10/12/2009

Winning

Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc:

James and John had the nickname "Sons of Thunder." Jesus gave them that nickname. Once a Samaritan village rejected Jesus. The Sons of Thunder wanted to bring fire down from heaven to kill everyone.

These two were wildmen.

In one of the bible reading for this week, Mark 10:35-45, there's a less extreme view of James and John. They wanted positions of authority when Jesus took power.

Jesus knew that what they were asking for meant suffering. These two weren't ready for that. He told them about being humble. He told them about greatness only comes in being a servant to others.

Yeah -- that's all good. The last shall be first. Turn the other cheek. Blessed are the meek - for they shall inherit the earth. Great spiritual directions.

What do they have to do with real life?

Life is about winning! The ones who win write the history. The ones who win get all the glory. The ones who win get all the money and power!

Bu the desire to win in all of life’s pursuits can and will turn things sour. The desire can and will lead a person into insensitivity. Insensitivity leads to rudeness. Rudeness leads to arrogance. Arrogance leads to callousness. And callousness leads to ruthlessness.

Jesus said "Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Jesus came from very humble beginnings. He worked with his hands. He lived the life of a peasant. He healed people. When he made his final entry into Jerusalem, he rode on the foal of a donkey instead of a proud stallion. He gave food to the hungry and he visited the sick. When he made miracles happen he ran from the ones who wanted him to become a powerful ruler. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Jesus let himself be crucified.

I don't think it's wrong to win or to have money. I don't think it's wrong to have fame. I don't think it's wrong to have nice homes and cars.

But it is not the model Jesus has for us.

Philippians 2:5-8 says this: Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, {6} who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, {7} but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, {8} he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross.

Having the same mind that was in Jesus is not about the competition. It is not about winning. It is about losing. It is about emptying ourselves of the things that we make more important than God.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Thanks, Kirk, you've got me off to a good start this week!