Don't we all wish we could have been one of the twelve disciples of Jesus? Don't we all wish that we could have been in the front row seats watching Jesus calm the storm, heal the leper, cast out evil, challenge the religious leaders, raise the dead daughter? But, could we really have stomached the discipleship and leadership challenge Jesus kept in front of those twelve? Do we accept Jesus' challenge today?
Listen to Jesus' words again.
"Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all." Mark 10:42-44
Isn't following Jesus an opportunity for Jesus to serve me? Isn't being a Christian; Jesus forgiving me, providing for me, healing me? Isn't being a Christian; Jesus answering my prayers to solve my problems and my loved ones' problems?
Why does Jesus keep challenging me to service?
Why does Jesus keep calling me to less freedom?
If I want to be great, I need to be a servant. You mean, stop doing what I want to do and start doing what Jesus wants me to do? You mean change my plans and adopt Jesus' plans?
Then, Jesus says if I want to be first, top, the best, the only way to grow into that is to become a slave? What is this discipleship and leadership calling of Jesus? Is this too invasive of my privacy and my life? Why is Jesus meddling so personally? Why is it so hard?
I am amazed that Jesus did not call us into something He Himself did not do. Jesus was born to serve. Jesus was a slave and did what His heavenly Father wanted Him to do every day. Then Jesus even went further: He willingly went to the lowest possible position, a criminal nailed to the cross. Is there a lower position? Isn't that for the worst people on the planet? Isn't that for the scum of the earth who deserve capital punishment?
Paul then invites us to pray like him. "I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like Him in His death," Phil 3:10
Discipleship, leadership training of Jesus: descending from a servant to a slave to a suffering follower of Jesus. Suffering like Jesus? Yikes...
Jesus, we humbly, ask for your help to follow you downward into spiritual maturity. Give us courage.