Mark – The Facts.
We all do it. To feel better about the “place” we are in life at the moment we talk smack about others who we feel are a threat to our “position” in this world. We put others down to lift up ourselves. We do it at work, in families, and at church. It is a human trait that is not pleasing to God.
Imagine a youth group traveling to camp in the church van. The discussion begins with funny jabs at each other and then escalates to arguing about who is the best at whatever it is they are talking about. It could be baseball, softball, kickball, or whatever activity they are looking forward to doing at camp. The jabs and pokes get louder and rougher until the Youth Leader steps in with the look, the “talk” and hopefully, a lesson in what it means to serve, not be served. Jesus shows us how to pull that off that teachable moment. (Do I hear crickets?)
Mark 9, The Message
So You Want First Place?
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was safe at home, he asked them, “What were you discussing on the road?”
34 The silence was deafening—they had been arguing with one another over who among them was greatest.
35 He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.”
36-37 He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me.”
What do we learn?
–The young disciples know that the previous discussion was not right. That’s why the silence when Jesus called them out.
–“So you want first place”, says Jesus. How many times have we clamored for first only to be told that we are to be last? Did we learn that lesson well? How did we take it? Did we serve well when called out?
–Do we embrace God’s children, (we are one of them), as He embraces us?
–No more talking smack among each other, okay? We are all God’s children. We are born again to serve…not to be served.
–Jesus came to serve. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45, NLT
Dear Heavenly Father, We repent of falling to our nature of wanting to be served rather than jumping up to serve others enthusiastically. Our desire is to please You first, to love You and love others. To love unconditionally like You love us is to serve well and not look for ways to be on top. We repent of talking smack among our fellow believers. There is no place for that in our walk with You. Thank you for another teachable moment in time that helps us to grow today.
In Jesus Name, Amen