Sermon on April 28 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Mark 9:30-37
The world is crying out for great leaders. We were made to aspire to greatness. So what is greatness in God’s kingdom?
If you want to be truly great,
1. QUEUE FROM THE BACK, NEVER THE FRONT! (v30-34)
- Be great – without grading
None of us thinks we are proud, but when you compare yourself to Jesus only, you will lose pride quickly.
‘When pride comes, then comes disgrace but with humility comes wisdom.’ (Proverbs 11:2)
- Be great – when it makes zero sense
In God’s kingdom, true greatness will look like weakness and even death. (1 Cor.4: 9)
Are we like the disciples who wanted to be known as great, or like Jesus who though great made Himself nothing?
2. SERVE ON YOUR KNEES, NOT YOUR EGO! (v35-37)
- Great disciples embrace the needy
In Jesus day, a child was the most vulnerable person in the community
Learn to give to those who are unable to give you anything back in return and you find the heart of Jesus
‘Slow down. Pay attention. Do good work. Love your place. Stay in your place – settle for less, enjoy it more’
- Great disciples won’t know they are great
Beware of discipleship that wants to be known as great: always good health, always much wealth, always great popularity.
‘We grew up with this. The most beautiful thing in Christianity is humanity. I do not deal with a person as if he is only a Muslim or is my enemy. We live the life of peace and love. Jesus is love.’ (Joumana, Iraqi Christian in Qaraqosh)
Remember! When true Greatness came into the world, He deserved to be served – but He served. So..
‘Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Philippians 2:5-11)
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. How is pride viewed in our current culture? How does it show itself in our lives and why?
2. How does Jesus redefine aspiring to greatness and seeking a reward? How does this fit together with Him condemning pride and encouraging sacrificial service?
3. Do you know someone who is little known and unnoticed but who is probably a spiritual superstar in God’s eyes? What do you see that in worthy of imitation?
4. Take some time to examine your heart and find those whom Jesus would have you serve without expecting anything in return.