We have been studying Mark in our small group lately. In the past weeks, we were reviewing chapter 8 to chapter 10, which focuses on Jesus’ three prophesies of His own death and resurrection. After various teachings, healings and miracles, Jesus professed His crucifixion and pointed out that the way to gain life is to lose life.Example of Jesus
Unlike any other commanding masters, Jesus didn’t just give the instruction and ask disciples to figure it out by themselves. On the contrary, He exemplified it in perfect obedience by dying on the cross. With His suffering and resurrection, He showed that the way to be great is to be a servant. For even the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark Chapter 10, Versus 45)
But the disciples couldn’t comprehend it when they first heard about it. Peter even rebuked Jesus when He said so. Although Jesus repeated the same point twice again, they didn’t seem to understand but started arguing about who would be the greatest if Jesus overthrew the Roman government.
However, Jesus’ kingdom is not on earth. He is a king indeed but His way to be exalted is to sacrifice His life for others. With His death, Jesus became the first person who lived out such truth. Through His resurrection, the skeptical disciples gained strength and eventually followed His path, which became a worthwhile path proved by many believers now.
Blessing for the recipient
Inspired Jesus’ example, I embarked on this exciting journey as well recently. My first experiment turned out to be a fantastic experience.
Two weeks ago, I learned that one of the boys is not used to adult’s Sunday service, compared with interactive Sunday school he attended before. I understood that it takes some time for him to adjust to it, so I talked with his mother and proposed to offer an individual class for his son on Friday night, aiming to prepare him for adult’s worship service.
Last Friday night was our first class and it went quite well. The boy was happy with personal engagement and we surprisingly completed four chapters within two and half hours, during which we read the scripture, discussed certain key topics and went through some interesting details.
The mother prayed for us at the end of the class. In her prayer, she thanked God for being served by my presence and the class.
Blessing for the initiator
It was a great blessing for me as well! I couldn’t tell you how fulfilled I was on my way back. I was encouraged by the boy’s thirst for Bible knowledge, his mother’s hospitality and the scriptures we studied together.
If you knew my status before the class, you would recognize me as two different people. I was concerned about my career development during the day and felt exhausted after a whole-day meeting. I honestly didn’t feel like talking after work. I prayed for God’s help before I left for the boy’s home, as I definitely didn’t want my negativity spoil the first class.
Thanks to God’s grace that the class turned out rewarding for both of us! The boy’s eagerness for interactive bible class was satisfied, and I was detached from my worry and found out that my anxiety was unnecessary. The class enabled me to jump out of self-centeredness and view my needs with fresh eyes. It dawned upon me that the way to serve others is indeed the way to obtain new life, which was personal achievement and recognition in my case.
Moreover, the mystery of serving others was further revealed through this practice. By active action, I walked on the path Jesus recommended, brought blessing to others and was blessed in the process, which in return helped me understand more of this truth. To serve is to gain Christ-like life, the question is: in order to gain so many blessings, are you willing to lose yourself first?
Cindy Cheng was born and brought up in central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cindy’s previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html