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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                     The Way To Greatness (9:33-37)

INTRODUCTION

1. Quietly passing through Galilee, Jesus and His disciples came to
   Capernaum...
   a. On the way, Jesus foretold His suffering a death a second time
      - Mk 9:30-32
   b. Also on the way, the disciples disputed who would be the greatest
      - Mk 9:33-34

2. Jesus took this opportunity to teach His disciples the way to true
   greatness...
   a. A way involving servitude
   b. A way involving humility

[Like many other paradoxes found in the Scripture (e.g., Mt 5:4-5), the
way to greatness in the kingdom of God is different than the way to
greatness in the kingdoms of men.  From Jesus we learn it involves...]

I. THE WAY OF SERVITUDE

   A. IMPORTANCE OF SERVITUDE...
      1. "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and
         servant of all." - Mk 9:35
      2. Greatness in Christ's kingdom is different than kingdoms of men
         - cf. Mt 20:20-26
      3. To be first (great), we must serve, just as Jesus served - cf.
         Mt 20:27-28
      -- The way of servitude is the way to greatness!

   B. EXAMPLES OF SERVITUDE...
      1. Serve others in evangelism
         a. Someone led you to Christ, can you not lead another to Him?
            - Jn 1:35-42
         b. Begin by being hospitable, offering acts of kindness and
            service
         c. At the very least:  invite to services, offer a Bible
            correspondence course
         d. Open your home to host Bible studies
         e. Hone your skills in personal evangelism, seek to improve
            your ability to share the gospel
      2. Serve others in edification
         a. Many have contributed to your spiritual growth, can you help
            others? - Ep 4:16
         b. Begin by being present at every service, greeting every one
            present
         c. Take special interest in those who are new, encourage them
         d. Offer to teach the children, even if only to assist another
            teacher
         e. Volunteer whatever service you can render in the work and
            worship of the church
      3. Serve others in benevolence
         a. Has anyone ever showed you kindness?  "Be kind to one
            another" - Ep 4:32
         b. Visit the sick or elderly, at home and in the hospital
         c. Render service such as cleaning, transportation, errands,
            etc.
         d. Minister to the poor, the hungry, or those otherwise in need
      -- These are just a few ideas of how we can serve others

[In order to offer the kind of service that really pleases God, and
thereby makes one great in the kingdom of God, the virtue of humility is
required.  And so Jesus taught His disciples...]

II. THE WAY OF HUMILITY

   A. IMPORTANCE OF HUMILITY...
      1. Jesus used a little child to teach the importance of humility
         - Mk 9:36-37
      2. The humility of small children provides an example for us - cf.
         Mt 18:1-4
      3. Like servitude, humility is a cardinal virtue in the kingdom
         - cf. 1Pe 5:5
      4. When we humbly receive others in Jesus' name, we receive both
         Him and His Father in heaven - Mk 9:37
      -- The way of humility is the way to greatness!

   B. EXAMPLES OF HUMILITY...
      1. In the area of evangelism
         a. Be open to opportunities to learn how to do personal work
         b. Ask others if you can accompany them as they teach others
         c. Reach out to those who are different than you
         d. Especially those less fortunate than you - cf. Jm 2:5
      2. In the area of edification
         a. Gladly accept subservient roles in teaching, preaching,
            worship
         b. Encourage and assist those who teach our children
         c. Warmly welcome those below or above your "social status"
            - Jm 2:1-4
         d. Help with mundane tasks (e.g., cleaning the building)
      3. In the area of benevolence
         a. Help those less fortunate than you - Lk 14:12-14
         b. Perform menial tasks where needed
         c. Offer to babysit, provide meals, help with expenses, etc.
      -- These are just a few ideas of how we show humility toward
         others

CONCLUSION

1. It may not seem like much, but the way to greatness is not possible
   without...
   a. A servant heart and servant hand
   b. A humble heart and humble hand

2. Jesus proved the greatness of service and humility by His own
   example...
   a. Coming to this earth in the form of a servant - Php 2:5-7
   b. Humbling Himself to the point of death on the cross - Php 2:8
   c. Thereby being highly exalted by God - Php 2:9-11

If we desire to be great in the kingdoms of men, we are setting
ourselves up for a fall:

   "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles
   himself will be exalted." - Lk 14:11

If we desire to be great in the kingdom of God, let us humbly serve one
another and those in the world...
 
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