Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Greatest In The Kingdom

Mark 9:30-37

“And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.  For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.  But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.”(Mark 9:30-32)

From Lebanon and Syria, Jesus returned into Galilee, avoiding the towns in an effort to avoid attracting attention.  He wanted to teach his disciples some important things and the large crowds would have prevented him being able to concentrate on teaching them.  In teaching, it is essential to start with what the people already know and build on it.  With a large crowd he would need to spend time explaining things the disciples already understood instead of teaching them something new because so many would not have the background they had.  They were too proud to admit they didn’t understand, fearing somebody would think they were

One of the things Jesus taught them was that he would be arrested and killed, that three days later he would rise from the dead.  Though he had already explained this , but it did not fit with what the disciples had grown up believing and they coud not understand how this could happen and him still set up his earthly kingdom as the expected.  Unfortunately the traditions we have been taught often prevent us from understanding what God says.  .      

“And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?  But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.  And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,  Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.” (Mark 9:33-37)

On the way they had argued about which of them would be the greatest, literally, who was going to be the leader.  When Jesus questioned them about their argument, they embarrassed and didn’t answer.  When he came to the house where they were to stay, spent time explaining the greatest leaders would be the ones who put their own desires last and devoted their efforts to taking care of the others.  He took one of the children and used him as an illustration for them. explaining that in caring for those who others ignored, they were in effect allowing Christ to work through them, and in doing so, representing God. 

If one is to have much influence with a group of people it will be necessary to focus on the needs and desires of those he wishes to lead, rather than simply focusing on his own agenda.  A large percentage of the American populace felt that the Mainstream candidates from both parties were only concerned about a small group of the people, and began to focus on candidates who were not part of the establishment, namely Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.   When the Democratic party forced Bernie Sanders out, it convinced the people  they had been right in believing the establishment politicians were only concerned with  what a few small groups wanted, and they rebelled, selecting Donald Trump as president. 

In much the same way, if we are going to have a significant beneficial impact for Christ, we are going to have to be willing to reach out to all the people, not just the ones who have the same socioeconomic status we have or desire.  We need to understand that God’s doctrine does not change, but that it applies equally to everyone.   Too many politicians have forgotten that the laws must apply equally to everyone.   They must not give one group an advantage over others.  When one group is receiving special treatment, the nation, or the church is no longer functioning properly.

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