Papa, suggested Mark 10:35-45 for our Bible discussion:

Mark 10:35-45 (King James Version)

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”
38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
39 They said to Him, “We are able.”
So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. 42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

The first thing that jumps out at me is where in verse 35 James and John ask Jesus “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”  I have a pretty big ego, but I would never ask a teacher, mentor or anyone else to do whatever I ask them to.

In 37 they ask that they may sit, one on each side of Jesus.  To me they are requesting special status among all of Jesus followers.

In 38 Jesus rebukes them, “You do not know what you ask.”  When Jesus asked if they are able to “drink the cup I drink” and be baptized as Jesus has been baptized.  In 39 they reply, “We are able.”  This sounds pretty egotistical to me, or at the least a little naive.  I suspect I may be mis-interprating the meaning of verses 38 and 39.

With 40 Jesus replies “but sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”  I am not clear what this means other then that perhaps Jesus is saying that only God make that decision.

In 41 the other apostles(?) become upset with James and John for requesting special status.  In 42 and 43 Jesus tells them that while among Gentiles rulers lord over their subjects “Yet it shall not be so among you.”  Further in 43 “whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant” and in 44 “Whoever of you desires to be first shall be a slave of all”.  This is clear guidance as to how church leaders should act.  They should act humble and recognize they are servants to those they guide.  I am going to guess that here Jesus is not referring to the church leaders who drive around in limos, and live in mansions. 🙂

This is brought home when in 45 Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

The overriding theme is that Christ Followers, even their leaders, especially their leaders, need to act as humble servants, and not as lords over those they guide.

 

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