Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Savior

I was watching an episode of "The Bachelor" the other day. (Did I actually admit to that?) You know the show, a bachelor gets to meet, wine, and dine 25 gorgeous women for the purpose of finding his one true love. Week after week women are eliminated from the group, signified by not receiving a rose from her "prince," until finally two are left. On the last episode the bachelor gives his selection a diamond ring. It's a terrible show... but it does reveal just low people will go in a competition. For a while the women play friends with one another. But soon some of the women start to lie, cheat, and do anything to get close to the bachelor. If a women spends too much time with him, she is criticized and hated by the other women. A woman's importance and power is determined by proximity to the man.

Did you know that the Gospel of Mark has it's own episode of "The Bachelor?" Except in Mark the bachelor is not a prince, but actually the "Prince of Peace" fortold in the prophets. The brothers James and John try to distinguish themselves from the rest of the group by asking Jesus if they could rule by the Lord's side in his "glory." Unfortunatly for James and John, they don't receive the response from Jesus they were hoping for. Then to make matters worse the other ten disciples hear about the brothers' request. They are furious. Kinda like an episode of "The Bachelor." All twelve have fallen into the same trap of human nature the innocent woman fall into in the TV show... the trap of envy... the trap of sin.

Praise God that Jesus Christ makes a far better Prince of Peace and King of Kings than the prince on TV. Jesus is not impressed by James or John or anyone who would look for their own selfish needs and desires over selfless servitude. He is disappointed with the twelve when he hears them arguing so Jesus gives them this message about greatness and power: "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave to 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

Our TV bachelor would not be impressed by such service. Hair, eyes, and incredible curves are what matter to him, all at the expense of the others. But for our Lord the service of which we are all capable of is the true test of greatness. All 12 disciples and all children of God are made great through Christ. No one is chosen as greater. We experience some of that greatness when we serve others.