Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Missional Jesus 49

Missional Jesus is now approached by his followers, two of his favorites, who have the wrong thing in mind. They want to be MVP’s of the apostolic band; Jesus lets them have it with words that penetrate.
Here is Mark 10:35-45:
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 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. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 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.”

1. Missional Jesus opposes the desire for prestige, fame, and improper uses of power.
2. Missional Jesus asks a question, the boys answer it right, but how little they know of what they are saying. “Sure, you’ll get my baptism and drink my cup, but you have no idea what either is — martryrdom.”
3. Missional Jesus creates a community in which power is noted by service — self-sacrificing love for the other. A society shaped by the Jesus Creed.
4. The Jesus Creed is the way of life for Jesus — the way that led to the Son of man’s cross — and that way of life is the way for missional followers.

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posted August 30, 2007 at 12:31 am

The 2005 Parks-King Lecture deals with this issue of the subversion of social hierarchies as a result of the Fall from Genesis creation stories,something that is anti-God,anti-human,anti-nature.Jesus often grounded his reinterpretation of his tradition on the fresh emphasis on a theology of creation.

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Michael W. Kruse

posted August 30, 2007 at 8:33 am

Martin Luther King gave one of my favorite sermons on this passage called the Drum Major Instinct. His point was that Jesus actually does not discourage the human desire to be out front leading the band. In essence Jesus says, “You want to be out front? Great! Here is how you do it: put everyone else ahead of yourself. He who does this best wins.”

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John Frye

posted August 30, 2007 at 9:04 am

This text and its parallels are so NEEDED in the church at large. Just as Jesus had to redefine “messiah” and redefine “the cup” and “baptism” in this text, so he has to redefine power. Since Constantine we’ve been trying to get the cross off of those damn soldiers’ shields.

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posted August 30, 2007 at 12:43 pm

One of the biggest challenges facing the church today is this confusion between power over (managerial/coersive) and power for (service that influences/empowers others).
Until we get this right, we’re missing the mark.
Michael, do you think it is possible to lead from the front (as in showing the way, setting the example) without calling attention to self?
It is as much putting everyone ahead of yourself (which can have unintended consequences) or is it more a matter of proper attitude control–always looking for the best interest (not wants, mind you) of others?

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