Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mark 10:32-45 - The Upside-Down Kingdom

As Jesus' ministry is leading to something big, the disciples are vying for position. James and John (with support from their mother according to Matthew 20) put their bid in for top positions under Jesus' rule.

Don't we all feel the pull? We long for significance, to be seen as someone special. But Jesus says the one who wants to be great must become a servant.

In one of his novels from the 19th century, George MacDonald has a character speculate that in heaven serving others will be the highest goal. Every citizen of that kingdom will seek ways to serve.  The one who excels in service will be held in high regard.

What a different value system that is from the one we live in. Can you imagine if the service industry commanded the highest regard and wages in our society? Housekeepers and janitors would be highly sought after and paid a premium. Taxi drivers would be seen as community leaders. Wait staff at restaurants would be generously compensated according to their skill at serving others. Those being waited on would be aware of how lazy and unproductive they appeared compared to the clean, industrious character of those waiting on them. They would be expected to value not only every act of service they received but the extraordinary grace of those rendering that service.

That's not the type of world we live in now, but as citizens of the kingdom of God can we nurture that value system within ourselves? Can we see those serving us as offering prime examples of the lifestyle to which we aspire?

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