Wow! How nave can two people be to make this request? Obviously, the sons of Zebedee failed to comprehend why Jesus had come to earth. They thought, after seeing Jesus perform miracles, he was going to miraculously overthrow the yoke of Roman government and set up his kingdom right away in Jerusalem. James and John wanted a prominent place in that earthly kingdom.
When Cathy was seven years old, she approached the church organist. She proudly said, “I just started taking piano lessons. Soon, I’ll be playing for church; you won’t have to anymore!” Like Cathy, James and John didn’t understand what was required in taking a leadership role in the church. Have we fallen, for our own reasons, into misunderstanding doctrine or into selfish desires for power?
Jesus saw through this navet and was gentle in his response, turning it into a lesson on humility. James and John took Jesus’ words to heart, becoming servant leaders in the early church: James, the first apostle to be martyred, and John authoring the Gospel of John, three epistles and Revelation. Cathy’s church organist was gentle in her response to Cathy, encouraging her to practise, which she did, being a church musician today!
Jesus, lead our requests to be in your will. Amen. — C/GW