Monday, December 12, 2011

The Way Up Is The Way Down

Mark 10:35-45

James and John approached the Lord Jesus asking that they be allowed to sit with Him in the highest positions of His coming kingdom.


They wanted preeminence.

They wanted the glory and honor that came from being elevated to a throne.


They wanted proximity.

They wanted to be close to the Lord Jesus in the Kingdom.


They wanted power.

They wanted positions of great authority in the coming kingdom.


The Lord Jesus responded by telling them that they had no idea what they were asking for.


He confronted them by asking them if they were willing and able to experience all that He was about to endure.


They told Him that they could.

But they did not understand what would await the Lord Jesus.

Their response revealed a complete lack of understanding concerning what the Lord Jesus was about to suffer and of the load He was sent to carry.

The Lord Jesus was on His way to Calvary where He would bear the sins of His people on a Roman cross.

The Lord Jesus was about to experience the undiluted wrath of the Almighty God against sin and sinners.

The Lord Jesus was about to die at the hands of the Heavenly Father.


The Lord Jesus told them that they would suffer and die for their faith.

But they could never endure what He was about to suffer.


The Lord Jesus told them that positions in the kingdom would not be given out based on selfish ambition.

It would be given according to the will of sovereign God.


When the rest of the disciples heard about what John and James were up to, they became angry.


The Lord Jesus didn’t allow their anger to simmer.

He addressed the issue at hand and called their attention to the Gentile world around them.

He told them that “high seat seeking” is the way of the world.

Those who ruled in this world rose to the top by grabbing power and oppressing their opponents.


But for Christian believers, the path to the top is through the bottom.

If they want to reach the top, they must start out at the bottom.

If they want to be a leader, they must first learn how to serve.

If they want to be recognized and respected, they must give up all ambition and selfishness.

They must live out their days serving others.


The Lord Jesus gave them an example of Himself.

He is the Son of God.

He is God in the flesh.

Yet He did not come to be served.

He came to serve.


If our God is willing to serve sinful humanity, we should be willing to serve as well.


The Lord Jesus went willingly to take the place of a slave.

He washed His disciple’s feet.

He washed the feet of Peter who would deny Him 3 times before dawn.

He even washed the feet of Judas Iscariot who would betray Him into the hands of His enemies that very night!


The Lord Jesus freely served those who would break His heart.

When the next day dawned, the Lord Jesus performed the greatest service of all when He went to Calvary to die on the cross for sinners who hated Him and wanted nothing to do with Him.


The cost of service for the Lord Jesus was extremely high.

It cost Him His very life.


The Lord Jesus willingly went to His death to save those who cared nothing for Him.

He suffered the shame, the pain, the humiliation, and the agony of the cross to serve lost sinners.

He experienced the undiluted wrath of the Almighty God to serve us.

He took the place of a common criminal and was judged as rebel so that sinners could be saved.

He willingly entered into death so that others might enter into life.


For Christian believers, the way up is always down.

How about us?

Are we actively seeking ways to serve others?

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