In Mark 9:33-37, Jesus is moving toward the cross, close to the time of his departure. A three-year training program for the disciples is about to end. So what is the chief concern of his disciples? They want to know which one of them is the greatest. Really? Have they learned nothing? Or, are we just like them?
When Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at the Temple, those who were onlookers did not realize that they were witnessing a presentation of God in the flesh. The hymn writer put it best: “Veiled in flesh the God-head see; Hail incarnate deity, pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.” Let’s consider how the visible/invisible deity might change our human reality.
The history, humanity, and humility of Jesus. God in the flesh, come to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. This is Love.
From Luke 7:36-50. Jesus’ openness to sinners has always made the self-righteous cringe. At the same time, it moves sinners to faith, opens the door to forgiveness, and engenders beautifully extravagant acts of love and devotion. Come see what God has for us in the heart-stirring gospel story.
Our own Jim Goodson took the pulpit this week to touch on themes of grace, identification, and the humility of Christ in Luke 2:1-14.
2 Kings 18:1-12. King Hezekiah of Judah chose to dismantle the idol worship that Ahaz, his father, had set up. Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, undid what his father had done and led the people of Judah astray into idol worship again, leading to their overthrow by the Assyrians. Both of these kings forgot for a time to humble themselves before the Lord, and that sin had consequences. Neither king was perfect, but they point to the One who was.
In Mark 9:33-41, Jesus interrupted a dispute between the disciples. They were so embarrassed by their own dispute that they did not want to respond to Jesus when he asked why they were arguing. No wonder they didn’t want to answer–they were disputing about which one of them was the greatest. Is this a dispute between children or adult Christ-followers? Well, actually it is both, something that if we are honest we have seen or been involved in many times. As usual, Jesus “turns the tables” on them by redefining greatness. If you want to be great you need to get to the back of the line – humility is a prerequisite for greatness and leadership in the Kingdom of God. How does your resume look?