A Lesson on the Road to Jerusalem

In Mark 10:35-40, Jesus gave His disciples another teaching that is in complete agreement with His teaching in John 12:24-26. As they were on their way to Jerusalem, James and John came to Jesus with a request. They wanted Him to grant to them that one of them would sit at His right hand and the other at His left in His glory.

 

With this request, James and John were asking Jesus for the places of highest glory and honor in Heaven, being seated next to Jesus Himself. Jesus responded to them saying: “You do not know what you are asking… Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” (Mark 10:38).

 

The “cup” or the “baptism” that Jesus spoke about was the cup or baptism of suffering that He had already experienced in part as He walked in obedience to His Father’s will for His life. His sufferings would later reach their apex as He submitted to His Father’s will even to the point of death, dying on Calvary’s cross to become the atoning sacrifice for the sins of His people (Matthew 1:21, John 10:11, 14-15).

 

When James and John brought their request to Jesus, they had no idea that their future glory in the kingdom of Heaven could be realized only if they experienced a share in His sufferings. Even though Jesus knew that they did not yet understand these things, He told them that they would indeed drink from His cup and be baptized with His baptism, sharing in His sufferings in order that they would also receive a share in His glory, all

according to God’s particular plan and purpose for their lives.

 

At times in our lives, especially as young believers, we might pray to be used of God for some great purpose of His. God answers these prayers according to His will for our lives, even though we may have no idea or understanding at the time that our request will require of us that we drink from the cup or be baptized with the baptism of the sufferings of His Son, Jesus Christ. These sufferings will involve the “death”, or the relinquishment, of our own desires and plans for our lives and possibly the relinquishment of many of the “good things” that we hoped God would bless us with in this life, if He should require it of us.

 

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