March 18 – 5th Sunday in Lent
by Pastor Pete Scheele
Reading: Mark 10:32 – 45
Grace and peace to you as you allow God’s will to be done in your life from God our Father, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. (Mk 10:32a)
We are all on a journey in this life, but have you ever asked yourself, “What is the goal of my journey in this life?” For a lot of us, we are just on a journey, with no set goal in life, but because we are following Jesus in this life we are amazed at times at how God is working in our lives to get us to where we are today. Yet we still wonder what does God have for us in the future? There are others of us who are afraid of what the future might bring to us because we can see the sinfulness and corruption that is alive and well in this world and we know that with more and more people forsaking the will of God in their lives, our world isn’t going to get any better, but only worse. Yes, we are just like the disciples following Jesus to Jerusalem. We are amazed that Jesus would want to go to Jerusalem with the knowledge of what is going to happen and the threats of the leaders of Jerusalem to do just what He has told the disciple would happen to Him. We are amazed that Jesus would still want to go to Jerusalem and still we follow Him because we want to see what amazing things Jesus will do when He gets to Jerusalem. At the same time, we are afraid for ourselves and for others. We don’t want pain and suffering in our lives, but yet we still follow Jesus because we believe that something good is going to come out of all that Jesus is doing in our lives.
So, what does the future look like on your journey in life? And taking the twelve again, Jesus began to tell them what was to happen to Him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock Him and spit on Him, and flog Him and kill Him. And after three days He will rise.” (Mk. 10:32b – 34) To be honest, none of us know what is going to happen in our lives this afternoon, tomorrow, this week or this month. Oh, we may have plans and may even have a calendar filled with activities we are hoping to do, but to be honest, we aren’t in complete control of what is going to happen in our lives. To be truthful I don’t want to know all that is going to be happening in my life in the next day, month or year because it could be painful, even if it ends up as being a blessing in the end, for I would try to get out of the pain if possible. Jesus though, did know what was going to happen to Him in the next few weeks and He was still headed to Jerusalem, He was willing not to take control of all the events, even though He could. Jesus wanted the twelve Apostles to know what was going to happen to Him and them so that they would be ready and this was the third time that He told them about His passion and resurrection. How would you respond to the knowledge of the arrest, convection and death of a close friend and companion who was innocent of any wrong doing, even with the knowledge that He would rise again? Would you be confused, saddened or want to jump over all the bad things that are going to happen and move right into the end result?
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up 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 do 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 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. (Mk. 10:35 – 38a)
What are you expecting Jesus to do for you alone your journey in this world? Do you want Jesus to cause you to jump over all the pain and suffering in this world and get right to incredible glory, peace and joy that He has promised to all those who follow Him? Let’s just skip the cross and move right into the heavenly home that you are prepared for us, Jesus. Do you know what that would mean? Do you know what affects that would have on this world? What about those friends of yours that don’t believe in Jesus Christ as heir Lord and Savior and would be sent to hell because you want to stop being that example of God’s love to them so that the Holy Spirit can work through you to bring them to the knowledge of God and faith in Jesus Christ. It’s your conversations with them that tells them about a God who cares so much about them that He would go the cross of Calvary to pay for all their sins and give them a heavenly home in God’s love, peace and joy. How many people will come to know the love, peace and joy that God wants to give to them through your life in this world? Are you willing to send them to hell because you don’t want to be a part of this world anymore and have your will be done instead of God’s will being done in their lives? We don’t know who we will have an effect on as we share the love of God with others in this world. God’s will is being done as we share His love with others so that they can come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and come to faith in Him with each one of us.
If you want the glory of God to come down right now Jesus is asking you, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to Him, “We are able.” And 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.” (Mk. 10:35 – 40)
The cup that Jesus drinks for you and me is the cup of wrath that God has against all our sins. Jesus drinks that cup of wrath for all our sins as He hangs there on the cross of Calvary abandoned by all mankind and God, Himself. In the midst of the torments of hell Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mk. 15:35) Can you drink that cup? No, not without Jesus Christ doing it for you first and then giving you the cup of forgiveness, that He has earned for you by His blood shed on the cross of Calvary for all your sins and His body broken for your life.
The baptism that Jesus goes through for us is the new covenant of blood shed on the cross of Calvary for all our sins so that we can be perfectly holy and righteous instead of sinful and evil. Jesus takes all your sins upon Himself and leads a perfect life for you and me so that in our baptism we are washed of all our sins and able to have the Holy Spirit come into us and bring us to faith in all that God has done for us. Jesus’ baptism was His life, death and resurrection. His life accomplished what we could never do, His death made the full and final payment for all that we did in sins with our lives, His resurrection gives us the assurance that as we continue to follow Him in this life, we will one day receive the glory of God purchased and won for us. Are we worthy to sit at the right hand and left hand of Jesus Christ? I don’t know, but I hope to see each and every one of you in the heavenly home prepared for us by the glory of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It’s God will through Jesus to give us these Sacraments so that we will be strengthened in our faith and receive His blessings in our lives as we follow Him in this world.
And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones’ exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. (Mk 10:41 – 44)
What is your goal in the journey of life in this world? Is it to have God’s will being done in your life now and forever and to have your family and friends be in the glory of God with you as they follow Jesus to Jerusalem and to where ever He takes us. Than God’s will is being done in us, which God has given to us by His love and is shown to our family and friends by our love for them. That means that I am third, not first. Because God’s will is working in my life, that means I am a servant to God first, a servant to others and then to myself. That’s God’s will being done for us in this world and Jesus gave us the greatest example of that, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mk. 10:45)
Jesus when to Jerusalem so that you can have a better life and God’s will can be working in your journey in life as you share the love, peace and joy of God with others so that they too will have the goal in their journey in life to let God’s love, peace and joy be an eternal part of their life forever. May God’s will be done in your lives. Amen.