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.”
Jesus puts our welfare and needs ahead of His own as He conducts His ministry, showing us what real leadership
is. Jesus shows that those who lead in the kingdom of God serve others in humility. He leads by laying down His life as the sacrifice for our sins and calls us to similar sacrifice.
I pray: Dear Father,
You have sent Christ to serve us, although He had the right to demand our service. Forgive us, Father. Lead us to give ourselves for the sake of others, that we, being last, might truly be first with Jesus in His kingdom. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran
Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1681.