St. Mark 10: 35 – 45

October 9, 2022

35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

I always have to remind myself that reading these verses I’m looking back over two thousand years of Spirit-filled insight, deep theological study, Creeds and Councils; for the disciples, it’s ‘today’. Imagine a construction crew – they all show up at Dunkin Donuts for their coffee and bagel and sit out in the sunshine and chat while they finish their breakfast. Two of them, Jimmy and John-Z, have been working with their boss, Jesus, Who has been teaching them the things of importance they need to know to make them excellent construction workers. Sun’s shining, their feeling pretty good and they ask if they can be team leaders, like Jesus, since they’re pretty pleased with themselves and their achievements.

Part of me grimmaces because … this is Jesus they’re talking to, asking special favors because they think they’re all that and a bag of chips. And part of me, jealous that Jesus be EVERYTHING to all people everwhere, is outraged that they could ask Him – Son of God; Emmanuel, God with us – if they can sit on either side of Him when He comes into His glory. Crazy, isn’t it?

Of course, ‘in the fullness of time’, they learn exactly Who Jesus is. It was a different learning experience for them than for us. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to throw stones …


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