Sermon Transcript – Favored Positions Within the Kingdom

Series B – Fifth Sunday in Lent – Sunday, March 22, 2015 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:27The holy Gospel According to
0:30Saint Mark chapter 10 verses 32-45
0:35they were on their way up to Jerusalem
0:36with Jesus leading the way and the
0:39disciples were astonished while those
0:41who followed were afraid again he took
0:43the twelve aside and told them what was
0:45going to happen to him we are going up
0:47to Jerusalem he said and the son of man
0:50will be betrayed by the chief priests
0:52and teachers of the law they will
0:54condemn him to death and will hand him
0:57over to the Gentiles who will mock him
0:59spit on him flog him and kill him
1:03three days later he will rise
1:06then James and John the sons of Zebedee
1:08came to him teacher they said we want
1:11you to do for us whatever we ask
1:13what do you want me to do for you he
1:14asked they replied let one of us sit at
1:17your right and the other at your left in
1:20your glory
1:22you don’t know what you’re asking Jesus
1:24said can you drink the cup I drink or be
1:26baptized with the baptism I am baptized
1:29with we can they answered
1:32Jesus said to them well you will drink
1:34the cup that I drink and be baptized
1:36with the baptism I am baptized with but
1:40to sit at my right or left is not for me
1:42to Grant these places belong to those
1:45for whom they have been prepared when
1:48the ten heard about this they became
1:50very indignant with James and John
1:52because Jesus called them together and
1:53said and Jesus called them together and
1:55said you know that those who are
1:58regarded as rulers of the Gentiles
2:00lorded over them and their High
2:03officials exercise authority over them
2:05not so with you instead whoever wants to
2:10become great among you must be your
2:12servant whoever wants to be the first
2:13must be slave of all for even the son of
2:16man did not come to be served but to
2:19serve and to give his life as a ransom
2:22for many
2:24in the name of Jesus
2:27so our text this morning is quite an
2:29interesting text let me recap for you it
2:31will begin back at the beginning of it
2:33in the gospel of Mark it says this they
2:36were on their way up to Jerusalem with
2:38Jesus leading the way the disciples were
2:40astonished while those who followed were
2:43afraid interesting little dichotomy
2:45there again he took the twelve aside so
2:48he pulls the 12 aside so think of it
2:50this way is that when
2:52people are going to be executed in
2:55prison you know they make that long
2:56Death March it’s called the dead man
2:58walking this is what Jesus is doing
3:01right now he’s on the Long March the
3:03dead man walking to Jerusalem he knows
3:06exactly what’s going to happen to him so
3:08he pulls the disciples aside and decides
3:10he’s going to let them in make it very
3:12clear this is what’s going to happen
3:15boys pay attention and he said the son
3:18of man will be betrayed to the chief
3:19priests teachers of the law they will
3:21condemn him to death and will hand him
3:24over to the Gentiles who will mock him
3:26spit on him flog him and kill him three
3:30days later he will rise
3:33seems pretty straightforward right
3:36well here’s their response so then James
3:40and John the sons of Deputy came to him
3:42teacher they said we want you to do for
3:44us whatever we ask
3:46what do you want me to do for you he
3:48asked they replied let one of us sit at
3:50your right and the other at your left in
3:52your glory
3:54now let’s kind of pause for a second
3:55right here
3:57men again I do things from the pulpit
4:00that from time to time I understand
4:01require me to turn in my man card this
4:04is another one of those moments okay now
4:07I’ve noticed that there’s a tendency in
4:10marriages and the tendency is is that
4:12the wife has a lot that she needs to say
4:15guys have a tendency to get focused on
4:18what they’re doing and sometimes when
4:21those two things are happening
4:22simultaneously guys have a tendency to
4:26not hear the words of their wife
4:28and you can tell you’re in trouble when
4:31you hear these words because these are
4:33the ones that come ringing through and
4:35Pierce the Veil if you would are you
4:37even listening to me
4:40yeah now I’m sure this has never
4:42happened in your marriage this is just
4:44clearly mine but
4:47one of those moments Okay g
4:51Ianna lays this out I’m going to
4:53Jerusalem they’re going to betray me
4:54kill me mock me spit on me and I’m going
4:57to die and Rise Again
4:59that’s great Jesus hey can we have the
5:01right and left hand seats of power when
5:04you come into your glory
5:10okay now if it was me I would actually
5:12kind of freak okay it’s like
5:15what’s going on here okay so notice
5:19Jesus is kind of response you know first
5:22of all he knows what’s coming and so
5:25they ask him the question teacher we
5:27want you to do whatever we ask what do
5:29you want me to do for you you can almost
5:30kind of hear it like
5:32you know right they replied let one of
5:34us sit at your right hand the other in
5:36your left in your glory
5:37and Jesus rather than become frustrated
5:40with them says you don’t know what
5:42you’re asking okay clearly none of the
5:45words he just said
5:47sunken it’s I mean it they just it’s
5:50like a bullet ricocheting off of a brick
5:51wall pure
5:53Pew you know never penetrated right you
5:56don’t know what you’re asking Jesus said
5:58can you drink the cup that I drink or be
6:01baptized with the baptism I am baptized
6:05with now notice the dichotomy here Jesus
6:08is the suffering servant he has not come
6:12to be served but to serve this is the
6:17way of the Cross this is the way of the
6:19kingdom of God humble service love for
6:23neighbor ultimately expressed in what
6:25Christ has done for us while our old
6:28Adam under the influence of sin death in
6:30the devil thinks about power thinks
6:33about Authority I want that cushy
6:36position I want that promotion at work I
6:39can’t wait till I’m in middle management
6:41or even a senior vice president and I
6:43have that corner office know what I’m
6:45talking about because then people are
6:47going to be listening to me all have
6:50that personal assistant who is there for
6:53my every beck and call and if I’m really
6:55good at this man I can think about
6:57making a run for Congress because then I
7:00can write laws that everybody has to
7:02obey because if they don’t
7:05they’re going to be arrested and thrown
7:07in prison that’s how powerful I am this
7:09is how we operate is it not
7:11you know I hate to say this but we’ve
7:13all had similar thoughts you know we
7:16kind of look at the way the world you
7:18know operates and look at those people
7:19in power and authority and we’re
7:21thinking Hmm and so this is what James
7:24and John are doing because they’re not
7:27questioning whether or not Jesus is king
7:29of course Jesus you’re the dude you’re
7:30the man but since none of the other guys
7:32have been shrewd enough to kind of come
7:34in and ask for those cushy appointments
7:36I mean the guy on the right and the left
7:38those are the most influential power
7:41positions in a kingdom after the king
7:43all right
7:45oftentimes the guy on the right and the
7:47left they have a little bit of control
7:48over who has access to the king
7:51so this they want these cabinet
7:55yeah but see Jesus has not come to
7:59establish the kingdom of God on Earth
8:02his Kingdom’s not of this world
8:05in fact
8:06Jesus’s power is made perfect
8:09in weakness
8:11this is not how we operate so then they
8:14talk so Jesus asked that question
8:18can you drink the cup I drink or be
8:21baptized with the baptism without which
8:24I am baptized it’s a little confusing
8:26words I like to quote
8:28a pastor friend of mine Pastor swirly he
8:31was my pastor for many years long ago
8:34and his preaching on this text I think
8:36he Nails it here’s what he said he said
8:38Jesus’s cup and his baptism they are his
8:42death where he drinks the poison cup of
8:45sin and death the cup of God’s Wrath
8:47poured out against sinful Humanity it is
8:50where he is baptized into death for us
8:53washed with our sin drowned in the flood
8:56of God’s Wrath poured out on the world
8:58rescued to this one man from Heaven his
9:01death on a cross is a cup and it’s a
9:03baptism his alone to drink and to be
9:06baptized with only he can drink this cup
9:08only he can endure this baptism with
9:10which he immerses himself in the depths
9:13of our sin and suffering and misery but
9:17then Jesus says but you will be
9:19baptized with my baptism you will drink
9:22my drink they will have a share in
9:25Jesus’s suffering and death they will
9:27drink from his cup at his table when he
9:29gives it to them and says take drink
9:31this is my blood of the Covenant shed
9:33for you Jesus drinks the Cup of Wrath so
9:37that they and you and I may drink his
9:39cup of forgiveness he drinks Jesus
9:42drinks the accursed cup of the God’s
9:44Wrath down to the dregs so that you
9:47might drink the cup of blessing and with
9:49the cup and the bread of his supper
9:51Jesus gives you a share in his death in
9:54his life and in his suffering and
9:55sacrifice and His glory so you kind of
9:58get the idea of what’s going on there
10:00Jesus is going to be baptized into
10:02suffering and death so that we can be
10:04baptized also into God’s forgiveness and
10:07blessing but as Christians we do partake
10:10and share in Christ’s sufferings and
10:12it’s notable to note this that James and
10:16they suffered greatly suffered greatly
10:20in fact John they tried to
10:22execute him and failed James was
10:27so they did share in Jesus’s sufferings
10:29so we come back to our text
10:32James and John say well we can
10:35and Jesus says you will drink the cup I
10:37drink you will be baptized with the
10:39baptism I am baptized with but to sit at
10:42my right or left is not for me to Grant
10:45now remember this the question was grant
10:47us one decision you’re right and the
10:49other at your left when you come into
10:50your glory
10:52which kind of begs the question
10:54when did Jesus come into His glory
10:57what was the most glorious moment for
11:01and you have to think the way Jesus
11:03thinks in order to get this right you
11:04can’t think of the way the world thinks
11:07where was Jesus crowned where was this
11:11coronation ceremony as king where was
11:13Jesus declared to be the king of the
11:15Jews truly as he is
11:17he was on the cross
11:19beaten scourged spit on mocked crucified
11:25there’s Jesus on the cross suffering for
11:29your sins and for mine and Stark naked
11:32as a blue jay too with a crown of thorns
11:35pressed into his head and that is his
11:38greatest moment of Glory the placard
11:41above him read this is Jesus the king of
11:44the Jews
11:46and there he is suffering and dying and
11:48who was it that the father had chosen to
11:51be on his right and his left when he he
11:53came into his glory
11:55two thieves
11:56two thieves one of them confesses Christ
11:59and is Forgiven the other mocks and
12:03scorns Jesus and is not forgiven in a
12:07sense kind of representing the sheep and
12:09the Goat the sheep on Jesus is right the
12:11goats on Jesus is left and yet Jesus is
12:14King even of those who do not believe in
12:16him that’s the sad part about it because
12:19the one Thief is is going to be in
12:22Paradise With Jesus that very day the
12:24other Thief he’s going to spend eternity
12:26in Hell foolishly too because there’s
12:28Jesus dying on the cross for his sins
12:32and so
12:34who did God pick
12:36not stately politicians Kings or princes
12:40to be a Jesus is Rider left
12:42the two common thieves
12:45bleeding and dying for their sins while
12:48Jesus was suffering the innocent one for
12:51so this is why Jesus says
12:54it’s I it’s not for me to Grant these
12:57spots only the father can do that
12:59and then Jesus the the text says this
13:03then the ten yeah the other 12 disciples
13:05they heard what John James and John did
13:07and they became indignant with them
13:10well it’s like oh why didn’t we think
13:13about this I was like oh you know here
13:16we are we’re going to Jerusalem great
13:18things are going to happen of course
13:20they’re not hearing any of Jesus’s words
13:22about his suffering and death and these
13:24guys got to Jesus first
13:27and so they’re going to have the great
13:29positions of Power and Jesus just puts
13:32an end to all of it
13:33here’s what he says you know that those
13:36who regarded as rulers of the Gentiles
13:38they lorded over them their High
13:41officials exercise authority over them
13:44not so with you
13:48not so
13:51God’s kingdom is not about building
13:56at least in the human sense
13:58you know I’m going to build a kingdom to
14:00myself and the pastors fall into this
14:03too I describe some of the churches out
14:05there as kingdoms that are not kingdoms
14:08of Christ but kingdoms of the pastors
14:10who’ve built them huge multi-site
14:12campuses with smoke and light shows and
14:15tens and hundreds of thousands of people
14:17watching and listening and sending in
14:21right yeah I think of Creflo Dollar this
14:25last week
14:26he put out a plea to the people in his
14:28congregation to Pony up 300 bucks a
14:32piece so that he can buy a 65 million
14:34dollar jet
14:37of course his justification was he needs
14:39to fly around the globe to preach the
14:42why can’t you go coach but
14:49so the Gentiles they lorded over them
14:52their High officials exercise authority
14:55over them not so with you instead
14:59whoever wants to become great among you
15:01must be your servant whoever wants to be
15:04first must be slave of all by way of
15:07kind of a little digression on this
15:08point if you’ve never read C.S Lewis’s
15:10book The Great divorce it’s a
15:12fascinating little book and it’s the
15:14story of people in Hell who take a bus
15:18ride to heaven and they’re met by the
15:21people in heaven who love them now it’s
15:23kind of a fascinating idea and the way
15:24C.S Lewis puts it is is that anybody in
15:26hell is welcome to come take the bus
15:28trip to Heaven any time they want you
15:31know it leaves on a regular basis and
15:33sure enough you know as the story opens
15:35up there’s a line a cue to get onto the
15:37bus and people get on the bus and they
15:39take the trip from hell to heaven and
15:41you would think that that would convince
15:45them I really want to be in heaven but
15:48kind of the sad punch line in all of
15:50is that all but one of them
15:52go back to hell because that’s where
15:55they would prefer to be fascinating
15:57thing but while they’re there you get
15:59this little vignette within the story
16:01itself and um there’s a conversation
16:04taking place between one of the
16:05residents of hell and a loved one who is
16:07in heaven who comes to plead with this
16:09person to you know to stay and while
16:12they’re talking all of a sudden there’s
16:14this ginormous procession there’s horses
16:17and trumpeters and you know this this is
16:20a big commotion going on somebody
16:22important is coming through right and so
16:25you know the the guy from Hell says well
16:27that person must have been you know a a
16:29an amazing important powerful person
16:32while they were on Earth
16:34and the response was no she was a wash
16:37lady from the south of London
16:40I mean her big contribution was is that
16:43she loved and cared for the orphans and
16:46the street Urchins in her neighborhood
16:47and fed them from her own food
16:53you think about that I think that’s what
16:55Jesus is getting at here what we
16:58consider great Jesus considers
17:01judging you know it’s worthy of judgment
17:04what we in this world consider to be
17:07scornful and shameful and well lowly and
17:11beneath us
17:12those are the things that Christ
17:14considers to be the most precious
17:17we’re not here to rule people but to
17:21and that means go and find the lowliest
17:24the most needy
17:25the person who’s Down and Out cast to
17:28this curb that Society overlooks
17:31that’s where Jesus is
17:34loving and serving them and he wants to
17:36do that through you
17:37these words challenge Us in the way we
17:39think it’s completely backwards from
17:42everything intuitively that we’re taught
17:43in this country in the society and yet
17:47this is how our Jesus is
17:50so much so that like he said
17:53he went to Jerusalem
17:55and he suffered the shame of dying on a
17:57cross for our sins
17:59rather than flexing his political muscle
18:01as king of kings and Lord of lords and
18:04being able to call a legion of demon not
18:06demons but Legion of angels to his
18:08assistance if he had wanted to right to
18:11come rescue him instead he stays on the
18:15to the very last
18:17so that what was said by the Prophet
18:21time is coming declares the Lord
18:24when I will forgive their wickedness and
18:27I will remember their sins no more and
18:29the reason why God does not remember
18:31your wickedness in mind is because our
18:34wickedness and our sins were accounted
18:38for and punished they were punished by
18:42and they were taken upon Christ he
18:45suffers the punishment in your place
18:48so the kingdom of God is nothing like
18:51the kingdoms of Earth it’s not about
18:53power flexing muscle and Authority it’s
18:56about love and service that begins with
18:59the King of Kings himself loving and
19:00serving you and being found in the form
19:03of a servant being born of the Virgin
19:05Mary suffering under Pontius Pilate for
19:08your sins and mind and now he calls us
19:11because of what he has done for us to
19:13take up our crosses and follow him and
19:16love and serve our neighbors and not
19:19Flex our Authority and try to Vie for
19:22the greatest positions in the world it’s
19:26all about service for neighbor
19:29something to think about in the name of
19:31Jesus Amen
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