Submission to the Vulnerable

Written By Reid Kapple

Campus Pastor - Olathe
As a musician, I am not all that interested in attending a concert of an artist less talented than myself. It’s not because I think I am so amazing, nor is it because I struggle to see value in the talents of those who are not on my level. It’s that I am more impressed and amazed by things that I can’t do.

Now before you start labeling me as an elitist, you have to admit that in some area of your life, you do this same thing. We all operate with this inherent habit of creating a kind of taxonomy of value that we use to ascribe varying degrees of value to other people. And we typically do so by using ourselves as the foundational standard. For example, we are more likely to listen to and value the opinions of those who we deem more intelligent than ourselves. Conversely, we are less likely to consider the viewpoints of those that we classify as beneath us.

We are less likely to consider the viewpoints of those that we classify as beneath us.

As followers of Jesus, we must recognize the danger of this mode of thinking. Not only because of the way it perniciously places people into categories of inferior and superior but also because of the way it precludes us from embracing the good life Jesus invites us into. A life that is lived with a proclivity toward considering the needs of others more than our own.

In Mark 9 Jesus responds to His disciples who were arguing about who is the greatest among them. Jesus says, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

It’s easy to submit to the preferences and value the opinions of those we view as above us. It’s an entirely different thing to submit to those whom we might think are beneath us. And yet that is precisely what Jesus calls his followers to do.

In Jesus’ economy, the sign of true greatness is measured by one’s ability and willingness to submit and serve the least, last, and lost.

This is the distinguishing mark of Jesus Himself. There is no one higher than Him, and yet He submitted Himself to the vulnerable by becoming the vulnerable. And in so doing, He is able to form us and transform us into His likeness.

When we emulate our master by submitting to the vulnerable in our midst, we will find the power of Jesus at work in our lives.

 

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Week 5 of 8 Submission

5 Comments

  1. Lynn Schaefer, Leawood

    Thank you Reid, I have struggled with the problem of seeing “class” all my life. Not sure why. But what you said about being vulnerable made me see that not only have I possibly hurt others but that I have hurt my Christ and have missed out on the good life that he invites me into. Especially in these times, I pray that others will be foremost in my mind and in my heart.

    Reply
    • Reid Kapple

      Thank you for being so brave and vulnerable yourself in sharing this, Lynn. We all have various categories that we use to ascribed unfounded worth or lack thereof to people. Oh how I wish that I saw all people first and foremost through and with the eyes of our Messiah. Peace to you sister.

      Reply
  2. Kristin Dillard

    My son, Kevin humbles me each day. Some days he desires my constant attention to just talk and listen to him. If I seem distracted. he will take his hand and turn my head to look at him. This seems to occur when I am interested in something in the news or on TV. It may even be something he has already shared with me several times that day. He is a joy and God has blessed me to be his Mom. I have always thought that he has an innate sense of people that will open their heart to him. Lord, help me to show patience and kindness to all who cross my path daily.

    Reply
    • Reid Kapple

      Kristin, this warmed my heart so much to read. Yes, Kevin is indeed graced with a capacity for joy and love that is known by very few. He is a gift to me and to so many. Thank you for sharing this and for the way your mutual love and joy with Kevin portrays the heart our Lord. Blessings to you both.

      Reply
  3. susan winter

    Man, my heart was pierced this morning. What a conviction! Forgive me, LORD, for I have sinned.

    Reply

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