Asking for Trouble
Lord Jesus, You came as a servant of Your Father so that his saving purpose could be accomplished. I praise You!
Read Mark 10:35-45
 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”  “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”  “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”  “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,  but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”  When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.  Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat surprising attitude is Jesus commending to us here?
James and John were half right. They loved being with Jesus and wanted nothing more than to be close to him. They had picked up enough from his teaching and actions to know that his moment of glory was coming close. And they wanted to book the best seats so that they could share it with him. If only they had read Isaiah the prophet they might have understood that they were asking for trouble. Sharing someone’s cup was an Old Testament metaphor for sharing their suffering (Isa. 51:17). Jesus used it himself a few days later in the Garden of Gethsemane (14:36). Baptism was a picture of death (Rom. 6:3). A few days later when the brothers saw the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus–one on his right and one on his left–perhaps they understood what it means to occupy those places. Within weeks John would find himself in prison for his faith (Acts 4:3). James went on to die a violent death for following Jesus (Acts 12:1,2). The message is clear. The closer you are to the Suffering Servant the more likely you are to suffer with him.
Pray for Christians who are suffering for following Jesus. Pray that God will strengthen them and deliver them.
Lord Jesus, I don’t want to suffer, but I pray that, if it comes to that, I’ll be willing to suffer for You and Your name.