MUSINGS – November 09, 2018


Mark 10:32-41
Jesus and his disciples were on their way to Jerusalem. Jesus was walking ahead of them. His disciples were shocked that he was going to Jerusalem. The others who followed were afraid. Once again he took the twelve apostles aside. He began to tell them what was going to happen to him. “We’re going to Jerusalem. There the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and hand him over to foreigners. They will make fun of him, spit on him, whip him, and kill him. But after three days he will come back to life.” James and John, sons of Zebedee, went to Jesus. They said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do us a favor.” “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them. They said to him, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” Jesus said, “You don’t realize what you’re asking. Can you drink the cup that I’m going to drink? Can you be baptized with the baptism that I’m going to receive?” “We can,” they told him. Jesus told them, “You will drink the cup that I’m going to drink. You will be baptized with the baptism that I’m going to receive. But I don’t have the authority to grant you a seat at my right or left. Those positions have already been prepared for certain people.” When the other ten apostles heard about it, they were irritated with James and John.

Talk about bad timing! Jesus had just told his friends that he is going to be arrested condemned, humiliated, tortured, and killed. And James and John are so self centered that they say, “Do us a favor,” Really? Had they not been listening? We’re they do counted with the desire to be granted special positions above the other apostles that the didn’t hear him? It were they that child hearted?

When the other ten apostles heard about it, they were irritated with James and John. Why were the others upset? Was it because of their callousness of asking for a favor when Jesus had just said he would die? It was it because they had asked for a special positions of power over them?

We call them Saint James and Saint John. They and the other apostles are regarded as saintly. Yet they are so human, so much like us. Their faults and flaws are recorded in the Bible along with the good they accomplished.

Jesus calls us his brothers and sisters* but how often do we just “visit” with him? All too often we go to him with our list and say, “Do us a favor.”

*Matthew 12:50

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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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