"G.O.A.T" Sermon / Pr. Lucas Albrecht / Mark 9:30-37 / Sunday September 23rd 2018: Season of Pentecost / Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Text: Mark 9:30-37
Intr – DO you know what does G.O.A.T. mean? Well, it is a well known acronym in the sports circles. Sports fans like to discuss who is the Greatest Of All Time. In soccer, football, hockey, etc...
Another good question in this connection would be: what are the criteria one can employ to decide that? Would it be the number of trophies? Or career stats? Or world fame? Or...?
_Jesus disciples engaged in a similar discussion, as the Gospel for today reports. They were discussing about the G.O.A.D. – Greatest of all the Disciples.
_A good occasion for Jesus to teach them something essential in the Kingdom of God.
1 - G.O.A.D
_One may be wondering: which could have been the criteria they were taking into consideration for that purpose? Closeness to Jesus? Have being chosen to special occasions (Transfiguration, for example)? The first ones to be called?
_What I am 99,9% sure about their criteria is that they were all human. Just like we do. IN our day, we would maybe talk about number of Services attended, number of committees in which we serve, amount of our monthly offerings...
2 – GOD
_Jesus asks about the topic. They were ashamed. Silence in the room. Finally, one of them answers.
_Jesus sits down to teach - here comes a core, fundamental teaching for the life inside the Kingdom of God.
_If you want to be the first, be the last - go and serve your neighbour.
_Now, the suprise here lies in the fact that Jesus does not condemn their ambition of pursuing to be the first. He actually encourages it. The difference is that the means are completely different from our human criteria.
_For example, being having a humble and servant heart doesn’t mean playing the victim. At all.
_The criteria to be the G.O.A.D don’t come from the world, but from GOD.
-Serve, Sacrifice, Service, self-denial sometimes.
This is the way Jesus became the G.O.A.T., and forever will be. The Servant. His Suffering. His Service. LOVE.
He is the G.O.A.T and the LAMB.
3 – GOAL
_Our goal as we put faith into action is to be the G.O.A.D. by serving. Jesus encourages you: be the first. Go into the world and strive to be the first by serving our neighbour and pointing to Him.
_One of the ways we can serve in Jesus name:To receive a child in His name. Yes, an actual child. This is not only an illustration about the “Children in faith”, people who are newcomers to the Church. Jesus took an actual Child in his lap. It was not a picture, or a video. It was a Child. We are committed to treat children well, to provide for their needs. Inside the womb, outside the womb. Inside the family, outside the family. And so forth.
_IN Word and Sacrament Jesus nurtures and strengthens us to go and serve - pointing to Him!
Cc - G.O.A.T – This is Jesus
G.O.A.D – Every one of us can pursue it – serving one another and pointing to Him, the G.O.A.T.
This is our GOAL of faith, as we live in the world. To serve in Jesus name. To be with Jesus for all the time. He sets the criteria, and they make us strong, saved and secure for life. He is our G.O.A.T. - for all time.