July 18, 2016

Exercising Authority

Immediately following Jesus predicting his death, James and John, along with their mother, petitioned Jesus to have the boys sit on the Lord's right and left hand in his kingdom (his glory). I’ve always thought this meant sitting on the Lord’s right and left hand in heaven. However, it occurs to me that when learning of the Lord’s impending death, these boys thought someone needed to be in charge…and it should be them. It stands to reason that if the Lord endorsed them while he was alive, these boys would have a place of authority and honor on earth, as well as in heaven. Jesus called the disciples together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” (Mark 10:42-44 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----It continues to amaze me how many rulers are in the Lord’s church and how few servants. You would think it enough that this statement about leadership was in Jesus’ own words. Yet for two-thousand years church rulers have drawn lines of distinction with theological ideas and rituals to demark their pastures from any other pasture, lest any of another flock should encroach, or worse yet, lest any of “their” sheep should take a bite of another’s grass. It’s almost as if leaders think themselves exempt from Romans 14:5, “One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let every one be fully convinced in his own mind.” It’s as if church leaders think that by “everyone” Paul meant also “else”, and by “his own” he meant certainly “my” so as to say "Let everyone else be fully convinced in my mind." By the ingenuity of these “servants” Christ’s body is now fractured into a thousand disjointed pieces such that each piece thinks itself to be “The Church“. And although they don’t exhibit this intellectually, they do attitudinally. Therefore, why should we be amazed that, in Christ’s bodily absence by the church’s accepted disunity, the whole world has not believed that God sent Jesus (John 17:20-21)?
-----The churches had their chance to influence the world’s belief unto Jesus Christ. Church rulers lead the churches into blowing that chance by exhibiting war amongst the body instead of unity. The world’s mind has not come to be framed in evolution, atheism, and secularism by that just being the way people are. This mental framework is a repudiation of a nasty picture displayed in world history by the churches. The picture would have been a sight to behold had church leaders been actual servants rather than masters.
-----But don’t get me wrong. The Church is yet the glorious body of the Lord. Many amongst it are those who will moan, “But Lord, Lord…” on That Day. They are not The Church. They are those who served form rather than substance, worshipping organizations they’ve made amongst The Church rather than the Head which still moves The Church. The Church is yet those who obey the Head in faithful acceptance of His Word for what it says, knowing another man might be convinced of different things in his own mind and yet be a brother in fellowship. There are many milling about amongst the churches lamenting also the slicing and dicing of His body and countering what has been done by being themselves as much servants as they can be.

Love you all,
Steve Corey