Three times in the last three chapters (8-10) of Mark's account Jesus teaches His followers about His impending suffering, and all three times His followers seem to be too concerned about their own status to even notice what He's saying. They were expecting Christ to establish an earthly kingdom, and therefore they were expecting great privileges as the appointed disciples of the soon-to-be King. Here we see the way in which the pursuit of power can plague all of us no matter our closeness or relationship with Christ.
Have you ever taken the time to contemplate why God graciously granted you the athletic ability and opportunity to play professional baseball? Have you ever carefully examined what it is that you are truly pursuing through this platform that God has graciously given you?
The disciples were guilty of pursuing glory for themselves through their platform as disciples of the King; are we guilty of pursuing glory for ourselves through our own platform of being a 'professional baseball player'?
Jesus teaches his disciples that it is the way of the world to gain a certain status and then use that status to be praised and served by others. Mark records the teaching like this:
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. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)
Jesus says men of this world may pursue glory through status, 'but it shall not be so among you'. For the man who desires to follow Christ, glory is to be gained through service rather than status.
In what ways are you currently using your platform as a professional baseball player to serve the world around you? Are you truly a servant in the clubhouse? Do you sacrifice your time and routine in order to serve fans, media and those who just desire a simple minute with you?
A good measure of your Christian condition is whether or not your desire to serve others is greater than your desire for status among others.
Consider our Lord who was the infinite Creator of life, and yet in His incarnation became a servant to His own creation by giving His own life. If Christ was willing to sacrifice the privileges of deity and the pain of suffering death in order to serve us, what is it that keeps us from sacrificing our own privileges in order to serve Him?