Were James and John not listening? Jesus had just predicted in grim and specific terms what he expected to happen to him when they reached Jerusalem. Perhaps they just caught the last few words, “After three days he [Jesus, the Son of Man] will rise again” (v. 34). Yeah, we like the “rise again” part!

Apparently, they missed the part about being mocked, spit upon, flogged, and killed because James and John ask Jesus to grant them positions of supreme significance “in your glory.” Jesus understands that they don't understand. “Are you able,” he asks, “to endure what I will endure?” [Oh, yes!] “Well, you will endure these things, but you may get more mocking and flogging than glory.” We might hear the echo of God’s word to Job: “Who is this who darkens counsel without knowledge?”

Their takeaway may have been to realize they would get the hard work and the accompanying punishments to go with it, without necessarily gaining the glory. Hmm. What’s wrong with that picture? Seeking power without understanding the obligations and responsibilities that go with it is dangerous business. We may get more than we bargain for. Still, Jesus does not contradict their claim of readiness. He will depend on their bold promise to follow in his footsteps in the days and years to come. And they do.

How often do we request responsibilities we aren’t prepared for, or conversely, refuse responsibilities for which we are equipped? How often do we want the praise and recognition but hope for someone else to do the heavy lifting for us?

Notice how patient Jesus is with this request from James and John. He does not rebuke; rather, he encourages and redirects them. In the crucial work of discipleship and kingdom building, this is our model.

Empowering Lord, give me strength to be up to the task of discipleship and to remain steadfast in the face of opposition and difficulty. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Mark 10:35-45

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Leccionario Semanal
October 11–17, 2021
Resumen de la Escritura

At this point in Job’s story, God has heard questions from Job and long-winded moralizing by three of Job’s friends, who have pronounced that his misfortunes are divine judgment. Now God has heard enough and declares that God’s perspective is superior to theirs. God has been there from the beginning, as the psalmist reiterates, so no one should claim to know God’s mind or speak on God’s behalf. Even Jesus, the divine Son of God, yields to his heavenly Father. Hebrews tells us that Jesus made appeals to God as the ultimate high priest and thereby became the source of salvation for those who obey him. In the Gospel reading, Jesus specifies that his approaching act of submission and service will allow him to become a ransom for us.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Job 38:1-7, 34-41. How do you continue to hold on to belief in God’s goodness when you are in a period of anguish?
Read Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c. How do you share in the creativity of God?
Read Hebrews 5:1-10. In what ways does the understanding of Jesus’ willing vulnerability while serving as high priest affect the way you interact with others?
Read Mark 10:35-45. Where do you see genuine examples of servant leadership in your community?

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