Desire For Place And Power

“They held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” Mark 9:34

Something is wrong when we have done that through the day which we are ashamed to tell Christ about when we come in the evening and bow at His feet, or when we have said that which we are not willing to repeat to Him in our prayers when we come to talk face to face with Him. Some day we shall be asked what we said and did as we came along through life; let us be careful to say or do nothing which we shall be ashamed to confess before our Lord and the angels and all the universe.

The disciples’ ideas of position and rank were altogether earthly. They wrangled for places in the kingdom Christ was going to set up, very much as a company of modern politicians wrangle over spoils of office. Peter thought he ought to be prime minister, for he was the best speaker. Judas thought he would certainly be secretary of the treasury, which would give him a prominent place. John was Christ’s favourite, and felt sure he would be the greatest. Andrew had been first called, and claimed that this fact ought to give him the precedence. So they bickered.

So Christians sometimes do to-day. They want official places in the Church, — want to be elders, deacons, or trustees; or want positions in the Sunday school, as superintendents, teachers, secretaries, or librarians; or want to be presidents or vice-presidents, or something else of missionary societies, or mite societies, or Dorcas societies, or of some other organizations; or want to be pastors of popular city churches. It is the same old spirit, — the idea that the way to be a great Christian is to be prominent in some official position, to have honour and power among men. It is a shame to see such scrambling in the Church of Christ, but sometimes we see it; perhaps we sometimes scramble ourselves.