Jesus predicts his death a third time

This is written by Briony Shipman. She loves her husband Chris, her son Max, St Mary's church, knitting, hiking in Austria, salted caramels and Alan Partridge.

Mark 10:32-45

Jesus predicts his death a third time
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 'We are going up to Jerusalem,' he said, 'and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.'

The request of James and John
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. 'Teacher,' they said, 'we want you to do for us whatever we ask.'

36 'What do you want me to do for you?' he asked.

37 They replied, 'Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.'

38 'You don't know what you are asking,' Jesus said. 'Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with?'

39 'We can,' they answered.

Jesus said to them, 'You will drink the cup I drink and be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with, 40 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.'

41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'

Reflection

I'm quite a competitive person. I work hard and I expect to be rewarded for my efforts. I spend quite a bit of time thinking about my career, looking upwards to my seniors, imagining that one day I'll be in their position. However, I can tell I'm spending too much time contemplating my own selfish ambitions when things start to go awry in my team. I've taken my eye off the ball and forgotten that I need to spend less time thinking about me and more time thinking about them. There's nothing wrong with having big dreams - look at the request James and John make of Jesus in this passage. But this passage also reminds us that being a good leader means looking after those who we lead; we need to look down to serve those we lead as well as up to think about our big dreams.

- In what areas of your life are you a leader?
- What is your relationship like with those you lead?
- What are your big dreams for the future?
 
Pray
Tell God about your hopes for the future. No matter how audacious they seem, we can be confident that he will respond to us with the same kindness he responds to James and John in today's passage. Ask God to show you how you can serve those you lead, how you can honour and promote their best interests. When we ask God to help us change he never fails to send his Holy Spirit to us.

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