“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” Mark 10:38
James and John still don’t understand Jesus’ path leads to suffering and death. They think if Jesus just gives them seats of honor, to his left and right, they will arrive at greatness. They desire to be seen, valued and know they matter. Jesus doesn’t rebuke their desire for greatness. Rather, he reshapes their view of how they achieve greatness.
Two men will hold spots on Jesus’ right and his left not long after this conversation. These men flank Jesus during his brutal execution on a cross. Jesus knows all who follow his path will endure suffering and pain. To drink (an action to box) from Jesus’ cup is to suffer and serve. If his disciples desire true greatness, they will share in his suffering.
Deep down, we want to feel valuable, to be seen and know that what we’re doing matters. We may dream of receiving recognition in our profession, scoring a spot on a high-ranked team, achieving top test scores and scholarships, creating content that trends on social media or building a solid family with great relationships. Our human need for greatness isn’t wrong, but can only be fully satisfied by following Jesus in all things.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Turn to page 99 in your journal and write the ways you’ve sought to be great apart from Jesus. Offer God a prayer of confession with an invitation to reshape your view of greatness. “Father, I confess I have tried to be great apart from you. I set my agenda aside and seek to follow your way of humble service. Reshape my view of greatness to match yours.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.