This sermon was based on Mark 9:30-41
Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection
30They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
Who Is the Greatest?
33And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37″Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us
38John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40For the one who is not against us is for us. 41For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
What is the Path to Greatness? – Humility
- Humility is the path to greatness. Pride is an obstacle to greatness. Our culture tells us to put ourselves first, the outworking of pride and selfish ambition.
- “Spiritual pride is the illusion that we are competent to run our own lives, achieve our own sense of self-worth and find a purpose big enough to give us meaning in life without God.” – Tim Keller
- Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer or better-looking than others.” – CS Lewis
How do we See the Path to Greatness? – Perspective
- It’s easy to see pride in others but we often neglect to see it in ourselves.
- Dealing with pride is not about thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. The only way to do this is to be totally enraptured by something else.
- When we consider who God is and what he’s doe for us, then being competitive seems a bit foolish really because when we fix our eyes up we no longer see the point of looking down.
How do we Get There? – Sacrifice
- Jesus tells the disciples that to be the greatest they must be the servants of all. He then uses a child as the example. How we serve children is a measure of our greatness!
- “Christ’s life given up for others is the centrepiece of our faith. Our lives given up for others is the centrepiece of our faithfulness.” – Rachel Jankovic
- When we die to ourselves – our pride, our selfish ambition, our incorrect perspective, we travel to the true path to greatness.