Can you remember being asked what you wanted to be when you grow up? My son wanted to be a farmer so he could drive the big tractors and combines. I heard of one little boy who wanted to be a car mechanic or a garbage collector. When asked why he replied, "So's I can get dirty!"
Imagine asking Jesus what He would have us be when we grow up. We might be surprised at the answer. Jesus told His disciples what He wanted to see them become. You can read it in Mark 10:42-45. He told them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
In effect Jesus said, "I want you to be different. I want you to be a servant." How many people would willingly choose “servant” as a career path today? When Jesus walked this earth, He was surrounded by thousands of people who were attracted to Him. Whenever He had the opportunity He would talk to people about what they should be when they grow up. Of course He was speaking to them about grow in maturity in the kingdom of God.
The way we serve God according to Jesus is a lot different than many religious people think. Jesus pointed this out over and over again in His Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5,6 & 7. Jesus turned the religious world of His day on its head. Over and over again He said,
· Mt. 5:21-22 "You have heard...but I say to you..."
· Mt. 5:27-28 "You have heard...but I say to you..."
· Mt 5:33 -34 "You have heard...but I say to you..."
· Mt 5:38 -39 "You have heard...but I say to you..."
· Mt 5:43 -44 "You have heard...but I say to you..."
Talking about the prayers of the religious hypocrites and the pagans Jesus said, "Therefore, do not be like them," (Matt. 6:8).
In Matthew 5:1-12 Jesus gives us one of the greatest portraits of a servant ever recorded. These are the marks of true discipleship. Here Jesus spells out eight character traits that identify true servanthood, a true disciple.
Over the next few days we will spend time learning about each of these characteristics. Let’s see what we can learn about Jesus and about ourselves.
Let me know what you think:
· What did you want to grow up to be?
· Have you ever considered that Jesus is more concerned with your character than your career?