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Friday, March 27, 2015

Go ahead and be great.....Day 33 Lent 2015

Day 33  Lent 2015

"Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?”  But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest."  Mark 9.33-34

woman pilgrim at Capernaum in the Holy Land
Here we are at the second of Jesus' passion predictions--he's just told the disciples that he is headed for a cross and all the anguish that will follow.  And what is their reaction?  They get into an argument about who is the greatest in their midst.  The disciples just sometimes don't get it---and neither do we.  We go around convinced that everything is a competition and that we have to at least make a pretty good showing, if not be the greatest ourselves.  Now, hear me, this has nothing to do with 'pride of workmanship' or of 'doing your best.'  No, the disciples here are arguing purely about status and especially about status vis-à-vis the position of the disciple standing next to him! 

But what I find interesting is that Jesus doesn't condemn them for their conversation.  I would have thrown down a little hellfire and brimstone myself; but thank goodness I'm just in sales and not in management.  No, Jesus sees this as a great opportunity to talk about greatness.  He doesn't seem phased by the idea at all.  In fact, he gives them a clear and direct answer.  "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”  Mark 9.35. 

Probably not what the disciples were expecting.  For Jesus being great has nothing to do with status, but with actions on behalf of the neighbor.  And truth be known we could all probably benefit from a little attempt at being great. 

A prayer:  "Dear Jesus,  I ask this day that you might give me the strength to be great without the ego of status.  Amen."

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