“Follow the Leader” is a game that is often played as part of group games or group activities among children, youngsters and even adults.
The game consists of a person who acts as a leader, and rest of the members, “Following the Leader” in the actions
>> When the leader claps hands… the members are also to clap hands
>> When leader lift his hands and wave… the members are to also follow.
In life, we often play this “Follow the Leader” game.
>> Children imitate what their parents do – the walking style of the father or the hair style of the mother is often “followed” by the kids
>> The teaching style or method of the teacher is followed by the students
>> Fans imitate the style and fashion of their favourite heroes/heroines
Our Spiritual Life necessities that we “Follow our Leader” – Jesus – in thought, word and deed!
Do we have clarity and proper understanding on what kind of a Leader is Jesus and what are His Actions?
>> What is the “Image of Jesus” that we are nurturing in ourselves?
The Gospel of the Day presents two of the members of the Group of Jesus, who, having a lower understanding of the Person of Christ, fail to “Follow the Leader”…
… and are exhorted by the Lord to refine their thought-pattern and encouraged to “Follow Him” with enriched clarity and deeper passion.
The passage begins with James and John, the sons of Zebedee – two among the twelve chosen ones – placing this request to Jesus: “Teacher, we want you to do for us, whatever we ask” (Mk 10: 35)
This question gives us a glimpse of what was the Image of Jesus that was being perceived by the Disciples.
… Seeing the many miracles and wonders being performed by the Lord made them feel that Jesus, being a powerful person, could grant any of their heart’s desire
… Seeing the bold and uncompromising preaching and attitude of the Lord made them feel that Jesus, was to be a great Political Messiah
… seeing the challenging and clear-cut understanding of the Lord with respect to the Law and practices of the religion, made them feel that Jesus was a Great Religious Leader.
This was the case not only with James and John, but also the other disciples.
That is the reason, after this incident, though the other ten felt indignant at the two (Mk 10:41), Jesus would address this issue commonly to all
>> Even other times, the disciples themselves had been involved in talks of discussing about “who is the greatest among them” (Lk 22:24, Lk 9:46)
Jesus, however, makes it very clear to them, that they had still not been clear in their understanding of Who He was…
… Jesus said to them: “You do not know what you are asking!” (Mk 10:38a)
The Lord drives home the point directly:
If you are looking at me as Someone Who only fulfills your material and earthly desires…
… then you need to elevate your thought pattern
>> “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and everything else will be given unto you!” (Mt 6:33)
If you are expecting me as Someone Who wants to establish a political kingdom and bringing only social changes…
…then you need to realize that My Mission is greater
>> “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to bring glad tidings to the poor…” (Lk 4:18)
If you are feeling that I am Someone Who only wants to clear up the religious clogs that have been burdening the people…
… then you need to understand that I have a Bigger Duty
>> “I have come down from Heaven, not to do My Own Will, but the Will of the One Who sent Me…
… For this is the Will of Father that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him, may have Eternal Life” (Jn 6:38, 40)
Jesus makes His Image very clear to the disciples: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to Serve and to give His Life as a Ransom for many” (Mk 10:45)
This ‘key-verse’, presents the Four Dominant Images of Jesus in the Gospel of St Mark:
… Son of Man (Jesus – the SON)
… but to Serve (Jesus – the SERVANT)
… give His Live (Jesus – the SACRIFICE)
… as a Ransom for many (Jesus – the SAVIOUR)
Prophet Isaiah prophesied this Image of Christ in his writings:
“He grew up like a sapling before Him (SON)… through His Suffering (SACRIFICE), my servant shall justify many (SERVANT), and their guilt He shall bear (SAVIOUR)” (Is 53: 2,11b)
What about us?
What is our Image of Jesus…
… and what are the requests with which we approach Jesus?
>> Are they merely materialistic and earthly desires?
Many times, like the Disciples…
… we tend to be self-seeking and world-bound in our desires
… we look for gains and prominence, as a reward for being a Christian
If so, then the Lord says, we need to…
… elevate our thought patterns
… realize that His Mission in us, is greater
… and understand that He has a Bigger Duty in our life.
He knows that we are sometimes selfish… jealous… power-seekers
>> But let’s realize and take hope in the fact, that it’s for all of us, who are with these weaknesses, that Jesus primarily came to the world:
“ I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners!” (Mk 2:17)
The disciples asked for position and power…
… Jesus said: “I will give you much higher – MY SERVICE”
The disciples asked for prominence and greatness …
… Jesus said: “I will give you much bigger – MY LIFE”
This is the action of Jesus – our Leader
… Responding to desires of selfishness, with ACTS OF SELF-GIVING
… Responding to tones of jealousy, with ACTS OF SACRIFICE AND LOVE
… Responding to queries of earthly desires, with ACTS OF HEAVENLY DELIGHTS
The game is on… “Follow the Leader”
>> Shall we imitate these Actions of Jesus, our Leader?
Get… set… go…!
God Bless! Live Jesus!