This year I have been concentrating my sermons from the Gospel according to Mark. The month of August the sermons have been preached from Mark Chapter 9.
Sunday August 4: A MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE Mark 9:1-10
Sunday August 11: STAYING CONNECTED TO THE RIGHT SOURCE: MARK 9:16-29
Sunday August 18: THE WAY TO GREATNESS: MARK 9: 33-41
Jesus took Peter, James, and John up to a mountain to pray and was transfigured momentarily into the glory He will have after He is risen from the dead and ascended up to heaven.
Then, we saw that when Jesus and the disciples had come down from the mountain that they came upon a commotion because the disciples who remained behind were not able to cast a demon out of a man’s son. We looked at why they might not have been able to cast out this demon. We looked at what we can learn about accomplishing things for God through prayer.
Looking at the Christian Way to Greatness we see the following.
We see that as Jesus is going around Galilee with His disciples that the disciples are discussing among themselves who among them will be the greatest of all. We will see that Jesus will teach His disciples what constitutes greatness in His service.
VS 9:33-35 - “They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”
– Jesus asks His disciples what they had been talking about on the way, but they kept quiet because they had been discussing who would be the greatest, then He sat them all down and told them that if anyone wanted to be first he should be last and the servant of all, and then bringing in a child to them He told them that whoever received even such a child in His name received Him and whoever received Him received the One who sent Him
The disciples here were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak, when Jesus asks them what they were discussing on the way. Their silence speaks volumes. Jesus understood what they had been discussing without their having to tell him. The disciples had no understanding or appreciation for what constituted true greatness at this point in time. Their hearts were full of selfish ambition and they were merely thinking of promoting themselves at the cost of everyone else, and evidently every one of the disciples thought they themselves deserved to be the most honored of Jesus’ men in His coming kingdom, and thus they were arguing for their own prominence.
Jesus gives His disciples two requirements for being the greatest in His kingdom:
#1 YOU MUST BE A SERVANT
#2 YOU MUST HUMBLE YOURSELF
Each of the disciples were arguing with each other that they deserved to be first and greatest in Christ’s kingdom, but in doing so they were promoting and exalting themselves, the very thing that would make them last in Christ’s kingdom. The person who puts themselves at the head of the line, first before others, as the disciples were doing at this time, is not the one who will receive the greatest reward in Christ’s kingdom. Rather, it is the one who is humble and thinks of others and their needs and desires first, and himself and his needs and desires last, who will be first in Christ’s kingdom.
In this world, great leaders lead by intimidation, determination, and sheer energy and might. However, the opposite is true in Christ’s kingdom. Christ calls His leaders to be “servant leaders,” and thus those who will be considered great in His kingdom will serve, just as He has served all of us. Jesus says that the greatest in His kingdom will be the ‘servant of all’, and truly it is Jesus Himself who by His example of servant leadership who will be the greatest in His kingdom.
What we as Christians have to offer the world to meet their needs is Christ Himself, and Jesus says here that the one who receives even a little child in His name receives Him, and the one who receives Jesus receives the Father (the one who sent Jesus).
Jesus’ exhortation to the disciples at this point is for them to be charitable and not think that they have a franchise on God just because they are His followers and even the leaders of His church. God is always working in many ways outside of any one particular church, denomination, or group.
Jesus’ disciples had been humbled after realizing that they totally misunderstood what true greatness consisted of, and then also that they had told a man to stop who was serving God casting out demons in the name of Jesus. Jesus now encourages them that God will reward their smallest of labors for Him, that of simply giving someone a cup of water to drink.
September 8, 2019, Sunday (10:00 am)
Annual Youth Day 10am Service
Pastor James R. Flint Jr. – Calvary Baptist Church, Chicago, Ill. - Speaker
Sunday, September 15, 2019 (3:30 pm)
Fellowship at 3:30 pm at King Solomon MBC for their Men’s and Women’s Day
Place: King Solomon MBC - 7407 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90001 (MAP) Pastor Dandridge will bring the message
Sunday, September 22, 2019 (10:00 am)
Annual Women’s Day Service
Speaker: Co-Pastor Renee’ Glass, Leap of Faith Community Church, Inglewood, CA
September 27 - 29, 2019
Holy Light MBC Annual Women’s Retreat
Place: Calvary Chapel Murrieta Hot Springs Retreat Center Cost: $180.00 Facilitator: Pastor La’Chelle Monique Woodert