Today’s gospel starts with disciples obsessing over who will be closest to Jesus, leading to Jesus teaching his followers about God’s take on importance and power. Here Jesus makes it explicit that the reversal of values in God’s community is a direct challenge to the values of the dominant culture, where wielding power over others is what makes you great. When we pray “your kingdom come” we are praying for an end to tyranny and oppression. We pray this gathered around the cross, a sign of great shame transformed to be the sign of great honor and service.
This reading is from the last of four passages in Isaiah that are often called “servant songs.” Christians are probably most familiar with this servant song. In light of Christian faith, the servant’s healing ministry and redemptive suffering are understood to be fulfilled in the life and death of Christ.
You have made the LORD your refuge,
and the Most High your habitation. (Ps. 91:9)
Using imagery from scripture and from Jewish worship practices, Jesus is presented as the great high priest who was obedient to God’s saving plan. Through his suffering and death he has become the source of eternal salvation.
On the way to Jerusalem the disciples ask Jesus to grant them seats of honor. Jesus responds by announcing that he and his followers will “rule” through self-giving service.
Watch our latest worship service - October 10, 2021
Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
Gospel: Mark 10:17-31
Teaching on wealth and reward
Jesus has been teaching his disciples about what is most valued in God’s eyes. Now, a conversation with a rich man brings his message home to the disciples in a way that is surprising but unforgettable.
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