through His Word
by Becky Hitchcock
“Good morning, Pastor,” I once wrote in an email before dawn.
My pastor had encouraged the church to read the Gospel of Mark. The action-packed narrative reads like a novel. It led me to other places in the Scriptures, too. Many of which I hadn’t considered in a long time.
“I’m impressed with Jesus calling Himself the Son of Man.” I further wrote, “He seems to like this title, and I like how the Savior identifies with my humanness. He garbed Himself with flesh. He became like me to save me from sin. He now sits at the right hand of God, the Father, and intercedes for me. Anyway, my rambling comes from listening to my pastor who said to read the Gospel of Mark. See – I was listening – just wanted you to know.”
Daylight came all too soon that morning. I closed my Bible and laptop to meet the demands of the day. Yet the notion of the Savior calling Himself the Son of Man stayed with me.
It’s with me still. Especially when I read Mark 10:36-45.
In that passage, two of Jesus’ disciples must have felt ambitious about their work for God. They lobbied for the best seats in the kingdom. They wanted the spots right next to Jesus. And when the other ten disciples heard such they were indignant.
Yet Jesus called them all close to Himself. He told them what they were seeking is not His to give. He explained that whoever wants to be the greatest in His kingdom must become a servant. He said:
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45 NIV)
I discover the motive of Jesus’ ministry in this verse, and it goes straight to my core.
I discover myself, too. Even in my quiet, sensitive, and introverted ways, I’m like those two disciples. By many standards, I’m not terribly ambitious but I confess that I want to be great. I’d like to be right up there next to Jesus. I want to influence people in deep and profound ways. This is especially so when it comes to what I write.
And truthfully, I’m not unlike the other ten disciples either and their possible reaction–indignant that Jesus might grant another greatness over me. It’s called pride and it’s ugly. It’s the sin that so easily entangles me (Hebrews 12:1 NIV).
Yet in tenderness, Jesus, my Savior, who calls Himself the Son of Man, continually calls me close to Himself. In still moments when I respond to His call and I ponder the Scriptures, I discover that I really desire to be humble. Humble people are so much like Jesus. He wrote the book on humility, and He modeled it in the deepest and most profound way:
Consider others better than yourselves . . . Let your attitude be the same as that of Christ Jesus . . . being in the very nature God . . . made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant . . . being made in human likeness . . . he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:3-8 NIV)
When I read this verse, I discover anew the motive of the Savior. It mirrors the verse in Mark 10:45.
These passages help me imagine an ancient scene where the Savior steps down from His rightful place in heaven. He de-robes Himself of true splendor. Via special delivery through the Holy Spirit, God the Father, sends His Son, the Savior, into the womb of the young virgin. An angel is dispatched ahead to greet her with the startling news and she cooperates with God’s plan. And, because the fullness of time has come for God’s redemptive work (Galatians 4:4), the angels sing and slap high-wings.
John 1:1, 2 and 14 (NIV) says it so beautifully:
In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Son of Man exchanged His own heaven-filled splendor for swaddling clothes in the muck of Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7 NKJV). The motive of His ministry drove Him to the lonely ground in Gethsemane and to the agony of Golgotha (Mark 14:32-42; 15:22-25).
Even now the motive of His ministry continues. The Son of Man is seated again next to God, the Father (Mark 14:62; Acts 7:55,56).
The Son of Man still identifies with my humanness (Hebrews 12:2; Romans 8:33-34; Hebrews 4:14-16).
The Son of Man prays for me through intercession. He lives for this (Hebrews 7:25). He does so simply because I am God’s child. Those prayers are how I lay side the sin that so easily entangles me. Those prayers give me the power to walk in true humility. The Son of Man gives me what it takes to consider others more highly than myself.
That early morning when I emailed my pastor, he later replied:
“Wow! Somebody was listening. How precious that you’ve discovered the Son of God became the Son of Man.”
Indeed, it is so precious. It stays with me. I discovered it in the Gospel according to Mark.
© Copyright 2018 by Becky Hitchcock
Becky Hitchcock is a long-time judicial secretary. She lives and writes in Old Clyattville, a farming community outside Valdosta, Georgia. She and her husband, Keith, are high school sweethearts and have two grown daughters.
Becky has always been fascinated with the written word but she did not make writing a priority until her second brother passed away. Whether penning articles and prayers, or piddling with a work of fiction, Becky feels God smiling when she writes. She had rather write than talk. When not writing, she reads about writing and writers. She still makes time to sip tea, walk a beach, and search for vintage Blue Willow china. Though she is a self-professed tech-a-phobic, more of her writing may be found at www.sensitiveonpurpose.blogspot.com.
This post is a part of our series called “Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life,” based on the Gospel of Mark. If you missed any of the previous posts, click the links below to check them out:
“Jesus Can Make Your Giants Fall” – 10 reasons why Jesus can handle any obstacle we face, written by Katy Kauffman
“Silencing the Questions of Fear” – how faith in Jesus can calm our fears, plus six faith-building verses to hold onto
“The Day Hopelessness Had No Chance” – how Jesus can help us no matter how bad our circumstances get
“The Day Helplessness Lost Its Power” – how faith in Jesus can overcome helplessness and lead to renewal
“Enrich the Soil of Your Heart” – 3 ways to reap a harvest of blessing in your life, written by Joanna Eccles
“Unity Is at the Heart of Christ’s Desire for the Church” – 3 questions and 3 guides to discern the difference between personal preference and God’s commands, written by Lyneta Smith
“Refuse Hardness of Heart with a PASSION, Part 1” – 5 consequences of hardness of heart that motivate us to have faith, written by Katy Kauffman
“Refuse Hardness of Heart with a PASSION, Part 2” – 4 ways to remedy hardness of heart and unbelief
“Extraordinary Moments” – 3 takeaways about Jesus, His power, and His heart, written by Mary Holloman
“What Would You Ask Jesus For?” – One question, two responses … what would your response be? (written by Katy Kauffman)
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Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Pride, Humility, Mark, He Calls Himself the Son of Man, Becky Hitchcock, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies