Mark – God is On Our Side!
I have been blessed by sitting under many great teachers of God’s Word. I have even had the privilege of getting to know them while observing them at God’s work. I think about one person in particular today who God used to pull me from where He led me years earlier as a public school teacher to another work where God was leading. This work would take us from being comfortable, well known and established to another state leaving extended family behind. Randy was also called to follow God into seminary and leading another church. Who was this man and what did he say?
God used Ron Hutchcraft, who loved God heart, mind and soul. God placed fervor in his soul for the lost. The talk he gave that grabbed my heart ended with “Make a Difference”…or “Go MAD! I came home to our three kids and told them about the message. I encourage them to Go MAD at school! Make a Difference by being different. To teens who will do anything to avoid being different this was quite a challenge.
But to Jesus, it is required. If we say we love Him with our hearts, minds and souls, with all that is in us, that means we will follow Him wherever HE leads. We will listen to Him as we have learned from Mark in previous passages. We will focus on His Word and live it out loud. We will know His Presence in all around us and in us. We will be attentive to the promptings of His Holy Spirit and quickly obey what He is telling us to be and do.
As I read this passage, I think of Ron and his message that God used to speak to me that day. I took it to heart and have used the information as the mantra of my life. I have added to that message. I have learned we must BE different to make a difference. The way we think must be different than the world’s thinking in order to make a difference as a follower of Christ. We must learn to think like Jesus. We can ask God to help us change the way we think and He will answer with all kinds of help and examples. Look to His Word!
At times, we, like the disciples, might be a bit slow on the uptake, as our selfishness takes a thoughtless lead. Jesus is telling His disciples, those He is training to BE His hands and feet when he is gone, about what will happen to Him in Jerusalem. Instead of hearing what He is saying, two of them are thinking about something else all together and ask a question totally unrelated to Jesus way of thinking.
Jesus sets them straight. Jesus sets us straight.
Jesus Again Predicts His Death
32 They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear. Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him. 33 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. 34 They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.”
Jesus Teaches about Serving Others
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do us a favor.”
36 “What is your request?” he asked.
37 They replied, “When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”
38 But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?”
39 “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”
Then Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering. 40 But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. God has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”
41 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 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.”
To make a difference in this world we must think like Jesus. Only then can we BE different to make a difference.
“But among you, it will be different.” Jesus came to serve, not to be served. We must follow his line of thinking to be different.
We will be different and make a difference in the lives of others seeking God when we first love and serve them.
Think like Jesus. Love like Jesus. Serve like Jesus. Accept the suffering (small and great) that will accompany not thinking like the world or going along with how the world behaves.
“But among you, it will be different.” –Jesus
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Thank you for speaking to our hearts over and over until we get it and do it. We must BE with You, BE still before You, learn from You, before we can BE different in this world. Help us daily to think more and more like You think so we will learn to quickly obey you and behave like You intend for us to behave. Help us to make a difference in the lives of others seeking You by being different than the world. Thank you for your ever present help.