Summary: We as the Church, the called out body of believers, have been distratced from God definition of greatness. God has designed a broom for every believers hands. Your broom my be children’s ministry, homeless ministry, marriage, etc. God as a broom shappe
Intro: There are many things that are fought for in the church today. The type of music that is used during the worship service, the way we use money, the length of time we have a worship service, the way we organize and we could go on. The one thing that usually isn’t fought over is the opportunity to be the servant of all.
John Michael Talbot said this of Francis of Assisi, “One of the most revealing snapshots of Francis’s approach toward servant leadership is found in one brief sentence in the Legend of Perugia that’s easy to miss amid all the accounts of the saint’s wonderful deeds. But there is hidden in a description of Francis’s practice of traveling and preaching in churches: ‘He brought along a broom to clean the churches.’”
What is happening in this passage is the same thing that is happening in the church today. We have forgotten why Jesus came. He came to seek and save the Lost, but he also came to serve and give His life a ransom for the same.
Mark 10.42-45 Jesus came to serve. How amazing is a God who would come down to our level and get involved in the ordinary happenings of man. What love this speaks of, what compassion and care that God would condescend, that he would stoop down and serve us! This passage and the Holy Spirit seeks to get us as believers, slaves, servants of God to pick up whatever shaped broom he designed for our hands.
I. The explanation of service – serve one another
I know Jesus had to get tired of the silly requests of His disciples. They had followed him almost the end of his ministry here and still they don’t get it. They are asking for places of power and authority and Jesus is offering a place of service. He has to explain to them again and again this is not about you!
A) They had a misunderstanding of greatness
The disciples misunderstood the true meaning of greatness. They had apparently learned from the gentiles who took pride in personal achievement. Jesus made it very clear it is not to be so among you. We are never to get our understanding of greatness or success from the worlds way of thinking. This mentality makes us want the highest position. The highest position in the kingdom of God is that of a servant. How amazing that just like the disciples we are asking for crowns instead of crosses.
Position, power, recognition should never become the standard of greatness in the body of Christ. If it becomes the standard the ambition and jealousy will be the atmosphere of the church.
B) The Master’s clarification of greatness
Jesus has always turned expectations and standards on their head. Esau was the first born but Jacob was chosen to be Israel, prostitutes and foreigners in his lineage. Women caught in adultery given grace, Samaritan woman treated as a person instead of a dog.
Greatness is never to be the goal. Greatness comes from seeking to serve. Life magazine carried and editorial comparing the lives of great people, Winston Churchill, Pope John 23, and Albert Schweitzer. None of these people sought to be great. Each one sacrificed Himself in service of the people.
Jesus is making a clear distinction. Admission into the kingdom is by grace. Position in the kingdom is found by faithfulness. Those that count the cost and lower themselves to serve all people are the greatest.
We fight for a lot of things in the church. We fight to get our opinions validated, our work valued, our leadership followed, our service honored, and our skills appreciated. Jesus was clear when we do things to be recognized by men we have our reward and it is temporary. Where is the line to be the chief servant? Where are the men and women with brooms? (My experience with other pastors) Jesus was clear the fields are white to harvest but the workers (the ones who serve are few).
II. The example of service – Jesus
Since service associated with the word diakonia necessarily involved dependence, submission, and constraints of time and freedom, the Greeks regarded diakonia as degrading and dishonorable. Service for the public good was honored, but “voluntary giving of oneself in service of one’s fellow man is alien to Greek thought. The highest goal before a man was the development of his own personality.”
We have a global culture focused on self-self-actualization and self-fulfillment that sees no value in servant hood. We need desperately to look to Jesus and His example of service despite the overwhelming value of self-interest today.
Englishman George Atley, a missionary to Africa, was attacked by a party of natives. He had with him a Winchester repeating rifle with 10 loaded chambers. The attackers were completely at his mercy. Calmly and quickly the missionary summed up the situation. He concluded that if he killed the natives he would do more harm to the mission than if he allowed them to take his life. When his body was found in the stream, his rifle also was found with its 10 chambers still loaded. George Atley could have saved himself. He chose to give his life for others - for the cause of Christ. Jesus did not have to go to the cross. He could have saved Himself. He chose to give His life to save sinners from the power and penalty of sin. In His sacrificial death, He came to "give his life a ransom for many"