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Mark 10:35-37

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  • Debbie
    The lust for power is a universal, longstanding appetite. We know that in our day, many long for control and influence within the church. But even before the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2004
      The lust for power is a universal, longstanding appetite. We know
      that in our day, many long for control and influence within the
      church. But even before the cross, the true colors of two of Jesus'
      disciples had already begun seeing the kingdom of God as a political
      arena of position and leverage. James and John brazenly said to
      Jesus, "We want a special place in your kingdom, Lord. We want
      authority, recognition ... power."

      We are intrigued not just because James and John wanted power (after
      all, just about everyone wants that). What is intriguing is that
      James and John actually could have thought Jesus would grant it to
      them.

      In Matthew 20:21, the Gospel writer tells us that it was the mother
      of James and John who made this request. Behind James and John's
      desire for power was a pushy mom. Perhaps these aspiring young men
      wanted to be the "vice presidents" of Jesus' kingdom because they
      felt this would make their mother proud of them.

      But let us not lay all the blame on their mother. It is a real
      possibility that James and John wanted their special friendship to be
      of some "useful" advantage to them in the kingdom of God. Still, it
      was sheer folly to press this. Jesus had no special friends, and
      granting people the right to govern others was never his agenda.
      Jesus wants no one to think of his kingdom as a place for political
      maneuvering. We do not accept Christ merely to control others. The
      only reason we should want to be close to Jesus is to know the sheer
      pleasure of his companionship.

      Some still go to church to be seen by "the right people," so that
      they may in time become one of "the right people" themselves. But
      healthy Christians go to church to be united with Christ, to place
      their ambitions at the foot of the cross. Straight thinking disciples
      know that power-lust is born from egotism not yet cleansed. For those
      in Christ, the longing for prestige is the parent of treachery.

      PRAYER Easter is coming, Lord, and with it the reminder that you, who
      already possessed your rightful place as King, abandoned your realm
      to accept the limitations of ours. It is difficult not to crave power
      in this competitive world; but please, Lord, help me crave the
      pleasure of your company instead. Ruling over others is far less
      significant than loving my life in your presence.
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