Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Called to Lay Down Your Life

Several weeks ago we had a deacon ordination at our church. As I was researching the passage I wanted to preach from that morning I ended up in Mark 10:35-45. The reason is not because that passage has to do with the office of deacon, but because it captures the heart of everyone involved in deacon ministry. In this passage James and John ask Jesus to do for them whatever they ask. They proceed to ask to sit on His right hand and left hand in glory. They did not display a servant attitude.

However, the other disciples did not either. Verse 41 says, "And when the then heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John." The response of these disciples was not what Jesus wanted either. All of the disciples in this passage missed the way in which Jesus would build His kingdom. So Jesus responds in verses 42-45 by showing that the way to be great in His kingdom is to become a servant of all.

Interestingly, in verse 45 a from of the word for deacon is used twice. It says, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served (deaconed) but to serve (deacon), and to give his life as a ransom for many." Jesus came to serve and He pointed His disciples in the same direction. If they were to follow Jesus and achieve greatness in His kingdom, they would have to empty themselves of everything in order to serve others, as it says in verse 44, "and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all."

I tied this in with our church by saying that we are all called to serve others. We are not called to lord our positions over one another, but rather to lay our lives down for one another. Those who do this well would make good deacons. The example that Jesus gives, however, is for all who are followers of Him. We are all called to lay down our lives for others.

Certainly it is not in the same way as Jesus. Jesus laid down His life as a ransom for many. We cannot do that. But we can lay our lives down for many. I wonder, what would happen if Christians today took seriously the pattern Jesus set by laying down their lives for others for the glory of God and to point to (let's not miss the reason for this) the fact that Jesus bought you and others with His blood. May we serve in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.


Anonymous said...

That is a awesome word. But what if your pastor asked you lay down part of a ministry how do you do that ? Wisdaom comes from above. What are your thoughts on being ask to lay down part of a ministry still doing 3/4 is it possible ?

Pastor Randy said...

I would not know for sure without knowing more about the specific situation, but as a general rule when you join a church you are placing yourself under the authority of the elders. Wisdom does come from above, but you gain it through the Word. So I would search the Scriptures for wisdom about the relationship between you and the pastor(s). It could be, on another note, better to lay down part in order to do the rest better. As I said before, however, that is what I would say generally based on Scripture.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for leaving a comment it was very good, and yes it is hard to answer when you dont now the full storey. thankyou