Sermon on September 8 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Mark 10:32-45
Is serving just a seven letter word for us? Something we admire in others? Are you living a cross-shaped life?
If you want to live a cross-shaped life:
I. EMBRACE A SENSE OF DESTINY! (v32-34)
- Jesus – compelled by His future
Jesus models mission for us, becoming the outsider and destined to die outside the walls to bring sinners to God.
Serving is doing what you are – God has called you to link your abilities with your neighbour’s need and His glory
- Jesus – moulded for His task
Jesus’ suffering and death included many steps (eight detailed steps in these verses, see also Isaiah 50:6)
If every step shapes Jesus for His final service at the Cross, how is He shaping you through the ordinary and small things?
II. DROP ANY SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT!
- More for ‘me’ and less for ‘them’ (v35-40)
The proof that we are worthy of any seat close to Jesus is that we won’t be asking the James/John question.
Do you know yourself so well that your unworthiness makes you more grateful for the opportunity to serve?
- Further down is the only way to higher up (v41-43)
‘Whoever wants to become great (mega) among you must be your servant. Whoever wants to be first (proto) must be slave of all.’
A slave never had to worry about who was his/her boss and whether the owner was right in the day to day affairs
Christian – don’t be the slave of someone who is like you, or with whom you click but the person who tries you.
III. SERVE WITH A SENSE OF COST! (v44-45)
- No service I can do can ever repay Jesus…
Jesus pays no ransom to the devil – He does pay in full all that the Father demands to forgive our sins
- …but all loving service will touch you where it hurts most
If you truly love someone you will be willing to suffer temporarily or take some hardship for the one you love.
‘Your mother died to save you…love as powerful as your mothers leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign…but to have been loved so deeply will give us some protection forever’
(Dumbledore in ‘Harry Potter: The Philosopher’s Stone’)
Not yet a Christian? God can’t forget or forgive your sin without the only ransom that can buy you back. Before serving others without any self in it you must be served by the Servant Himself, and receive His sacrifice by faith.
You who love Jesus? Don’t serve to be happier or for any selfish motive. Serve because this is who you are. you are thankful for Jesus finished work and service in your place.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- Nothing in Jesus’ life was unplanned. Does God’s plan for you guarantee freedom from suffering? How does this apply to our service for Him and what should we expect?
- Does servanthood go against human nature? Can we serve with wrong motive?
- Jesus is an example for service and humility. What is the limitation of building a theology around ‘Jesus is my example’ only? How would you explain ‘substitutionary atonement’ in two sentences?
- Pray for yourself and our church family, that we may be known by our love and service.
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Karl-Erik Bennion