READINGOld Testament: Exodus 9:13-35
Psalms: Psalms 22, 95, 141, 143:1-11 (12)
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Gospel: Mark 10:32-45
Evening Psalms: 141,143:1-11(12)
DEVOTIONALToday’s Gospel reading from Mark provides me with a good blueprint of how I, as a follower of Christ, should live.
The reading is set as Jesus and the disciples are making their way to Jerusalem for what will be their last journey together. Jesus explains for the third time the upcoming events, but it is clear the disciples don’t “get it”. James and John ask Jesus if they could sit on his right and left in glory, the places of highest honor. Jesus made it clear that He could not grant their request, as those places were already prepared. The other disciples were offended that James and John could make such a bold request, but Jesus uses this as a teaching moment, an opportunity to define “greatness” in the Kingdom of God. It is not defined by superior abilities or unique talents; rather, it is defined by the quality of servanthood.
“Jesus called them together and said, ‘…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.’ ” (Mark 10:42-44)
I believe that serving others is the position to which I should strive, the blueprint to being a follower of Christ. It has nothing to do with earthly possessions, education, job, or any of the things I normally think of in defining greatness.
In Jesus, I see the greatest example of a servant. Though He had all power and all insight, He willingly continued His journey into Jerusalem to be crucified for our sins. He could have easily changed His plans or summoned His angels to protect Him. Instead, He became a servant and sacrificed His life for the forgiveness of our sins, and became an example for me, for all of us.
To me, the Gospel is clear that humility and service is what defines greatness. A heart of humility and service is God’s desire for me, regardless of where I am in the day-to-day world. The willingness to use my talents in service is an easy choice, far easier than the choices Jesus faced. Approaching life with the idea of how I can help, rather than how I can get ahead is a lesson for me, for all of us. James and John’s concern about where they would sit in the Kingdom is a familiar attitude, but it caused me to realize the “teaching moment’ they had with Jesus and take that lesson for myself.