By first century standards, Jesus was as popular then as a famous movie star would be now. He would have been a celebrity. If cell phones had existed, people would have tried to take selfies with him.
Is it so surprising that a couple of fishermen, personally chosen by Jesus to be his disciples, got carried away by the momentum building around Jesus’ ministry? All of that talk about a new kingdom was heady stuff. Easy to think that because of their connections with Jesus they would get supporting roles alongside him. They hadn’t been part of the hoi polloi in the old order, but in the new one, wouldn’t they be at the top of the heap, right beside Jesus?
Also not surprisingly, the other disciples were outraged by the opportunistic assumptions of the sons of Zebedee. Rather than berating James and John, Jesus set them straight in a kindly manner. He reminded them that a change of heart rather than a change of political systems would be the means for bringing the kingdom of God into existence. Being of service, rather than being waited upon, would be the required behaviour for citizens of the kingdom to come.
Lord, remind us that we serve you best by serving others. Amen. — CKA