Scripture: Mark 10:32-45
Key verses: (41-45) 41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42 So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Reflection: I love driving to and from work in the summer because there are no cars! As school sports are starting and people are coming back from vacations, it is getting a bit more crowded on the road. It can be frustrating to be in traffic. We do not like to wait. Waiting in line is even harder. We even huff because our coffee that we ordered, so we wouldn’t have to stand in line, was not ready when we arrived. With new delivery systems, we can order those few things we need from the drug-store, dinner or even our groceries and we do not have to wait in line.
I think we can all understand James and John and their eagerness to move to the front of the line. We judge them, but let’s be honest, we would have asked too.
Jesus doesn’t shame James and John in response to their question but uses it as a teaching moment. The Kingdom of God is not about bypassing the line or getting what you want. There is no seat of honor. Discipleship is about serving. James and John had privilege. Jesus reminds them of their responsibility.
Jesus doesn’t shame James and John but he does comment on the nature of power. Power is what will bring about his death. Jesus didn’t tell them to fade into the background or let people have power over them. He challenged them to serve, sacrifice and continue to work for the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ message is more than relevant for each of us and for the church today.
Prayer: God, we are here to serve. Use us in the work of justice, love and peace. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].