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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 161 - Bad News Travels Quickly

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.

Mark 10:41,42

There’s bad news, and then there’s BAD news. There’s bad news that disappoints and then there’s BAD news that devastates. There’s bad news that stings and then there’s BAD news that cuts to the bone. There’s bad news that irritates and then there’s BAD news that just bugs the ever-living daylights out of you. There’s bad news that comes and goes and then there’s BAD news that comes to stay.

James and John must have pulled Jesus aside to make their selfish request. Doesn’t this tell us that they knew of at least the possibility, if not the certainty, that this was going to royally tick off the other ten disciples?

The other disciples were filled to the top with hurt and anger. And we all know what happens when you try and walk with a full cup – it spills all over the place. It spilled over onto their faces and voices. Their faces must have had that hurtful scowl, with furrowed brow, showing their anger and wrath. Their voices must also have had added expression energized by the pain of resentment.

The resulting hurt wasn’t a feeling that passed quickly in the night. No, their anger and indignant feelings rose and planted deep roots that fed their personal pain. Grief is like this. When it comes, it doesn’t just pop up and go away. No, grief stays for a while.

To stop their pain, Jesus doesn’t just tell them to forget or ignore it. No, Jesus redirects the two sides away from each other and the immediate problem dividing them. He points them all towards something that they can focus on. Agree on.

Jesus talks about a common enemy, a group of people that have hurt them all. He directs their frayed nerves towards the rulers who don’t just rule over them but makes them live under the boot of their oppression. They don’t just walk around, they parade around, having solders and followers cheer them on, waving flags and blowing trumpets. And to make matters worse, they then remind everyone else that they’re to bow down to them because they are better. More powerful. Having the authority to put them in jail. Or worse.

They could all easily agree in common hatred against the rulers. And once they turned their attention towards the rulers, it was away from each other. This gives Jesus an open door to change their hearts and minds.

I really don’t care who you are or where you come from. Whether you think of yourself as a ruler or one of the ruled. If you think of yourself as low or high on the economic or power ladder.

Every one of us, and I mean everyone, has the potential to have this storm of jealousy ignited inside of us. We all have dry sticks inside of us, ready to be kindled by the slightest spark. The branches of our life that once were alive with leaves, blossoms and fruit are a mere shadow of their former selves. They’ve been dried out by the hot wind of a pandemic. They’ve been baked out of all their life by the constant heat of negative social and professional media.

It’s no wonder that everyone’s nerves are frayed. Everyone’s on the edge, just waiting for any word or inconvenience to inflame them. And in the words of one writer, “All we can do is yell at one another.”

Jesus grabs the attention of his closest followers not just to tell them that there is a better way, but to show them. He personally demonstrates the kind and compassionate way he connects and communicates with them.

Remember, Jesus told them that he’s headed to Jerusalem not for a party but for pain. He’s not headed for a banquet, but for betrayal. He’s not headed to a fun time, but a fixed trial. He’s not headed to a coronation, but to a crucifixion.

Even with all this and more weighing on his mind and emotions, Jesus doesn’t lash out at them. He could give them a good talking to, a well-deserved tongue lashing. But he doesn’t.

And he doesn’t lash out at you or me either. Instead, he points to himself as the God of love who sacrifices himself for us.

His kind of love always thinks about what’s best for the one he loves. It’s never self-centered, but self-sacrificing. That’s the kind of loving God we have. That’s the kind of loving God who’s reaching out to us.

Yes, bad news does travel quickly. But truly good news will open us up. Will we open up our hands and hearts to him?

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