“But so shall it not be among you….” Mark 10:43
Whether viewed as instruction, a command, or a warning from the Lord, it was in reality a sad indictment against His disgruntled disciples–in more ways than one. As Jesus faces the cross, the disciples are focused on a throne. Rather than thinking of Him they were thinking about who was the greatest. It started with James and John (vs. 35-40) but it spread to the other ten (vs. 41-42). How sad. At a time when they should have been thinking of Christ they made it all about themselves. And now the ten are angry with James and John, so now we see a disgrace, a distraction, and a division in the church.
Their bickering had to do with who will be the greatest in the kingdom, as if that mattered. By way of rebuke, the Lord draws a contrast between the way it should be with them and the way it was with the gentiles. And, He declares in no uncertain terms that the greatest is he who is willing to serve rather than rule. It might be the opposite with the gentiles, but He says,”..so shall it not be among you”.
Looking beyond the strict context of this we see here a principle that is to be applied to our lives in general. We are to be different! Just because something is lawful, popular, and pleasurable it doesn’t mean we should do it. We are obligated to be unlike the sinful world. This gets to the very root of a very serious problem today. Christians have lost their distinction. While we profess Christ as our Lord and Savior and proclaim that we are new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17) the world sees no difference between us and them– and that makes a huge difference in our ability to reach them for Christ. Considering the average Christian’s conduct, is it any wonder that we have such a hard time in getting them to listen to our message?
Although we are in the world, we are not of it (John 17:14-16). The world should see a marked difference between us and them. If we lose our distinction we destroy our effectiveness. I’m not talking about being different just for the sake of being different, I’m talking about being different because we walk in obedience to God’s Word and they don’t. And, considering the ways of the world, the difference should be drastic! We must never forget that although we are not of the world we are in it and sent to it with the glorious gospel of Christ. Before we can convince the world to listen to our message they must see the difference that Christ makes in a person’s life. God forbid that we fail!