MARK 10:32-52 (NIV – UK)
Jesus predicts his death a third time
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 ‘We are going up to Jerusalem,’ he said, ‘and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.’
The request of James and John
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we want you to do for us whatever we ask.’
36 ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked.
37 They replied, ‘Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.’
38 ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said. ‘Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with?’
39 ‘We can,’ they answered.
Jesus said to them, ‘You will drink the cup I drink and be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.’
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 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.’
Blind Bartimaeus receives his sight
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means ‘son of Timaeus’), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’
49 Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’
So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’ 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’
52 ‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
BECOMING A SERVANT
Self-promotion, looking after number one, selfish ambition. These are some characteristics that are valued by the world – and in some ways are actually required to climb the echelons. In fact, one-upmanship is common place – and perhaps something we are all guilty of if we are really honest. The world sees it as desirable to gain power and authority over others – to ‘lord it over’ others (v. 42).
It’s all a symptom of our fall from God’s presence – stemming from the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve chose to pursue their own selfish ambition of ‘being like God’ (Genesis 3). As a result, we all carry that tendency and temptation. But Jesus wants to break us out from that – Jesus wants to give us freedom to not be selfish but to serve others in a truly loving way, which brings glory to God.
Servanthood is the way of Jesus. He is the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53). Jesus shows us his way – putting all others before himself as he hung on the Cross – becoming our servant (v. 45). When we come close to Jesus and begin to know his ways, our heart will be so affected that we are able to do the same – we become free to choose servanthood – in fact, we will desire servanthood!
Question: Do you feel as if you seek to put others first? Can you think of any ways you serve others?