“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”” Mark 9:35
We love order.
Form an orderly queue, I was here first, please don’t push-in … I chair these meetings. Who is chairing these meetings … I lead prayer. Who is leading prayer … We have two keys objectives in this discussion. What are we discussing – I need to know.
Some need to know. Others need to not know … Some like to journey with a roadmap. Some like to go off-road … Some like to schedule an hour. Some like to go with the flow … Some like to speak their mind. Others quake at the thought of saying anything.
I think we should extract the 40 tonnes we carry (without realising).
Because simply hovering and waiting to be told by “the organiser” to sit with them on the top table / those important people / those ones over there / or even “that nice lady who has no one to talk to” … is NOT fulfilling the will of God.
Or that sitting at “the bottom” (and being seen to sit at “the bottom”) is deffo not it either.
And just sitting with those “I always sit with” is not really anything to do with this verse either.
Because the myriad of personal preferences we carry around all day (and excuse all day) … is not Living The Word Of God.
I wonder if we should hear these words very differently:
Listen to The Host … Hear His voice … See His invitations. My Father desires all of us to be first … last … in-between. Always in this moment – never in “that” moment.
I wonder whether when we listen to ourselves we MUST either be the ball OR the feather:
“I need to take control of this rag-tag bunch or else we will be here all day!” … “Oh oh – I see (???) over there, better sit done over here or I will be stuck with them all night” … “Will someone please tell me where to sit – I need to know!” … “I can’t speak to them – I just can’t – better sit here as always.”
Mark 9 has loads of words from Jesus – a number of different conversations. One verse – one “proclamation” (as above) – is not “it” for me. Because I will automatically – and without awareness – live my 40 tonnes.
But there is one verse that caught my eye. One verse which always extracts my 40 tonnes (whenever I listen to The Host):
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23
I have needs. Conflicting, ambiguous, unspoken needs …
A need for you to say something so I don’t feel obliged to. A need that after you have taken the lead, you allow me to say something. A need that when I say something, you encourage and do not diminish. A need to hear what you have to say. A need for you to not feel picked-on when I ask. A need to shut-up and “hear” when you do speak. A need for you to allow me to slow down and hear what you are not saying when you do speak. A need for you so “as much” as you need Him as well. I need the Him in you and you need the Him in me. Because when I “need” only to hear Him speak directly to me and NOT through you – then I will only hear half of my conversation – not His conversation. And I may only hear what I want to hear. I may only hear me and my comfort zones. And then I will pray this (again and again):
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (verse 24)
I am discovering I have 40 tonnes of me always. I carry this burden, this cross, this obligation, this duty.
“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
I think what He meant was that His cross is not our 40 tonnes … that His cross is not a burden … that His cross is a conversation … His cross is an invitation … His cross is not only “possible for one who believes” – but that His cross is a much lighter alternative to my cross – my 40 tonnes of burden!
And when I see that –
Then I hear Him in everything and everyone (if I allow).
WH EE EE EE EE EE EE EE EE EEE …
Wanna do that again Paul .. do you .. do you … do you … pleeeeeeeze ….