Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: The Virtue of Being Last
Accompanying David Legge sermon: True Greatness
Accompanying Robert Rayburn sermon: Hoping to Be Last
MacArthur notes that this whole passage ties together under the theme of humility.
Jesus starts by speaking again about His death and resurrection. The disciples just can't grasp it. They can't grasp His death because they're expecting a conquering Messiah. And they can't grasp His resurrection, even though they've seen Him raise other people from the dead, because they don't understand where the power to raise the dead will come from if Jesus Himself is dead. And Jesus spares them a bit by not revealing everything to them - just like it is merciful for us not to be able to see the full future. But even though they couldn't understand it now, Jesus' death would the great illustration of humility.
Then Jesus gives the disciples a lesson in humility. MacArthur: Pride is devastating. It devastates others because it destroys unity. It devastates self because it forfeits honor. And it devastates God because it rejects Him when He comes to us in other believers whom we belittle.
Pride is also exclusive, but Jesus reminds His disciples that as long as someone else is a true believer, their methods don't have to be exactly the same as their own. Diversity is good! (Note: He is NOT talking about false teachers here!).
The fear of humility is that if you humble yourself you will lose, but the truth is, it is only when we humble ourselves that we are rewarded.
The greatest way to work on humility is to take our eyes off of ourselves, and focus them on Christ. When we serve Him for His glory, and not our own, we display humility.
Monday's scripture focus: Mark 9:42-50
Sunday's passage: Jeremiah 33-34
Monday's passage: Jeremiah 35-36, Ecclesiastes 7, Hebrews 5