October 20, 2018

Mark 10:35-40  …“James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’” vs. 35

When James and John decided to follow Jesus, leaving their father sitting in the boat, they weren’t nearly so altruistic as we sometimes think. Judging by this text, they had given up the family business for the sake of personal gain–they were hoping to get seats of power in the coming kingdom. Their story has been repeated many times over. It’s not uncommon at all for folks who follow Jesus to expect benefits from their decision. Some expect some sort of material benefit, maybe an increase in their cash flow. Others are focused more on health, honestly believing that their Jesus connection will keep them from dread disease or chronic illness. At the very least we anticipate an emotional or spiritual boost, that there will be deep and lasting serenity, a feeling of unity with the Universe. There’s certainly nothing wrong with those expectations, as long as we realize that Jesus may have some surprises for us along the way. He told James and John that they could expect some difficulties. They’d be drinking the cup of sorrow before long and likely face persecution. Signing up for service in the kingdom may indeed bring many blessings but there will also be challenges. Jesus’ road to glory went by way of Calvary. Who knows what may lie in store for us?

Thought for the Day: What would I like Jesus to do for me?