Questions for Littles: Where were the disciples amazed to see Jesus going (v32)? What had the leaders in Jerusalem been wanting to do to Jesus? How did the disciples feel as they followed? What does Jesus tell them will happen to Him in vv33-34? What do James and John want (v35-37)? What does Jesus ask them if they are able to do in v38? Who says that they will in fact do it in v39? How do the ten respond in v41? What does Jesus say that those who desire to become great should do in v43? What does Jesus say that those who desire to be first should be in v44? Who came to give His life a ransom for many (v45)? What did He not come to do?In the Gospel reading this week, we come to what is perhaps the key passage in the entire book: “for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
It is, quite literally, amazing that the Lord Jesus would do this. In fact, that’s how we start off the passage.
It’s kind of a strange scene. Jesus is out in front, heading for Jerusalem. The disciples are kind of hanging back, not sure what to make of it. The leaders in Jerusalem have been looking for a way to kill Jesus. But there He is, out walking in front of them, headed straight to His death.
This time, it’s not Peter but rather James and John who correctly understand neither Christ nor themselves. Apparently, they had decided that Jesus was headed to Jerusalem to get glory. This was the only thing that seemed to make sense to them.
So, they run up ahead to catch up with Jesus, and ask if that can be a permanent arrangement. The problem is that Jesus isn’t going to Jerusalem to sit on a throne but to hang on a cross.
That’s basically Jesus’s point, when He asks about the cup and the baptism. The “sacrament” that is the sign and seal of His glory is His suffering and crucifixion!
“Yes,” Jesus says, “you will indeed suffer alongside me.” But, it won’t be this time around. There are two thieves for whom that is reserved. James and John will have to wait until later.
We serve a suffering Savior. He didn’t come to be served, but to give His life as a ransom. Let us not be surprised, since we walk with Him, if our lives include much suffering for His sake. Let us be eager for that sweet fellowship with Christ that comes not from being admired and catered to, but by being servants!
What opportunities do you have to serve as a slave? To suffer for Christ?Suggested songs: ARP191 “I Love the Lord” or HB435 “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord”