“Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.”

Continuing on in Mark (10:32-45), Jesus foretells his arrest, torture, death, and resurrection.  This prompts James and John is to ask that they be seated at Jesus’ right and left in His glory.  Jesus asks them if they are willing to drink the chalice He will drink and be baptized as He will be baptized.  The two say yes, and Jesus says that it will happen to them, but that He is not the one to choose who will sit next to Him in heaven.  This episode makes the other apostles indignant,  This prompts the Lord to say the words above, which He has lived, to all of His followers.  The word “servant,” and even more so “slave,” have very negative connotations, especially today.  No wonder we can find Jesus’ exhortation so difficult to follow.  But Jesus Himself says that this is the proper attitude to take — one that He has embraced Himself.  Remember that Jesus is God.  He lowered Himself to our level so that He could raise us up to His level.  Paul says it well: “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.  Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.  Because of this, God greatly exalted him” (Phil 2:5-9).  The key is humility.  No one can claim to be more humble or more humiliated than Jesus: God become man who is reviled, rejected, betrayed, denied, tortured, and killed by the same creatures He came to redeem.  Considering all this, is it too much for the Lord to ask that we follow His lead, reject pride, embrace meekness, and consider the needs of others before our own?  How many souls would come to Christ by such an example!

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