December 3, 2020
Why Would He Come? Mark 10:42-45
Dr. Larry S. Lightner
Read Mark 10:42-45
William Shakespeare wrote great stories and plays. One of the characters in his works was Macbeth. Macbeth was focused to become a king, so much so that he resorted to murder a contender, to get him out of the way. The outcome? Macbeth paid for his crime with his life.
Ambitions often take people down a road they do not belong. We can be caught up in ambitions as well. Ambitions often cloud our thinking. We go along in life forgetting who is really in control of life. It is not always about using evil methods to get what we want. The cloud takes our eyes and hearts away from knowing the sovereign God is fully aware of our paths we take, what we say, what we think, what we do. Instead of relying on God’s hand in our lives, we often take our pats into our own hands. We do not even consider what God has in mind.
In the Gospel of Mark (10:42-45), Jesus recounts the request of James and John. The two did not just request to be seated at Christ’s right and left hand, they approached the subject in an arrogant way as a demand that Jesus do whatever they ask of Him.
Jesus indicated to them that they had no idea what they were asking, given that they expressed no willingness to suffer the same things Jesus would suffer on their behalf. They then simply expressed “We are able.” Jesus’ response was that they would indeed suffer as He would suffer, but that the seating on His right and left was not a position for Him to grant.
Jesus then spoke of those who would manipulate for positions of rule over the Gentiles. They were the Macbeths of their day. Indeed, this is not as a believer should live. Instead of seeking to be first in everything, it is far better that you would be the servant of others.
Then, Jesus speaks an unexpected. Jesus is our coming King. Jesus is our Savior. Jesus comes as a babe. Jesus comes as the never sinning man of God, God’s only Son. When He speaks, it is pointed: “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
James and John often receive criticism in Bible studies and even in preaching times. Yet we need to look in a mirror do we not? The mirror always captures us. Jesus gathered disciples; His expectation was that the disciples would learn and follow. We always follow someone. Our primary leader is Jesus. Jesus did not call His disciples to sit and take notes from Him as He spoke. He trained them to be a servant to others telling people about the sure Hope they have in Almighty God through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes our own ambitions interfere with what God planned for our lives. When that happens, what happens to the people who cross our path? How do they learn of the sure Hope in Christ?
- Pray that you might always be attentive to the expectations of Jesus. Be a witness of Jesus this Advent season.
- Pray that you might always be on the watch for those crossing your path. God never brings people to cross you path by accident—it is intentional.