The Bible Speaks

To the sufferer go the spoils
Aug. 18, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

“But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.” Mark 10:43

At the close of every political season, the winners usually begin to look to their supporters and big campaign donors in order to give them a cadre of political appointments. It is the American politics version of “to the victor go the spoils.” In Christ’s kingdom, however, it is to the “sufferers go the spoils.” Jesus made it very plain to His disciples that those who desired to have high positions in His kingdom would only receive them through service and sacrifice.

James and John, two of His disciples, desired the top honors in the kingdom they thought was about to begin on the earth (Mark 10:37). Jesus told them that to be elevated to such a high position they would have to humble themselves and become servants of all; even willing to suffer as He Himself would. The pair of disciples, sometimes called the Sons of Thunder, both agreed that they were willing and they both DID suffer: James was the first martyr of the disciples and John suffered exile on the Isle of Patmos. Interestingly enough the fates of all the other disciples were not recorded in Scripture!

The greatest in the Kingdom of Christ would be the one willing to become the least; the first in order of rank would be the one willing to be the last and the ruler over many would be the one who served the most. Such is the path of upward mobility in the Kingdom of God. It may seem strange to the ways of the world, but that is because it is the way of Christ. There was no one higher in rank than the Son of God, yet He lowered Himself to become servant of all. There was not one greater in all the earth than the Lord Jesus, creator of all, yet He put Himself in the least of all positions, suffering in weakness on Calvary’s cross. There was no one greater or higher than He yet He willingly took the place of the lowest of servants in order to save all who believe.

The Bible speaks of a different path to the upper ranks of God’s kingdom than the way that those of this world would seek to arrive at places of honor and power. In Christ’s kingdom the highest are the lowest; the greatest are the least; the first are the last; the rulers are servants and the richest are the poorest. The Kingdom of God is nothing like the kingdom of this world and for me that is why I love it so much.

The Rev. Bruce MacInnes is pastor of Turner’s Chapel.