Explore the Bible Study: Serves

3:30 PM

Do you see people trying to build their reputation with the boss, with hopes of getting a promotion or becoming one of his/her main leaders? How do others view the person who does this? When individuals act like this, do you feel that serving others, or the company is their primary motivation? We see two brothers who tried to "get ahead" in the Explore the Bible Study: Serves. Jesus is quick to teach a lesson they or we should never forget.

Mark reveals in chapter 10 the motives of two brothers regarding the position they desired in Jesus’s kingdom.  These brothers were among the twelve Jesus chose to be His apostles in Mark 3. Jesus described them as the “Sons of Thunder” in Mark 3:17. While we don’t know specifically why Jesus called them the Sons of Thunder, we see in them two powerful personalities who Jesus would disciple and who would become strong leaders in the early church. 

But at this moment in their lives, they had a lot to learn regarding what it means to be a leader in the kingdom of God. Serving Jesus and others is the position one should seek in the kingdom of God. There is no place for position or power seeking as one follows Jesus.

The lesson James and John are about to learn comes as they are making their way to Jerusalem for Jesus’s final days.

Mark 9:30 tells us that the disciples and Jesus “left that place and made their way through Galilee.” Upon arriving in Capernaum another debate arose among the disciples regarding who was the greatest (Mark 9:33). The lesson Jesus teaches the disciples on this occasion regarding greatness is a prelude to the lesson He will teach James and John in Mark 10.

The lessons in Capernaum continued as Jesus and the disciples journeyed through “the region of Judea and across the Jordan” (Mark 10:1). Throughout this journey that would eventually take them to Jerusalem for Jesus’s final days, the lessons continued as the disciples were taught various issues by Jesus including blessing the children, schooling the rich young ruler, and the lessons the disciples were to learn regarding the impossibility for anyone to enter the kingdom of God.

Mark 10:32-45 brings us to Jesus’s third prediction of His death and the lesson James and John were going to learn regarding position and power. Jesus begins the lesson with His own story of what will take place. Jesus, as servant, was going to be a suffering servant as Isaiah described in Isaiah 53.

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These teaching helps are intended to be used as a supplement to your study of Lifeway's Explore the Bible curriculum resources. Portions of this material are taken directly from content copyrighted to Lifeway Christian Resources Explore the Bible and is used with permission.  This material has not been reviewed by Lifeway Christian Resources. 

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