HOST: Ron House
And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This is a parallel passage to yesterday’s, but Mark frames the request of James and John with some of the details of the conversation that prompted that request. Jesus is foretelling His coming suffering, death, and resurrection. He is trying to prepare them for the difficult events of the not-too-distant future. James and John (and probably the others also) have trouble seeing or understanding the suffering of Jesus but are wholly focused on His glory. In response to their request, Jesus reminds them that to continue to follow Him will mean that they will have to endure the same sufferings He does. But they fail to grasp the cost of discipleship—the service, the sacrifice, and the suffering that faithfully following Christ will bring into their lives. Likewise, we need to understand the cost of discipleship in our own lives. We may not ever be called upon to suffer as the apostles or other early disciples of Jesus did, but we are called to leave the world behind and to follow after Christ, to choose Him above everything else. That commitment will require us to serve and sacrifice. Are we willing to pay the price?
What kind of sacrifices do Christians have to make today?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!