Mark 9.30-41 SERVANTHOOD
Our Lord Jesus Christ gives His last lesson in His four part series on Spiritual Growth. It’s the most difficult of all for most of us….even the word that titles this lesson hurts…SERVANT- HOOD – That word always brings eight notes of a chorus to my mind (So Be A Servant of the Master). The place – Marseilles, France The time – 3:00 a.m. Date – June, 1978
Lesson = SERVANTHOOD 101
It all happened so fast – A burden – much prayer An invitation – much support A flight to Europe A 3-month term of missions work
Then, the lesson – DO WHAT YOU’RE TOLD.
Get on a train – cross Europe – Meet a group you never met – drive 6,000 KM WEST with hundreds of Bibles in a trailer across Moslem North Africa in a tiny car with seven people crammed into it.
What does the chorus have to do with it? Well, the missions director and pastor told us it would be tough and the only survivors are servants, so – each time we were called upon to sacrifice, we sang our motto “So Be A Servant Of The Master.”
Like when – • One had to sit on the floor because there were only six seats (Hm….) • Or one had to sleep under the car because the trailer only slept six. (Hm…) • Or all the hot water was used up and the shower was cold (So be..) • Or it was KP, etc. any of the numberless menial parts of daily life (So be..)
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So, be a servant of the Master – it’s the greatest work of all..Look at Mark 9:30-41 and learn the Master’s lesson on Servanthood.
1. Servanthood, the cross and Jesus Christ all go hand in hand V. 30-31. Mark 10:45 Serve John 1:29 Sacrifice Phil. 2:6 Humble
#1 Therefore, servanthood starts with death to self – Gal. 2:20
2. V.32 SERVANTHOOD IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND – What different counsel we get from man! J. B. Phillips illustrates this when he alters the Beatitudes to read as follows: Happy are the “pushers”: for they get on in the world. Happy are the hard-boiled: for they never let life hurt them. Happy are they who complain: for they get their own way in the end. Happy are the blasé: for they never worry over their sins. Happy are the slavedrivers: for they get results. Happy are the knowledgeable men of the world: for they know their way around. Happy are the troublemakers: for they make people take notice of them.
We, who are infected with the Adam-Even disease don’t operate like that. Not on your life. This was emphasized afresh as I watched Leonard Bernstein, the famous orchestra conductor, perform one evening on television. During an informal time of discussion on the program, I recall one admirer asked: “Mr. Bernstein, what is the most difficult instrument to play?” Second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm or second French horn or second flute, now that’s a problem. And yet if no one plays second, we have no harmony.
#2 Therefore, servanthood can only start in a renewed, transformed mind.
3. Servanthood has at its roots, humility V.33-35.
HUMILITY: Is necessary to the service of God, Mic. 6:8 Christ an example of, Matt. 11:29; John 13:14, 15; Phil. 2:5-8. A characteristic of saints. Psa. 34:2. – THEY WHO HAVE, regarded by God, Psa. 138:6; Isa. 66:2. – heard by God, Psa. 9:12; 10:17 – enjoy the presence of God, Isa. 57:15 – delivered by God, Job. 22:29 – lifted up by God, James 4:10 – exalted by God, Luke 14:11: 18:14 – greatest in Christ’s kingdom, Matt. 18:14 – receive more grace, Prov. 3:34; James 4:6 – upheld by honor, Prov. 18:12; 29:23 – is before honor, Prov. 15:33 – leads to riches, honor, and life, Prov. 22:4 – SAINTS SHOULD put on, Col. 3:12 – be clothed with, 1 Peter 5:5 – walk with, Eph. 4:1,2 – beware of false, Col. 2:18-23 – afflictions intended to produce. Lev. 26:41; Deut. 8:3; Lam. 3:20 – want of, condemned, 2 Chr. 33:23; 36:12; Jer. 44:10; Dan. 5:22 – temporal judgments averted by, 2 Chr. 7:14; 12:6,7 – excellency of, Prov. 16:19 – blessedness of, Matt. 5:3 – exemplified: Abraham, Gen. 18:27. Jacob, Gen. 32:10 – Moses, Exod. 3:11; 4:10, Joshua, Josh. 7:6, Gideon,
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Judg. 6:15. David, 1 Chr. 29:14 – Hezekiah, 2 Chr. 32:26. Manasseh, 2 Chr. 33:12. Josiah, 2 Chr. 34:27. Job, Job 40:4;42:6. Isaiah, Isa. 6:5. Jeremiah, Jer. 1:6. John the Baptist, Mat. 3:14. Centurion, Mat. 8:8. Woman of Canaan, Mat. 15:27. Elisabeth, Luke 1:43. Peter, Luke 5:8. Paul, Acts 20:19. – of Christ: declared by himself. Mat. 11:29.
TWELVE WAYS CHRIST EXHIBITED HIS HUMBLE SERVANTHOOD 1. Taking our nature, Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:16 2. Birth, Luke 2:4-7 3. Subjection to his parents, Luke 2:51. 4. Station in life, Matt. 13:55; John 9:29. 5. Poverty, Luke 9:58: 2 Cor. 8:9 6. Partaking of our infirmities, Heb. 4:15; 5:7. 7. Submitting to ordinances, Matt. 3:13, 15. 8. Becoming a servant, Matt. 20:28; Luke 22:27; Phil. 2:7. 9. Associating with the despised, Matt. 9:10, 11; Luke 15:1,2 10. Refusing honors, John 5:41: 6:15, entry into Jerusalem, Zech. 9:9, with Mat. 21:5,7. 11. Washing his disciples’ feet, John 13:5. Obedience, John 6:38, Heb. 10:9. 12. Submitting to sufferings, Isa. 50:6; 53:7, with Acts 8:32: Mat. 26:37-39. – exposing himself to reproach and contempt, Psa. 22:6; 69:9, with Romans 15:3; Isa. 53:3. – death, John 10:15; 17:18; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 12:2. – saints should imitate. Phil. 2:5-8. – on account of, he was despised, Mark 6:3; John 9:29. – his exaltation, the result of, Phil. 2:9.
Therefore, only servants are humble.
SO, SERVANTHOOD AS TAUGHT BY CHRIST 1. V.30-31: Starts at the cross. 2. V. 32: Comes only to renewed minds 3. V. 33-35: Nurtures humility 4. V.36-37: BUILDS UPON SIMPLICITY
(READ V.36-37) Simple Childlike faith Unquestioning Implicit Trusting Simplicity
One night, my two-year-old saw people on escalator. Going up through the ceiling He asked “Can we go to heaven too?” Simple – Heaven is up – we talk about it a lotthey must be going
God said it – I believe it – that settles it for me. I Cor. 1:26-31 – Simplicity
SIMPLICITY is opposed to fleshly wisdom, 2 Cor. 1:12.
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–necessity for, Mat. 18:2,3. SHOULD BE EXHIBITED in preaching the gospel, 1 Thess. 2:3-7. –in acts of benevolence, Romans. 12:8 -in all our conduct, 2 Cor. 1:12. -Concerning our own wisdom, 1 Cor. 3:18 -Concerning evil, Romans 16:19. -Concerning malice, 1 Cor. 14:20. -Exhortations to, Romans 16:19: 1 Peters 2:2 -THEY WHO HAVE THE GRACE OF, are made wise by God, Matt. 11:25. -are made wise by the word of God, Psa. 19:7; 119:130. -are preserved by God, Psa. 116:6. -made circumspect by instruction, Prov. 1:4. -profit by the correction of others, Prov. 19:25; 21:11. -beware of being corrupted from that, which is in Christ, 2 Cor. 11:3. -illustrated, Matt. 6:22. -exemplified: David, Psa. 131:1,2. Jeremiah, Jer. 1:6. Primitive Christians, Acts 2:46; 4:32. -Paul, 2 Cor. 1:12. -SIMPLE, THE (fools), exhortations to, Prov. 1:22; 8:5. See Prov. 1:32: 7:7; 14:15.
5. SERVANTHOOD PRODUCES LOYALTY (V.38-41) – Loyalty to Christ not rivalry.
Now, how can we package this up like a prescription to take with us so we can “Be A Servant Of The Master.”
I Corinthians 4:1 READ – PAUL CALLED THEM TO HUMBLE SERVANTHOOD When Paul ministered in Corinth, he often had to see the diolkos (boat tramway) where slaves from triremes (three deck boats) called huperetes (under rowers).
From history we can draw some profound applications: These slaves (hupenetes) 1. Rowed to captain’s beat = Submissive 2. Rowed in unison = United 3. Rowed for life = Committed 4. Were never seen = Humble 5. Were never sure where going = Trusted
How’s your servanthood today?