Mark 9:35 – Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." (NIV)
I remember that when I was in school, I looked forward to recess. It was a period to get outside and play some kickball or other sport. One of the hardest things was picking teams so that we could play. I was not all that good at sports, even though I enjoyed playing. So, as one can guess, I was not picked first to be on a team. It was always my hope, though, not to be picked last. As the "pickens" got slim, I would be sitting there, saying, "Pick me, pick me." To be picked last indicated that one was a loser.
Once play began, we would play to win. Nobody played to lose. Although now I play sports for the fun of it, it took me a long time to get to this point.
It also took me awhile to understand what Jesus was saying when he said that if one wants to be first one must be last. This seems like nonsense, because in our society being first is everything. A popular saying now is, "Second place is the first loser." Many pride themselves on being first, whether it be in school, business or sports. I think the reason I missed this verse for so many years was that I looked at it from the worldly view instead of from a Christian viewpoint. Jesus lived his life as an example of this verse. If one wants to be first, then one should serve. Giving our lives to God and doing his will is far more important than anything this world has to offer.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we ask you to give us the Holy Spirit to guide us, so that we may live out your will in our lives. Enable us to be humble servants, helping those who truly need it. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.