Old Brick Reformed Church, Organized 1699

490 Route 520 • P.O. Box 153 • Marlboro, NJ 07746

Office Phone: (732) 946-8860 • Office Fax: (732) 946-9254

Secretary's Email: secretary@oldbrickchurch.orgInfo

Sunday Worship: Cancelled Until Further Notice

Pastor Kaden's Sermon Notes for Sunday,
March 29, 2020

"Want to be First in the Kingdom?"

A Carthusian monk was once asked to explain the strong points of his little-known order. He replied, "As for learning, we are not to be compared to the Jesuits, they are a most knowledgeable order. And, when it comes to good works, we don't match the Franciscans, they're always out doing good works. And, as for preaching, we are not in a class with the Dominicans, they seem to have the finest preachers. But, when it comes to humility ... we're tops!"

As Jesus and the disciples make their way towards Jerusalem, they pass through the region of Galilee and he reminds them of something he had shared with them only a short time before. He tells them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." "But", says Mark, "they did not understand what he meant because they were afraid to ask him about it." They had been "down this road" before and they remembered, Jesus scolded Peter for challenging Jesus' prediction. They didn't want to go there again so they remain quiet.

And, we find, as Mark informs us, they had something else on their minds. Take a look and see if you can figure out what they were thinking about. Look at Mark 9: 33-37 and Mark 10: 35-45. As you can see the disciples were preoccupied. They weren't thinking about what Jesus, and they would encounter in the days ahead in Jerusalem. They were thinking about which one of them was the greatest of Jesus' disciples. And, like the Carthusian monks, when it came to humility, each thought he was tops!"

Humility is a quality, a virtue, that should characterize the life of every Christian. Jesus modeled a life of humility for us. (read Philippians 2: 1-11). And notice what Jesus says regarding this quality in Mark 9: 35 and Mark 10: 42-45. "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all". And, "...whoever wants to be first among you must be the servant of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to lay down his life as a ransom for many".

Humility is an attitude or lifestyle that places greater importance on others than on ones self. It's an attitude that is willing to give away ones self for the sake of another. As an anonymous author once said: "A humble person is not a person who thinks meanly of himself, he simply does not think of himself at all. His life is other oriented and such a life is an essential characteristic for the follower of Jesus".

Jesus was a servant to all. He laid aside his glory to enter our world and live among us. He stooped down to meet the needs of everyone who sought his help. He picked up a basin and towel and washed the disciples dirty feet and he allowed his body to be broken and blood spilled on Calvary's tree to secure redemption for the sinful human race. Jesus embodied humility and calls us to be humble too.

In 1878 when William Booth's Salvation Army had just been so name, men from all over the world began to enlist. One man, who had dreamed of himself as a bishop, crossed the Atlantic from America to England to enlist. He was a Methodist minister, Samuel Logan Brengle. At first, William Booth accepted Brengle's services reluctantly. Booth said to Brengle, "You've been your own boss too long". And in order to install humility into Brengle, he set him to work cleaning the dirty boots of the other trainees. Brengle said to himself, “Have I followed my own fancy across the Atlantic in order to clean dirty boots?" And then as in a vision he saw Jesus bending over the feet of rough, unlettered fisherman. "Lord," he whispered, "You washed their feet: I will clean their boots".

"Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all".

Yours in Christ,

Pastor George Kaden

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