Read Mark 10:35-45
Remember just a little while ago, Jesus talked to his disciples about what true greatness is? Well I’m glad you do, because it turns out the disciples have forgotten already. The two brothers James and John, sons of Zebedee, approach Jesus and ask for a favour. I love the way they ask, they’re pulling no punches here – before they get to the big question they say, “We want you to say yes to whatever we ask”. Now Jesus isn’t pulled into their shenanigans, he simply asks what they want.
And what they ask for is a cracker. They ask that when Jesus is exalted up in Glory that they get to sit at his right and left. I love it! Talk about bravado. These guys have ignored what Jesus has been telling them for the last couple of years about serving people and just said, “Right – when you are ruling everyone, we want to be next in charge”. No doubt about it – these two are on a serious power trip. Jesus responds with astonishment: “You don’t know what you are asking” he responds, “Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?”
The brothers respond with the same bravado that they approached Jesus with “We can”. Jesus concedes their affirmation. “Yes” he says, “you will drink the drink that I will drink, and the baptism that I will experience, so will you – but for the decision of who is to sit at my right and my left – that is not mine to grant.”
When the other disciples heard what James and John did they were furious. They can’t believe their cheek! How dare they think they are somehow more worthy than the rest. Hearing the disruption that has erupted, Jesus again reminds the disciples of what he has taught them previously – if you want to be great in the Kingdom of God, then learn how to serve. Jesus offers himself as their example. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. The creator of the world came to give his life so that many may live and so it is for us. If we want to be great we must first be willing to serve. Are you willing to serve?
- What stood out for you in today’s story? Do you have any questions?
- How have you been going this week with choosing to serve others? Was it easy at first and then became harder? Or like the disciples did you forget?
- What makes it hard to choose to serve others?
- What is one new habit you can begin to serve others? (It might be as simple as offering to take your brother or sisters plate to the kitchen after dinner each night).
- How have you stopped this week to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually?
Pray For Each Other
If you get a chance during the week sometime read the rest of Mark 10:46-52.