The Way of the King: March 12
The Servant King
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life for a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
The Way of the King
Mark 10:46-52 | March 12, 2017
Introduction: This is week two in our seven-week sermon series, The Servant King.
The idea of a “Servant King” may strike us as strange. After all, kings rule; they have subjects who are expected to be subjected to the King.
But Jesus presents himself as a different kind of King; he comes and rules by picking up a towel and finding dirty feet to wash. He touches no-name lepers. He allows his schedule to be interrupted by broken-down, sometimes “crazy” people.
Jesus’ way of being King is unlike any other. He’s truly the “Prime Minister [i.e., Prime Servant] and he calls his band of followers to join him in his service. But we have a pretty stubborn problem: we all want to be called “servants” of the Servant King but nobody really wants to be treated like a servant. We want the title but don’t really want to serve.
Pray: Lord, you’ve got a pretty rag-tag band in the likes of us. We live in a “self-serve” culture and read magazines with titles like Self, Me, and Vanity Fair. We’re used to making our own plans, setting our own agenda, making our own way. Teach us what true servant leadership looks like. Grant that we grow both in humility, and an eagerness to serve others—even as you have come “not to be served but to serve…” in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Read: Mark 10:46-52
They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.
When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.”
And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
1. Try your best to put yourself in the place of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, sitting by the roadside. What are you sitting on? How did you get there? What are you doing there? What’s the hardest thing about sitting there? What causes you to begin to shout? How often had you been told to “shut up” before? Why did you act as you did—crying out even more loudly for the Son of David?
2. Now imagine that you’re in the crowd. You’re one of those who tell the blind beggar to “shut up!” Why did you yell that? How did you feel when you saw Jesus stand still, when he looked at you, and said, “Call him here?”
3. Jesus asks the blind man a pointed question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Why would he ask that? Isn’t it plain and obvious?
4. You’re standing in the crowd watching all this unfold. What impresses you the most as you witness this astonishing gift of sight? What are you going to tell your family back home?
5. Consider this: If Jesus were to come to you tonight and ask that same question, “What do you want me to do for you?” What would you say? Would you be able to answer as immediately and directly as Bartimaeus did? Why might Jesus’ question be difficult for many of us?
Application: Take up your pen and write out your reflections to question number 6. Search out your life, your friendships, your routine, your family. Amid all the stuff, climb into Jesus’ question a bit deeper: “What do you want me to do for you?” If you feel prompted, share your reflections next week with your k group.
Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, you had a busy agenda on that day you were leaving Jericho. Bartimaeus wasn’t on it. But you didn’t see him as an interruption; you stopped what you were doing; you looked on him in love. You served him. Great Servant King, as you came so long ago so also come to us. Although we may see with 20/20 vision, we are blind in so many ways. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. Like Bartimaeus, stop and call us to yourself. Grant us new eyes to see the world as you see it and hearts to follow you in service, now and always. Amen.