Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The First will be last

Mark 9:33-37: “Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, ‘What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?’ 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’ 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 ‘Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.’"

The greatest lessons come when we do not expect them. As Jesus was talking to His disciples He asked them what were they disputing about as they were walking on the road. Apparently embarrassed, they kept silent. They were auguring among themselves about who among them was going to be the greatest. They were all caught up with position and power because of their association with Jesus. Jesus knowing what they were talking about, even though they kept silent, decided to use this event as a teachable moment.

Jesus said, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." This is a radical statement. It flies in the face of conventional thinking and worldly practice. This world says that if I think of me first and if I look out for number one, I will get ahead and prosper. However, Jesus’ paradigm is different from the worlds; His thought process is concerned with the eternal, not just with the momentary. Yes, if we forsake all and strive and claw our way up the ladder of success, we may gain some earthly prestige and position. However, if we forsake the eternal we forsake everything.

Jesus was teaching that if you desire power and position you are pursuing the wrong thing. Your desire should not be to “get ahead” in this world. Your fervor and obsession should not be the pursuit of influence, but rather the pursuit of people. Being a servant of Jesus means we are a servant of others. To be doing the work of Christ means we are putting others before ourselves; putting their success before our own. The work for the Alliance Legal Group is not career advancement, but rather people advancement. They are the focus of Jesus; they are to be our focus also.

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: num 32-33 New Testament Mark 10:1-31

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