Remember the story of James and John asking Jesus to sit at His right hand?
"James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You." And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" They said to Him, "Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory." Mark 10:35-37
Do you remember how Jesus responds?
"You don't know what you're asking."
Are you shocked that He isn't angry with them? Does it surprise you that Jesus doesn't seem disappointed or frustrated they asked Him this?
This makes me think that their motives must have not been as it seems. It would seem like they are wanting power and fame for their own glory. But Jesus, the Knower of Hearts and Bringer of Truth surely would have corrected them if that had been the case. Perhaps this shows that asking for things for yourself is not looked down upon in the Lord's eyes. And though sometimes we ask for things we really don't understand, He's bigger than our inadequacies.
But just like I assumed James and John's motives, so did the people close to them.
"Hearing this, the ten began to feel indignant with James and John. Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. "But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant ; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Mark 10:41-45
This is when Jesus brings correction. It wasn't when James and John ask for positions of influence, it was when the disciples get jealous of what James and John asked Him. How interesting is that!
And because of this whole scene we get the beautiful and powerful words of Jesus explaining what it means to lead and be an influencer using Himself as an example.
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45
Did you know the word life here is psuche which means your soul; your mind, will and emotions and the seat of your affections. It's not the word, bios, your physical life as you would expect. Jesus gave up not only His bios, but His psuche, but He laid down His expectations, desires, His will to serve.
The Lord wants us to be influencers for His kingdom but He doesn't want us to be deceived in what that looks like and how it comes about. It's not by trying to achieve our own agendas apart from Christ but to lay down our "American Dream" and pursuit of the 6 C's, careers, computers, cuties, condos, cars and cash and instead take up the mission and purpose He has for us. And the beautiful thing is that He wants us to come to Him and ask Him for help being a kingdom influencer.
Help us be willing to boldly come to You, asking for Your help and empowerment to be influencers for Your kingdom and not builders of our own. Help us lay down our psuche lives and take up the purpose and mission You've assigned us. We yield and depend on You.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 14 years serving with Master Plan Ministries where she is the Women's Development Coordinator. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, A Devotional Journey through Judges, and Discover God's Calling for Your Life. Most recently her resource for Bible studies, The Connect Cards was released by Cru Press. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram, periscope, blab and her author site.
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