Mark 9:30-39 New International Version (NIV)
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were,
31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.
”32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?”
34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
HOMILY Go to the Back of the Line
If I asked you who was the first man in space? Most of you know that it was the Russian Yuri Gagarin.
But who was the second man in space? Most of us do not know! (American John Glenn)
If I asked you who was the first man to walk on the moon? Most of you know that it was Neil Armstrong.
But who was the second man on the moon? Most people don’t know! (Buzz Aldrin)
If I asked you who was the first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes? Most of you know that it was Roger Bannister.
But who was the second man to run the mile in under 4 minutes? (John Landy)
If I asked you who were the first men to conquer Mount Everest?Most of you know that it was Edmund Hillary, and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay,
But who did it after them? Your guess is as good as mine!Most of know who did ‘a thing’ first, because there is something about being first!
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon; On the 26th July 1969. In total only 12 people have ever walked on the moon; The last person was on, Apollo 17, in December 1972.
His name was Harrison Schmitt but most of us have never heard of him! There is something about being first!
Since childhood, humans struggle to be first…
Bus stop Lunch line VBS – kool aid/cookie
Ticket line Airport/Airplane First on/first off Merging traffic Lines at stores on Black Friday Food line at weddings
What are we afraid of, if we are not FIRST?
Running out of food (unlikely) Running out of tickets (maybe) Being LESS THAN if someone merges in front of us
What happened in our life that makes us fight to be first?
Sporting – First = winner Trophy Recognition
Second = loser Nothing
Contests – First = winner Trophy Money Recognition
All others = losers
Academy Awards Oscar – Statue Recognition Can earn more Money
Is our need to be first part of our natural instinct of
Survival of the fittest? Us or THEM –
All or nothing? Really?
The last shall be first and the first shall be last…
Where does it say the first are the only ones that count?
The first will get it all and everyone else get nothing?
This is such an important lesson that it appears in different forms in three of the four gospels…
What lesson are we to learn?
Every time the phrase “last shall be first and the first last” occurs in scripture it refers to the fact that one’s position in this life does not give a person an advantage in gaining eternal life—or a higher level of eternal life
Every time Jesus uses the phrase, the message is the same.
It does not matter who we are in this world or what we have done.
Eternal life is for all – equally
Humans continuously focus on FAIRNESS—
As we humanly understand fairness –
First come — First served
Don’t cut the line
Go to the back of the line
We were here first.
Tents/camped out days ahead
To go to class – would have someone hold place in line –
First come – first served
Stores at Christmas
Can’t chance NOT getting Item for Xmas
Cabbage Patch Dolls
In 1983 we saw the birth of total consumer anarchy—
First in line Took on use of violence Camped out stores for days
Physically fighting to get one A woman was pictured tightly grasping a Cabbage Patch Kid with both arms, as another woman wrapped her purse strap around her throat –
FIRST to be sure to GET
FIRST to be IN
FIRST to be INCLUDED
Again, our lessons from Christ seem to throw everything we understand – out the window…
At least UPSIDE DOWN
First are to be last? Really?
What does that really mean?
Once a teacher told her class to line up in front of her desk to receive a special treat…
You know what happened…
A scramble to be the first in line – to be in the front –
Once everyone was in a line – the teacher got up and walked around the desk with her bag of candy –
She reached inside the bag, pulled out a piece of candy, and then walked to the back of the line and gave it to the child who was LAST in line.
What did they learn that day?
Back in 2008, Sara was a college senior playing for the championship of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference softball league. In the second inning, she hit her first home run ever — the ball sailed right out of the park. Then, rounding the bases, she realized that she had failed to touch first. So, she turned back. But, through a twist of fate and her knee, she found herself down on the ground with a torn ligament, crawling in agony back to first base. According to the rules, she would have been out if anyone from her team helped her.
That’s when Mallory Holtman — from the other team — stepped up to help. She and her teammate, Liz Wallace, carried Sara around the bases, making sure to tap her left foot on each base. Though Mallory and Liz lost the game that day, they clearly accomplished something more important.
There’s no doubt that this is an extremely emotionally touching story. Mallory and Liz went beyond good sportsmanship. In a moment that really counted, those young women showed good character. And Mallory’s unsolicited offer to help (at a cost to herself) displayed a deep sense of humanity that we all hope (but don’t know) we would show in a similar circumstance.
When you put the needs and well being of others before yourself you are showing love in a way that God has showed love to you.
The way that we grow in our trust and faith in God is by taking steps of faith.
By putting first we can actually practice trusting that God will take care of our needs.
Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Although It’s tempting to want to be great, do we achieve that at the expense of making 0thers out to be the least –
If so, will that make us least in the eyes of God?
What happens when we live out
The first shall be last and the last shall be first?
What does this really look like — ??
DOES THIS MEAN –
We are always to put others first?
I grew up believing that…
JESUS AND OTHERS AND YOU
What a wonderful way to spell JOY
I understood that I was supposed to ALWAYS put others first – and me LAST.
Today, I have a different view of this lesson…
The first will be last and the last will be first…
I have learned that when I always put myself LAST –
I failed to be my best –
I failed to take the best care of myself
I sacrificed myself for others…
This may be necessary at times…
We also need to treat ourselves as we treat others..
Love ourselves as we love others…
Not merely trade places with them…
10 REASONS WHY PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST IS IMPORTANT
YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PUT YOURSELF ON FIRE TO KEEP OTHERS WARM
Sure, helping people is rewarding, but don’t keep giving it your all if you receive nothing in return.
YOU’RE ALREADY DOING THE BEST YOU CAN
Be kind to yourself – you’re doing your best and sometimes, just getting up in the morning is the biggest achievement and that’s okay.
IT’S OKAY TO ADMIT WEAKNESS
Taking care of yourself is by no means a weakness, but a sign of strength. But sometimes, admitting that you can’t do something might feel like failure. It’s not. It’s okay and healthy to realize you’re not able or ready to do something.
YOUR HEALTH COMES FIRST
Nothing is ever more important than your health and mental well being.
STOP SAYING YES TO THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO DO
DON’T SPEND YOUR LIFE AT WAR WITH YOURSELF
I used to keep forcing myself to do things I thought I needed to do, when every part of myself kept screaming no. But my sense of responsibility was always louder.
SILENCE IS GOLDEN
Sometimes we just need silence, keep to ourselves and breathe.
TREAT YOURSELF LIKE YOU TREAT YOUR BEST FRIEND
We tend to always put others first, but sometimes, we need to take a step back and treat ourselves like our best friend. Because, in the end, there is no one you spend more time with than yourself.
THINGS TAKE TIME
Healing takes time, getting better takes time, learning takes time… everything takes time.
DON’T FEEL GUILTY FOR DOING WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU
If you become empty because you always give away – You are limited in who and how many you will help…
YOU CANNOT POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP –
S. Lewis said
Humilty is not thinking less of yourself –
Thinking of yourself LESS
The first shall be last and the last shall be first –
In a nutshell – EQUALITY INCLUSIVENESS
Working together – as a team…as part of the whole…
It may be easier just to remember to
Put God first and we will never be last…