John, Willing to Suffer for Jesus

The disciples did not understand Jesus purpose, nor his power at times.

A crowd was following Jesus to Jerusalem.  We are told they are afraid of what’s to come. He took the twelve disciples aside and tried to prepare them for what was to come. He told them he would be beat, made fun of, spit on and killed.  {Mark 10:32-34}

James and John came to Jesus. “They said, “Teacher, we would like to have You do for us whatever we ask You.” He said to them, “What would you like to have Me do for you?”    {Mark 10:35-36}

They wanted Jesus to do whatever they requested.  If you’ve been following Christ for long, you probably know from experience God never answers prayers the way we expect.

Jesus ask them what they would like.

“They said to Him, “Let one of us sit by Your right side and the other by Your left side when You receive Your great honor in heaven.” 

James and John asked for their place in the Kingdom of God

“He hath said, Ask, and it shall be given you; and it is a commendable faith to ask for the great things he has promised; but it was a culpable presumption in these disciples to make such a boundless demand upon their Master.”  {Matthew Henry’s Commentary}

We have to be cautious when promising something to the Lord or asking something of him.  We are told God’s ways are not our ways, his ways are higher.  {Isaiah 55:89; Isaiah 55:9}

“Many have been led into a snare by false notions of Christ’s kingdom, as if it were of this world, and like the kingdoms of the potentates of this world… Worldly honour is a glittering thing, with which the eyes of Christ’s own disciples have many a time been dazzled.”  {Matthew Henry’s Commentary}

This is what James and John did, they realized if Jesus rose again, he would be a king, but in their mind a king of this world.

“Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Can you take the suffering I am about to take? Can you be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They said to Him, “Yes, we can.” Jesus said to them, “You will, for sure, suffer the way I will suffer. You will be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with. 40 But to sit on My right side or on My left side is not for Me to give. It will be given to those for whom it has been made ready.”   {Mark 10:38-40}

The disciples had no idea of the suffering Jesus was about to undergo and endure.

“Our weakness and short-sightedness appear as much in our prayers as in any thing. We cannot order our speech, when we speak to God…It is folly to prescribe to God, and wisdom to subscribe… It is the will of Christ that we should prepare for sufferings and leave it to him to recompense us for them.”  {Matthew Henry’s Commentary}

As with James and John, we all have our shortcomings. We need to seek Godly wisdom instead of acting hastily or with presumption.

The other disciples were angry with James and John. Jesus called them together and told them about how leaders want to show their power to the people.  He then went on “43 It must not be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great among you, let him care for you. 44 Whoever wants to be first among you, must be the one who is owned and cares for all. 45 For the Son of Man did not come to be cared for. He came to care for others. He came to give His life so that many could be bought by His blood and be made free from sin.”    {Mark 10:42-45}

“Our care must be, that we may have wisdom and grace to know how to suffer with him, and then we may trust him to provide in the best manner how we shall reign with him.”   {Matthew Henry’s Commentary}

None of us chooses to suffer, but we are told the Lord knows best and works all things to His glory.  We’ll never understand on this side of heaven why we have to endure some of the battles we do, but the Lord has a reason and the best manner in which to accomplish His will.  After all, He is working all things out for eternity.

Do you trust the Lord to see you through and provide?

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