“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?””
Mark 10:35-38 NKJV
The lowest of the low
The natural state of the human being is to seek the highest point, to achieve status in the eyes of others. We are fed the notion of significance from the cradle to the grave, and we spend much of our lives trying to get to that next higher level, that place of perceived prominence.
When one considers the gods that the world worships, there is a reflection of that thinking, for each is built up to be all that there is, and able to give all things, especially those things appealing to the flesh.
It has been said that there are some who have even gone so far as to make deals with the devil, to have all the greatness they desire, exchange for their souls.
In following the Lord Jesus, we are promised suffering in this world, for once we are in Christ we no longer belong.
Reading in Mark chapter ten, I read of two of the disciples, James and John, requesting to status and at the right and left thank of Jesus. I suspect they had not fully understood the nature of the coming kingdom. Moments before the Lord had told them what would befall Him once they got to Jerusalem.
In light of their lack of understanding, they responded in the affirmative that they could drink of the cup the Lord was preparing to receive.
“They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.””
Mark 10:39-40 NKJV
Regardless of our understanding of the cost of being a follower of Jesus, those who are steadfast in the faith will indeed drink from the cup of the world’s wrath, for bring the convicting message of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit is out in the world convicting people of their sins, and as we bring the words of God through voices of flesh, there is a dissonance that causes the sinner to react, often violently.
When one is truly faithful to the word of God, there is no uplift of status, but a lowering of status, as those we approach view us as stupid, having placed out faith in a God we cannot see. Likewise the economy of God is not that of the world, for the master is no greater than the servant, and the Son, the second in the Godhead, can in humble humid flesh to die for the sins of the world.
“And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles Lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””
Mark 10:41-45 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, we are being sent into a world that does not want us, does not respect us, and someday, will do everything it can to kill us. We are given a mission impossible, through the flesh, but possible through the power of God.
Let us not be lured into service of the flesh, seeking status and repute in this world, but let us be faithful, being ambassadors of Christ. As our Lord promised, we will have trouble, but let us be constantly mindful, that as we suffer, as we are disrespected and cast lower than the low, that someday we will rule and reign with Jesus.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.””
John 16:33 NKJV
The disciples would have sorrow when they began to realize that the Lord was going away, but they would not be abandoned.
“Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”
John 16:19-22 NKJV
Not long after that moment, they would receive the Helper that He had promised and they would indeed have that joy that no one could take away. We too have that joy, for we, ho have been born again, have the same Holy Spirit in us now. Additionally, we have word of God.
Let us live lives established in Christ, not referencing the values of this world, but rejoicing that we are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us look forward, knowing that He is coming again, being filled with the joy of our salvation.
Let us be bold to go out and tell the world about this great salvation that has saved us from our sins, that we be bound toward eternity with our Lord, and not bound for hell.
I tell you the truth, the greatest things in this world are nothing compared to the glory we will know with the Lord. All of this feigned glory will lose its luster in the genuine glory of the Father. I desire nothing more than to be a lowly servant of the Most High God!
“O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!”
Psalms 84:9-12 NKJV
HAVE A FABULOUS FRIDAY!
One thought on “The lowest of the low”
Trusting, trusting, only trusting. Thank you Bernie. Yes, we do have suffering. Thanks so much for your prayers. And for suffering. Well, my friend.