Sunday, September 23, 2018

Stardom vs. Servanthood

According to our selection from Mark 9 today, Jesus is passing
through the region of Galilee with his disciples. Instead of seeking attention, Jesus teaches his disciples that “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.”

The disciples just don’t get it. They don’t understand what Jesus is saying, and they are afraid to ask him. This talk of betrayal and death and rising again does not fit their idea of a good career plan.

Jesus has another idea. “The Son of Man is to be betrayed … killed ... [and] rise again,” he says. He predicts that his fire will be snuffed out completely before it is rekindled by God.

The disciples continue to follow Jesus along the road to the town of Capernaum, and when they reach their destination, he asks them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” They are silent because they had been sparring with one another about who was the greatest.

The disciples know there’s something deeply wrong with this approach, something out of whack, something opposed to the agenda of a Messiah who keeps quiet about his accomplishments . So they stand around in the house in Capernaum, looking at their feet in shame.

That’s right: shame, not fame.

Then Jesus sits down in his teacher’s seat, calls the apostles, and says to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” To be first you must be last, he insists; to be a star you must be a servant