ODJ: living large

August 24, 2015 

READ: 2 Chronicles 21:1-20 

Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

When a family member of two of my co-workers was killed in a construction accident, the love for this outgoing outdoorsman, faithful husband and father of two was on full display. The small church he called home couldn’t possibly handle all the mourners, so the service was moved to a larger church. Friends and family flooded the church building! And the unspoken message of the abundant attendees was clear: Tim Dougherty touched many lives in a way that was uniquely his because he lived life with his strong, loving arms wrapped around his family and friends.

What a stark contrast to the self-serving life of King Jehoram! His brief reign over Judah is sketched out in 2 Chronicles 21. In an effort to solidify his power, “[Jehoram] killed all his brothers and some of the other leaders of Judah” (v.4). Then he promptly led the kingdom into pagan practices. As a result, the prophet Elijah foretold Jehoram’s painful death. He went to his bitter ‘reward’ at the age of 40. The text bluntly states: “No one was sorry when he died” (v.20). Ouch.

Jehoram thought that exerting brute force would ensure his legacy. Though it did, he will be remembered forever as a bad man and a bad leader.

Jesus, though He is the greatest of all kings, came to Earth to be a servant. As He went about doing good, He endured the hate and venom of those who wanted to rule their own lives and the lives of others. In the process, the Servant-king gave His life away.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day-plan: Mark 10:17-31

Read Mark 10:35-45 for another stark contrast between misguided human values and the life Jesus calls us to. 
What do you think others might say about you after you’re gone? Whose opinion is the only one that really matters? Why?