The disciples struggled to understand humble service, not power, was the message of Jesus. They clamor for positions of prominence and favor, and stumble when given obvious opportunities to serve the marginalized. As you listen to Jesus teach, it becomes crystal clear that serving others is not an optional part of following him. While the world’s notion of greatness is found in power and control, among the followers of Jesus, it is unmistakable that service alone is the badge of greatness. This is precisely why one of the foundations of our mission is to be spirit-gifted servants who work to meet specific needs of those around us. Our desire is to utilize the gifts and skills God has given us for the benefit of others. As you think about putting your faith to work in serving others, what things challenge and prevent you from doing so? If it’s narrowing down the immense burden of need, try focusing on serving the one who is in front of you at any given moment.
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
“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?”
“We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”