Putting It Together - Day 2

Opening Prayer: 

Dear Lord, thank you for blessing me with power – no matter how much or how little. Help me to use it to bless the relationships closest to me. Amen. 

 

Read: Mark 9:33-35 (NIV)

“They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

 

Reflect: 

Busted! The disciples totally got called out for petty arguments amongst themselves. Although it is not important for the point Jesus was making, wouldn’t it be great to hear what they had said? What cases did the disciples make that distinguished one as the greatest over the other?  “I’m the greatest because I have seen Jesus perform more miracles than you!” one might have said.  “No, I’m the greatest because I have heard Jesus praying more often than you,” the other might have said back. Did Jesus shake His head?  Did He take a deep sigh and keep walking down the road? We don’t know in this case. He does make sure to signal to the disciples that he heard them, and even the question seems to strike embarrassment amongst them.

In perfect Jesus style, He turns the tables on the disciples – His closest worldly friends. In His actions throughout His time on earth and through His words of wisdom, He teaches the disciples that it is not about who is right or who is better.  He teaches us it is about our hearts towards others that matters. And look how Jesus says it.  We have to be “very last” to be first.  Talk about a demotion!  Just when we think we are at the top, we couldn’t be further from it.

Isn’t that how were brought up, though?  “Race you to the playground and the last one is the rotten egg!” goes the grade school kids.  Or the ole pick-up game of baseball and no one wants to be the last one picked. The world we grow up in puts being last as the worst and most embarrassing position.

And yet, isn’t this exactly what God did through Jesus? The all-powerful God of the universe could have struck down all those who even had a bad thought about His Son Jesus, but He didn’t. He set the ultimate example of selflessly and humbly taking the very last – crucified on a cross striped and bleeding – and now Jesus sits on the throne of all of Heaven!

Apply: 

Jesus is talking to His closest friends. Who are your closest friends?  A roommate?  Your spouse? How are you serving them?  Do you try to assert yourself as right? As better? Challenge yourself to find a time when you have done this with your closest friend. Ask God for forgiveness, then ask them for forgiveness too.  Strive to find ways to serve them and being “very last”.

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord, your Word is challenging. It is hard to be “very last” in my closest relationships.  Guide me and show me how to do it.  I ask you to give me clarity of your Word and help me using Your community of believers. Amen.

Terry Schneider