Jesus’ Paradoxical Teaching
I remember my first reading of the New Testament—especially the gospels. I was incredibly impressed by the things Jesus said, many of which are paradoxes.
par·a·dox n. A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true (American Heritage Dictionary, definition 1.)
On our Tuesday night DSL sessions (Discipleship, Servanthood, Leadership), we’ve been going through Mark’s gospel. Currently we’re in chapter 10. Consider the following:
v. 15 “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
v. 31 “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
vs. 43-44 “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.”
Incredible words. Only child-like faith qualifies for God’s kingdom. The first will be last; the last will be first. Those who are great in God’s kingdom are the servants of all, the slaves of all.
Note: Jesus never said it was wrong to desire greatness; He only made sure that we know the pathway to it. And the pathway to greatness is through servant-hood. No shortcuts allowed.
These at-first-they-can’t-be-right statements are wholly true. They are waiting for us to discover just how true they really are.