As the disciples listened to Jesus’ teaching, they began to learn a great deal about the day of resurrection. At one point they started to put two and two together and were making their plans accordingly. They knew that they would be dead before the Days of the Son of Man, but because of the resurrection, they would see the kingdom.
Now it so happens that two of the disciples, James and John, who were also brothers, set a plan into motion.
“Mama, come here, we have to ask you to do something for us.”
“What is it, my children?”
“We want you to ask Jesus something.”
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
“What is it you want?” he asked.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
They had it all thought out. They knew that they wouldn’t see the days coming up to it, but they would be there for the kingdom. If they played their cards right, they could get in on the ground floor. Jesus had said previously that if any two agreed, they could ask what they wanted, and it would be done for them (Matthew 18:19).
But just to make sure, they asked their mom to make the request that one of them be on the right and the other on the left. Because, of course, their mom had more pull then they did.
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
They had no idea at all what they were saying. Jesus was talking about the cup of death. He was looking at their ability to be martyred for the faith.
Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, 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 by my Father.”
Jesus’ reply contains some interesting concepts. We need to remember that our places in the kingdom are not going to be decided on by us. We miss the fact that it’s not up to us to say, “I want to be a prophet so I’m going to Bible College and learn all about the Bible. Then, I’m going to go to prophet school and learn how to be a prophet. Then, I’m going to do this and do that, and then, finally, I’ll be a prophet.”
I’m sorry. That might be how it works in the world, but not in the Kingdom of God. In the Church, we are to be led by the Holy Spirit. It’s up to Him to show us the plan for our lives.
Question: What are you called to do for God’s kingdom?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014