Gospel of Mark 10:35-45
Heritage Sunday and Fourth Sunday During Lent, March 12, 2023
Fourth in a Pastoral Series on The Way of Jesus: Attitudes and Actions
Dennis W. Foust, PhD, Senior Minister
On Sundays during Lent, we are looking at the Attitudes & Actions taught to us by The Way of Jesus.
There is a great deal of confusion about The Way of Jesus – but this is nothing new.
In today’s scripture lesson, James and John ask to be named COO and CFO in Jesus’ Empire.
They misunderstood the Jesus movement. Through the past twenty centuries, billions of people have misunderstood Jesus. Still today, a lust for positions of power and notoriety emerges as expectations of entitlement. To be honest, churches and non-profits alike are full of people who misunderstand Jesus. NOTICE JESUS’ QUESTION: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Here is how The Way of Jesus can guide you as you get what you want by serving the needs of other people.
- THE WAY OF JESUS GUIDES YOU TO GREATNESS THROUGH SERVICE.
This is not new information for you. But consider how James and John heard Jesus’ words. Historians tell us that in the first century Roman Empire, between 80 and 90 percent of the male population were either slaves, indentured servants, or domestic workers. Why would they desire to be servants? Yet, here is Jesus telling his followers they must embrace the role of a servant. WE BECOME GREAT IN GOD’S VISION BY EMBRACING SERVANTHOOD. WE KNOW HOW CORRUPTION & ABUSE HAPPEN WHEN THE DOMINATION SYSTEM IS IN CHARGE.
YES, THE WAY OF JESUS IS A SERVANT’S GUIDE FOR US TO FOLLOW.
BELOVED, GOD USES YOUR SERVICE AS GREATNESS TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD.
- THE WAY OF JESUS GUIDES YOU TO REVEAL GOD AS YOU SERVE OTHERS.
Jesus’ is recorded to have said, “I did not come to be served, but to serve. .” Jesus taught that he was sent into the world to reveal God’s nature and do God’s will. Jesus reveals to us how God relates with us and how God desires for us to relate with one another. Jesus began each day alone with God tending the primary relationship in his life. When Jesus healed the sick, cared for the poor, welcomed outsiders, touched social outcasts, cared for the grieving, blessed children, forgave sinners, listened to the empty rich, and condemned the condemning, Jesus was doing more than serving the needs of other humans. He was revealing the Servant God. Beloved, your flame burns low unless you invest in time with God. Self-development is important. Lifelong learning has value. However, you will burn out in your service to others if you do not tend to your relationship with God, like updating your computer or recharging your cell phone. You’re good; but you do not have enough power in yourself to get inside the spirits of others and change their inner world. Trust me, there are always more needs than you can meet, Your self-care must include moments in God’s Presence – emptying yourself to God and allowing God to renew your spirit with hope-full vision.
St. John’s – Servant Church – and partners in service, today we take another step into our second century. As you serve the needs of others, listen to Jesus’ question: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Then respond, ‘I WANT TO REVEAL GOD BY SERVING OTHERS.
Amen and AMEN!