The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
The last week of Jesus’ life was only a few days away. The cross was near. Would you dare ask Jesus what James and John asked, saying in effect that they wanted the best seats in his kingdom?
James and John forgot that the path to greatness involves service. They wanted power and privilege. They wanted to be served. But that would not be the path for them. They would suffer for following Jesus. They would suffer in ways like he suffered.
These words of Jesus are the theme verses of the book of Mark. They capture the essence of why Jesus came to live among us. He didn’t come for greatness; he came to give his life. Serving others was his mission. Others always came first for Jesus. His service culminated at the cross, where he showed his greatest love in laying down his life for us.
Do you find it hard to serve others? Is it hard for you to consider others’ needs before your own? How is God calling you to serve? Whom is he calling you to serve? Someone in your family, at work, at school, or in your community? When we’re tempted to look for greatness, we need to focus on the cross and remember how Jesus served. Then we need to be willing to lay down our lives as he did.
Holy Father, when we’re tempted to want to be great in the eyes of others, steer our eyes back to the cross, where we see the great Son of God serving us through his death. Mold us into his image, we pray. Amen.
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