Summary: This sermon deals with our everyday egos

But Who Is The Greatest

Pastor Frank Zerbel

© 2005 FORGIVEN! Community Church

Mark 9:33-41

By the middle of my freshman year of High School my passion was music. I had problems consecrating in other classes anticipating music. Why was it that until 9th grade I enjoyed music and singing, but I wasn’t as excited about it until I reached this point?

I’ve thought a lot about it and I realize it was do to the teacher that God had placed in my path. Actually there were two teachers. One started his first year teaching as I started my High School journey, the other just a few short years from retirement.

The older teacher was the head of the department, Miss Kleecamp. The younger took over the choirs and intro to music, Mr. Callahan.

Now being new Mr. Callahan wanted to make a name for himself he wanted to be the best music teacher that Rosemead High ever had. He made all the same mistakes that all new teachers make.

Wanting all the students to like him

Losing his temper when he lost control

Letting jealousy control his relationship with other teachers and students

I believe he was insecure about himself and to feel better about himself he had to make himself superior to everyone around him, and by doing so put a wall up against his students.

Miss Kleecamp on the other hand already had the reputation of being hard. She had nothing to prove to anyone and because of this, her very presence demanded respect.

Without yelling she could handle any student in the school, no matter how radical their behavior was. And it took me years to understand how she became the outstanding teacher that she was.

She was a true servant! And this is where it becomes tricky.

We all look at servants as being available to our bidding. Someone who will bring you breakfast in bed, serve you coffee, take care of your every wish. But that is not what Jesus meant when he called himself a servant.

A true servant doesn’t necessarily give you what you want for the temporary pleasure or gratification you receive for the moment, but what you need for the joy that lasts for a lifetime!

Mrs. K was a true servant to these students. She kept control, and wouldn’t let them get away with anything, but she taught them about the passion she had for music. She would go to any length to foster talent and reach something deep inside them to trigger a thirst for more.

Because of this dedication of service to students, thousands of lives have been touched over the years. Businessmen and women, politicians, pastors, entertainers, and the list goes on.

The younger teacher Mr. Callahan must have had some of that service attitude rub off on him. I understand that young teacher of thirty years ago was, the last that I heard, Vice Principal of the High School and I pray that he has touched as many lives as Miss K.

I’ll bet you ask, “How does this correlate to today’s lesson?”

Well, it has to do with the discussion that the disciples were having on the road to Capernaum:

Mark 9:33-34 (NIV)

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

How many times in your life have you felt superior to someone else, or had the argument that you were better than the other guy? You may not want to admit it but if you are honest with yourself we all have done it and to a point we still do it.

Ladies have you ever tasted a cake and said to yourself or a loved one, mine is better? Have you ever looked at the way someone is dressed and it made you feel better about yourself?

Men have you ever looked at the way someone does something handy only to think to yourself, I can do better than that.

We, the human race are always comparing others to our standards. But have you ever noticed that we don’t want to compare ourselves to the standards of others? We would rather make our own set of rules and set our own personal set of standards.

This is what we must guard against; Paul clearly addresses this situation in Galatians 6;

Galatians 6:3-4 (NIV)

3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,

This is what was happening on the road to Capernaum. I can hear the conversation now.

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