I know… It can really “tick you off!” Someone you know – a close acquaintance – steps in line ahead of you and asks for a special privilege! And worse yet, they’re so bold about it – like they deserve it or something! Who do they think they are!! You’re as good – as deserving as they are! Makes you mad!!
It happened to Jesus!! James and John, two of “the twelve” (Jesus’ inner circle) were the culprits. Here it is out of the Bible (I read it this morning in my devotions)…
“And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus and said to him, ‘Teacher we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘what do you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” (From Mark 10:35-37)
Jesus put them in their place (vss. 38-40), but think of it – the “gall!” Who do they think they are any anyway? We’re as deserving as they are!! “Ticked off” the other 10 of the apostolic band!!!
“When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John! But Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their ‘great ones’ exercise authority over them [the “world’s way of doing things] BUT IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU. BUT WHOEVER WOULD BE GREAT AMONG YOU MUST BE YOUR SERVANT, AND WHOEVER WOULD BE FIRST AMONG YOU MUST BE SLAVE OF ALL. [And then the example of Jesus…] For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” (From Mark 10:41-45)
We get very upset by the kind of thing James and John did, just like the other disciples did! But Jesus has an important lesson for His followers… Kingdom values are different – followers of Jesus operate by different principles! “Servant leadership” is the mark of greatness in God’s Kingdom! Oh Lord, may I internalize and live by that principle and value as your follower in a “dog-eat-dog” competitive, power grabbing world!