Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 22 September 2015

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Mark 10, verse 41.

Being a believer doesn’t exempt you from human emotions, feelings or reactions.   Believers in Jesus, followers of Jesus get angry, upset, tired, irritated, pleased, happy, indifferent, and the whole range of emotions and feelings just like folks who don’t believe in or follow Jesus.   If you think that saying “I believe in Jesus” will make everything unicorns and rainbows, friend, you’re following some Jesus different from the one who is who He says He is.

The Jesus of the Bible is the Jesus of the Trinity.   He is Lord and Savior of a race of broken sinful people called “human beings.”   Millions, maybe billions, of people in the last two thousand years have declared their devotion to and for Him, and all that devotion began with Him mentoring twelve imperfect, sinful humans known as “the Apostles.”   In this story, as you know, James and John have asked Jesus for something He can’t give. They have overstepped the bounds of righteousness because they were imperfect sinners falling into emotion and feeling. We don’t know all the sidebar conversations that the Apostles were having but one thing becomes readily clear:   as soon as the other ten Apostles heard what James and John had asked for, they became indignant. defines ‘indignant’ as “feeling, characterized by, or expressing strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base.”   That’s seriously ticked off.   Not just upset:   strongly upset, angry and riled up. The other ten Apostles heard that James and John had asked for special privilege and they got fighting mad at their brother Apostles.

Stop the picture and take it all in.   These are Jesus’ twelve closest friends.   Two of them have asked for special favors, and the other ten are calling them out on it.   Calling them out, in fact, vociferously and angrily. You can almost feel what they were feeling and these were the people who knew Jesus better than anyone else on Planet Earth.   They had dedicated their lives to following Him, learning from Him, worshiping and serving Him…and they were just like you and me.   They got PO’d.

That’s why I say that being a believer doesn’t exempt you from the same feelings that non-believers have.   If you believe in Jesus, you’re still you.   You’re still a sinful human subject to the whims of your emotions and feelings:   just like folks who don’t believe in Jesus.   What’s more, you’re a believer in an unbelieving world with a devil set against you; a devil who is determined to trip you up by bombarding you with those emotions, feelings, reactions and many things that are beyond your control.   On your own, like James and John (and the other ten indignant Apostles), you’re basically screwed.

The difference is Jesus. The difference between your being screwed and having zero hope in this world or the next is the life and death of Jesus Christ of Nazareth who was and is and is to come.

Read the next few verses to find out how Jesus said the Apostles should now act instead of react.

Lord Jesus, I’m full of flaws and failures.   Forgive me all of them and help me to master my emotions.

Read Mark 10, verses 35-45.


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