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The King of the universe came to save and serve you.

The King of the universe came to save and serve you.

AUGUST 1, 2023

/ Programs / Key Life / The King of the universe came to save and serve you.

Steve Brown:
The King of the universe came to save and serve you. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
If you’ve suffered too long under a do more, try harder religion, Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free. Steve invited Justin Holcomb to teach us this week. Justin is a priest, a seminary professor, and the author of God With Us: 365 Devotions on the Person and Work of Christ.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. If you’re just joining us, Justin Holcomb, a scholar, Dr. Justin Holcomb, but now he’s a Bishop and I don’t know what to call him anymore. I’ve known him since he was a kid and with hair down to his belt, who loved Jesus with all of his heart. And then we discovered how brilliant he was. And now he teaches graduate courses all over. He is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese. He’s one of the voices of Key Life. And the best thing about him, other than his wife, is his children. And one of them is here with us, Sophia. And we have her because she did all the research on this week of the Gospels and did an unbelievable job. And if you were listening yesterday, and if you weren’t, you missed one of the truly great programs in the history of broadcasting. And it’s done, and you missed it. But you’re here today, and this will be another great program. We looked at Matthew yesterday, we’re looking at Mark today.

Justin Holcomb: Yeah. In Matthew, the focus, according to Sophia, was that Jesus is the King and we explored that. The heartbeat of Mark, the absolute heartbeat of Mark, is that Jesus is servant. And I remember when Sophia and I were talking, I thought, well, that’s weird, because, I mean, Mark was written by John Mark, who was a disciple of Peter and was a missionary with Peter and Paul, but he wrote Mark to Romans, to Gentiles to, and Romans like power. So, a lot of Mark, it’s a lot of urgency, it’s a lot of action. It doesn’t explain everything then all the deep historical significance of everything that Jesus is doing, fulfilling prophecies because it’s not a Hebrew audience, that’s what Matthew is for. This is for a bunch of people who are like, we like power, we like things getting done now. But just like with Matthew, he was a King who ate with tax collectors. This one’s a little bit shocking to you, he’s a servant who does power in a different way than you Romans would ever think of power. That’s the heartbeat is that Jesus is a servant. Before Sophia reads Mark 10, let me just start out, at the very beginning of Mark says, the very opening sentence, the beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It’s a really simple sentence, but what’s happening is Mark is, this picture of, he’s the Messianic son of God, he’s the fulfillment of what God is doing in relating to the world. And Mark pictures this as he’s the suffering servant Messiah, who is in Isaiah 53. You have to read Mark through the suffering servant, which is a prophecy of the Lord as servant, which was the Lord was going to come and serve his people. They shouldn’t, people shouldn’t have been shocked by Jesus actually being a serving lowly Messiah, that was all throughout the Old Testament, except it also talked about the Messiah being powerful. And so, people were confused because that’s not how the world usually works. And so, this whole idea that he would be a servant who was scorned is actually what Mark is getting to, but it starts in Mark 1, that he’s the Son of God. At his baptism, this is my Son, listen to him when he’s baptized. And then surely this was the Son of God from the Roman centurion. So, that whole theme of the Son of God, who’s the Messiah, who is the Lord and servant is key, but it’s most poignantly pointed out in Mark 10. So, Sophia, will you read Mark 10: 42 through 45, and we’ll unpack that a little bit.


Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slavable, for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Justin Holcomb: So, that phrase, and I remember talking to Sophia and you said the Son of Man stuff comes from Daniel 7 and we were looking at Son of Man. So, Daniel talks about this, the Son of Man title, which by the way, is Jesus’ favorite self designation. He doesn’t refer to himself as the Messiah. He actually makes, he keeps that kind of a secret until he’s ready to unveil it. The term, the title he would give himself. He would say, the Son of Man, the Son of Man, and then the Pharisees would pick up stones and try to stone him. Why in the world, because Son of Man sounds like he’s just a human.

Steve Brown:
They knew.

Justin Holcomb: They read Daniel 7.

Steve Brown:

Justin Holcomb: Daniel 7 is a picture of, the Son of Man is not just a human, but the judge of the Universe. The Son of Man, when you read through it is he is ascending on clouds of glory to the ancient of days. And the ancient of days says, sit at my right hand and the world is your footstool and you are the Judge of the Universe. So, the Son of Man in the Old Testament was the magnificent, glorious, Holy Judge of everybody, the entire world. Not just God’s people in Israel, the entire world. So, for Jesus to refer to himself as Son of Man, first, it’s a claim of deity. You can’t miss that. But the way he refers to the Son of Man in the passage as Sophia just read is all about being a servant, that’s what is actually so shocking. Mark is, Jesus in Mark 10 is undoing their expectations of the Son of Man. They were expecting a warrior king, and this is, I’m just, I’m literally reading from Sophia’s notes at this point, but they were expecting a warrior king who would have come to dominate their oppressors, rome. Instead, they have a King who was zealous to lay down his life, his life wasn’t taken from him in John. In John, we hear I lay down my life I lay down my life, no one takes it from me. He knew he was going to be a sacrifice. He knew that he came to seek and save the lost. He knew that the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. The idea that the king of the universe, the judge, would then lay down his life as a ransom for the many, that’s the shock of Mark, is that verses 10, verse 45. One other thing, I want to point out, and then we can kind of just unpack whatever we want to unpack. One of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. And I think this connects to the whole, the Lord is a servant who lays down his life is Mark 16: verses 5 through 7. This is the resurrection narrative, and it says.

And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right hand, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Don’t be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

And Peter’s is probably the best part of the Bible.

Steve Brown:
When you realize what’s going on, man, Peter is suicidal. I mean, he’s really messed it up.

Justin Holcomb: He just denied

Steve Brown:
I know. He sometimes says, go tell Steve too. Go tell Sophia. Go tell Justin. Go ahead.

Justin Holcomb: What he’s, what’s not happening here, what… Peter is not excluded from the disciples because he denied Jesus, this is after he denied Jesus and Jesus told him, you’re going to deny me a few times. And it was, the beautiful thing is that it took place at a charcoal fire and a young lady said, aren’t you one of Jesus’s disciples? And he was like, no. And so, he’s afraid of a young lady servant girl and denies Jesus. When he’s reinstated later on, Jesus asks him three times by a charcoal fire. The fact that it’s actually a charcoal fire is not by accident, but here you have this angel saying, go tell the disciples. And if anyone needs to hear it, man, you’ve got to go tell Peter too. I mean, Peter thinks that he’s excluded. Peter thinks that he’s been kicked out. He thinks he’s a complete failure. Go tell the disciples and especially tell Peter because Peter needs to hear this because he’s going to be in despair. I can’t think of a better passage that puts together the heartbeat of Mark, of he’s the Son of Man who is a servant who came to serve and seek the lost and lay down his life as a ransom for many. And who is he laying his life down for? He’s laying his life down for the people who are actual sinners, who actually have denied him. And he’s doing it for and Peters, and Steves, and Sophias, and Justins, and you. And that’s the message of Mark that we need to hear.

Steve Brown:
That is so good. And there’s power in servanthood, isn’t there?

Justin Holcomb: There is. It’s upside down.

Steve Brown:
That’s crazy.

Justin Holcomb: I mean, Jesus does an upside down power, an upside down kingdom. The last will be first, the first shall be last, and if you want to be powerful, then you serve. But there’s something that happens, when you’re treating someone else as if they’re more special than you, it is being an agent of God’s kindness and love. It gets on you, when you’re the vessel and there is something beautiful that, it’s the upside down way of how God does stuff is, how do you want to feel loved? Love other people.

Steve Brown:
So good. And Paul said in Philippians.

Have this mind among you, which is also in Christ Jesus, who didn’t count equality with God a thing to be grasped to himself, but emptied himself and became a servant.

Jesus, the servant. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thank you Steve and Justin, such a wonderful conversation and still so much more to explore here tomorrow, sure hope you will join us then. And remember if you’d like to re-listen to this episode or any of our episodes, or maybe just share it with a friend, you could do that by visiting us at We’ll save a space for you. The gift of addiction, the gift of addiction, those words don’t go together, do they? And yet, when our helplessness, including addiction, drives us to turn to God and admit our need, we experience the greatest gift of all, His presence, His kindness, His forgiveness, and His peace. My good buddy Erik Guzman writes about this in a special mini-book called The Gift of Addiction: How God Redeems Our Pain. Get your free copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that mini-book or to mail your request go to to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for the free mini-book called The Gift of Addiction: How God Redeems Our Pain. Well, you and I may take vacations, but unfortunately, our bills here at Key Life do not. So, if you would support our work through your giving, we’d sure appreciate it. You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or, just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 to gift safely and securely. That’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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