Not To Be Ministered Unto – Part 1
“For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
A great fact is here stated concerning the Son of Man. The speaker is our Lord Himself. Who in this, as in all matters, left us an example that we should follow in His steps.
The incident that gave rise to His words is a sad one. Two of His disciples, James and John, wanted to be ministered unto by being granted the chief places in His glory (Mark 10:35-37). When the others heard it, they were highly indignant, for they wanted to be ministered unto by having the chief places themselves. But out of the ferment the Lord brought good. He made it an occasion to remind His disciples that they were not of the world, and that their distinguishing mark must be lowliness and readiness to serve one another.
A True Disciple
“Jesus called them unto Him” (Mark 10:42). Notice the tenderness and pathos here. He had been telling the Twelve about Himself— of the awful betrayal, the cruel sufferings and indignity, the shameful death that awaited Him at Jerusalem (Mark 10:32-34). Surely their hearts are melted? Nay, they seem unable to think of Him. They begin to quarrel among themselves as to who should be the greatest. Picture their flushed faces, their angry tones, their violent gestures! “But Jesus called them unto Him,” and gently quelled the storm. Earthly rulers, He tells them, exercise lordship over others: “but so shall it not be among you: but whosoever desires to be great among you must be your servant, and whosoever of you desires to be first must be the bondslave of all. For even the Son of Man came NOT TO BE MINISTERED UNTO, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45). In a word, “Remember that you are My disciples. The disciple must be as his Master.’’
A Relevant Concern
Evidently this is something which closely concerns us all if we are Jesus’ disciples. It tells us something of what spirit we should have and what our life ought to be today—and every day.
The passage tells us that the Son of Man came to minister. This is a great subject. It is not that incidentally He ministered unto a few or to many; but He came to minister. It was His set purpose.
But this wonderful passage tells us something else about the Son of Man. He “came NOT TO BE MINISTERED UNTO.”
We are apt to slur over this, to forget it, or perhaps to pass it by altogether unnoticed. The disciples of Jesus are to be “even as the Son of Man” in coming to minister. Yes, and the disciples of Jesus are to be “even as the Son of Man” in coming “NOT TO BE MINISTERED UNTO.”
If a word of personal testimony may be allowed, I should like to say this. In the ups and downs, the wear and tear of daily life, there are few passages of Scripture which search me as this does. It convicts, rebukes, and condemns me. It is always finding me out. And, yet, how it encourages, quiets, strengthens, comforts, and helps me!
The Bottom Line
This desire to be ministered unto is at the bottom of disagreements in the nursery, fights in the school, quarrels amongst private individuals, wars among nations. And, alas, not only in the world is this spirit prevalent, but in the Church also. As Christians we do not adequately realize—perhaps we hardly realize at all—how much of sin and failure, how much of vexation and discontent, how much of peevishness and irritability, how much of discord and unhappiness in our lives, is due to our DESIRE TO BE MINISTERED UNTO instead of coming not to be ministered unto.
Are we not too often cross, vexed, rasped, indignant? Sometimes we show it by a foolish exhibition of temper; sometimes we restrain ourselves, but there the nasty feeling is. And why? In all probability because we want to be ministered unto and have been disappointed.
The fact is we are always wanting to be ministered unto by people, by circumstances, by fortune (“luck” perhaps you call it), by the weather, by something. To be ministered unto is so natural, so necessary, so proper! We have been brought up to expect it. And if we are thwarted as we often are, we are apt to get cross, sulky, moody, nervous, and perhaps end by making ourselves miserable, and others too.
Continues on…Not To Be Ministered Unto – Part 2