When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Where Do I Fit In?
Where do I fit in? It’s a question we’re always asking ourselves.
When we were younger we learned through trial and error, mostly. Maybe we tried our hand at sports or music. Perhaps our energy was spent making grades or friends.
As we mature, we begin to gain some perspective, but we still don’t escape that haunting question. As the stakes grow higher, we’re still fighting for the same old things really—respect, appreciation, and recognition.
For people like us—who are aching to know where we fit in—the disciples’ bickering sounds all too familiar. Salome, the mother of James and John, asked Jesus for her sons to receive a special place of honor. When the other ten disciples heard about it, they were furious. The ten weren’t disappointed by the selfishness of these two brothers—they were mad because they coveted the exact same thing. Throughout human history, power struggles just like this have led to civil wars and divided companies, pulled friends apart and even split families up.
Jesus recognizes why the disciples were thinking this way—and why we do too! He compares their struggle to political power plays among the Gentile rulers. This is how the world operates. That’s why there’s no real peace or security. That’s why people grow suspicious and cynical. Over time, nearly everyone else is seen as some sort of threat.
But God has a better way. He recognizes what the power plays are really about—security, satisfaction, peace. Jesus came in an astonishing way to obtain for us what we crave. God’s Son did not come to be served. He did not come to exert his power and authority. He came to be a servant. Jesus lived humbly and died sacrificially so that you and I can have security, satisfaction, and peace. When God gives us these wonderful gifts through his Son, the rest of life falls into place perfectly.
In Christ, we see where we fit in. We are a part of God’s family—eternally beloved. Jesus assures us that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him and that he flexes his muscles to do what is in our eternal interest.
This frees us up to try our hand at better things. We don’t have to fight for honor or respect or appreciation because we already have them in God. The old haunting question has been cast aside. No longer do we wonder: Where do I fit in? Now we ask: How can I help?
God of all grace, I often feel the pressure to prove myself and to fight for respect. Calm my troubled heart with the gift of your Holy Spirit. Assure me of your abiding and unconditional love and empower me to serve others selflessly. To you alone be the glory. Amen.