Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
Yesterday I listened, as did anyone in a two block radius of the bank, to a customer's explosive rant proclaiming they wouldn't let him cash a check. On my way home from work, two cars log-jammed in the middle of a 4-way stop with both drivers gesturing their frustration while jabbing their horns. Whew! Rage in action!
Why are people so angry? I wish I knew the answer. My best guess is that most of us think we deserve to be first. Our unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness clouds our vision, exuding the "me-first" mentality.
Jesus must be shaking his head in disgust at us who call ourselves Christians acting like we have "rights." The Bible teaches there are no "first-place" Christians. Remember Salome's request that her two sons, James and John, sit at the right and left of Jesus in the kingdom of God? Graciously Jesus replied this authority was not his to give, but only God's. Yet, note the reaction of the other disciples. "When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers" (Matthew 20:24). And rightfully so.
Follow Jesus' response: "Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:26-28). If we follow Jesus' example, our rights lessen in our service to others. No more racing at 4-way stops!