Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Fourth Sunday In Lent
#1: "Misunderstanding Among the Servants"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
in it for me?" The question reeks of those who seek power and glory.
Youd think that those who had walked and talked with the Master for years
would understand the nature of His Kingdom and what serving in it entails. But
todays text tells us about: A MISUNDERSTANDING AMONG THE SERVANTS.
I. About Jesus Kingdom
A. It is about blood, sweat and tears--John 15:14-16, Matt 16:21, 17:22, 23, 17:22-23; 26:2
B. It is not about earthly glory--Ps 22:1-31; Isa 53:1-12; Mk 14:64ff
II. About when the glory comes: "We want you to do whatever we want--sit at your right and left in your Kingdom."
A. Not in this life--Mk 14:36; Lk 12:50; John 18:36; Acts 12:2; Rom 8:17; Col 1:24; John 1:9
B. But in the life which is to come, as a reward
1. For faithful service in following Christs example--Col 3:1-4; Lk 22:23-25; John 10:15ff; John 13:12-17; Gal 3:13-14
2. The glory that is promised--Prov 4:18; Dan 12:3; Matt 5:10-12, 10:41; Col
3:23-24; Rev 22:12
The Teachers Commentary reminds us: Instead of "exercising authority" as a ruler who demands and enforces conformity, the Christian leader is to abandon coercion. Jesus said firmly and plainly, "Not so with you." Force, manipulation, demand--all are ruled out in the way by which the servant leader exercises Christian authority. Outward force can produce conformity, but it can never produce that inner commitment which moves people to follow Jesus. How, then, does the servant lead? By serving! The secular ruler speaks the commands, but the spiritual leader demonstrates by his example the kingdom way of life into which he is called to lead others. No wonder Peter picked up this same theme and wrote as an elder to fellow elders, "Be shepherds of Gods flock that is under your care...not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:2-3). By serving, the Christian leader demonstrates the greatness of the love of God, and gently motivates others to follow him. "Whoever wants to be first must be your slave--just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Matt 20:27-28).
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Object: college catalog
For years now your relatives have been asking you: "What do you plan to do when you grow up?" (Ask three students for a response.) Your answer to that question will determine what you will study when you get to high achool. You might take the college prep course or the tech prep course. Its up to you.
When you find what you want to do, one question youll be asking yourself is: "Can I make enough money at this to support a family?" Thats the good kind of question that asks: WHATS IN IT FOR ME?
But that question is often asked the wrong way. The mother of James and John, two of Jesus disciples, wanted to have her sons sit in powerful places in Jesus kingdom. Jesus told them to think it over. There was a whole lot more than they thought in being part of Jesus Kingdom. Jesus was going to the cross to die for our sins. Anyone who followed Him would get rough treatment. Indeed, we know that only one of Jesus twelve disciples "died in bed." The rest died violently.
When you choose what you will study in high school, college or tech school, you know where that path will lead. Following Jesus often leads to the same kind of trouble that Jesus met while He was here with us.
But thats not the end of the story. Jesus rose from the dead and went back to heaven. He is there waiting to reward those who have followed Him to the end.
So start thinking about what you will be doing in high school and where you will go after that. Think about what you want to do with your life. And look forward to seeing Jesus at the end, where He waits to welcome you and reward you for the things you did in serving Him here.
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#2: "Megaservice Master"
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:35 PM