Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to [Jesus]. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do us a favor."
"What is your request?" he asked.
They replied, "When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left."
— Mark 10:35-37 NLT
Sometimes the Scriptures are just too honest. I'm being a little sarcastic ... but just a little. The people we see, even those who are potentially our heroes, are so much like us, sometimes even worse than us. Their feet of clay help make the grace of Jesus real and accessible. Jesus' closest followers reveal that they don't really understand what he has just said to them about his upcoming death and what his life, ministry, and purpose are. Peter reminded Jesus a few verses earlier what they gave up to follow him (Mark 10:28). They seem to ignore what he has just told them in the previous verses about a horrible price he will pay for them (Mark 10:33-34). They can think only of their own glory. So while they courageously overcome their fear and dread to follow him to Jerusalem, they also have a great desire to get the big payoff from their association with him. Of course, the real question is whether they follow him as they should just because he is Lord and worthy of their allegiance. But then, their lack of understanding and their greed become the opportunity for us to ask ourselves the same question. Will we follow Jesus even if the costs are high and the appearances suggest that there is no earthly payoff? Hmm? Ouch! God help me.
O glorious Father, please forgive my selfishness. I confess that I want to be treated favorably and be blessed for following you. Please give me the courage to follow no matter the cost in this life as I reach in faith for what is life indeed! In Jesus' name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Mark 8:34-37
- John 21:15-19
- Acts 20:22-24
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.