Sagebrush has a teaching series going on right now called My Own Worst Enemy. There are some journal questions posted on their website. I've been responding to these questions and I thought I would post my responses here. If you read this, let me know your thoughts.
Journal day two. Mark 9:33-35
Here I see Jesus teaching a lesson to his disciples. They were arguing about who was the greatest. Humans have a tendency to want to be “great”. We see this all the time in our culture today. What I think is interesting is that Jesus is the greatest. He is God, yet He is teaching about how to care for the lowest in their culture. Jesus corrected their behavior of arguing about who was the greatest and told them that whoever is last will be first. The servant of all will be first. I understand that Jesus is teaching that we need to be a servant to those who typically are begin ignored by our culture, but I don't think I'm clear what it means that those who serve will be first. I think that the point of the teaching is humility and love, but I wonder if the goal is to be first. I'm guessing the goal is to have love and humility in our culture because we have a shortage of love and humility.
There are a lot of people who are ignored in our culture today. We worship celebrities, money, career advancements, sports stars... they aren't ignored. Who's ignored in our culture? I would say those that have nothing. Here's something interesting. Before reading Mark 9:33-35, I read Proverbs 14. In verses 20-21 it says, “The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends. Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.”. In Mark 9 Jesus used a child as an example of someone who has little status in their culture at the time, but I think our culture today turns a blind eye to those that have less. I'm guilty of it. When I see a panhandler I feel awkward. I don't know why. I'll be stopped at a red light and I try not to make eye contact. I don't even bother to read their sign. Our culture looks down on those people. Why are they there? I would say if a person has any pride, it's sucked out when they are forced to panhandle. Maybe they're on drugs and they don't care about pride or humility, they just need a fix. Still sucks to be in the situation. Maybe life just dealt them a shitty hand. Look at me. Ignoring them and feeling awkward like an ass. I think what Jesus is teaching here is that compassion is needed. There are people in life that are in situations that down right suck. We're to be their servant.