s Kingdom is measured by “esteeming everyone better than yourself” (Philippians 2:3) and ”being the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).
It amazes me how you can have a problem with another human being, especially a fellow believer, when according to Scripture, that person is better than you and you are their servant. Strife is seldom found where a culture of servanthood prevails.
With whom are you struggling today? Are you willing to be their servant? If not, I guarantee that you will not find peace until you bend your knee in service and bow your heart in love.
It’s very inspiring to celebrate with a large crowd. It makes a statement about the strength of the army. But, who will fight for your heart? Who will laugh at your not so funny stories? Who will cry with you when you are hurting? With whom will you celebrate your personal victories?
Is it possible to offer rich and penetrating words to someone you casually know in the lobby while you dash off to get your kids, or get to your favorite restaurant on time for lunch? And what about spiritual warfare? How comfortable are you turning to the person sitting next to you during the three-minute “fellowship time” and share your latest crisis while the offering plate passes?
It matters very little how many attend our weekend services, or how large the offering, or even how great the sermon, if people go home broken, hurting and lonely. If the Church does not find a way to create small groups that do life together, not just go to services together, a ten-minute visit with an altar-team they barely know is better than nothing, it just won’t cut it for the long haul.