Do Me a Favor...
Humble Lord, thank You that You were willing to endure the shame of the cross. Help me walk in Your way.
What do you see as the way to achieve greatness?
People have always sought status and power. All around us are examples of people who exploit both, just as James, John and their mother did (21). Jesus must have been frustrated with the disciples for misunderstanding the sort of king he would be and how his kingdom would come (22). They had overlooked Jesus' prediction of his death (17-19) and concentrated on his kingly glory. The other disciples were annoyed with James and John (24). Probably this was because the brothers had gotten in first with their request!
Jesus redirects James and John to the way his kingdom will come. It won't be achieved through glorious acts of heroism but through unimaginable suffering (22). In the Old Testament the picture of a cup describes the wrath of God and the suffering it brings (Psa. 75:8; Isa. 51:22).
Jesus turns the disciples' understanding of leadership and authority (24-27) upside down. In his kingdom, greatness is achieved through serving others (26). Jesus shows (28) that he did not come to demand service but to offer the ultimate act of service in giving his life for many. What a model of servanthood!
Jesus did not tell the disciples to stop seeking greatness; he gave them a new way to do so. Write about these things.
Lord of love and life, give me desire for the greatness that has true value in Your sight -- and the courage to pursue it.