Mark – God is On Our Side!
What we talk about most is what we think about most. Then our feelings enter into our discussions, too. Feelings “of the day” jade what we believe and might be confusing to what others have heard us say we believe. Our body language also adds to the mix. So, what are we talking about? Does our behavior match what we say we believe?
Some people come to an event, place of worship, grocery store, place of work, anywhere and talk about others behind their backs in order to show their listeners how much greater they are than the persons they are talking about. It makes us feel more powerful, “in the know”, for about a nano second.
In today’s world, we are blatantly talking about others in their presence with ribbing, hurtful joking about their mess ups, along with teasing unmercifully about childish mistakes in their past. We all do it. No one can deny this sin called gossip. We are also overly sensitive to what others are saying, assuming a personal affront when their words could be a cry for help. Either way, when we step on someone else to rise above them or fight back, we have failed.
Jesus teaches that to be the greatest we must be the last in line, helping others get in the line for His salvation…and be okay with that, laying all personal “feelings” aside. Jesus is on our side but he is also on the side of everyone else, too.
Jesus takes his disciples for a walk in the country, avoiding the crowds, so he can teach them. Unfortunately, these young followers are so full of themselves, that they are missing the main point of the first discussion while arguing over who will be sitting next to Jesus in His Kingdom.
Do we do that? Yep, I’m afraid so.
Oh be careful little eyes what you see?
Oh be careful little ears what you hear?
Oh be careful little mouth what you say?
For the Father up above is looking down in love…
Remember this song of our childhood? Come with childlike faith but don’t behave in childish ways. Welcome all in Jesus Name. We all in this together. Let us serve each other well, helping each other…in Jesus Name.
No, what are we talking about? Imagine Jesus coming to us and asking, “What were you discussing?”
Mark 9, NLT
Jesus Again Predicts His Death
30 Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there, 31 for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.” 32 They didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
The Greatest in the Kingdom
33 After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” 34 But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
36 Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”
After they heard what Jesus had said about His own suffering and death, you would think they would have forgotten their own selfish plans and concentrated on Him. Perhaps the fact that Peter, James, and John had gone on the mount with Jesus had added some fuel to the fires of competition.
To teach them (and us) a lesson on honor, Jesus set a child before them and explained that the way to be first is to be last, and the way to be last is to be the servant of all. The unspoiled child is an example of submission and humility. A child knows he is a child and acts like a child, and that is his secret of attracting love and care. The child who tries to impress us by acting like an adult does not get the same attention.
True humility means knowing yourself, accepting yourself, being yourself—your best self—and giving of yourself for others. The world’s philosophy is that you are “great” if others are working for you, but Christ’s message is that greatness comes from our serving others.
Since the words child and servant are the same in the Aramaic language, it is easy to see why Jesus connected the two. If we have the heart of a child, we will have little difficulty being servants, and if we have the attitude of servants, we will welcome the children as the representatives of Jesus Christ and the Father.
God is on our side! You and me. Is that what we are talking about most?
Pause once more and imagine Jesus coming to us and asking, “What were you discussing?” He already knows our hearts.
Dear Father, Savior and Lord,
We repent of talking of things that are meaningless, hurtful and unnecessary in our lives of serving You. We repent of assuming others talk about us in the same ways. Deliver us from this evil. Help us to think higher, nobler thoughts of each other as we work together to help people find and follow you, too. No one is greater than anyone else in Your Kingdom. You alone are great! Continue to chisel off the rough edges of our personalities and transform us to be all you want us to be. You are God and we are not. We believe in You. We need you every hour.
In Jesus Name, Amen