Sermon: Walking with Jesus…through humility and service
Reading: Mark 10 v. 32-45
Sermon date: March 18th 2018
Reading: Mark 10 v.32-45 Please read this together
Who has been the greatest influence on your Christian life and why?
Can you share anything that you remember about the sermon you heard on Sunday?
A quick synopsis of the whole passage might be:
‘Christ's going on with his undertaking for the salvation of mankind, was, is, and will be, the wonder of all his disciples. Worldly honour is a glittering thing, with which the eyes of Christ's own disciples have many times been dazzled. Our care must be, that we may have wisdom and grace to know how to suffer with him; and we may trust him to provide what the degrees of our glory shall be. Christ shows them that dominion was generally abused in the world. If Jesus would gratify all our desires, it would soon appear that we desire fame or authority, and are unwilling to taste of his cup, or to have his baptism; and should often be ruined by having our prayers answered. But he loves us, and will only give his people what is good for them.’
Q. How do you respond to this synopsis of Matthew Henry?
Q. How do we gain the mind of Christ and humble ourselves?
To put on the mind of Christ, we will need to make a firm decision to ponder, understand, and adopt Jesus’ way of thinking; his values and attitudes must become ours. His strong emphasis on humility and meekness and his example of it must take hold of our thinking, our desires and our conduct. We must admire his humility and want it for ourselves. For this to happen, we need to earnestly and regularly pray for the Holy Spirit to change our hearts, for it is impossible to do it in our own strength. We will also need to understand what Jesus meant when he called men and women to humble themselves.
Reading: Philippians 2 v.9-11
‘Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’
Jesus and the apostles used the word ‘Tapeinos’ which conveys the idea of having a right view of ourselves before God and others. If pride is an exalted sense of who we are in relation to God and others, humility is having a realistic sense of who we are before God and others. We must not think too highly (or too lowly) of ourselves. Rather, we must be honest and realistic about who and what we are. This is important, we must not serve to the detriment of ourselves or our families and friends.
Q. Do you see this being lived out in your life and the life of the church community?
Having a right view of God and ourselves has a profound effect on our relationships with others. In Philippians, it says:
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3–4).
As we refuse to be preoccupied with ourselves and our own importance and seek to love and serve others, it will change us to serving and caring for others just as Jesus did for us. In the culture of our society, this is a particularly powerful countercultural witness of Christ’s presence in our lives.
Q. If you would like to, then get the people in your group to talk to the person next to them about an experience they have had when they have either found it hard to let another take the credit or how they have seen someone humble themselves and allow the other to shine?
Truly, humility is our greatest friend. It increases our hunger for God’s word and opens our hearts to his Spirit. It leads to intimacy with God, who knows the proud from afar, but dwells with him “who is of a contrite and lowly spirit” (Isa. 57:15). It imparts the light of Christ to all whom we encounter.
Developing the identity, attitude, and conduct of a humble servant does not happen over-night. It is rather like peeling an onion: you cut away one layer only to find another beneath it. But it does happen. As soon as we see our pride and seek to humble ourselves, by daily deliberate choices, our humility grows in our souls.
I once heard if you think you are humble, then you are probably not! Bearing that in mind:
Q. Do you feel that you have grown in humility and service as you have grown in maturity in your faith?
‘Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all’ Mark 10 v. 42-44
Humility serves. Humility gets down low and lifts others up.
Humility looks to the needs of others and gives time and effort to help with those needs.
Jesus took the form of a servant and humbled himself, even to the point of death.
‘The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ Mark10 v.45
Humility measures everything it does by whether it serves the good of other people.
When we serve, are we feeding our ego or feeding the faith of others?
The constant refrain throughout all of Scripture . . . the panacea for all of our spiritual ills . . . is to humble ourselves before Almighty God so that He might lift us up.
Q. How do we do this?
Q. How can we encourage others to do this?
First, focus on Jesus and not on ourselves. It’s our selfishness that gets us into trouble in the first place! And yet that’s the first place we go for answers: ourselves.
We must lose ourselves . . . to gain ourselves. But since nature abhors a vacuum, no one can simply lose themselves – unless we fill our lives with something greater.
That something greater, is Jesus
Q. What action will you take personally and what action will you take as a small group?
Pray for each other and for our church and wider community that through our humble serve we might live out the gospel in our everyday lives.
Sharon Seal, 13/03/2018