As Christians we believe that Jesus is the Son of God. In John 14:6 Jesus states He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Because we believe this to be true, we are called to live according to the teachings of Jesus. He taught some radical ideas – and these ideas were not only radical 2,000 years ago, but still seem hard to swallow today. Jesus did not try to please people with His words; instead He challenged their beliefs and asked them to believe in the God who sent Him. If we don’t allow Jesus’ words to change our lives, what is the purpose of reading them? Join us as we look at these radical concepts, see how they relate to our lives, and allow God, through His word, to change our hearts.
THIS WEEK: Become A Servant
We are taught to be the greatest. I’m pretty sure it started in Snow White with the Queen asking over and over again “Who is the fairest of them all?” Or maybe it started with Cain and Abel with the desire to present the best offering to God. Regardless of whether we think it started with Snow White or Cain and Abel, we can all agree there is a desire inside all of us to be the absolute best.
It is no surprise then, when we look in Mark 9:33-37 we see the disciples argue over this same topic. I’d love to hear their debate. Peter probably thinks he’s great cause he walked on water with Jesus, but Thomas points out that he quickly sank because he lost faith. When Jesus hears of this discussion I feel like he had to roll his eyes like a mother rolls her eyes at her children when they talk about being the best child. The mother laughs because both of her children talkback to her and never clean their rooms – she loves them both, but they’re both the worst. Jesus probably thought similar things. When He addresses his disciples he says, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
We apparently have it all wrong. I should have been cheering when I got last place rather than crying? This contradiction Jesus presents is hard. We strive to be the best, the greatest, and gain recognition for our success. But Jesus paints a different picture. Being the greatest means humbling yourself to serve others.
Jesus continues and says, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but Him who sent me.”
We, who receive a child, receive Christ, and those who receive Christ, receive our Heavenly Father. As a parent, you understand greatly what it means to serve children. You started serving your child as soon as they were born. Your child relies on you to feed them, clothe them, and love them. Just as Jesus humbled Himself and sacrificed His life for us, you can relate by the sacrifice you make for your children. But how does this connect with teens? What sacrifice does it take on their part to be a servant? What does it look like in their school, on their teams, or in their family? Use this week to talk about the sacrifice and humility Christ displayed and how we can use His example to walk it out in our own lives.