March 28, 2011

Tuesday, Day Eighteen

The Lectionary

Morning - Psalm 74, Genesis 40, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13           
Evening - Psalm 73, Jeremiah 7:21-29, Mark 10:32-45

Mark 10:32-45

And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,  Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again. And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.  And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?  And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

            Commentary

Again we see Christ's full knowledge of what awaits Him in Jerusalem.  He is going there intentionally to face the cross.  The disciples fear to go, but Christ faces the ordeal with calm assurance.  He has come to give His life as the ransom for many.  He will not turn away at this hour.

            Devotional Thoughts

Our hearts are so deceitful.  If we listen to them they will convince us that our sins are really virtues. They will lead us to spend our time on small issues and miss the major things in our lives.  They will attempt to make us focus intensely on one sinful action, and miss the general ungodly direction of our whole life.  We often spend too much time trying to remedy our sinful thoughts, words, and deeds, without working on their source; without changing the sinfulness in our nature that causes the sinful actions.  This is the cause of the failure of all human attempts to make the world a better place.  We try to educate people to do better, we use social engineering to redistribute wealth and equalize status and opportunity, and we pass laws enforcing peace and tolerance, only to find that people continue in the same old ways of oppression, greed, and strife.  Why? Because we have not changed their nature.  We have not dealt with the one issue that is the root and cause of all the others.  We have not made them righteous.  Indeed, we cannot make them righteous.  We cannot make ourselves righteous.  Only the Spirit of God can change the hearts of sinful people and give us the desire to dethrone ourselves and enthrone God.

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