THE REQUEST OF JAMES AND JOHN
Right after Jesus predicted his suffering, death, and resurrection, James and John asked Jesus if they could sit on his right and left when He sat on His throne in Heaven. James and John sought prestige and prominence in Heaven over the rest of the apostles. But Jesus told them it was not His will to give those positions, but they were reserved for those they had been prepared for. When the rest of the apostles heard James and John's request, they became angry. Jesus knew that the apostles were trying to be great, so Jesus called all of them and said, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. But it is not this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all. 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." (Mark 10:35-45).
Jesus was teaching His apostles not to seek greatness to have authority over others but to walk in humility like servants. Jesus called his apostles and disciples, including us, to walk in humility before Him and others. If we want to be the greatest, we must be the servant of all. Jesus used Himself as an example. He did not come to be served but to serve people by becoming the ransom for sin. The word "ransom" means "in place of." Jesus gave his life in place of our life. We are the ones who are supposed to die on the cross for the penalty of our sins, but Jesus took our place and died for us instead.
The lesson for us to learn today is that we need to be like Jesus. We need to walk in humility before God and others. We should not be like those who want to have the authority to be the greatest but to be servant leaders. A servant leader's attitude is always seeking ways to serve his subordinates so that they can do their job well. God wants us to serve others by using the authority that God has entrusted to us. When we walk in humility before God and others, God blesses us because it pleases Him.
Ask yourself these questions: How does Jesus want me to live my life? What does a servant leader mean? Am I walking in humility before God and others at home, school, or at my workplace?
Write down all the worries you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for teaching me today about humility. Please forgive me if I have been seeking only the things that I want and benefit me. Please help me to serve you and others, for this is your will. You save me for your glory and not for my own. Please continue to teach me to be the servant that you want me to be. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.