Everyone aspires to a life of meaning and purpose.
This morning we are going to see that everyone of us, no matter our background, our education or our income, everyone has the ability to live a life rich with meaning and purpose. Everyone of us can live a life that is truly great.
Before we get to that, we have something more important to do.
Before we get to us, before we get to the practical application, our Bible reading must first begin with God.
In Mark 10:31-45 the glory of God is revealed to us in the love of Christ.
1. The heroic, self-sacrificing love of Jesus. (Verse 32-34)
This is the 3rd time Jesus has predicted his impending suffering and contains the most detail. They will mock him, spit him, flog him and kill him. It is impossible for us to understand the depth of suffering that Jesus was walking into in Jerusalem.
As Jesus walked the road alone, out in front of the disciples, we see a picture of the isolation Jesus experienced in his suffering. The ones closest to him didn’t get it. They didn’t comfort him or encourage him. It was a road he had to walk alone. It was a heroic, self-sacrificing road.
“So here, the Cross before Him flung out no repelling influence towards Him, but rather drew Him to itself. . . And this purpose stood clear before Him, drawing Him to itself all through His career.” -Alexander Maclaren
2. The long-suffering love of Jesus. (Verses 35-40)
James and John responded to Jesus with a request. They asked Jesus for a blank check which they intended to use for their own glory. While Jesus walked a path of shame and suffering, they sought to walk a path of glory and honor.
This exchange highlights the infinite patience of Jesus. What does it say about Jesus that the disciples felt so free to approach him like this? What does it say about Him that he so graciously and patiently responded to their insensitive and egotistical request?
The disciples did not understand the cup that Jesus had been given. But they too would drink from that cup in time.
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,”
“For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
2 Corinthians 1:5
“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.”
3. The servant-hearted love of Jesus. (Verses 41-45)
Of all people, Jesus had a right to be served. The King of Kings had a right to expect honor and service. Yet he came not to be served but to serve. It’s unbelievable. The Lord of Lords, here to serve us.
How would he serve us? He came to give his life as a ransom for many. A ransom is a price paid to release someone from captivity. How are we in captivity?
The Bible tells us that sin has put us in chains. We are enslaved to decay and death (Romans 8:22), to sin and evil desires (John 8:34), to law based religion (1 Peter 1:18) and to Satan the prince of this world (2 Timothy 2:26).
We are born captive. A price must be paid for our freedom. Who receives that ransom?
“Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice.”
God is the one who demands a price. It is our holy and just God who demands a payment for the sin that enslaved the world. We are the ones who are responsible for that sin. It is God who we must be saved from.
And it is God who does the saving.
“But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.”
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all . . . ”
1 Timothy 2:5-6
Jesus drank the cup of wrath that we deserved. This is the extent of his service to us.
So what should we do?
- We should worship him. A great person who serves others – we honor them. A God who serve the lowly – we worship him.
- We should receive his service. We should surrender in faith to him and receive the salvation he came to give. We should open our hearts wide to his heroic love.
- We should follow his example. We should resolve to become the servants in our spheres of influence. In our homes and workplace, in our neighborhoods we should become the servants of all and sacrifice for the good of others.
In this everyone of us can live a great life.
Tom Brown is the planting pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Wichita. Tom and his wife, Mandy, have worked together in ministry for 18 years and have four children. More about Pastor Tom Brown