The King’s actions
Jesus breaks up a quarrel
The context of the reading: Jesus and his disciples are in Jericho – implied from the next verse – James and John’s mother has come to Jesus to ask for her sons to have the place of honour in Jesus’ coming kingdom. To have a pushy mother embarrass you like this is bad enough when you are children, but to have it happen when you are adults …
That was bad enough for James and John, but the attitude of the other disciples is about to make it worse.
24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
A happy New Year to all of you.
The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) has announced a massive increase in donations after they posted a video of asylum seekers being rescued in the English Channel and an episode of Saving Lives at Sea showed them picking up from rubber dinghies. Social media has lit up with ‘RNLI taxi’ trending on Twitter. It seems to me that some people can’t stand the fact that other people are not as full of hate as they are. It also shows that this form of racism comes from a minority.
Not only is the RNLI saving people. but they are landing the asylum seekers on beaches where local people are out to welcome them, give them a meal and help them with the asylum process. These are not illegal immigrants, seeking asylum is a legal right under agreements the UK is signed up to. In any case, the UK is taking far fewer asylum seekers than many countries in the EU.
Jesus’ lesson to his disciples is that you become great through serving other people and not by lording over them. Some people like to look down on ordinary people. Desmond Tutu, whose funeral was last weekend, memorably said that he had never met an ordinary person. I would echo that, everybody has within them the image of God.
Everyone means everyone. Male and female, straight, gay. bi and transsexuals, Rich and poor, British and non-British. neuro-typical and neuro-diverse, the physically and mentally disabled. There is nobody outside God’s love. We must serve them.