Speaking Of Life 3047 | Upside-Down Selfie with Jesus
The selfie is the new autograph. Armed constantly with our phones, if we run into a famous person or even go to a famous place, we can snap a picture instantly. It’s better than the old, impersonal autograph. Here you are in the presence of a celebrity for a moment—with your arm around a millionaire like you are old friends.
For about a second, it’s like you’re one of them.
Like every other commodity, selfies have now become big business too. How about a selfie with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker)? That will run you almost $200. Take a snap with Sly Stallone? That’ll be $445. It can become an expensive moment, but it’s worth it for the big fans.
James and John make a kind of “selfie request” of Jesus in Mark 10:
And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”
Mark 10:37 (ESV)
This is a bold request; they are asking for the seats of honor, to the right and left of the king. They are hoping to bask in the presence of glory and power—to sit for a moment on near-equal footing with royalty. In a sense, to take a selfie with him.
Jesus turns the conversation on its head quickly:
But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.
Mark 10:43-44 (ESV)
As he often does, Jesus turns the dynamic of the culture—and human culture in general—on its head. If you would be great, you must be a servant. There is no vying for the center stage; there’s no elbowing your way in for a photograph with fame. Jesus calls us away from these status symbols and trappings of identity into true freedom where the last are first and the humble great.
When Jesus finally was crowned here on earth, he did have someone on his right and someone on his left. But his crown was of thorns and he was nailed to his throne, and at each side of him were criminals.
So can we take this upside-down selfie with Jesus? If we’re going to snap a pic at his side, we won’t find him at the autograph table. We’ll find him serving not being served. Taking that selfie—standing next to him in that moment—is much more costly than taking one with any celebrity, but worth every penny.
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.