April 1, 2015
Mark 9:35: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Identity: We enjoy living in the laid-back, recreation-focused culture, but we recognize the culture’s identity crisis. While we relate with the culture, we remain obedient to God’s Word and find our eternal identity in Him.
Who is the best shredder in the world?
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the shred culture. We all do it. Sometimes I think, “it would be so sick to learn these new tricks before we get too deep in the season, maybe then I can roll with that new crew,” or “I really need to get a new set of outerwear this year, the last thing I need is everyone thinking I’m a gaper here on vacation.” Maybe you just moved to a mountain town to pursue your career as a skier, trying to get noticed by some bigger sponsors. “That would be the life,” some of us think, “just to compete in the X-games… that would make me great.” A recent John Piper blog post talks about what Jesus said it takes to be great:
In Jesus, the disciples had found a king that promised them more than they’d ever known filling their boats with fish. He was their ticket to true greatness. This was their time to win, their time to reign. All of the sudden, with the Christ, they had their chance to be known, respected, and obeyed. “Kingdom” sounded like power and authority, freedom and fame.
When Jesus finally explained just what kind of king he was — just what it meant to be truly, deeply, lastingly great — they totally missed it. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise” (Mark 9:31). Sobering, confusing, even offensive. How do they respond? They walked away arguing over which one of them was the greatest — the chief among the otherwise forgettable fishermen (Mark 9:34).
Instead of hearing Jesus talk about his death and redefining greatness in terms of sacrifice — in terms of coming in last for the sake of love — they fought to be first. Jesus said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). Ambition in this life for greatness in this life will end up stealing your life. According to Jesus, the greatest among you won’t look very great after all. In fact, true greatness will often look like weakness, surrender, defeat, and even death.
Read the whole article here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/what-will-make-you-great
Piper explains that Jesus gave us an example of what it means to be great. Like many of us the disciples didn’t get it. They were expecting a gnarly take-over, an earthly king, that was going to take them along for the ride. What Jesus did instead, was turn the tables upside town. He said things like, “And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” (Mark 10:34) Essentially, the greatest among us will be the gnarliest servant. Jesus took this to the point of death on a cross!
How great THOU art?
Where is your identity? If you had to say today, what things are you pursuing in a search for greatness?
Jesus said “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” (Mathew 5:40) What are some ways that you can serve and put others first in your shred community?