Faithful service is required

Published 2:22 pm Friday, February 18, 2011

Scripture: Mark 10:31-35

Aim: To help us understand that God’s plan must be followed as He wills. Jesus is the Example.

Golden Text: “And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:44-45).

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Some of the problems that the disciples had in understanding the will of God are often still problems for those of us who seek to follow Christ today. It is very difficult for most of us to fade into the background and become selfless and non self-serving. I suppose that one of our major problems today is the problem faced in this lesson. We have a tendency to want to elevate ourselves, or else have someone else elevate us, to a position that we think will set us above others. One of our basic problems is that we all live with a strong element and sense of pride that we are better and more deserving that anyone else; therefore, we ought to be placed first among others. This is a false premise upon which to base our life and actions.

As Jesus was approaching Jericho on the way to Jerusalem, He was approached with a question concerning divorce in an attempt to trap Him (Mark 10:1-12). He answered by declaring that God has not approved of divorce. The laws of divorce were given because of hard hearts.

Afterward Jesus lovingly rebukes the disciples and asked that the children come to Him (vs. 13-16). A young rich man came kneeling before Jesus and asked what he must do to have eternal life. To which Jesus answered that he must do all God’s commandments. The man loved wealth more than the desire to be right with God. That is true of many today! Something else is loved!

Peter asks a question as to what he and the disciples would receive for leaving all to follow Jesus (vs. 28-31). Jesus promised a hundred-fold blessing as a result. He stated a very important principle, “Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first” (vs. 30-31).

I. Jesus declared to the disciples the divine plane for His life (vs. 32-34). They were going to Jerusalem (vs. 33). There Jesus would (1) be delivered to the chief priest and scribes; (2) He would be condemned to death by them, and (3) He would be delivered to the Gentiles (vs. 33).

The Gentiles will (1) mock Him, (2) scourge Him, spit upon Him and (3) kill Him (vs. 34).

All the efforts of the Jews and Gentiles to be finished with Jesus of Nazareth were going to avail them nothing. Jesus would be resurrected on the third day (vs. 34)! Pitiful man! There is no way he can be rid of Jesus Christ and his responsibility to God through Him! All will face Him!

II. Ugly pride raises it’s head among Jesus’ disciples (vs. 35-41). James and John brought their mother Salome with them to request that Jesus give James and John positions on the right and left hand when He was ruling on the throne (vs. 35-37, after all they are Jesus’ first cousins!).

Jesus instructed them that they would fulfill His plan for them to drink His cup and be baptized with the same baptism He would suffer. He was indicating they would give their lives for the cause of Christ and the glory of God (vs. 38-40). James was killed (Acts 12) and John was to suffer and be the last of the apostles to die (See Revelation 1:1-3).

The 10 other disciples heard about their request and became angry (vs. 41).

Jesus instructed them in their places of humble ministry, not as masters and lords (vs. 42-43).

They are to be servants, ministering among men faithfully.

He concludes with the Golden Text above (please see). Faithful servants humble themselves and dedicate themselves to serving others. The way to be “elevated” is to be “humbled” before God and man, then God will elevate His servant at the proper time! Jesus is our proper Example!