“In your glorious Kingdom, we want to sit in places of honor next to you,” they said, “one at your right and the other at your left.” - Mark 10:37
Isn’t it surprising that James and John had just had a mountaintop experience, yet they hit rock bottom in the valley only a few days later? They had seen Jesus transfigured before them, then they had come down into the valley and heard the Lord rebuke their brother disciples for their lack of faith. Perhaps they despised their friends.
After all, James and John believed that Jesus could do anything. Hadn’t they themselves just heard the voice of God affirming him? How strange, then, to find the brothers behaving in such a childish way. A little while later, believing themselves to be Jesus’ favorites, they requested that he keep a chair just for them on each side of his heavenly throne. The Bible says that “When the ten other disciples discovered what James and John had asked, they were indignant” (Mark 10:41).
Oh, be assured, the ten will always hear it! Competitive spirits don’t ever whisper; they shout! They are bound to be heard! Jesus must have been frustrated all over again; this time, with James and John! He reminded them that unbelievers compete with each other, but disciples must not (see Mark 10:42-43).
We must be careful to ask Jesus the right things. If we watch how he lived in the Gospels, we will begin to know instinctively which prayers are out of order. There is so much we need to ask of Jesus every day; let’s not ask him for the wrong things!
For Further Study: Mark 10:35-45
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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