Prayer: O God, let your Word ring in my ears as I go through my day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
43 …whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant.
…And whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all (v. 44). James is remembered today by the church. He and his brother John were among the first Jesus called and they were part of Jesus’ inner circle. They wanted the best and want to share in Jesus’ honor. They did not understand what this meant. Jesus warns them of what they are asking and points out they must first serve others before they can become great. And then you will be persecuted and martyred.
James and John soon learned what it meant and both went on to tell Jesus’ story and being servants. James was the first apostle to be martyred and John was sent into exile. Our devotion writer explains; “Our lives may not end like theirs, yet Jesus also calls us to serve others…Our call as disciples today is to love God above all else, then to live and love as Jesus did.”
Prayer: “Holy God, come among us and help us to follow your example of living, loving, and serving. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Request of James and John
35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42 So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”