Mark 10:35-45 Road to Glory
35 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.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”
James and John, the two brothers, are known for their toughness one day went to Jesus to ask a favor. How they asked Jesus was quite fascinating. Lord, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you?
Sounds like some spoiled brat adults wanting to name it and claim it in Jesus’name. And what they ask was over the top. They wanted to be in the right and left hand of God in heaven.
I loved how Jesus responded;
38 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?”
You do not know what you are asking – Jesus was telling them that what you ask requires you die on the cross for the sins of men which is impossible because you yourselves are sinners. Aside from that problem – you have to resurrect after three days. And on top of that, are you willing to die on the cross for others?
This conversation reminds me of many of us, including me, who wants more of God’s power and more of God’s blessings but at times not willing to pay the price to pray and read the word. We want everything to be instant and pain-free. Just like how diet pills work. We want it fast without the struggle. It just doesn’t work that way.
39 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, 40 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.”
Jesus kindly declined the outrageous request of the two but made a clear point why. Not only was the road to glory hard – it was going to require somebody dying and going through intense suffering. And in some ways – all followers of Jesus would have to drink the same cup of suffering and be baptized into His pain.
The road to glory leads to suffering. This is the message of the cross. Somebody suffered for us so that we might not. Somebody paid the price and died on the cross so that we don’t have to.
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 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. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.
Jesus had to redefine leadership and authority to the disciples. Whoever wants to be great must be a servant/slave of all. We have to be willing to die to ourselves if we’re going to experience God’s glory.
45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Service and death. Two words we might not like but two things we need to pray for as we live out our faith.
Lord, give me a heart that serves and a life that is lived out for you and others. The same selfless spirit Jesus had when he died for me is the same kind of spirit that I ask from you. In Jesus’ name.