Unlimited: Authority in the Kingdom
Feb 15, 2021 1595
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.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. 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.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 10:41–45, NIV).
James and John came up to Jesus and asked him to give them the leading positions in his kingdom, which they believed he was about to set up in Jerusalem. But there was a backlash!
Of course, the other disciples were furious at James and John, because they had gotten in first with their request to Jesus. All of them wanted to have the best positions in the kingdom Jesus was about to establish.
They were in the middle of an angry argument when Jesus intervened to correct their twisted thinking and teach them how it is in the kingdom.
And what he told them was shocking to them and it should be to us as well. He told them that the notions of authority and hierarchy that we find everywhere in the world don’t apply in the kingdom of God. Instead, greatness is measured through humble, selfless, sacrificial service.
What was he saying? He was telling them that greatness is measured only in love.
Authority and hierarchy are the glue that keeps every human institution together. It’s so deeply engrained in us that it’s almost impossible to imagine any relationships, whether personal, social, or political, that could exist without them.
But where the danger lies is when we see church through worldly eyes, or even worse, when we look at our relationship with God in authoritarian or hierarchical terms.
Instead, what Jesus is saying is that the currency of the kingdom is love, and freely giving for the sake of another.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: How might this insight redefine your relationship with God and others?