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The Bulletin Sunday 18th October,2015 Pentecost 21B Insert Not to be served but to serve

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert – Sunday 18th October 2015, Pentecost21

Not to be served but to serve Job 18:1-7, Hebrews 5:1-10, Mark 10:35-45


The disciples have difficulty in following Jesus. If the way of Jesus is marked by the extraordinary quality of his love and service, then they must follow him down the same path. However, the disciples are frightened and unable to accept the way of God to life, shown in Jesus, because they have their own ideas. They are not prepared to rethink the traditional Jewish idea that the Messiah would be a powerful political figure who would restore the Davidic kingdom. The two sons of Zebedee ask a question which illustrates that, as yet, they have not grasped what it means to follow Jesus. They want Jesus to do their will: ‘we want you to do us a favour.’

One of them wants to have the supreme authority and the other the next important place when Jesus comes to establish his messianic kingdom in Jerusalem. They are still thinking of the earthly, political power and riches which will come to them in Jesus’ messianic kingdom. Jesus has shown them that he is the Christ and that the kingdom will be established through his death and resurrection but the sons of Zebedee have not understood. All Jesus can promise them is a share in his suffering and death. Jesus was not to decide who will receive these positions of authority; that decision belongs to the Father. Jesus did not come to establish his own kingdom, where he would be in a position to allocate authority; he established the kingdom of God.

But the other ten disciples are not happy with the possibility that the sons of Zebedee might be getting in early. Maybe they are being jockeyed out of position by these two. Jesus does not abandon his ignorant disciples but he teaches them about true Christian authority. There is no place in Christianity for an authority that lords it over others. Rather, it is a call to service. Jesus points to his own life and service unto death as the model for the Christian life.

To be a Christian means to always strive to live and love as Jesus did. The way we relate to and serve one another must mark us out. We must not be like those who do not wish to hear of God’s ways revealed in Jesus. But is our being different obvious? The world lords it over one another. It must not be so among us.

(Adapted from This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year B, by Francis J. Moloney, p 192-3).


Hebrews 5:1-10 Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,

“You are my Son,     today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,

“You are a priest forever,     according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Mark 10:35-45 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42 So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.