SERMON SUMMARY: Our culture values fame, celebrity, and success–just look at how many TV viewing hours we’ve committed to the veneration of movie stars and elite athletes over the past month! But Jesus proposes a radically different dynamic for His kingdom: the way to greatness is the path of humility and humiliation. Come hear more about this surprising teaching as we continue to study the gospel of Mark.
I want to be the greatest of all time and that’s my motivation. It’s that simple. It’s not that simple.
You get low. You stay low.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know,31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them,37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,an d we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
CONFESSION OF SIN:
Jesus, you have said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,”
But we have been inflated with pride.
Forgive us for our self-sufficiency.
Jesus, you have said, “Blessed are those who mourn,”
But we have not been grieved by our sin.
Forgive us for our hard hearts.
Jesus, you have said, “Blessed are the meek and lowly,”
But we have despised weakness.
Forgive us for neglecting mercy.
SONG TO CONSIDER: