The Whole Package
Almighty God, I bow humbly before You now. You alone are God. You alone are worthy of my praise.
Read Mark 10:32-45
 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.  “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,  who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”  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 lesson was Jesus trying to teach his disciples?
Here is a marked contrast between the position that Jesus again tells them he is going to take and the position that James and John want. Jesus will be obedient to death (Phil. 2:8); they want prestige and power at Jesus’ side. They are still ignoring all that Jesus has said about his suffering and death, and only recognize what will come later—and they want a part of it. Jesus accepts their readiness to suffer as he will—in effect, calling their bluff. They will suffer, but he won’t grant them the position they want; that’s at the Father’s disposal, not his.
Given previous conversations the disciples have had (9:33,34), maybe the others were annoyed because they hadn’t thought of it for themselves. But Jesus again firmly reminds them of his purpose (43-45)—to serve others and give them life through the offering of his own life. In this Gospel there are no more mentions of the disciples arguing about greatness or being reminded that the last will be first; so perhaps they begin to understand. Followers of Jesus still have to accept all that it means—not to grasp at equality, but become a servant (Phil. 2:6,7).
What does it mean for you to be a “slave” or servant of all? How do you or could you practice it?
Lord, You know how hard it is for me to be a servant, but I pray for help to live that way.