Self-Serving versus Self-Sacrificing
As we return to Mark’s Gospel let me point something out that we overlooked before. Three times before getting to Jerusalem Jesus foretold to His disciples His torture, death and resurrection. After the first time, Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked Him for such talk. After the second time the disciples were heard by Jesus to be arguing about who was the greatest. Now after the third foretelling of what would happen to Him in Jerusalem, Jesus got a request to sit next to Him in glory. Clearly before the crucifixion and resurrection the disciples didn’t get what Jesus was talking about. The disciples clearly had a mental block about the Messiah being a suffering servant. It just didn’t make any sense to them. All they seem to comprehend was some sense of a coming kingdom with glory and they were grasping and jockeying for some part of that glory. If this confusion and ignorance was possible with two of Jesus’ closest disciples, James and John, how much more is it possible with us? This story is a picture of all Christians. Aren’t we all a mixture of faith and ignorance? We have clarity about some things and complete cluelessness about other thinks. Are we not like them, committed to following Jesus, submitting to His ways but then carried away with some greed or pride or self-righteousness?