Summary: The disciples argue again about who would be the greatest, but Jesus chose this meal to teach them a powerful lesson. Do you know what it was?
OPEN: Syndicated columnist Deborah Mathis wrote about the time when she was at Union Station in Washington D. C. on a particularly busy day. The first thing she remembers about that experience was the noisy hubbub of sounds.
• The public address announcer calling out arrivals and departures.
• Scores of pagers, walkie-talkies, and cell phones crying out for someone’s attention.
• You could hear horns honking, machines clinking out change, and babies crying.
• A security guard yelled at a man who was about to enter a forbidden area. 3 women stood up from their bench in order to argue with each other more loudly.
• And a man in front of her was nervously pacing in a tight circle.
But then she heard someone singing.
"What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear;
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer."
Slowly a change came over the noisy crowd. The voice continued:
"O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer."
The quarreling women stopped their talking and quietly took their seats. People who’d been tense and hurried; seemed to slow and relax - and they strained to hear the voice singing the remaining verses that old hymn.
And Ms. Mathis realized she was singing along. So were the three women who had been bickering. And few others as well.
The man in front of her, who had been behaving nervously quietly said: "Nice, huh? I don’t even believe in Jesus, but that’s nice." (from an article by Rubel Shelly)
Music has a way of changing our lives.
When we share it, it can affect the lives of people around us.
APPLY: But now, iPods aren’t designed to allow you to share your music. As I mentioned last week, an iPod is a marvelous music machine capable of holding your entire musical library. It’s capable of holding 100s of Albums of music, 1000s of songs… all in a small little box you can put in your shirt pocket.
But there’s no speakers on these things.
Granted, you can buy an adaptor to play the music thru your car sound system. OR you can pay $100 or more for a unit that will hold your iPod and play music on external speakers. But for the most part, iPods are PERSONAL music machines.
They’re designed for your PERSONAL enjoyment… not for that of others. As a result, folks who use iPods have a tendency to shut other people out.
It’s THEIR iPod… THEIR music.
And when they’re listening to THEIR music thru those tiny earphones called ear buds they often spend that time shut off from others, in their own little world.
Now, if you owned an iPod and you wanted to share your music with someone you could do share your earbuds with them, or two or more people could plug their earbuds into one iPod.
Of course, this kind of practice (as you might imagine) isn’t for casual strangers or people you meet on the street. You gotta really like somebody to do this. It has to be somebody you REALLY WANT to share with.
Our Text this morning tells us about 12 men who aren’t into sharing.
These are the disciples.
They’ve been with Christ for about 3 years now… and the end is at hand. They’re gathered in an upper room to eat the Passover meal with their teacher but they don’t realize yet this is the “Last” Supper.
For 3 years they’ve lived together, ate together and learned together at the feet of Jesus. But a conversation comes up that tells us these boys haven’t understood one of the main things Jesus wants them to understand. In fact, according to Matthew and Mark, they’ve had this conversation before.
The conversation always started with the disciples arguing over which of them would be greatest in the coming Kingdom.
Jesus’ answer was always the same:
YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! My Kingdom is going to be different than the kingdoms of this world. In My Kingdom - My church – the greatest will be the one who is the best servant.
In Matthew 20 Jesus says it this way:
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:25-28
In other words – if you want great in the Kingdom of God you’ve got be a servant. You’ve got to learn how to share your life with others.