Surely it did not come as a surprise to Jesus when James and John’s mother approached Him with the request for her sons to have privileged positions in Jesus’ kingdom. Also He could not have been surprised at the anger of the other disciples when they heard about the request. He knew human nature. He understood the challenge of teaching people that the main principle of His new kingdom was service. If one obtains position and power it is given that one might be of greater service.
Having been a pastor enables me to understand how difficult it is to remember the principles of humility and service when one is fawned over by one’s congregation. One is greatly tempted to believe the nice things people say to one’s face and to be thankful not to hear what they say behind one’s back. The greatest sin of pastors is jealousy. It is human to want to be the best, thus it is difficult to hear how wonderful another pastor is. Everyday a pastor needs to remind himself/herself why God gave him/her a congregation.
I am puzzled about heaven and eternal life. If service is the law of God’s kingdom, what kind of service will be needed in a universe that has no sin and no rebellion? If every being has everything they need what is there to give that would be meaningful? Also I am puzzled while here we speak of our need to be unselfish and yet most of the time when we speak of heaven we speak of all the things WE are going to get, such as mansions, health, etc. Surely there are amazing challenges and tasks awaiting us. But what could they be?
Written by Roger Bothwell on October 27, 2015
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574