“And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, … said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’” (Mark 10:35-37)
I’ve taught about this passage many times. Those haughty disciples. Trying to finagle their way into the top spots. Secretly soliciting the CEO without the others knowing about it. Worming their way past their peers while looking and acting like they’re innocent. Those tricksters!
But, as I read this morning, they reminded far too much of … me.
When I look in the mirror, the face reflected back at me is often prideful and even arrogant. I see someone who is too frequently willing to edge out others to gain the prominent position. My fleshly nature craves that top spot. Just like James and John.
Jesus, of course, turned the entire conversation on its head. If you truly want to be great, then you need to become a servant. If you want to be at the top of the great category, then you need to be a bondservant – in essence, a willing slave. That is, after all, what Jesus did.
None of us – not you or me or even Mother Theresa – thinks like that in our fleshly nature. Because of our sinfulness, servanthood is not our default setting. Yet, whether it’s easy or hard, a small step or huge leap, Jesus declared it to be the right path for His followers.
So, I regularly need to willingly lay aside my prideful, haughty attitude, and become a servant, a willing slave, ready to abase myself. That is, after all, what Jesus did.