Dying and leading

Mark 10:32-45: Jesus continues on his journey to Jerusalem where he knows he will face the full wrath of all who oppose him. He has been teaching about the Kingdom of God and how it is open to all who would seek to enter in to it. All that is required is to follow him, giving up the world’s values and purposes. In this passage Jesus speaks again about how he would be handed over to the authorities, how he would be abandoned by those who claim to worship the One from whom he had come to be beaten without mercy and how he would in the end be put to death. Then he adds another element to it that seems to slip past the twelve when he states that three days later he will rise. It didn’t seem to catch their ears at all. Jesus knew that this trip to Jerusalem for the Passover would be his final.

The disciples all had their own issues that they were dealing with. James and John were planning their ascension to positions of power. They wanted to rule alongside Jesus! What a shock to the others when they learned that these two brothers, the sons of thunder was their name, had made such an audacious requests. Were there any team players in this group?

Jesus lays his leadership vision down clearly for the brothers and the rest of the group. If anyone wanted to follow him and be a leader in what would come of this school of discipleship they would have to give everything up, especially their aspirations to positions of grandeur and authority. In Mark 10:43-44 he tells them that the greatest among them would have to become the servant of all. Jesus had no part in grandiose kingdom building, his vision of things was to humbly serve the least important of society. His service to mankind would take him all the way to giving up his own life as a ransom for many (Mk. 10:45). This is all quiet contrary to the principles of leadership that the world sets out and sets the Kingdom of God apart from the kingdoms of men. This is how the church is called to function under the example left behind by Jesus Christ and under his continuing headship.

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