Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 60 "What do you want me to do for you?

Mark 10:35-40 The Request of James and John.
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." This is also recorded in Matt 20:20-28 where their mother makes the request.Either way, the request was made and Jesus makes the same response. They could share in his suffering.

We can tend to dismiss the lofty request as to the seating arrangements in the Kingdom as being pretentious and we can get indignant about it, the other disciples did! or we can see how they lived up to the intimacy with Jesus they wanted.

Lets look at them a little closer,
The sons of Zebedee James and John also called sons of Thunder in Mark 3:16-18
This was probably due to their zeal to protect Jesus in Mark 9:38-40
They wanted to avenge an insult from the Samaritans - Luke 9:51-56
They were the first disciple to be arrested in Acts 4:13-21
James the first to die for his faith Acts 12:1-2
John was the last of the apostles to die. It was late in his life, while exiled on a penal island, that John wrote Revelation. Early Christian writers state that he lived over 94 years. In his letters his words and warnings are strong, his passion and zeal continued through his life.

It was James and John who along with Peter became Jesus's inner circle of disciples.
They were probably a hot headed lot, plenty of zeal mixed with little knowledge. (Not a recipe for reliable friends that I would choose anyway). Thankfully, Jesus can correct a lack of knowledge, these disciple brought what they had, passion and zeal misplaced though they were in the beginning of their discipleship.

They accompanied Jesus to see a resurrection of the dead daughter Mark 5:35-37
They accompanied Jesus on the mount of transfiguration Matthew 17:1-13
They accompanied Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-46
John was the one to ask the tough question of who was to betray Jesus John 13:21-26
John was the one to take care of Jesus's mother John 19:25-27
John was the one to run with Peter to see the empty tomb John 20:1-10

Looking for intimacy with Jesus?
Can we share in the suffering of Christ?
Do we have the passion for him to follow through like these hot heads did?
Jesus still asks us "What do you want me to do for you?

Note of thanks to


  1. Excellent teaching. I like what you pointed out about their desire for intimacy. God read their hearts and granted the underlying request. Often we also make requests and God chooses to answer them in a unique way because he knows the underlying need.

    I apologize for it being so long since I responded. I was gone to a conference for half a week and then was sick most of the next week.

    Shirley Fay

  2. Thanks Shirley,
    Hope you're feeling better. Now to todays.. blog...