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Saturday, April 24, 2010

4/24/10 Lk. 22:24-27 The Greatest One

24Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. (Lk. 22:24-27)

When church leaders jockey for position, the world looks on with astonishment.  It is astonishing that when Jesus talks about his dying, the disciples (at least twice) respond by talking about who is greatest.  I guess, they wanted to figure out who is next in line.  Alexander Haig was a great statesman among two administrations, a leader of NATO forces, and secretary of state.  But he will be remembered forever as the guy who presumed too much when President Ronald Reagan was shot.  He held a press conference and basically said, "I'm in control" (until the vice president gets back) when in fact the speaker of the house and the president pro-tempore of the senate were ahead of him in the pecking order.  Haig was supposedly concerned that our enemies not think we were weak, but not following protocal added to confusion instead of taking away from it.  For the church- it is different.  Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church- always.  Humans are only stewards.  God values not those who are in leadership positions simply because they are there.  He values those who serve-whether in leadership positions or not.  Jesus saw the giving of his life as a service and a ransom for us (Mk. 10:45). Jesus was the greatest, and was the greatest servant.  The greatest in the church are those who show sacrificial love for others in the name of God's glory.

Prayer: Give me a servant's heart, O Lord, that I may want to help.  Give me a servant's hands- that I may be willing to lend one.  Give me a servant's back that I may bear the burden of others.  Give me ears to hear the oppressed; eyes to see those who need help; strength to do your will as a servant; and faith to leave my reward in your hands and not my own.

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