Class Notes: 7/6/2014
Mark 10:39-45; The greatest in God's kingdom is the one who is serves the most through their capacity from God's Word
In our Study of Mark we are in Mark 10:39; where we see that James and John along with every other believers are identified with Jesus cup and his baptism through retroactive positional truth. Rom 6:5;"If you have become intimately united to the likeness of His death ( first class condition and you have)..."
Retroactive positional truth is identification with Christ in His spiritual death, His physical death, and in His burial.
Identification with Christ in His spiritual death emphasizes the non-imputation of good and evil, and therefore rejects good and evil because it is the policy of Satan, and the function of the old sin nature.
Identification with Christ in His physical death and burial establishes separation from good and evil, therefore terminates Satan's power and authority over you, as well as the old sin nature's trends and its power and authority over you. Gal 5:1;
This brings us back to our study of Mark and Jesus' conversation with James and John.
Mark 10:40; With His statement Jesus emphasizes the sovereignty of the Father in the distribution of rewards. "but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give but it is for whom it is prepared."
"Been prepared" is the perfect tense, passive voice of the Greek word "hetoimazo" that means it has been prepared in the past with the result that it stands prepared forever.
The principle behind all of this is that rewards are the sovereign decision of God the Father who has all the facts and all the information and the Father will convey the rewards (passive voice) accordingly.
Mark 10:41; When the other disciples heard about what James and John had done they became indignant. Their angry reaction indicates that they also secretly had the same selfish ambitions.
Jesus heads off the argument between the disciples by reemphasizing the meaning of true greatness that He had previously taught them in Mark 9:33-37; when the issue of who would be the greatest had come up previously.
Mark 10:42; Jesus contrasts God's spiritual kingdom with the Roman Empire. The way power and authority were delegated in the Roman Empire was what the disciples had in mind when they are trying to determine who would be the greatest.
Jesus explains that the spiritual kingdom does not operate the way the Roman Empire does.
"But Jesus called them, and said." You know." They understand how the Roman Empire operates;
" that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles (the various officials in the Roman empire) lord it over them ( the people under the rule of the Roman empire), and their great men (the people who for one reason or another have come to the top in the empire) exercise authority over them."
Apparently the disciples had the idea that the concept of being great in the way that a Roman procurator or a Roman legate were great. They were thinking in terms of human viewpoint and how they would be great, as the Roman rulers were great, in the Lord Jesus Christ's kingdom.
Mark 10:43; Jesus rejects any idea that the situation is going to be the same. "But it shall not be this way among you." In other words, the basis of greatness in the spiritual kingdom is orientation to grace, understanding and using the grace of God by orienting to principles of the Word that come from understanding and accurately applying Bible doctrine.
It is based upon the filling of the Spirit, knowledge of doctrine, application of doctrine, and orientation to the plan of God in the proper timeframe. The person who is great in the spiritual kingdom of born again believers can have inner happiness, inner peace and power, and all of those things that make life wonderful.
Doctrinal believers are no longer in slavery to their circumstances; "but whosoever shall be great among you, let him be your servant." The concept of service Jesus is referring to is orientation to God's grace.
The concept of being a servant is tells us that the one does the most for believers through the understanding of doctrine, through the application of doctrine and through the production of divine good that comes from understanding God's system.
So the greatest will be the one who serves because of they have grace capacity from metabolized doctrine. They will serve for the right reason in the right way at the right time. God through His Word defines their service they do not.
This means that the only way we can actually serve God is to know and accurately apply His Word.
Mark 10:44; "And whoever will be first ( the Greek word "protos" that means to be first or "chief") among you, let him be your slave." Under this concept the one who is greatest in the spiritual kingdom is the one whose influence through Bible doctrine and production from God the Holy Spirit is the most beneficial to others.
This is quite different from the concept of being great in the Roman Empire or any other of mankind's governmental systems.
Mark 10:45; Jesus illustrates.. "Even as the Son of man came not to be served." In other words, Jesus Christ did not come in His first advent to receive the service of others, but instead He came to serve and to give His life a ransom for many (all mankind).
Jesus Christ became a slave by dying on the cross. He became a servant to the entire human race by His work of salvation. And the point is that Jesus Christ will be greatest in the spiritual kingdom because He became a slave, He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2:5-9;
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