Mosaic: Mark – Jesus, The Suffering Servant
When you complete a large accomplishment, do you wish to be lavished with praise? As a follower of Jesus, we are called to be humble. When you read the gospel of Mark, of the main themes is that of Jesus as the suffering servant. Join us this week as we see Jesus dedicating his life of humility and service to His people.

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Let’s pray. Father in heaven, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to once again get together as we now go through the book of Mark, leading guidance in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Well, you’re all in luck because the gospel of Mark is the shortest gospel, so we won’t take too long. Just kidding. Now, Mark stands out because it’s only got 16 chapters, whereas unlike, you know, Matthew, it has 28, Luke has quite a bit as well, and John. But Mark is unique in that it sets the tone.

Now, before we get to that point, Patrick Mahomes, at the end of the 2023 Super Bowl, was giving his closing remarks, and he wanted to give credit to somebody who helped him to win the game that day. And okay, yeah. He wanted to point out somebody to show his appreciation. He wanted to say, Julie was the reason I was the guy who I was on the field today. Everybody’s thinking, well, who’s Julie? Who is Julie in a chiefs organization? And so Mahomes wrote to his millions of followers that night on Twitter or now known as X her first name, her full name was Julie Freimer. And who was she? Why was she so important? She was the assistant athletic trainer. And Freimer was, who had one of the most important jobs in the NFL was to make sure that Mahomes could play, to rehab him through his injured ankle, to make sure he would be ready to play for the Super Bowl. And so he was hobbling with a sprain weeks before the big game. He wasn’t ready to play the Bengals and yet… He was fantastic. He was running, he was throwing, he was passing. And it helped them to set up the game that would help clinch their opportunity to go play the Chief, to play in the Super Bowl. Now, Mahomes went out of his way specifically to mention and praise her for the first time at Arrowhead Stadium. Nobody had heard of Julie Freimer. And yet the Chiefs knew her value. Because, well, they were paying Mahomes a lot of money.

Unappreciated sometimes, but yet so appreciated here. How many of you feel appreciated? Nobody? Oh, a handful of you. How many of you appreciate, for instance, the sanitation technician who picks up your trash every week? Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. How many of you are appreciative of the men and women who help take care to make sure that the roads are kept in order and you can drive safely? Not as much. How many of you appreciative of the people who clean up the meals after you’ve eaten at the restaurant? local barista or do you pepper them with you got it wrong? appreciation. I wonder sometimes if Jesus ever felt unappreciated.

This week, we’re going again through the book of Mark. And today I want to give you a quick overview. And we’re going to be looking at a couple of verses here. We’re going to look primarily at Mark 10, 35 through 45, and also Mark 8, 35, sorry, 34 through 38. But we’re not going to get there. But those of you who are following online, take a screenshot of this if you would like, and we’ll eventually get to that in a few minutes.

But Mark is again, it’s the shortest gospel. Here’s kind of an outline. By the way, I know you’re probably thinking it’s not on my page. It’s not on my paper. Look at the bottom. What does it say? You can download this information online. How many of you went out to this website last week? You’re going to crush those in my heart if you didn’t. Okay, if you want more information and some of the key themes I’m going to be talking about today, it is online and you can download it. Okay. This week, maybe read or listen to it as a family. It’s less than an hour, okay? But Jesus begins his life in Mark, there’s a prologue. Again, like a primer last week, like we did with John, it’s kind of a primer. And then in chapters 1:14 through 3:6, talks about how he begins his ministry and how he continues his ministry in Galilee. And yet the ministry goes beyond Galilee. And finally, in 8:22 through 10:52, it talks about the intentionality of Jesus, his mission to get to Jerusalem. And then there, Jesus is in Jerusalem. He’s having some challenges. He faces death in 14 and 15. And finally he is resurrected.

Okay. What are some of the key themes? And also just some important information. Mark may have also been the first gospel written. Why do we say that? Well, because number one, it again is the shortest. Matthew and Luke had more time perhaps to think about some other stories to include. And one thing that’s also unique, I mentioned the word last week and it’s called synoptic. Everybody say it with me, synoptic. What are the synoptic gospels? Matthew, Mark and Luke. There’s a lot more symbiosis. They share more things commonly, parables. John again is different, but his purpose was different. So Matthew, Mark, and Luke, they tend to share a lot of similar stories from their perspective. But yet we also see that in Mark, Jesus is on a mission. So we see that, for instance, if you read the Gospel of Mark, there’s a couple of words that stand out regularly. When it says, and immediately is mentioned 41 times or the phrase, and again is mentioned 25, Jesus is on a mission. There’s also in the gospel of Mark, Mark talks about the identity of Jesus. He’s the Messiah. He’s the son of God. He’s the son of David. He’s the son of man. He’s also known for sharing, of course, discipleship. We’ll talk about that a little bit more.

Another key theme, although it’s not necessarily in the Bible, but we’ve termed it the Messianic secret. When you watch Jesus as you read, he says he’s healed somebody. But then what does he say? Don’t tell anybody about it. Not yet. And yet when you say that, when you tell somebody not to do something, what do they do? Of course they tell about it. But there was also an intent because Jesus didn’t necessarily wanna just, what we would say go viral or blow up right away because then it could inhibit his ability to do ministry long-term. He would become famous too quickly. He didn’t wanna blow up right away. He wanted to be able to serve and make people be aware of who he was.

We also recognize that Peter plays a very significant role. In fact, some scholars will actually argue, did Mark really write it or was it Mark was just dictating what Peter was telling him? Okay. Mark, sorry, Peter plays a very prominent figure and it shows all parts of Peter being questionable and asking sincere questions. And you also see his imperfections, how he was, he was a human. But again, Jesus is a man of action. He’s on a mission. He’s on a mission to redeem humanity.

There are also three crowds that are, that play prominence in the gospel. There are the crowds, the people, you have the disciples, and then you have the opposition. And the question that I sometimes now ask myself, what crowd am I in? Am I just part of the crowd? Am I a disciple or am I part of the opposition? Am I inhibiting God? We also see that authority is another theme that plays prominently in the Gospel of Mark.

And also Jesus, when we talk about Jesus on a mission, he actually predicts his death three times in Mark 8:31 through 33, Mark 9, and also chapter 10. We also see that Jesus, sorry, the disciples, they regularly misunderstood Jesus. Sometimes they will go back, Jesus, I don’t get what you’re saying there right now. Sometimes he would explain it, sometimes he’d let them marinate it on a little bit. And then we come to a key theme, suffering. Did Jesus suffer in the gospels? Absolutely. What did he suffer from? Hunger, sleep deprivation, literal violence being done to him.

Let’s now go to Mark chapter 10:35 through 45. Mark 10:35 through 45. And we see here a couple of disciples gonna make a request to Jesus. We’ve studied this story and the other gospels. But we see here that James and John, who are also known as the sons of Zebedee, Go to Jesus. And in chapter 10, verse 35, it says, then James and John, the sons of Zebedee came to him and they said, teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask. Let’s read that again. We want you to do for us whatever we ask. That’s a bold statement, amen. Now, maybe for a little further context, there’s actually, there is a thought that is possible that James and John may actually have been the cousins of Jesus. Now I’ve been proven, but there’s a theory. So if they were cousins, you know, if your cousin’s your family, maybe you get a little bit more, I won’t call it grace, but maybe you can kind of understand. Regardless, it’s Jesus. You demand something from Jesus? And he goes along with it. He says, what do you want me to do for you? He asked, and they replied, let one of us sit at your right and the other on the left in your glory. What were they asking for? Prominent position, i.e. what were they really looking for? Power, authority, fame, recognition. And then he responds with, you don’t know what you’re asking, Jesus said. Can you drink a cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism I’m about to be baptized with? And what do they respond with? We can. Some would say that’s kind of arrogant, right? Do they really know what they’re asking for and agreeing to? I don’t think so. And then Jesus says, so you will drink this cup I drink. He’s already telling them their future. And be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.

That’s half the story. Now that’s only two disciples. What about the other 10? How did they respond to this? Verse 41, when the 10 heard about this, They became what? Indignant or angry with James and John. How dare they? How dare they try to one up on us? Jesus called them together and said, you know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lorded over them and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your what? Your servant. And whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. For even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Remember how it talked about? Titles, Son of Man, right here, verse 45. Yet Jesus is laying a groundwork, a framework of how He lives His life. If you truly want to be great, you have to become what? A servant. And that goes against, in my estimation, goes counter to everything that we’re taught nowadays. Or just in general, if you want to be great, you have to be first. Yet Jesus flips the script and he says, no, if you truly want to be great, you have to be a servant. And therefore there’s this sense of humility. Jesus points out that the path he is going to take is that of suffering. And also illustrates this idea of the fact that as humans, we really don’t wanna be humble. We really don’t wanna take the harder path. The one of being mistreated perhaps, the one of being looked down upon, being misunderstood. And here Jesus is also describing the suffering of the cross in verse 38.

The Gospel of Mark talks about the fact that Jesus is the suffering servant. Jesus is the suffering servant. Now Christ suffered for us. There’s a story told of a group of lepers who had unfortunately lost some of their fingers. And there was a doctor by the name of Dr. Paul Brand who’d worked with patients in India. Actually, now that I think about it, I may have already shared the story already. Then again, it’s already good. So let’s rehash it again. Sometimes they would get together in fellowship. And as a doctor, Of course, what did he want to do? He would look and he’d see that some of their fingers and toes were missing. And they asked Dr. Brand to speak and say something. And so he got up, he stood around, looked around, he paused. And he saw some with no fingers and basically only having stumps. And he says, I’m a hand surgeon. So when I meet people, I naturally look to see their hands. And it also, if I had the chance, I would like to have examined Christ hands. With the nails driven through, they must have appeared twisted and crippled. Remember, Jesus at the end was crippled too. And in their minds, they realized, what a powerful metaphor. I can identify with Jesus. Hearing this, their suffering had been made easier. That being said, it still hurts, amen. but they could at least identify. We could identify with Jesus’ suffering. Jesus came to serve others and his life would be a ransom. We see that suffering in a sense is a core key component of Jesus’ life.

Have you ever been misunderstood? Probably plenty of times. There’s also a video that I recently saw online. of a man, I think he was leaning either against the wall or a bridge. And he was just looking, he was looking at this guy and the guy that he was looking at kind of took a little bit of offense. Like who’s, why is this guy looking at me? He’s like creeping me out and he’s a young man full of, uh, how shall I say? Um, well, let’s just say he, he took, uh, he took issue with this man staring at him and he goes up. Like, why are you staring at me? What? What? And he pushes him. And the man who was looking at him spins around, reaches into his back pocket and out of it, he pulls his walking stick. All to its full extension. And all of a sudden, the man who had pushed him felt horrible because he realized he was blind. He wasn’t staring at him. All of a sudden he goes and he hugs him and he says, I am so sorry. I think oftentimes Jesus was misunderstood and he paid the price for that. How many times did he argue with the Pharisees? And he was misunderstood and they tried to rail against him, tried to kill him. We see Jesus suffering in Luke four when the devil tempts them a couple of times. All he wanted to do was maybe have some food, but yet he had to hold his ground. And it’s hard sometimes. When life goes on, it gets tiring. We wanna be people who keep our word, amen?

Now, how many of you know who Dr. Henry J. Heimlich is? He’s the man who invented the Heimlich maneuver. And he invented it many, many years ago. And I don’t remember when this took place, but towards the end of his life, oh yeah, I think it was in May 23 of 2016. He was sitting down, I believe at a restaurant with a woman who was older, I think 87 years old, and she was eating a hamburger, and all of a sudden she began to choke. And she was scared. She was thinking, what am I gonna do? Is this the way that I’m really going to die? And Mr. Heimlich gets out, and he begins to perform the Heimlich maneuver. It’s a maneuver I’ve taught many, many times as an instructor. and lo and behold, after a while, Patty threw up her hamburger. A woman who was in distress, scared, Mr. Heimlich immediately helps her. It’s one thing to be able to say something, to teach something. It’s another to follow through with it, practice it, test it, to be faithful. Jesus, of course, was faithful.

Now ultimately, Jesus is our greatest example. Amen. What does that mean if he’s our example? We should follow his example. Prior to the disciples demanding that they have a seat, what does Jesus teach them? Let’s go to chapter eight. I want to go to verse 34, chapter eight, verse 34. And Jesus lays out what’s to be expected. In verse 34, he says, If anyone is ashamed of me and my words is in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed for them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Ultimately, what is Jesus saying is, you truly want to become great. If you truly want to follow me, you have to be humble. I live a life of humility. And sometimes carrying that cross can be challenging. It sometimes feels when we take our eyes off Jesus, like it weighs a hundred pounds, a thousand pounds, trying to carry a burden every day. But when we trust Jesus, when we give our life and we surrender and secure our life to Jesus, that cross that we carry becomes lighter. But it’s something that still stays with us. Amen, we following? What we see as a burden. is actually something that we can take hope in. Because we know that again, at the end, Jesus was pointing towards his eventual death. be a follower of Jesus to deny ourselves. Not to deny of, oh, this world’s gonna be horrible and now I have nothing. Because if we are faithful to God, God will bless us with a wonderful life, a better life. But sometimes that means saying goodbye to things that we think are awesome and great, but actually are really hurting us. But we love it, we’re addicted to it. We like this, we don’t wanna give up. now.

Question that I have is what holds you back? What holds us back from wanting to follow? and serve Jesus. Sorry, I meant to say this, but Jesus exemplifies humility and service throughout his whole life. And we follow that example. What holds you back from wanting to follow and serve Jesus? As you reflect, as you read through the gospel of Mark this week, how is the mosaic of Jesus, the picture, as we’re talking about, okay, the mosaic is a picture. How is the mosaic, the example of Jesus and Mark convicting you to follow Jesus and where?

This week, I want you to pray. Pray and ask God, what do you want me to do, God? and discuss and form a plan with another disciple, meaning the follower of Jesus, where you feel compelled to serve others. And it could be a conversation, it could be a deep conversation, it could be a brief conversation. And when I say disciple, that could be anybody, okay? It could be your spouse, it could be your neighbor, it could be a friend, it could be one of your brothers or sisters here. But talk to somebody, pray. And when we talk about humility, the example of Jesus suffering, humble, another point that we should also consider is asking yourselves, do you want to be recognized or do you want to have Christ receive all the credit? Are you serving yourself or are you serving God? Are you trying to gain everything that you can or are you humbly trusting that Jesus will lead and guide and direct you in your life and provide all things? May God bless you. May you be faithful. Serve willingly and valiantly and humbly.

Father in heaven. Lord, thank you for the example that you leave us and mark. Help us, Lord, to be faithful every day as we humble ourselves and submit to you. As we quote, carry the cross, Lord. May it not be a burden. But something that lifts us and strengthens and encourages us. Leading guide us in all that we do. Be with us all. Help us to faithfully serve you. and be with us until we meet again next week. In Jesus’ name, everybody said. Amen.

Grace and peace, everyone.