Thursday Morning: 16 May 2019 – Mark 10:32-52 ~ on serving and suffering

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Guidance – Thursday)

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 10:32-52(NLT)

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear. Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him. “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.”

Jesus Teaches about Serving Others

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do us a favor.”

“What is your request?” he asked.

They replied, “When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”

But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?”

“Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”

Then Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. God has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”

When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.

But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

“My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.
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Morning Reflection:

on serving and suffering

In today’s reading, Jesus set his course for Jerusalem, fully aware of what awaited him. Those following him were both amazed and fearful, because Jerusalem was a place of intense conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities – a place of danger, and condemnation to death.

But Jerusalem was also the place where Jesus would fulfill his purpose as the Suffering Servant –

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
– Mark 10:45

Still, the disciples didn’t comprehend what was ahead of them and preferred to focus on a coming physical kingdom. And Jesus continued to teach them and train them for the ministry that would eventually be entrusted to them. How?

+ Jesus gave them the clearest picture of his passion and resurrection to date. The disciples heard what he said, but couldn’t wrap their minds around it.

+ Jesus explained that service and suffering were the marks of greatness in his coming Kingdom, after his example. The disciples quickly agreed, but had no idea of the martyrdom they would eventually face.

+ Jesus explained that the Father would determine who would receive the positions of authority and honor in the messianic kingdom. Jesus had a job to do, the rest was left to the Father.

+ Jesus healed blind Bartimaeus in response to his recognition of Jesus as the Messiah, and his plea for mercy. And Bartimaeus followed him, in faith, to Jerusalem.

Questions for consideration:

We have an advantage over the disciples – the Bible gives us the whole story and 2000 years of church history records how it has worked out.

  • How does the passion of Christ inform your understanding of what it means to follow Jesus? Please explain.
  • When you decided to follow Jesus (if you have), did you consider the personal cost to you? How has your understanding changed over time? Please explain.
  • How do you handle the authority that God has given you – at home, work, church, neighborhood? Do you run a “tight ship” telling people what to do? Please explain.
  • How do you reconcile your authority with sacrificial service? What would you have to set aside in order for sacrificial service to be your priority today? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

The Persecuted Church: Prayer for churches to rise up:

Lord Jesus: Awaken your church to the critical needs of believers around the world who are suffering calamity and great persecution. Grant that we would be faithful in prayer, and generous in our giving for physical support. Rally your church around those who are suffering for your name’s sake. And empower us by your Spirit to engage our political leaders, especially here in America, in order to remind them that Christian persecution is a real issue that must be addressed in our time. I ask this in your name, and for the Father’s glory. Amen.

My Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Open my eyes to see you as the One who died that I might live. Fill me with your Spirit that I might humbly and faithfully fulfill the ministry you have given me. And give me your heart, the heart of a servant, putting the needs of others before my own. All to the glory of our Father. Amen.
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“Man of sorrows” – Hillsong

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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