The Cross of Jesus Leads to Service for Us

Mark 10:32-52

This week we resume our blogging after a hiatus that started when we had to adjust for the Covid pandemic. As we have worked to decide what’s helpful since the pandemic status ended, we’ve done a lot of work assessing the community, the congregation and our ministry. Church Council agreed that this practice was a helpful one – a weekly blog based on the text for the coming Sunday. So this week we resume.

We are solidly in Lent now and the journey to the cross is well underway. This is the third time that Jesus predicts his coming passion. Each time he follows his prediction with some call to his followers. Because Jesus is going to the cross, we who follow him are called to be different and act in ways that continue the work he accomplishes in his life, death and resurrection.

So what is it that Jesus hopes happens to us?

In this case, Jesus’ prediction spawns a desire for some to achieve status as a result of their connection to him. James and John hope for good positions – it’s almost as if they weren’t listening to what Jesus said. They want to be in charge. When the rest of the disciples find out, they are furious at James and John for wanting this. An argument breaks out and Jesus almost immediately squashes it.

The bottom line for Jesus is that following Jesus to the cross will not get you status and power. In fact, quite the opposite. Greatness in the reign of God is measured not by how many you lord over, but by how graciously and humbly you serve. In fact, Jesus is going to the cross as an act of service for the many, an act of service to the whole of humankind.

The cross shaped life doesn’t mean we all die execution style. In fact, there is not need for too much of that – Jesus has already done it for all of us. But it does impact how we act every day. It opens us up to the needs of others. It shapes us for service. It makes us instruments of the ongoing work of Jesus, which includes the heart and the actions of servants. The word “minister” means to serve. At Zion, we know that we all share in the ministry. It is a way of reminding us that as Jesus’ people, we are marked serving each other and in the world around us. 

Share Button