READ : Mark 10–11
Mark 10 describes Jesus’ Perean ministry. Perea was an area on the east side of the Jordan. There the rich young ruler (in Mark called simply “a man”) meets him and turns away because following Jesus called for a greater price than he was willing to pay. The lesson for us is surely that nothing should stand in the way of total commitment to Christ. Make riches the goal of your life and you will lose out.
Jesus is heading for Jerusalem to be crucified. The disciples follow him fearfully. Sadly James and John are looking for a place of honor greater than that of the others. Make glory the goal of your life, and you will lose out. Rather we should make service the goal, for then we will be like Jesus who said, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (10:45 ESV).
Jesus now arrives at Jerusalem. He uses a donkey, a humble animal which serves him. Usefulness to Jesus and service to others should be the twin goals of our lives. Having entered Jerusalem amidst the acclaim of the common people, Jesus curses the fig tree, the only destructive miracle recorded. But the purpose is to teach an important lesson. Jesus wants to see fruit, and he also wants to see it in our lives. And what kind of fruit does he look for? The gracious qualities which are the fruit of the Spirit.
Father, help us to examine our goals and change to the goals to which you call us. In Jesus' name. Amen.