Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” – Mark 10:35, NIV
Jesus has just finished predicting his death again. He’s gone into detail with His disciples about the awful things that are about to come to pass. He’s warned them, doing his best to prepare them.
After he’s done talking, James and John pull Jesus aside quietly. They request to be front and center next to Jesus when His glory comes. Their request is proof these two disciples missed the message entirely. They want power and glory. They want prestige.
Can you relate? When someone is unjust to you, do you shake your fist with rage and wish you were powerful enough to stand up to that bully? When you get overlooked, do you long to be the smartest or most beautiful person in the room?
The truth is we’ve all had those moments. But as Jesus explained, His Kingdom was upside down. In it, discipleship is really another word for denial of self. It’s becoming less so that God can shine even brighter.
Oh, Father, sometimes ego gets in the way of Your plans for me. I start thinking about power and prestige. I get caught up in all of the trappings of the world. Restore my focus to You. Let me remember that discipleship is really about servanthood. I want Your name to receive all glory and honor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.