Summary: It’s an adventure. It’s a good-thing! It’s a joy-to-follow Jesus because so-long-as you’re following Him, …that-just-means that you’re close to His heart and He’s close to yours! And isn’t that exactly-where we wanna be!?!
Walkin’ with Jesus:
Swimmin’ in the Baptistery
Scripture Text: Mark 10.35-45
We need the “meat” of the gospel. We need the stuff that’ll sustain and prepare-us for the long-journey of following Jesus. And that’s-why He teaches James-and-John ~ …and the rest of us, …His followers ~ …that servanthood is a critical-element in being one of His disciples. Being a servant is at the heart of what it means to follow Jesus.
I. A Cup & A Baptism
James and John were asking more-than simply to sit next to Jesus at the dinner-table. They were asking for the seats of honor. The seats of power and privilege. They wanted Jesus to do this for them: to let them be the most-important people in Jesus’ kingdom. I think they still had visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads! They thought that Jesus was gonna waltz into Jerusalem, …take His rightful place on the throne of Israel, …kick-out the rotten-scoundrels, …and make everything o.k.
But, Jesus knew that the path He was called to walk-down was not-gonna-be a walk-in-the-park. And He had been-tryin’ to-give the disciples a ‘heads-up’ ~ …that, what-was-waiting-for-Him in Jerusalem was rejection and betrayal, suffering and death. You-remember, don’t-you, …that at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, …that He was baptized, …and immediately, He found himself in the desert being sorely-tempted by Satan for 40 days?
And in just-a-few-short-days, …Jesus will be in the Garden of Gethsemane ~ …only-a-few-short-hours before the soldiers come to arrest Him; …and in the Garden He prays, “Father, if it be your will, please take this cup from me!”
The story of Jesus’ life-and-ministry are quickly moving toward Golgatha and the Cross. The baptism that marked the beginning of His ministry, …and the dark-night in the Garden, just-before being carried away in police-custody ~ …Jesus knew that it was not going to be an easy row-to-hoe! But, the disciples were a little slow to catch-on.
James and John ask if they can be on His “right” and “left”. And-what comes to my mind is: “Are you guys ready hang on the crosses next to Jesus!?!” Jesus is headed to Jerusalem ~ …but a throne doesn’t wait for Him, there! It’s a Cross! And there will be two people by His side, …but they will be convicted criminals. And they won’t be sitting-and-soaking in the fan-fare and adoration of the people, …but they will be mocked and ridiculed and humiliated as they die a slow, painful death.
James and John ask if they can be on Jesus’ “right” and on His “left” ~ …but I don’t think they quite-understand what that means!
You catch-a-glimpse of Jesus’ incredible patience, in His response to James-and-John’s outlandish request. We might expect Him to say something-like: …”Have you guys been listening to anything-I’ve-been-saying for the last 6 months!?! “How long will it take you fellas to get it!?!