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Are You Jesus?

The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve
Mark 10:35-45 or 10:42-45

Sermon Topic Service

Sermon Week Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 10:45


A municipal Chamber of Commerce was holding its annual black tie dinner. The chairman of the event was a sales manager, a man who tended to overstate his case whenever he introduced his product to a new customer. One of his duties as dinner-chairman was to introduce the speaker for the occasion. When he rose for this purpose, his sales manager's propensity for exaggeration took over. "The man who I am about to introduce," he said, "is the most gifted businessman in the country. He has made one hundred million dollars in California oil." When the speaker came to the rostrum, he appeared to be a little embarrassed. After thanking the chairman for the introductory remarks, he said, "However, the facts need some clarification. It wasn't oil, it was coal. It wasn't California, it was Pennsylvania. It wasn't one hundred million, it was one hundred thousand. It wasn't me, it was my brother. And he didn't make it, he lost it.

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus determines that the Apostles' understanding of the nature of their ministry needs some clarification. Two of the Apostles -- James and John -- come to Jesus and ask Him if he'll do them a favor. "Teacher," they say, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." Jesus asks, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And they say to Him, "Grant us to sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, in Your glory" (Mk. 10:35-37). Here are James and John, trying to get Jesus to promise them a share in God's power and glory greater than that of the other Apostles, greater than anyone else's! In effect, they are trying to reduce Jesus' promise of the Coming Kingdom to the level of a political spoils system. They want a guarantee of moving into the top spots in exchange for their loyal support. And so, Jesus clarifies the situation. He calls all the Apostles together for a learning experience which culminates in the familiar instruction: "Whoever will be great among you must be slave of [...]

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