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  • Bob Burk

Lent Day 38

Scripture: Mark 10:32-45 (The Message)

32-34 Back on the road, they set out for Jerusalem. Jesus had a head start on them, and they were following, puzzled and not just a little afraid. He took the Twelve and began again to go over what to expect next. “Listen to me carefully. We’re on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Romans, who will mock and spit on him, give him the third degree, and kill him. After three days he will rise alive.”

The Highest Places of Honor

35 James and John, Zebedee’s sons, came up to him. “Teacher, we have something we want you to do for us.”

36 “What is it? I’ll see what I can do.”

37 “Arrange it,” they said, “so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory—one of us at your right, the other at your left.”

38 Jesus said, “You have no idea what you’re asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I’m about to be plunged into?”

39-40 “Sure,” they said. “Why not?”

Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you will drink the cup I drink, and be baptized in my baptism. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. There are other arrangements for that.”

41-45 When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John. Jesus got them together to settle things down. “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” he said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.”


Today's Meditation: 

Last week, during the Lenten soup dinner discussion, our table agreed with Dan that taking time to read a scripture we are familiar with in a different translation is helpful. I have today’s scripture from the Message rather than the NIV because it helps me to slow down and really read the scripture. I was tempted to just put down the part I wanted to focus on for the Meditation, but realized that the context is so important!

There is so much here to grab our attention today! I am surprised the disciples were not speechless. Jesus lays out where the road ahead to Jerusalem was leading! “When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Romans, who will mock and spit on him, give him the third degree, and kill him. After three days he will rise alive.”

Were they listening? What did they hear him say? I suspect they were not really processing what it meant, but maybe they didn’t want to hear what he was saying. Were they too busy planning their own version of the future, where they were important?

I don’t know how much time had passed, but reading the scripture, it feels like they were not listening! James and John ask to have places of honor, and Jesus cautions them and tells them what the price will be! The answer is, “Sure, why not?” Really? From my seat in the future, I have 20/20 understanding, or do I? How often do I tell Jesus what I think is the way he should handle a problem I am wrestling with?

Then the other ten got angry with James and John. How often do I get distracted from what matters by looking at and condemning others?

It is crucial what happens next. “Jesus got them together to settle things down.” Our Lord has to do this too often, reminding us, “It’s not going to be that way with you.” We are to be servants that love and care for others the way He does. The way we are to be different is foundational to how He wants us to interact with our world. He declares we are no longer hostages but a people ransomed and set free to experience each day becoming more like Him.


Prayer:

Sweet Jesus - We are on the path to Jerusalem, following you to the cross this Lenten season. We have the luxury of knowing that Easter morning is coming. Help us to remember each day you have redeemed us to live a life free from being self-centered and rooted in your love. Amen


Gania Brown




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