Mark 10:35–45 (ESV)
The Request of James and John
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.” 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?” 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.” 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. 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.”
The opening question is all wrong. They are so self centered that they are missing the point of Jesus. “Teacher, we want
you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” The “we want you” is opposite of the Lord’s Prayer “Thy will be done.” It is changing it to “my will be done.” Our prayers to Jesus are often self centered
in that we instruct God what he needs to do for us. God already knows what’s best for us... and it may not be what we are asking. Who are we to dictate to God, or should I be so bold to say, who are we to demand what God needs to do for us.
When we do this, we are making ourselves God and placing God as below us. Instead, Jesus teaches the disciples that to be great, you must become least. Instead of being served by others, you are to be a servant to them.
I pray: O Lord, I know that there are times that I get backwards in my thinking and try to tell you what to do, or to even suggest how you are to do something. I realize I am not one of your advisors, and that you being
God, you are the Creator of all things. Forgive me when I try to give you advise. You did a fine job creating the world and I would have only messed it up. You are God and you know all things. Forgive me and help me to be a humble servant
for you and to put others before myself. Amen.