Summary: To be like Christ is to be a servant !
To Be Like Christ
These words of Jesus are spoken in response to a request made by James & John.
I. The Ambitious Request.
V.35-37 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you ? They said unto him, "Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory."
What is it that we desire most of the Lord ? If we could pray but one prayer, make but one request to the Lord...what would it be ? If Jesus were to say to us......what would ye that I should do for you ? What would be our answer ?
Illust. David Wilson/Nursing Home
Would our request be like that of James and John ?
Why did Jesus address his reply to all the disciples, and not just to James, and John ?
John R. W. Stott says in his book The Cross of Christ that our world “(and even the church) is full of Jameses and Johns, go-getters and status-seekers, hungry for honor and prestige, measuring life by achievements, and everlastingly dreaming of success . . .”
Their request is a request for......
a. a position of authority.
James, and John wanted a piece of the rock ! Jesus we’ll let you sit in the middle. We don’t want to be the boss.....but we’d sure like to be co-bosses !
b. a power to assert.
James and John wanted to usurp authority over others. They wanted to be in control. This didn’t sit well with the other disciples.
c. a prestige to be acknowledged.
Do we long for greatness ? Do we like being the boss ?
Are we climbing over people to reach the top of the laddar ?
Do we long to be on the top of our game or field ?
Are we looking to rule, and make others drool ?
II. The Amazing Response.
a. greatness is not achieved through levels of sucess.
Jesus says......It’s not about moving on up !
Jesus uses the reference V42 of the different levels of leadership, and success from the world perspective.
Illust. In Florence Italy right now there is a lot of jockeying for position, and politics going on .......Listen to this report that came across the news this week.
SECURITY specialists are sweeping the Vatican for bugs and installing jamming devices to stop any errant cardinals using their mobile phones in the lead-up to next week’s secret papal vote.
Wary of secret service agents, nosey journalists and even greedy gamblers spying on the conclave’s deliberations, the Vatican has hired espionage experts to inspect the Sistine Chapel for hidden microphones and spy cameras.
The security squad will rip open cushions, scrutinise carpets, inspect ventilation shafts and check that pipes, electrical wiring and lights are where they are supposed to be, La Repubblica newspaper reported yesterday.
It said the security experts were worried about laser microphones that can eavesdrop on conversations 400m away by recording vibrations on the windows of the Sistine Chapel.
The 115 cardinals who gather in the chapel on Monday to elect a new leader for the world’s 1.1billion Catholics will be asked to surrender their mobile phones, tape recorders and electronic organisers at the door.
The cardinals will be frisked by guards supervised by the papal chamberlain, Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo of Spain.
La Stampa newspaper reported that the Vatican would use US technology to jam GSM, dual and tri-band mobile phones with an electromagnetic "wall" covering the cardinals’ hotel-style residence of St Martha’s -- built between 1992 and 1996 with the succession process in mind -- the Sistine Chapel and the 1km road linking them.
And as a cone of silence drops over the Vatican, voting cardinals will be denied access to newspapers, radio and television, while steps will be taken to stop them having chance encounters with cleaning staff.
The late Pope John Paul II, worried that media analysis of papal candidates would threaten cardinals’ "independent judgment" in the lead-up to their vote, imposed the ban by changing the church constitution in 1996. It bars the use of any technology that can be used to record or transmit voices, images or writing.
Apart from the cardinals, the constitution permits within the conclave precinct only enough priests to take confession in any language, two doctors, cleaners and catering staff, and two trusted technicians to sweep for electronic bugs.
What’s wrong with this picture ?
In the kingdom of God, we are to all be on the same level !
b. greatness is not achieved through lording over subjects.
Greatness in the kingdom of God is not determined by being dominators, or dictators.