Summary: Jesus asked, "Are we willing to partake of the bitter cup He partook of. Are you willing?"
Bitter Cup (Part-1)
Word from The Lord: Thus says the LORD
LORD... PREACH THIS WORD TO MY PEOPLE. TELL THEM TO BE READY TO DRINK OF THE BITTER CUP. THUS SAYS THE LORD
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. ~John 20:21
In these last days, Jesus is preparing many disciples to be sent forth into the harvest field, raising up an army of laborers equipped to get the job done. Notice, He didn't just say He would send us forth: He said He would send us as His Father had sent Him.
It's fruitless for anyone to go out without being sent in the same manner in which Jesus was sent. There is no profit in sending forth someone with no burden or vision. Yet, many have been sent in that very condition.
Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshiping Him, and desiring a certain thing of Him. And He said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on the left, in Thy kingdom. ~ Matthew 20:20, 21
A lot of folks have intentions like this. Many go to drastic extremes in striving to become something great: "I don't want much . . . just that I'd be given that place wherein I can be lifted up. That's all!"
Now, mother wanted her son, James and John to have high positions. She intended to make sure they had the best places in the Kingdom of God.
The Bible tells us we can receive whatever we ask for in faith believing, but not when that desire is against God's will!
But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto Him, We are able. ~Matthew 20:22
I wonder if there wasn't a note of pride in their reply: "Just tell us something to do, and we'll do it. We're quite capable."
THE CUP IS BITTER:-
We're talking, now, about being sent as the Father sent His Son. God sent Jesus to drink a very bitter cup, but many want to be sent that they might become something. They want to be used, but they fail to realize the need to be willing to pay the price of discipleship.
Jesus asked a very important question here: "Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?" He had a very bitter cup to drink in the Garden. That cup was so bitter He sweat drops as it were of blood.
What was in that cup? It was filled with the will of His Father.
One day James found out first-hand just how difficult that cup was to drink when Herod killed him with the sword.
"Are you able to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" What baptism was Jesus referring to — the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the speaking in other tongues? Was that all Jesus was referring to? What's so hard about that?
No, there's more to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit than speaking in other tongues. But most folks don't want to go any further than that. They want the glory — without the persecution. They want to be used, but they don't want to deny themselves. They're not willing to take the time to seek God and find out what goes with this baptism.