In Mark 10:32-52 records the third time Jesus tells His disciples about His upcoming death.Â These three declarations (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:32) are give, in context, to teach His followers about discipleship–which is a key theme in Mark’s gospel.
The first declaration leads to teaching them that a disciple does not have his own agenda.Â Just as Christ came to do the will of the father, so the disciples role is to do the will of Christ. That is self-denial (Mark 8:34-38). So don’t try to save your life or you will lose it.
The second declaration leads to teaching on the radical concept of the road to greatness–proactively seek to serve (Mark 9:33-37). So don’t seek first place or you will never find it.
The third declaration leads to teaching the disciples that not only should they look to serve, but that true leadership requires service (Mark 10:35-45).Â So don’t seek to have position and prestige with power, seek to influence by service.Â Give up your rights rather than demand your rights.
When we take these lessons on discipleship together we begin to understand that a disciple as a leader should not be like a mule.Â True leaders seek influence not power and they does it through lifting other up rather than putting them under their foot.