Reactions Reflect The Heart

When you squeeze a jelly donut what comes out?  How about a dirty diaper?  Same result…different aroma!  Just as these examples, our actions, reactions and over-reactions reflect our insides too.  They reflect our heart.  In our Bible text this week (, James & John have asked Jesus for a big thing and although He does not grant it this still produces a strong reaction within the other 10 disciples.  Read below:

[41] And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. [42] And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. [43] But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,(1) [44] and whoever would be first among you must be slave(2) of all. [45] For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:41-45 ESV)

Why did they react so strongly?  There are several possible reasons and each of them can serve as teachable moments for us:

1. They were disappointed in James & John because they expected them not too think selfishly.  In other words, they assumed that James & John’s motives were not pure.  Assumptions make many things out of us…none of them are good.  Jesus’ rebuke seems to eliminate this line of thinking.

2. They were frustrated because they wanted to ask for those positions first…as if they were competing for the affection and closeness to Christ and for the positions of prestige in His Kingdom.  Fortunately, our spiritual lives are not a competition!

3. They couldn’t believe there ears…after all, Jesus had just talked about something so important.  I wish this was the case, but it likely wasn’t considering that the other two times that Jesus had talked about this same important issue some of ‘the ten’ had similar reactions. See Mark 8:27-33 & Mark 9:30-37.  

Our reactions say so much about the condition of our heart, mind and soul.  However, we rarely consider our reactions and almost never consider our over-reactions.  We let our emotions drive us.  We justify our actions.  That is not good and nor is it Godly.  This is why Jesus taught them about serving and humility at this point.  His Kingdom and His Salvation is not position oriented unless we are talking about the position of servant.  Consider every opportunity you get to act and react an opportunity to serve one-another and to serve Christ.  This mindset will also serve you well!