26 Feb. Mark 9:33-37

26 Feb. Jesus turns accepted values upside down

"Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum. When they went into a house there, he asked them, 'What were you arguing about on the road?' But the followers did not answer, because their argument on the road was about which one of them was the greatest."

"Jesus sat down and called the twelve apostles to him. He said, 'Whoever wants to be the most important must be last of all and servant of all.'"

"Then Jesus took a small child and had him stand among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said, 'Whoever accepts a child like this in my name accepts me. And whoever accepts me accepts the One who sent me.'"

          (Mark 9:33-37)



"I'm the greatest [boxer, president, businessman, actress etc]." "You're fantastic; you deserve this." "Celebrity chef [singer, footballer etc] makes millions of pounds/dollars." "Lucky UK resident becomes lottery multi-millionaire."

It's easy to take on board the values of our society that surround us constantly on TV, in the media, and are assumed by our friends: 'Money buys success'. 'I want to be a celebrity.' 'My greatest wish is to win the lottery.' 'I wish I could meet Lady Ga Ga [the Queen, Lord Sugar, Benedict Cumberbach etc...]'.

But Jesus turned the values of society on their head.

He was a penniless preacher. (He wasn't paid thousands of dollars for his 'celebrity' appearances.) (Mark 6:37-39)
He never sought the limelight. (He often told people he healed NOT to tell anyone else.) (see Mark 7:36)
He never stayed in the homes of the rich and famous. (He dined with tax gatherers and prostitutes who were despised in his contemporary society.) (see Mark 2:15)
He never wore expensive fashions or drove the latest car. (He told his followers not to own lots of clothes, and he borrowed a donkey for his triumphant entry into Jerusalem.) (see Mark 9:3 & Mark 11:3)

While his followers argued about who was the 'greatest' and who would get the most lucrative government post when Jesus overthrew the Romans (see Mark10:35-37), Jesus himself acted like a lowly servant and washed the smelly feet of his disciples.(see John 13:4-5)

And while his supporters strived after power and influence. Jesus put his arm around a little child, hugged him, and said, "Whoever accepts a child like this in my name accepts me. And whoever accepts me accepts the One who sent me." (Mark 9:37)

Jesus turns the values of society on their head. He says the most important thing in life is NOT to earn a fortune but to give a young child a hug. He says, "the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the leader should be like the servant. Who is more important: the one sitting at the table [being served] or the one serving? You think the one at the table is more important, but I am like a servant among you." (Luke 22:26-27)

And the "servant king" asks us to do the same: to share our wealth, to be humble, to stand out as distinctly different from the rest of society.

Do you give generously to help those less fortunate?
Do you lend to others without expecting a backhander or a favour in return?
Do you try to win other people's money from them by buying a lottery ticket?
Do you give to charities without expecting a reward or prize for doing so?

How will you explain your actions to Jesus when you meet him?

The photo shows the remains of 1st century houses in Capernaum.

You can read more about Jesus's teachings @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-pays-the-temple-tax/

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