The Gospel from Mark 10:35 – 45 is a real challenge, isn’t it? James and John, two of the closest disciples to Jesus, are asking him to give them a special place. Jesus quickly admonishes them stating that they really don’t understand what they are asking for. If they want to sit in those positions, they would have to do the same things Jesus is doing. Jesus does not come to us as a great king or ruler, Jesus comes to us as a servant of human beings. I really don’t think James and John understood what Jesus’ mission was here on earth. I don’t think that’s what James and John bargained for.
The Jewish people thought that the Messiah would be a savior. They thought the Messiah would come on a great white horse with a great army to crush the oppressors they faced during their lives, i.e. the Roman Empire and the ruling Jewish class. Unfortunately for them, this was not the role of the Messiah. As Jesus says in the last line of this gospel, “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
What does it mean for us today to be servants? I think the true meaning Jesus had in mind was to always remember what James taught us in the second chapter of his Epistle. Prayer alone is not enough; giving to the church is not enough; service alone is not enough, these three things must be garnered together to serve those who need us, giving from ourselves and from our treasuries. Only then are we living as Jesus would want us to.
Peace and All Good!