This week I listened to Jen Hatmaker teaching from Mark 10. She compared and contrasted James and John asking Jesus for a place of honor in glory to Bartimaeus calling to Jesus, saying, “Lord, have mercy!”
I paused podcast several times to write out her words verbatim because it convicted me so strongly. I immediately thought of race relations in the United States when she spoke, though she did not mention them. Here are my notes.
“Those of us at the top of the ladder are going to have the hardest time with this. Jesus said that in so many ways because the more we gain, the more we will feel like we earned it. The more we achieve, the more we want to protect it all. The more we rise, the further we get from the bottom, which is where Jesus said he could always be found. The more we have, the harder it is to count it all as loss.”
Those of us who are rich are going to have the hardest time following Jesus.
In both stories, Jesus asks the same question. “What do you want me to do for you?” The answer to this question reveals our hearts. Our words and actions may be “right” but our wants reveal what kind of disciple we really are.
Soren Kierkegaard calls the two groups “those who esteem Christ and those who follow Him.”
Am I lifting Jesus higher in hopes that I rise too? Is my faith self-serving? Am I pandering to Jesus while praying, “Lord, make me awesome”?
To follow Jesus is to live like He lived.
Do I follow Him because I have something to gain, or because I have nothing to lose?
“Loving Jesus and being loved by Him is going to have to be its own reward.”