Do Whatever We Ask

In Mark 10:35, James and John have one request of Jesus: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” It’s probably not the request Jesus would hope to hear in the context of Mark 10. After all, he had just finished talking about how the kingdom would be populated by people who become like children and people who help the poor. Their request of trying to get Jesus to promise something without saying upfront exactly what they want Him to promise sounds like something a child might do. So what is it that James and John want: a better understanding of how to be like a child or maybe some practical strategies for how to best help the poor? No, that’s not even close. They want the best seats in heaven. They want glory. After everything Jesus has taught them, they are still looking out for their own interests. I don’t think selfishness is the child-like trait that Jesus had in mind for them to replicate.
As frustrated as we might be by the request of these two apostles, we often focus on our own desires instead of the needs of others. We have a hard time getting past our selfishness. We like things our way. In contrast, Jesus gives example after example of the importance of considering those around us. He shows us that other people are more important than our things or our status. He showed us by the way that he lived. He says that he “did not come to be served, but to serve.” (Mark 10:45) Jesus wants us to do the same, and He wants us to want to serve even more than we want things for ourselves.
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:9-10) 

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