Daily Spirit & Word: 801: AN EXTRA HOUR IN BED.
Jesus is Drawing Near To Jerusalem.
“Can YOU Drink the Cup that I Drink?”
It’s the most wonderful night of the year, an extra hour in bed, because the clocks go back an hour, but will you get a good night’s sleep? When that night comes don’t you just love having that EXTRA hour?
I’ve been thinking about that word, EXTRA:
“EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT” That’s what Newspaper Sellers used to shout. As if we’d want that newspaper over and above the others because we’re getting something EXTRA.
But what does EXTRA mean?
EXTRA = More, than is needed, desired or required. More is added than should be measured. More than you’d normally get.
When we hear the word EXTRA, we think MORE often we think “More for FREE“…
In shops you’ll see on a packet of Cornflakes “An EXTRA 10% Free”.
“WOWzer! That’s awesome, an extra 10% for FREE, give me two packets”. 🙂
EXTRA LIFE: For some people, their whole life is consumed with looking for the EXTRA: As if what they’ve been getting is not enough. You know those types of people who hoard stuff, save coupons and get all the bargains with EXTRA to boot?
- People want EXTRA: Money in the pay-packets: i.e. a surprise bonus from the boss (Extra Pay).
- People want EXTRA: TIME… When the School closes down because of Snow and the kids get an EXTRA day off: Joy. EXTRA time off work. EXTRA time in bed 🙂
- People want EXTRA: ??????? What EXTRA do you like to get?
- Savings on fuel,
- Returns on Tax,
- Bigger percentage OFF: Not just 30% but an extra 10% off the normal asking price.
- More time on this earth before we need to go into the next life.
NEGATIVE: However, there are Negative Connotations too: EXTRA as in “A minor actor in a crowd scene”… “A subservient part in a play”. An extra on a football team is called a Substitute or Standby.
Today, we’re going to see this in both contexts in our reading of God’s Word from Mark’s Gospel as we continue through chapter by chapter: EXTRA as in more… and EXTRA as in a minor part to play.
Mark 10:32-45 (NIV)
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.
33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,
34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with?”
39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
42 Jesus called them 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.
43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
45 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.”
First Jesus Prediction of His Death:
Jesus KNEW what was going to happen to Himself. Mark 10:33-34.
33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
JESUS DIDN’T SHRINK BACK FROM HIS DESTINY. Mark 10:32-34.
Jesus knew what was about to happen, but did He shrink back? Did He try to avoid it? Did He try and change the outcome?
No He did not, notice in our reading, “He’s LEADING THE WAY to Jerusalem” He’s AHEAD of the whole crowd of followers.
It’s like Jesus just can’t wait to get it over with. Jesus wants to complete His mission on the earth. He came to die.
He’s revealed so far in Mark’s Gospel: three times, why He came down from Heaven:
- He came to PREACH the Gospel of the Kingdom: Mark 1:38.
- He came to CALL sinners to repentance: Mark 2:17.
- He came to DIE a cruel death; betrayal, condemnation, mocked, spat-upon, flogged, killed. Mark 10:33-34.
Jesus Christ knew all of that, and set his heart on fulfilling that mission and completing it in Jerusalem.
“He set his face like flint”
Luke 9:51 (KJV)
51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
Oh yes my friends, Jesus knew and was fully resolved to get His mission done.
2) Second: James and John’s Request.
What would you want to do if Jesus had just revealed to you he’s about to be; BETRAYED, CONDEMNED, MOCKED, SPAT-ON, BEATEN, FLOGGED AND KILLED? I hope that I’d be a bit more sympathetic than James and John, that I’d not be thinking about myself, my desires, my wishes. I hope I’d be thinking about what my Master had just told me would happen to him. Surely normal human compassion, sympathy and empathy would kick in and you’d CARE? Right? Well, that wasn’t the case with James and John.
NO, that’s not what happened: Listen to James and John’s request.
“Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
They are NOT thinking about Jesus, about what He’s going to suffer, but about themselves. They are ALL WRAPPED-UP IN SELF.
Imagine that, how insensitive can anyone possibly dare to be?
How would you feel if you’d just related to your best friends or family how you are suffering and they change the subject back onto themselves? I’m sure you be Hurt, right?
You know, some people are following Jesus in that exact same way as James and John today:
They’re following Jesus only because of what they can get out of Him.
- People want to be blessed,
- People want to be healed,
- People want to be happy, successful, rich, powerful, anointed, have a long life and EXTRA years on this earth, and eternal life as well. (It’s like getting a Cornflake Packet that will never run out).
So they start following Jesus for what they think He’ll give them or what they can get EXTRA (Over and above the normal) out of Him. They are not that bothered about what Jesus really wants them to be doing with the rest of their lives. He had a mission Himself, but He’s also got a mission for each and every one of us as well. But sometimes we can’t hear Him because we’re all wrapped up in self, just like James and John. We’re not satisfied with our lot, so we ask Jesus for more.
Today, we’re going to see that Jesus turns ALL of these NOTIONS of EXTRA on their heads.
Jesus asks them a question: Mark 10:36. “What do you want me to do for you?”
It’s like this my friends, “I’ve just told you I’m going to die, but OK what is it that you want?”
They have the EXTREME AUDACITY: To ASK for EXTRA… (Over and above what the other Disciples are getting).
It’s a bit like Oliver, in Oliver Twist, “Please Sir, can I have some more?”
Listen to what they are after my friends, and listen carefully;
Mark 10:37. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
They want the POSITIONS of HONOUR & GLORY:
They’re still thinking that Jesus is going up to Jerusalem to be crowned KING: When that happens, they want the right and left hand positions when Jesus is on His throne. They’re after; Honour, Glory, Power, Rule, Dominion. To be ABOVE other people: They want to be like KINGS themselves. They didn’t realise yet that before every CROWN of Glory, there’s SUFFERING, SWEAT and TEARS.
SORRY For James and John: I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit sorry for James and John (The Sons of Thunder). They were really THICK…(Thick skinned as well as Thick-headed). Thankfully they were transformed at PENTECOST and that thickness didn’t last too long, they went on to become two of the most beloved and devout Apostles of Jesus Christ. (Read James’ book and all of John’s writings, including Revelation). However, here, at this point in their journey towards glory, they’re really hurtful to Jesus and their fellow Disciples (Mark 10:41). No wonder the others got a bit annoyed with them.
3)Thridly, Jesus tells them about His BAPTISM and His CUP:
- His Baptism: He’s talking about the CROSS and DEATH. Luke 12:50 and Psalm 69.
- His CUP: Refers to His submission to His Father’s will: Mark 14:36 and John 18:11.
Jesus is determined to go through with it.
He’s asking if they are willing to go through with it too.
They said they would, but they didn’t fully understand what Jesus was talking about. So Jesus knowing their minds are upon earthly things, explains what Kingdom Service under God’s Authority is going to be like.
4) TRUE KINGDOM LEADERSHIP:
So Jesus goes onto explain; TRUE KINGDOM LEADERSHIP: He contrasts it with worldly leadership: Mark 10:42 (LORD it OVER)…
If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you are not going to LORD IT OVER people, instead you’ve got to learn to be; THE SERVANT OF ALL.
I’ll say that again, “If you want to be GREAT IN GOD’S KINGDOM, then you must learn to be; THE SERVANT OF ALL”. Mark 10:43.
Do you Remember that Children’s Gospel Song?
Jesus goes on to tell them why?
Mark 10:45 “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.”
Jesus gave His LIFE: As a RANSOM:
- A Ransom: Is the the PAYMENT required to set a slave FREE.
- A Ransom: It’s like what you have to PAY a Kidnapper to set their CAPTIVES free.
Jesus death brings freedom in so many different ways;
- Freedom from Judgement.
- Freedom from Sin,
- Freedom from Satan,
- Freedom from Fear of Man,
- Freedom from Fear of Death,
That’s why Jesus could say, “Know the Truth and the TRUTH will set you FREE”
He also said, “I am the WAY, I am the TRUTH and I am the LIFE.” John 14.
And that is why Jesus came to DIE, that’s why He set his face like flint, to complete His mission in Jerusalem. He died to set us free so that we too could complete the Mission to which He’s called each and every one of us; to be SERVANTS of God and others.
We can forgive James and John, because they didn’t realise that before you can wear the Crown of Glory, you’ve got to Suffer the Cross of service of suffering of sweat and of shame and pain.
Service in God’s Kingdom: Means; Sweating, Self-Sacrifice (Time, Effort, Money,), Sympathy, Empathy (walk in people’s shoes, feel what people feel), Not like James and John who were so wrapped up in themselves they didn’t even take in what Jesus was about to suffer.
Listen to people, listen to their hurts and do whatever you can to life them out of the slippery-pit of despair they’ve fallen into.
Service in God’s Kingdom is NOT an EASY ROAD to GLORY, it’s crowned with the thorns of service along the way.
CAN YOU BEAR TO BE LIKE ‘An Extra’ IN GOD’S KINGDOM SERVICE?
My friends, when we come to Jesus, we really do get EXTRA: More and above what we can ever expect or deserve or imagine.
But, it’s NOT an EXTRA Hour in BED.
However, we don’t FOLLOW Jesus for what we can get out of Him do we? We’re not like that at all, are we? We all want to serve Jesus as SERVANTS don’t we? We’re not like James and John, are we?
No, once we truly come to Jesus, in repentance and faith, we’ll want to serve God the Father, just like He did.
Like the Apostles James and John eventually did:
- James was the first Apostle to be a Martyr and
- John was put into exile on a Roman Prison Colony on the Island of Patmos. (They did get their own Baptism and their own Cup).
We do want to be GREAT in God’s Kingdom. Of course we do. But to get there we must learn to be; “THE SERVANT OF ALL”…
Before we can wear the CROWN of Glory, we must Endure the Cross of Service: Then we’ll win a Crown and gladly cast it at Jesus feet in His Glory in Heaven.
How is Jesus calling you today? In what ways can you learn to be SERVANT in God’s Kingdom: At home, at work, in your neighbourhood? Is there anything the Boss at work has been asking you to do, that you’ve done begrudgingly? Get Jesus attitude at work as well as in the home and in church, be the SERVANT Jesus wants you to be in the SMALL THINGS and He’ll give you even greater things to do as well.
Is God calling you to EXTRA: Service? (Above and Beyond).
Does He want you to do MORE: in His Kingdom?
I’m sure you’ll be learning: God’s Spirit will be leading, calling, guiding and prompting and equipping you into DEEPER SERVICE in God’s Kingdom.
Have a blessed week with Jesus: Don’t MISS OUT on the EXTRA He’s got in store for you.
Stay close to Him, be filled with Holy Spirit, be blessed,
BTW (By The Way): On Sunday I thought the clocks had gone back one hour, that’s next week 🙂 What an booby I am 🙂 We all make mistakes right? I thought I’d had an extra hour in bed, and I felt fantastic… You know there are thousands of people in this world today who call themselves Atheists, well, could they too be mistaken? Watch Atheism the movie NOW