Whenever I read the story of the prodigal son, it always reminds me of a Lenten bible study I was in at Grace Lutheran Church in Lincoln several years ago now. We had been getting together every Wednesday for midweek worship and following worship with a group bible study in the fellowship hall. It was already getting fairly late into Lent when we read the prodigal son story together, and I had started to notice that the conversations we were having kept going flat. People had naturally started to group themselves together at tables with like-minded people, and so the discussions generally seemed to go something like this:
“Well, this is what I think about this text.”
“Well, I agree! That’s what I think about this text too.”
Our gospel text for today seems to illustrate the old saying: There’s no such thing as a stupid question… but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots. James and John ask Jesus to let them sit by his side “in his glory,” and even Jesus is like, “buddy, I don’t think you really know what you’re asking.”
This morning, we continue our journey through the gospel of Mark. We’ve been walking with Jesus and the disciples on the way to Jerusalem and the cross. And it seems like the closer we get, the harder Jesus’ teachings become. In the last few weeks, Jesus has told us we must be last of all and servant of all; he’s told us that we must lose our lives in order to find them; and just last week, he told us that if our eyes or hands or feet cause us to stumble, we should cut them off!
Good morning! It is such a delight to be here with you all on our first official Sunday together!
We have some really good texts to dig into this morning. But I have to admit that one of them in particular just really reached out and grabbed me by the collar as I was preparing my sermon this week.