Tuesday after Sexagesima
Scripture: St. Mark 10:32-52 (NKJV)
32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.
42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
People often desire glory and authority because they believe those things mean they can do as they wish, serving their own interests. However, our Lord makes it clear that true power and true glory do not belong to tyrannical megalomaniacs. True power and glory are connected with those great leaders who serve others faithfully, diligently, and righteously.
God Himself serves man. As we say in the traditional ending of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory….” But those attributes of our righteous God come from the fact that He serves us and takes care of us according to them! He created us and sustains us by His infinite power. His kingdom is made up of the very creatures that He serves as they are gathered to Him. And His glory gives all a clear picture of where the source of our help and provision comes from.
These attributes are very much true of God’s Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, as well. His earthly life was characterized by service. He healed the sick and broken, He taught all who would hear about the blessings that come from the Word, and most importantly of all He gave His life as a ransom. He innocently suffered and was executed for no crime of His own, but as payment for the sins of the world. And as the Gospel says, “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!”
We pray: Heavenly Father, Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. We give thanks for Your grace to us, most of all in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.