Summary: Jesus teaches humility and tells of future hardships but yet the disciples argue who's the greatest!
Let us continue to worship our God by continuing to learn from the Gospel of Mark; please open your Bibles to Mark 10…. We noted last week nothing is impossible with God but one must humble themselves before God. Look at v1 of Mark 10, a crowd of people came to Jesus, so Jesus taught them.
In v5, Jesus alluded to the fact that God gave more laws because of stubborn hearts. In v15, Jesus highlights the type of heart that belongs to the Kingdom of God. In v23-25, Jesus indicates that the love for worldly possessions hinders godliness. In v28-30, Jesus rebuked Peter of his pride. And so Jesus states in v31 – “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” In other words, the right focus in life is to always serve God and others first. This theme of pride and humility continues with our passage today; actually, v32-45 is about pride and prejudice. Read along with me now Mark 10:32-45….
I find the beginning of the passage interesting. Most English translations are like what we read in the NIV; but I think the NKJV, sheds a different light to the situation…….
Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: Mark 10:32 NKJV
The followers of Jesus (the 12 and others) were amazed but also had fears.
What’s the point? v32: Jesus knew there were mixed concerns amongst His followers at that point in time.
And so, Jesus explained again what will happen.
v33-34: Jesus tells the future when necessary. Jesus made sure that His disciples knew the truth that there would be hard times ahead!
Jesus just preached a sermon of being ready for the hard times to come but what were in the disciple’s minds? First of all, what were James and John thinking??
Let us note the significance of this: Jesus had been preaching that there was nothing impossible with God for those who humble themselves but yet…
v35-39: Two of the disciples asked to be ahead of everyone else before Jesus! What did Jesus tell them in v31? Serving God and others must come first!
And what can we say about the attitude of James and John with their answer in v39??
Jesus (who they called their Messiah) basically just told them in v38, “you have no idea what you are asking and you really cannot do what I am about to go through!” – 2 disciples answered Jesus with arrogance!
And what else can we note from Jesus’ answer?
v40: God already knows the future and has prepared it for people!
And so, 2 of the disciples had pride issues, but the other 10 were saints right? v41- tells us that the rest of the disciples became indignant (very angry) of James and John. Obviously, the 10 disciples were offended by the arrogance of James and John; but could there have been a better way of handling it??
God made a point of noting for us that the 10 disciples got angry and there could have been a split amongst the disciples. Ever wonder why churches split? The 10 disciples probably should have kept peace and waited for Jesus’ instructions! Jesus, Messiah, Savior, God, was in the presence of the 12 disciples, yet they were thinking about their egos! What about us today? We have Emmanuel and the Holy Spirit in our presence!
Sin will separate us! Pride and prejudice will divide us! Jesus of course is always the key to unity due to pride and prejudice!
v42-45: Jesus calls them together and teaches them with patience. What was it that the disciples could not understand in Jesus’ lesson but we Christians today can??
Jesus has done it all for all people today though His death and resurrection!
Jesus is to be the example of how to live and relate with people!
Let us summarize what we should apply to our lives today based on this passage.
1. Christians are not to be surprised of hardships. How do we handle them? Trust Jesus of course and do the best you can in the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer!
2. Jesus knows all our concerns and provides instructions for us. The questions are:
a. Are we completely depending on Jesus Christ? – How’s our prayer life?
b. Are we daily listening and following Jesus’ instructions?
3. Watch out for Pride & Prejudice! Pride and prejudice will split families! Pride and prejudice will split churches! Divided Christian families and divided Christian churches are poor testimonies for Jesus Christ!