March 19, 2006

The Pathway to Success

Mark 10:32-45

"Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all." Mark 10:44


As the disciples learned more and more about Jesus, it was slowly dawning on them that they were in the presence of a king. So a couple of them decided to make a bold request. They quietly approached Jesus to ask if they could serve as prime ministers in his kingdom.

When the other disciples got wind of this, they were totally put off--probably because they wished they had asked first. We can almost hear them squabbling, "Why should James and John get a higher position than us? Who do they think they are?"

Notice that Jesus doesn't seem nearly as bothered by what they ask for. He corrects James and John by saying, in effect, "Your request is not something for me to answer. The Father decides who sits in the places of honor." Then Jesus adds, "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all."

Jesus would love to give every one of us a seat of honor in his kingdom. He wants success for us all. We learn that it isn't wrong for us to want to succeed. But success in God's eyes is far different from the world's ideas of success. It means living like the One who "did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Father, help me to have the attitude of Jesus, who "humbled himself and became obedient to death --even death on a cross!" Lead me to serve so that others may know you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Kevin DeRaaf

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