Are you caught in the trap of desiring to be a “greater than?” Do you compare yourself to others in the attempt to strategically define yourself as superior in some area? Pastor Mark leads us through the passage in Mark 10:32-45 when James and John ask Jesus to sit on his right and left sides when he victoriously enters His kingdom. Just like the disciples, we also buy into the world’s definition of greatness, craving to be noticed as prettier, nicer, wealthier or funnier than others. This comparative spirit has pride as its root; we attempt to define ourselves with something other than God at our center. Jesus invites us to follow His “way of greatness” by focusing on how Jesus views us – with full approval and acceptance. His loving sacrifice for us results in our ability to love and serve others in His strength alone.
God has placed in every man the desire to secure his eternal future. And the rich young ruler of Mark 10:17-31 is no different. He asks Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” At first, the man is encouraged by Jesus’ answer, believing himself to be “good enough” because he has upheld the law. But God’s standard of righteous living proves to be too high. He cannot measure up. In fact, explains Pastor Mark, neither can we. Only by faith, we lay our sin at the cross and Jesus’ righteousness is credited to our account. By His sacrifice we are made fully acceptable to God and by God’s grace we are redeemed.
Looking at the familiar passage of Mark 10:1-16, Pastor Mark reveals the foundation of marriage to be the idea of covenant or promise. The essence of marriage is to cleave or commit as seen in the promises of the marriage vows. While our culture attempts to redefine marriage or make it superfluous to relationship, the Bible establishes the origin of marriage as God’s design and gives Him the right to regulate it. And marriage provides man with companionship, friendship and deep relationship unlike any other. It results in change in each of the individuals. It involves giving, forgiving, and sometimes sacrifice. But the marriage relationship offers oneness, stability and intimacy. Finally, Biblical marriage can only be lived out with Christ’s enabling power.