When Jesus Seems Different.
Opener: Did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but taking the very nature of a servant. (Phil 2)
Intro: A couple have been married 25 years, and one day, the husband found a box in the attic with three bonnets and $10,500.
He asked his wife and she responded, "Every time I got mad at you, I knitted a bonnet." The husband was proud that in 25 years, he had only angered his wife three times.
"OK," he said, "that explains the bonnets, but what about the $10,500 dollars?"
The wife smiled and said, "That's money from all the bonnets I sold."
24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
YOU ARE NOT TO BE LIKE THAT.
Pretending to give without giving, pretending to serve without serving.
They call themselves…
Benefactor - a person who gives money or other help to a person or cause
Example: “Talking and helping are not the same.”
- A daughter to her abusive father’s empty promises.
i.e. A ‘great’ person who does not serve is not great.
But I am among you as one who serves.…
1. Greatness starts at the bottom.
And stays there… “taking the very nature of a servant.”
Jesus washed all their feet.
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Remind you of anything?
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
the ‘sifting’ (Job passed the test)
How is this related to the bit about serving?
The disciples were in need of humbling.
They were trapped by their words… ‘who is the greatest?’
It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.
When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it.
He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.
2. Pride goes before a fall.
Example: “foot in your mouth?” Annso saying the guy looked like her Dad.
33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Example: God uses the ‘sifting’ for his glory.
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
3. Humiliation is a gift from God.
Example: My job is to humble myself and God’s is to lift me up.
If I do God’s job, he will do mine.
35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied.
Jesus is saying, “Things are changing.”
Going from: “lacking nothing” (being celebrated popular teachers)
To: “being numbered with the transgressors” (banished criminals)
Think Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Peter, James…
Listen to the progression in Peter:
Listened to Jesus (I confer on you a kingdom)
boasted about his loyalty (i will go to death with you)
the sifting (pressure from the crowd asking if Peter knew Jesus)
denial of Jesus (failure)
service (feed my sheep)
numbered with the transgressors martyred (glorifying God)
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
The further along you get, the greater the “ask” on you
“29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
4. The kingdom of God is ‘all or nothing’.
“Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered…”
To whom much is given, much will be required.
Application: What have you been given? Spiritually, not physically.
Have you been sifted?
We started with ‘Which one of us is the greatest?’
We were confident and cocky.
~ Oswald Chambers ~ My Utmost for His Highest
At the beginning we were sure we knew all about Jesus Christ, it was a delight to sell all and to fling ourselves out in a hardihood of love; but now we are not quite so sure. Jesus is on in front and He looks strange. “Jesus went before them and they were amazed.”
There is an aspect of Jesus that chills the heart of a disciple to the core and makes the whole spiritual life gasp for breath. This strange Being with His face set like a flint and His striding determination strikes terror into me. He is no longer Counsellor and Comrade, He is taken up with a point of view I know nothing about, and I am amazed at Him. At first I was confident that I understood Him, but now I am not so sure. I begin to realize there is a distance between Jesus Christ and me; I can no longer be familiar with Him. He is ahead of me and He never turns round; I have no idea where He is going, and the goal has become strangely far off.
Jesus Christ had to fathom every sin and every sorrow man could experience, and that is what makes Him seem strange. When we see Him in this aspect we do not know Him, we do not recognize one feature of His life, and we do not know how to begin to follow Him. He is on in front, a Leader Who is very strange, and we have no comradeship with Him.
The discipline of dismay is essential in the life of discipleship. The danger is to get back to a little fire of our own and kindle enthusiasm at it (cf. Isaiah 50:10-11). When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is an unspeakable joy.