[7/7/96]
Thorny Crown

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!

For nearly three years the Apostles have been with Jesus. What could possibly cause them to so misunderstand his purpose?

Welcome to Our New Members

Greg SteevensBob Epperly (hi Bob and family)George Potkonyak

This Week's Devotional

Open your Bibles to Mark Chapter 10, and read verses 32-45. Read this section over several times until you have a clear picture of what is taking place.

Verse 32

Here we see an eye-witness account of that final journey to Jerusalem. Jesus must often have traveled in the midst of his disciples, teaching, talking, and singing with them. This time however was different, Jesus walked before his companions leading the way to his hour of passion. All those around him were amazed, they knew that in Jerusalem Jesus would find fierce opposition from the Priesthood and the religious leaders. Some of those leaders were already plotting His death. (see Mark 3:6) They knew they weren't prepared for a takeover of the government yet Jesus was the Messiah wasn't he?

To answer their questions and fears, Jesus took his disciples aside and reminded them once again of his purpose and future passion.

Verses 33-34

This is the third time that Jesus announced His betrayal, His torture, His death, and his resurrection. (see Mark 8:31, 9:31)

The first time Peter rebuked Jesus. The second time the Apostles didn't understand and were afraid to ask, they soon fell to arguing which of them was "the greatest."

Of all the teachings of The Gospel, the one that man rebels against more than the rest is the message of the cross. Many times even we as Christians turn away from it in weakness. The Cross puts God first and man second. (see Mark 8:33) The Cross makes our sin, yours and mine, the reason for Jesus death. By the Cross, we became God's possession subject to His agenda, not ours. By the Cross we face our fallen nature and our helplessness to change it apart, from God's Grace.

Like the Apostles, we try to avoid it and fall into senseless musings about our own importance. That is why I love to teach the Gospels, they keep me focused on Jesus and the Cross and it is difficult to get side tracked when your focused on that.

Verses 35-37

The Apostles are getting it all wrong. They still think that Jesus has come to establish a worldly kingdom like that of David or Solomon. They are thinking of Thrones and Palaces, Royalty and Riches, Authority and Armies. James and John want to be Jesus' number one and number two men in such a kingdom.

Verses 38-40

Jesus' cup and baptism are figurative and in the present tense. They speak of His selfless service, His poverty, His aloneness, His rejection by the world, His struggle against His own humanity, His love and concern for His wayward people, etc.

The positions they seek will be for those who merit them and are not to be granted by personal favor.

Verse 41

It is clear from the Apostle's indignation that they all were seeking places of royalty and power in Jesus' worldly kingdom, and were jealous that James and John almost "scooped" them to it. How this must have grieved Jesus. The hour is so late and the Apostles are so out of touch. It is time once again to try to realign the Apostles thinking to God's way.

Verses 41-44

In the world the people are on the bottom, their rulers run their lives and in turn the rulers are subject to the authority of the high officials. This is a picture of man's typical government. The Church must not follow this pattern. Instead The leader must exercise service, not AUTHORITY. All he does must be for the good of his people not for himself. There is no room for selfish ambition here. No room for power mongers and self seeking leadership. The Church is not to be an organization but a family. The parents love the children and care for them. They even lay aside their own needs to make sure the children have what they need. The Children honor and trust the parents looking to them for instruction and guidance. As they all seek God, He cares for their needs and His spirit produces harmony in their midst. LOVE abounds in all things.

Verse 45

Jesus comes back to the example of his own life. In the world He had nothing. No one washed His feet. The days of his life were spent teaching, healing, and seeking everyone around Him. Jesus final statement sums it all up. He came to give His life as a ransom for many. It all comes back to the Cross. His call is for all to live a life patterned after His own.

We each have an opportunity every day to set aside our own agenda to serve God by seeking and serving those around us in Christ's name. We need to be alert to those opportunities and give ourselves to God in service. This is true worship and acceptable to God.

Our Song

He Bore It All

1.
My precious Savior suffered pain and agony,
He bore it all that I might live;
He broke the bonds of sin and set the captive free,
He bore it all that I might live.

2.
They placed a crown of thorns upon my Savior's head,
He bore it all that I might live;
By cruel man with spears His side was pierced and bled,
He bore it all that I might live.

3.
Up Calvary's hill in shame the blessed Savior trod,
He bore it all that I might live;
Between two thieves they crucified the Son of God
He bore it all I might live.

REFRAIN
He bore it all that I might see His shining face,
He bore it all, that I might live;
I stood condemned to die but Jesus took my place,
He bore it all, that I might live.

Copyright 1926 by Stamps-Baxter Music/BMI. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission of The Zondervan Music Group, Nashville.

OUR PRAYER

Father each day as we wake, help us to remember the cross of Christ. By your Spirit give us the will and the strength to live as Jesus lived, a life of service to you and those around us.

In Christ's Name Amen

Love In Christ

Greg Spencer

gspencer@execpc.com
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