“When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (Mark 11:7-10, NIV)
This feels like it’s going to be the high point in Mark’s gospel. Mark has spent all of the book so far convincing his readers that Jesus is God’s chosen king. Now Jesus enters the capital city, Jerusalem, and is greeted like a king. Is this the happy ending? We know that it’s not, but it is a moment where we see a glimpse of Jesus as the king of everything. I hope that you’ll be able to join us online at 10:30am for our Sunday morning service.
“When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, [the blind man] began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ … ‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” (Mark 10:47, 52, NIV)
The healing of the blind man in Mark 10 is the last of Jesus’ miracles recorded by Mark. It occurs straight after James and John seek positions of power and authority. All Bartimaeus, the blind man, wants is to see. His cry is not for status, but for mercy. When he sees, he immediately begins to follow Jesus. It’s no accident that this healing is recorded here - the picture is not just physical eyes needing sight, but spiritual eyes as well. Do we see clearly who Jesus is? Do we seek his mercy? Will we follow him? I hope that you’ll be able to join us online at 10:30am for our Sunday morning service.
“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. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 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.'" (Mark 10:42-45, NIV)
The temptation of our society is to try and grasp leadership and status, to seek to have power and authority over others. This should not be the case for Christians: to be great in God's sight is to be a servant; the greatest is the one who serves most. It's not an easy way of living, but it is the right way. On Remembrance Sunday, we particularly remember those who have suffered and died in conflict, to bring about peace. Mark's gospel tells us about Jesus Christ, who came as a servant, and to win our peace with God with his own death. I hope that you'll be able to join us online at 10:45am for our Sunday morning service.