Day 2: Not to be served but to serve.
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
I re-read this many times before I could really take in this passage. Is it important to be a leader among men?
In the modern corporate context, a leader is more commonly known as a manager. As we progress in our careers, most of us do want to reach a managerial position. Yet how many of us can truly manage, much less lead? I led a small project team two years ago but I think I truly mis-managed. I am not sure I will make a good leader because I am so unfocussed. For the life of me, I can’t seem to focus and find that as a result, I can’t do one single thing well. And it troubles me greatly.
Day 1: Some fell on rocky ground.
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
I must’ve come across this passage a hundred times in my life but I’ve never ever thought how it relates to me. Yet when I read it again this morning, its meaning was clear as day: I AM the rocky ground. My faith isn’t strong because it isn’t deep. Hence, it went away as quickly as it came.