Mark 9 – Leading by Being Last?

Day 9 of #DailyMark.  Note to self: Don’t leave your daily reading and writing until the end of the day, especially Sunday.

As seems to be the case with every chapter, Mark 9 is packed full of significant events and teachings!  To cover everything that captures my attention, I’d have to write a few pages, and at that rate I’d have a whole book written in no time.  But, a book is not today’s goal.  😉

Tucked away in the middle of the chapter is a short episode that describes Jesus’ concept of leadership.  Well, actually, the word “leadership” is not used, but that seems to be what Jesus is talking about (at least in terms of the power that is often associated with leadership).  Some of the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest (I wonder what criteria they used?), and Jesus asked them what they had been arguing about.  They declined to answer Jesus, just like kids who had been caught by their parents!

Jesus then declared “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” (verse 35).  What a revolutionary concept … leadership and the use of power, by putting others first.

Frustratingly, at this point in the Gospel of Mark, there is no further description of what exactly Jesus meant.  What does it mean to be last?  What does it mean to be a servant?  And how are either of these connected to wanting to be first?

Was Jesus’ statement simply a dramatic correction to what the disciples were arguing about (who was the greatest?), or is it a statement about Christ-like leadership?  What do you think?


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