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Mark 264 - Who Gets What

Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

Mark 15:24b

Ever been to an estate sale? People go nuts. They scour through the website listings and handouts to focus in on the best possible deals. They arrive early, trying to buy the best stuff at the cheapest price. There’s a real sense of competition as they skip over the “cheap” stuff and focus in on the things they really, really want.

And when it comes to splitting up and estate, you always, always, always have differences of opinions. Sometimes it’s easy to work through it. But mostly, it’s hard. Who should get what? And how much?

Someone always has hurt feelings because someone always demands more. More. More. Someone will deeply believe that they should be in charge and everyone else has to do what they say. Someone always thinks that they deserve to choose first. Choose before everyone else. They should make their picks first because they deserve the best.

With my family, it’s easy. There’s me and then that’s it. No one to negotiate with. No one to argue with. No one to split things up with. There are no quarrels, fights, or hard feelings. No one gets more or less because I get everytrhing.

When you’re dealing with family is one thing. There are intense family ties. Deep-rooted bonds that go all the way back to your childhood. You have no control over who you’re related to. Where they come from. What they expect. What they demand.

And that’s what’s going on here. The soldiers are dividing up Jesus’ estate. There’s no family or friends around, they’ve pretty much all abandoned him. And it’s not like there’s a whole lot to split up. The no money in his pockets, the only thing to be divvied up are his cloths. So, to avoid any argument, there’s only one way to do it: they cast lots. This is sort of the same as when we throw dice, draw cards, flip coins, or do rock-paper-scissors.

These hardened soldiers are trying to split up Jesus’ cloths in the only way that they knew. And Jesus didn’t wear designer clothing either. It was just plain clothing, and there wasn’t even a second set he changed into. They cast lots and the winner comes away with a piece of clothing. It certainly wasn’t a great reward or catch. But they still had to cast lots to avoid avoiding hurt feelings or a fight.

It’s amazing what people will fight over. I look at stuff and think, this isn’t worth bidding on, not to mention arguing or fighting over. But watch how some people want to win. Need to win. And they don’t care who they run over to get the momentary feeling of victory.

Do you know anyone like this? I bet you do. I have a friend that lives in another part of the country that has to win at everything. They believe they deserve the best of everything. And at the cheapest price. They have the best car. The best investment portfolio Their family are without doubt the best and brightest. And to top everything else, their opinions are always right. They are the most righteous people possible – just ask them. They have absolutely no doubts about anything.

And to make it personal, how much do you need to win? How desperately do you have to be successful to prove yourself? Do you need to have the last word when talking with friends? Are your opinions and experiences the best, most exciting, greatest, and superior? How much do you need to lift yourself over and above everyone else?

Jesus’ view about what’s most important, the best way to live is to “take the lowest place[1]” when it comes to life. We’re not to think, act, or live how the world tells us. What we deserve.

My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best.

Winston Churchill

Instead, God says something radically different. He made us to live like how he is. We were created to live in complete harmony, peace and joy not based on being selfish, grabbing all the things and gusto possible. Jesus’ view of reality is just the opposite.

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.

Mark 9:35

To live like we were made, to have a full life, one with joy and peace, we have to turn towards our maker. And when we turn towards Jesus, we abandon our own thinking, opinions, and wants. We become like Jesus when he prayed just before his betrayal and arrest.

Not my will, but yours be done.

Luke 22:42

When it comes to who gets what: God gets it all.

[1] Luke 14:10

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