Summary: Here's a sermon for the Memorial Day Weekend dealing with seeking recognition.


Mark 9:33-41

33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, "What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?"

34But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.

35And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."

36Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them,

37"Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me."

38Now John answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us."

39But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.

40"For he who is not against us is on our side.

41For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Today’s Bible passage shows us a time

when Jesus had to correct His disciples.

This same incident is mentioned in Matthew and Mark’s gospels.

Obviously, there was a desire among the 12 disciples

to be recognized as the greatest in God’s kingdom.

Apparently they argued who would be the greatest.

Before we start judging the disciples for their selfish desires,

we need to remember that they were human just like us.

Deep within us,

we all have a desire to be recognized for what we do.

In the work place, people want to be recognized and rewarded

for a job well done.

Companies recognize and reward employees

who have perfect attendance, who achieve production goals,

and attain a long length of service.

Athletes who perform well on the field or on the court

are recognized and rewarded for their achievements.

When people do something, they usually want to be recognized.

Today we are going to deal with an important question:

Does God recognize and reward some Christians more than others?

Today’s Bible passage says that He does!

Before we get into all that, I want to tell you a true story.

Since this is the Memorial Day weekend,

this true story fits the occasion.

One of the major battles in the Pacific during World War II took place on Iwo Jima. The island held by Japanese forces featured a good land strip for airplanes. The United States wanted that airstrip for American planes to use in a future bombing campaign in Japan. The 28th Marines landed on the island closest to where Mount Suribachi was located. Their mission was to capture Mount Suribachi. On the morning of February 23, a 40-man patrol from the Second Battalion, 28th Marines, climbed up Suribachi and succeeded in capturing it and raising the American flag. Some two hours after the first flag was raised, Marine Corps leaders decided that in order for the American flag to be more easily seen from the ships, beaches, and land off and around the north end of Mount Suribachi, another larger flag should be flown on Mount Suribachi. Sergeant Michael Strank was ordered to take Corporal Harlon H. Block, Private First Class Franklin R. Sousley, and Private First Class Ira H. Hayes to raise a replacement flag. Pfc. Rene Gagnon, a Second Battalion runner for E Company, was ordered to take the replacement flag up the mountain. Once Gagnon, and Strank with his three Marines made it to the top, Hayes and Sousley found a Japanese pipe to attach the flag on. The replacement flag was attached to the pipe and raised.

Associated Press combat photographer Joe Rosenthal took a black and white photograph of the second-flag raising which first appeared in many newspapers on Sunday, February 25, 1945. Sgt. Bill Genaust, who filmed the second flag-raising in color, was killed in action on March 4. Rosenthal was unable to get the men’s names at the time.

More of that story a little later!

So who gets recognized and rewarded by God?

When it comes to recognizing and rewarding anything

there are two things that can happen..

Point #1. We often argue who should be recognized and rewarded.

33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, "What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?"

Obviously, the disciples had been comparing their works.

Whenever you begin comparing ’who is the greatest’

an argument will usually happen.

People often argue who was the greatest president.

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