James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came near to him, saying, â€œTeacher, we want you to do for us whatever we will ask.â€
He said to them, â€œWhat do you want me to do for you?â€
They said to him, â€œGrant to us that we may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left hand, in your glory.â€
But Jesus said to them, â€œYou donâ€™t know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?â€
They said to him, â€œWe are able.â€
Jesus said to them, â€œYou shall indeed drink the cup that I drink, and you shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit at my right hand and at my left hand is not mine to give, but for whom it has been prepared.â€
When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant towards James and John.
Jesus summoned them, and said to them, â€œYou know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant. Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all. For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.â€Â Â Â Â Mark 10:35-45 (WEB)
â€œGive me what I am asking from You, Lord.â€ How familiar is that?
â€œGive me, give me, give me.â€ I find myself praying that too often.
Jesus, Teacher, asks (so that I speak it aloud), what do I want Him to do for me? So many times when I speak or write what is whirling in my mind, I get some clarity on the truth Like a toddling child I ask daddy for what I want â€“ and I want it now! An adult child would be learning and growing toward their goals, not expect daddy to hand it to them. Jesus is always looking for the opportunity to teach me so I can grow and learn. He doesn’t cut me off and just tell me I am ignorant or a ‘baby’. He teaches me and takes me through the next step. I learn.
Jesus also protects me…often from myself! When I ask, how awesome is it that I ask the One who truly knows what is good for me?!! Jesus knows all the consequences for what I ask. Do I know what it is I am ask? Not usually. I am so limited in my sight. I am working on my â€œKingdom sightâ€ but, oh, how blessed I am to have Jesus!
Now reading this passage I always chuckle at the disciples’ request. They want what??? They think they are worthy to sit with Jesus? But then I think of some of my requests and I bet that those same disciples â€“ from their current viewpoint in heaven â€“ think some of my requests are worth a chuckle, too!
Jesus looks with the same loving discipline at me as He did with His disciples. If I will listen, if I am willing to listen, Jesus will explain to me what I am really asking. If I want to stand in the glory with Him, there is a journey that I must take. That journey will not be easy and will not be short. There is suffering that will come like a refiner’s fire. Am I willing to drink that cup? This is not a question to answer quickly. It is a question that needs a lifetime commitment of prayer. A lifetime commitment to daily speak with Jesus and learn from His life and example.
Tomorrow we’ll look at what Jesus meant by the â€œbaptismâ€.