This passage describes the Christian gospel and the community it creates as utterly different from the “business as usual” we encounter all around us.
In the preceding scene (Mark 10:32-34), Jesus gives his final and detailed prediction of his trial, suffering, death, and resurrection. He is about to enter Jerusalem and confront the temple-based aristocracy. James and John request privileged places of authority to sit at the left right hand of Jesus. James and John appear to have missed everything Jesus has said and done, except maybe for the Transfiguration. They believe that glorification awaits Jesus. The authority he has exhibited in his ministry will lead to something big, perhaps to a royal rule, and the two brothers conspire to capitalize on that.
Jesus gently chastises the two for their ignorance and speaks about “the cup” he must drink. “The baptism” he must undergo. He lifts up again that violence and death await him in Jerusalem. Jesus will die despised and powerless “king.” Mark’s Gospel emphasizes that such rejection and death are inevitable and required, because of who Jesus is, as it is foretold in the Scripture
Greatness among Jesus’ followers is measured by their ability to live as servants and slaves. It doesn’t matter that this life means suffering oppression at the hands of those who are in power. In the kingdom of God, honors will go to those who serve rather than to those who exact service from others.
Jesus’ mention of a “ransom” indicates that his death will be more than just an inspiring example or a martyr’s tragic protest against an unjust system. Jesus’ death secures a release. Jesus’ death is a payment made to satisfy the penalties accrued by human sin or to repay something owed to God. Jesus’ death, will free people from oppression and captivity to another power, restoring them to membership in the community that corresponds to God’s reign.
Thanks Be To God!
Tune in to our live-streamed Services at 11:00 as we lift up “Servant Leadership”.
“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!
Grace and Peace, Pastor Nelda
We thank God for all of you being a part of service and love to our community.
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First UMC Kennedale – Post Office Box 146 – Kennedale, TX 76060
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