The first shall be last (Mk 9:35-9:35)

“Jesus sat down.

He called the twelve.

He said to them.

‘Whoever wants to be first,

Must be last.

He must be

The servant of all.”

 

καὶ καθίσας ἐφώνησεν τοὺς δώδεκα καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Εἴ τις θέλει πρῶτος εἶναι, ἔσται πάντων ἔσχατος καὶ πάντων διάκονος.

 

Mark has this unique response of Jesus.  He said that Jesus sat down (καὶ καθίσας) and called the twelve apostles (ἐφώνησεν τοὺς δώδεκα).  He then told them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that whoever wanted or desired to be first (Εἴ τις θέλει πρῶτος εἶναι), must be last (ἔσται πάντων ἔσχατος).  This leader must serve all (καὶ πάντων διάκονος) in this deacon servant leadership style.  Jesus was calling for serving and helping leaders who were not putting themselves first.  Something Christian leaders should think about more often.

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No fathers or masters (Mt 23:9-23:10)

“Call no one

Your father on earth!

You have one Father!

The one in heaven!

Nor are you

To be called instructors!

You have one instructor!

The Messiah Christ!”

 

καὶ πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ οὐράνιος.

μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί, ὅτι καθηγητὴς ὑμῶν ἐστιν εἷς ὁ Χριστός.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus, via Matthew, seems to aim these remarks directly at his disciples, not the large crowds.  He seemed to warn his followers not to take on religious or scholastic leadership terms.  Thus, Christian leaders should be careful of when they are looking for some kind of religious respect.  He told them to call no one on earth their father (καὶ πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  They only had one Father who was in heaven (εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ οὐράνιος).  The Aramaic term “Abba” was a respectful term for father.  They should not call themselves instructors, teachers, or guides (μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί), since there was only one instructor, teacher, or guide (ὅτι καθηγητὴς ὑμῶν ἐστιν εἷς), the Messiah Christ (ὁ Χριστός).  Is Jesus talking about himself?  If that is so, then this represents one of few times that Jesus referred to himself as the Messiah Christ.

Marcion canon (140 CE)

One of the earliest attempts at solidifying a Christian canon or list of books was made by Marcion of Sinope (85-160 CE).  He rejected the Hebrew Scriptures, so that other Christian leaders denounced him.  Thus, he was excommunicated from the proto-orthodox Christian Church community.  However, he was the first to publish his own list of New Testament books around the year 140 CE, that included 10 letters of Paul and the Gospel of Luke.