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The Son of Man Came to Serve
Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: As Jesus continues His journey towards Jerusalem, He informs the disciples about His reception as it relates to His mission. Instead of being received as the promised Messiah, Jesus will be condemned to death by the religious authorities and the Roman government—yet He will rise again. The somber reality of Jesus’ suffering is lost on James and John, who view the ministry as a means of personal gain. Their request to be seated in positions of authority is met by disdain from the other disciples and leads to a lesson on servanthood. The journey to Jerusalem is placed on pause for a final time when Jesus stops to restore sight to Bartimeaus, a blind beggar, who then becomes a disciple of Jesus. In addition to providing us with an accurate record of the life of Jesus, Mark’s Gospel also provides us with lessons on how the church serves God and others.
01. A gospel-centered church proclaims Jesus as the only hope of the world for the salvation of sinners in accordance with the perfect plan of God.
02. A servant-minded church keeps personal ambition in check, continues to contribute when feelings get hurt and counts it a privilege to serve brothers and sisters in the Lord.
03. A faith-based church welcomes those in need persistently prays for the needs of others, and leads people to walk with the Lord.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. Why were those who followed Jesus both amazed and afraid (verse 32)? What were their expectations regarding Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem? How did His announcement change their thinking?
2. What were James and John thinking when they asked to sit next to Jesus in His kingdom? What other signs of presumption on their part can be found in the text? How should we respond when fellow church members act in a way that gets under our skin?
3. What did Jesus mean by the use of the terms “baptism” and “cup” in this passage (verse 38-39; see also Psalm 75:8, Isaiah 51:17-23; Jeremiah 49:12)? How does His reply to James and John serve as a corrective to their sense of self-importance? How does the prospect of our suffering for Christ bring us back down to earth?
4. What leadership skills can you think of that reflect Jesus’ call for servant mindedness? Does such thinking work in the “real” world? How can Christians exercise authority in a way that reflects Jesus’ servanthood?
5. How does Bartimaeus provide us with an example of true faith? Are you persistent and expectant in your prayers? Are you demonstrating your gratitude for God’s mercy by walking with Him?
For Further Reading: Edith Blumhofer, Her Heart Can See: The Life and Hymns of Fanny J. Crosby (Eerdmans, 2005)