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Pride and Humility in the Kingdom of God

16/09/2015

Pride and Humility in the Kingdom!

Text: Mark 9:33-37

Pride is a very great sin, common among Christians, and one that we MUST become aware of, acknowledge and confess, so that we can be forgiven, and having been forgiven we should live lives that are HUMBLE – the opposite of pride. So let’s look at our Biblical text where Jesus is in Capernaum, with His disciples, and in a house – and His conversation with his disciples has been recorded for us by Mark. And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, So, let’s eavesdrop on that conversation…

  1. Jesus Knew what they didn’t tell Him. What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

Jesus asks His disciples a question – the answer to which He already knows!

  1. The dispute. As usual the disciples had been arguing among themselves and as usual they had been arguing about their own self-importance. Who will be the greatest in the kingdom. There’s a terrible ugliness in the wilful demonstration of pride among Christians, and especially among Christian leaders.
  2. The searching question. So why is Jesus asking them what they were talking about? We have already learned in our studies in the gospels that He knows the hearts of all men. Matthew 9:1-7. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? Acts 1:24 24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men,

I wonder how we would talk if we realised that Jesus was listening to our every word? Would we still share those same jokes? Would we still gossip, would we still complain? Would we still talk for hours about everything and anything but Him? If we knew that Jesus was watching us…   All deeds are done, and all words are said in His presence.

  1. The real issue. Even though Jesus already knows our sins, He wants us to CONFESS our sins! He knew what these disciples had been talking about, and they knew what they had been thinking about, and they knew that it was sinful and proud, and they were ever so reluctant to confess it. But confess it they must if they want to be forgiven! Paul, Romans 10:9-11 John, 1 John 1:9 David, Psalm 51 

Jesus wants His followers, His first disciples and us, – to admit their sins, and to confess them to him, so that they can avail of the forgiveness that He purchased for them at Calvary.

  1. The Order of Priority in God’s Kingdom. 35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

The phrase ‘And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them’ is the phrase that described a rabbi teaching his scholars – when a Rabbi was about to make a didactic pronouncement he would SIT DOWN and call for the attention of his disciples. Jesus is going to teach them, and us something very important indeed. It is a formal instruction If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

  • The first shall be last. One of the greatest differences between the Christian believer and the ungodly world, is that the Christian is taught to put others first. Romans 12:10
  • The greatest shall be the servant of all. We don’t think highly of service in this country. People who are in service industries, particularly in restaurants and hotels, tend to be poorly regarded and poorly paid. In the USA it’s much different. Service is highly valued. You go to a shop or a restaurant and you are treated with respect. SERVICE is a privilege!

So, in God’s kingdom, there is no place for pride or selfish ambition.  James 4:8-10

AND – be aware that in humbling ourselves in the service of others, we are simply a pale reflection of our Saviour’s loving condescension to the cross for us. He humbled himself, so that he would lift us up.

  1. The Remedy for Proud Ambition.  36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Finally remember that pride cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven, only humility – we must come to Christ as a little child..

  • A child in their midst. 36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: Just as Jesus used the healing of a paralysed man in Matthew 9 to illustrate his power to forgive sins, so he now uses another illustration, another visual aid. A child
  • A child in the Saviour’s arms. and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Loved and accepted and welcomed, – and brought within the Master’s care! Yet what has a child got to offer? He can’t do good works, or boast his education etc. Yet Jesus takes the little child, in all his insignificance and humility and embraces him, welcomes him. Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

To receive Jesus is to receive the Creator God!

© Bob McEvoy

From → Mark

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